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How he steals the election from the people

I just came across this article from Slate that makes me very nervous.

Written in March, it describes a way the current occupant of the White House could legally ensure his reelection. 

The author, Mark Joseph Stern, wrote, "It's doubtful that we will face this situation in November." But doubtful isn't very reassuring to me. And today the occupant suggested in a tweet the possibility of delaying the election "until people can properly, securely and safely vote."

The thing is, the President of the United States doesn't have the Constitutional power or authority to cancel or postpone the election. Only Congress can do that. Of course, that doesn't mean this particular "president," facing likely defeat, wouldn't give it his best effort.

But Stern points out that there would be no need for the occupant to attempt an illegal delay of the election, because there is "a perfectly legal shortcut around a free and fair presidential election."

The Constitution does not require states to have elections to determine how to assign electors.

Read that sentence again.

The Constitution does not require states to have elections to determine how to assign electors.

Here's what Article II Section 1 says (emphasis mine):
Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress
Initially, state legislatures in several states appointed electors themselves. But today every state legislature has allowed the people to determine how electors are chosen. However, as Stern points out,
. . . the Supreme Court confirmed in 1892’s McPherson v. Blacker that states were free to revert to the old method, and in 2000’s Bush v. Gore, the court reiterated this point. The majority declared that the state legislature “may, if it so chooses, select the electors itself."
So here's how the occupant steals four more years in the White House: He directs the state legislatures to appoint electors. He would only need to do this in the 28 states that have Republican-controlled legislatures. Those states collectively have 294 electoral votes, 24 more than are needed to hand the "election" to him.

(Stern points out one potential wrinkle. At the time he wrote this article in March, two pending Supreme Court cases could have made it possible and legal for electors to be "faithless." But those cases were decided in early July. The Court ruled unanimously that states have the power to require electors to vote for the candidate they promised to choose when they were nominated as an elector.)

Would those 28 state legislatures be willing to subvert the will of the people to hand this guy an Electoral College victory?

So far, what has the Republican party done to keep this horrible man from exercising innumerable assaults on democracy?

A man who has flouted the Constitution with a free rein from Mitch McConnell and his cronies in the Senate, who has not ruled out abiding by the election results and who has floated the idea of delaying the election, would, in my opinion, stop at nothing to cement his power to govern.

And that would be the final nail in the coffin of American Democracy.

Agree or disagree? Please share your comments.


  1. Thank you for ruining my day, Lane. (Sort of serious about that...) In all seriousness, it's good to contemplate worst scenarios, and then plan for them. Many things need to happen to pre-empt this sort of chicanery. First and foremost, we need to get out the VOTE in huge numbers on the Left. Second, for anyone who is voting by mail, do it sooner rather than later---voting by mail should not be postponed until the last minute. Third, the margin needs to large enough to "flip" a sufficient number of those red-controlled states to make this strategy impossible to employ. We learned in 2000 and in 2016 (strikes one and two) that winning the popular vote is not enough in America. If we lose in 2020, that could very well be strike three.

    1. I so hope the things you describe will succeed in removing this madman from office once and for all.


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