What if Donald Trump refuses to concede the 2020 presidency after losing the US election?


In almost daily tweets, interviews and speeches, he has been making allegations of postal voting for months leading to massive electoral fraud.

Democrats – and even some Republicans – say he is making the claims, although he has produced no evidence, to undermine confidence in the election results in case he loses. His campaign team took legal action to stop an expansion in Pennsylvania this month.

“You must be wondering to what extent either of the actors … is trying to use the delay as a tactical advantage or chaos,” said Ned Foley, director of electoral law at Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University.

“Some parties might benefit, or think they would benefit, from rocking the boat because they think they’re going to lose or they think they want to create a narrative that the system isn’t trustworthy. “

Mr. Trump created the narrative and argued that mail-in ballots are vulnerable to fraud. Critics say he sees them as more likely to result in Democratic votes, although the evidence is mixed on this point. Some see the basics of questioning the outcome.

Norman Ornstein, an American Enterprise Institute think tank researcher and member of the National Task Force on Election Crises, another bipartisan body tasked with worst-case election planning, worries about timing of results statements .

Normally states have maybe four or five percent of their electorate to vote by mail, Mr Ornstein said, but this year that number was much, much higher.

“We may have election results that don’t arrive for a week, 10 days or more after the election because it takes so long to count them,” he said. “We know that the president would not hesitate if he lost in these circumstances to cry foul and say that the election was rigged. “

The delayed counts added to the confusion. One of the fears was that the media could call one state one way on election night, only to go back and hand it over to the other candidate after the mail ballots were counted, fueling conspiracies.

Mr Trump called on states to stop counting mail-in ballots because they were illegitimate – something he nearly did in a close race in the 2018 midterm election.

“The Florida election should be called in favor of Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis as a large number of new ballots have arrived out of nowhere,” Mr Trump said at the time, checking the names of the candidates Republicans in the Senate and governor as the tally continued. He asserted that “an honest count of the votes is no longer possible”.

Read more: How Joe Biden or Donald Trump Can Get Victory – and What If Neither Gets 270 Votes

Prepare for “the unthinkable”

Some have already turned to lawyers for advice. Mr. Coleman, the former Republican congressman, was so concerned that he contacted a prominent constitutional scholar about the mechanism for forcibly removing Mr. Trump from office.

“For over 200 years, the above has probably never been thought of,” replied the researcher, according to Coleman.

“But we don’t live in normal times, and Trump is certainly not a normal president. We must be prepared for the unthinkable. ”

A sitting Republican warned that, with the postal voting changes, the coronavirus and the recent civil unrest, there was “a wave of witch uncertainty” around the election. “I fully anticipate that there will be legal challenges everywhere, just as there were in 2000,” he said.

Mr Trump has filed a number of lawsuits in key battlefield states: Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Nevada, where the votes couldn’t be closer.

The team behind the war games see the value of their work. They hope to share their lessons from the exercises with decision-makers in the electoral process, such as state governors, election administrators and broadcast leaders.

“The purpose of these exercises is not just to give people nightmares about America’s dissolution, but to make sure that doesn’t happen,” said Ms. Brooks, who co-founded the Transition Integrity Project. .

“The hope was that these exercises could prevent these catastrophic results. ”

We will find out very soon if this turned out to be correct.


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