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LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The downfall of trust in the U.S. election system is a decades old problem.

“Well in general, the story of the last many election cycles and last several decades has been a decline in trust in governing institutions in this country,” says James McCann, professor of political science at Purdue University.

McCann tells WIBC that the continued legal actions of President Trump are unusual. The question is: are they succeeding?

“Apparently not,” McCann says, “there’s been no evidence of significant fraud.” McCann continues, “The attorney general, who has been a very consistent supporter of the president, came out and said there’s no evidence of fraud that would come close to overturning the election.”

McCann says that if certain Republican elected officials continue to back the president’s legal action, it could further damage the election process in the eyes of voters.

“If a substantial number of Republicans throughout the country remain convinced that the election was somehow stolen from them, then that could be very corrosive.”

So where does this leave the relationship between Americans, elected officials, and the election system? James McCann says there needs to be some level of trust.

“It’s important for Americans to have a basic reservoir of trust in their political instantiations and vote counting process,” says McCann. He goes on to say, “That’s the name of the game in a democracy: if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

McCann says for President-Elect Biden and other elected officials, the key to the future is working together.

“It’s going to be very important to foster collaborations across party lines.”