Donald Trump stepped up his efforts to undermine the 2020 election this week.
Republicans are reportedly considering asking state lawmakers to ignore the will of the popular vote and appoint pro-president voters. Trump also declined to say whether he would accept a peaceful transfer of power this week, comments from which many Republicans have distanced themselves. Trump said he needs to set up a new supreme court to settle electoral disputes.
The United States Constitution gives state legislators the authority to appoint the 538 constituencies to the constituency who ultimately elect the president. States have long used the popular vote winner to determine who gets the electoral votes in their states, but Republicans anonymously told the Atlantic that the campaign discussed the possibility of using vote-counting delays as a basis. to ask Republican-controlled lawmakers to appoint their own constituents, regardless of the final vote count.
“The state legislatures will say, ̵
A spokesperson for the Trump campaign said the Atlantic report was not true.
“The story of the Atlantic is false and ridiculous. The types of contingency plans included in the story are impossible, “the spokesperson said.” States have laws that determine how voters are selected. Especially when we look at states that may have mail-order voting problems (e.g. Pennsylvania, Michigan ), no Democratic governor will sign a bill repealing those laws. “
Experts question the feasibility of such an effort.
“It is the ultimate nightmare scenario for the country. There is no reason to think there would be an appropriate basis for it. It is not at all clear that the legal power to do so exists,” said Richard Pildes, a law professor at New York University. “There is a delicate line in speaking and educating people about all sorts of potential scenarios that could emerge and create unwarranted anxiety about what is likely to be a relatively well-functioning election process.”
Such a scenario is unlikely, Richard Hasen, professor of law and election expert at the University of California, Irvine tweeted Thursday. He noted that he doesn’t see a way for lawmakers to legally change how they choose voters after people start voting. Several battlefield states, including Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, also have Democratic governors who could serve as control over the legislature.
It is also unclear how widespread or serious the republican effort is. Joseph Kyzer, a spokesman for North Carolina President Tim Moore, said it wasn’t something that was up for debate among lawmakers. Andrew Hitt, President of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, he also told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Wednesday was not something to be discussed.
Due to an increase in mail-order votes, election officials are likely to continue counting votes after the polls close on November 3. There is nothing unusual about this type of delay, but pundits are increasingly concerned that Trump will use it to claim victory if the vote counts show him ahead on election night. There is a push to prepare the public to understand that such a wait is normal to protect themselves from fraud charges.
“Unnecessarily sowing doubt and confusion in voters’ minds can turn some voters away from participation and can fuel anxieties that put people on a tightrope,” Pildes said.