Will Peaceful Transition of Power Take Place if Trump Loses Elections 2020?


If he loses President Election, what will happen if Trump refuses to make a peaceful transition?

If the election is stalemate, how to handle and resolve disputes is fundamentally a power issue, not a legal issue, depending on which step the two parties want to go.

During a debate with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in October 2016, Trump, who was still a Republican candidate, was asked whether he would accept the voting result if he lost the election. Trump's answer is: look at it then.

Four years later, when asked whether he could guarantee a peaceful transfer of power if he lost in this year's election, Trump still gave the same answer: I will look at that time.

While refusing to commit to a peaceful handover, Trump once again focused his attention on mail voting, calling mail voting a "disaster."


We will have a very peaceful, not a transition

After being questioned by reporters on the handover issue, Trump declared that if there is no mail vote, "we will have a very peaceful, not a transition, but a continuation."

Affected by the new crown epidemic, it is expected that more than 198 million voters will be able to vote by mail in this year's general election. Trump has always opposed mail voting, believing that mail voting will lead to fraud and help the Democratic Party win the election.


This statement has set the tone for the melee between the two parties in statistical voting after voting in the US general election

Earlier this Wednesday, when he reiterated that he would nominate a new judge of the Federal Supreme Court, Trump said bluntly: 

The dispute surrounding the election will eventually involve the Supreme Court, so it is important that the Supreme Court has nine judges.


After the death of Liberal Justice Ginsburg, there were only three liberal justices nominated by successive Democratic presidents in the Supreme Court, and five conservative justices nominated by Republican presidents. After Trump nominates replacement candidates, the conservative justices will increase to six, with an absolute advantage.


Given that Trump has repeatedly stated that he will not give way easily, various media and research institutions have deduced what will happen after Trump refuses to accept the election results, and the final direction is chaotic, "No one knows what will happen. ".


From the polling day of the general election to the swearing-in of the new president, there is a transition period of 79 days 

From the end of this year to the beginning of next year, there are three nodes in the middle: on December 8, each state will determine 538 electors to resolve disputes about vote counting.

On December 14, electors will vote for presidential candidates based on the results of voters in each state. 1 On the 6th, under the leadership of Senate Chairman and Vice President Pence, the newly elected Congress counted the votes of the electors.

The "Transitional Complete Plan" deductions established by The Atlantic Monthly, the Financial Times, and former US officials, scholars, and poll researchers show that these three nodes may all become battlefields.


Although the voting date for this year's general election is November 3, the results will be postponed due to mail voting

During the vote counting period from the polling day of the general election to December 8, the "transitional complete plan" deduction showed that one possibility is that Trump will let the Justice Department intervene and stop counting mailed votes.


Take the key swing state of Pennsylvania as an example. If by the night of the general election polling day, the voting result of Pennsylvania is not divided, Trump can declare his victory in advance.


Once the continued statistics of mailed votes show that Biden has a leading trend, Trump can accuse the mailed voting of fraud, request the judicial department to intervene, and finally submit the lawsuit to the Supreme Court.


Even if the Supreme Court opposes the suspension of vote counting and the dispute between the two parties on the counting of votes is not resolved by December 8th, after December 8th, Trump can, with the support of the Republican Party, ask Congress to resolve the issue of vote counting differences. According to the US Constitution, Congress is responsible for counting electoral votes.


The President of the United States is not directly elected by voters, but by state electors

Before voting in the general election, different parties in each state have already elected electors, who are usually loyal members of the party. In some states, the names of the electors will be printed on the ballot papers along with the candidates for president and vice president; but in most states, the names of the electors will not appear on the ballots.

When voters choose presidential candidates on their ballots, they are actually voting for the electors elected by the candidate's political party.


Ballots for the general election

Functionally, the elector is equivalent to the voter's microphone. When voting in December, electors must, in principle, choose presidential candidates based on the voting results of voters in each state. 

Occasionally, there have been cases where electors voted on their own regardless of the results of universal elections.

Most states implement the "winner takes all" rule. For example, if Trump wins the general election in Texas, all 38 electoral votes in the state will go to Trump. In the general election, the presidential candidate with 270 electoral votes won.


The number of electors is the same as the number of members of the Senate and House of Representatives, plus the three electoral quotas in the District of Columbia, which is currently 538.

 The number of electoral votes in each state is related to the size of the population. California, the most populous state, has 55 electoral votes.


The Atlantic Monthly pointed out that although voters generally vote for electors, the Constitution does not make clear provisions. 

In 2000, when Bush Jr. and Al Gore diverged on the vote counting in Florida, the Supreme Court ruled that the state government could withdraw the power to designate electors.

USA Presidential Power Transition

Therefore, before the electors vote, one of the ways Trump can take is to let the Republican states appoint electors themselves, and these electors will vote for presidential candidates.


The consequence of this is to ignore the vote of voters in the state and cause public outrage, but the Trump team can defend the election fraud and protect the will of the people.

In fact, according to internal information from the Republican Party, the Trump team already has legal advisers discussing the plan for the state assembly to appoint electors.


If the Republican-controlled state legislature appoints its own electors, the Democrats will certainly fight back and appoint their own electors. When the electors vote on December 14, which electors have the right to vote will be the biggest question.


When the newly-elected Congress counts the electoral votes on January 6 next year, if the two parties cannot agree on the electoral vote of a certain state, Pence, as the chairman of the Senate, will make a decision in favor of the Republican Party. 

In protest, the Democratic Party may withdraw from the vote count and the vote count will be suspended.


On the day when the president is sworn in, if the new president and vice president are still not available, the Speaker of the House of Representatives will serve as the acting president. 

The current Speaker of the House of Representatives is the Democrat Pelosi. 

According to the Financial Times, in the worst-case scenario, if the Supreme Law consistently refuses to intervene in electoral political disputes, Trump may announce the opening of a second term without the two parties reaching an agreement on who will win.


Presidential Power Transitional Complete Plan

In addition to political chaos, the deduction of the "Transitional Complete Plan" also pointed out that the dispute between the two parties on the counting of votes will trigger protest marches and even riots. 

At that time, Trump may use the "Insurgency Act" to send troops to suppress it without the consent of the state government.


However, the US military leadership has previously stated clearly that the military will not interfere in campaign disputes. In the riots caused by the anti-racism march, Trump's plan to send troops to suppress it was also opposed by top military officials.

The "Transition Complete Plan" report pointed out that in this year's US general election, there will be various lawsuits, actions to prevent statistical mailing of votes, media wars, and public protests.

 Federal law has very limited guidance on how Congress should handle election disputes.

Therefore, if the election is stalemate, how to handle and resolve disputes is fundamentally a power issue, not a legal issue, depending on which step the two parties want to go.

The Republican Party has already begun to act. On Tuesday, Republicans in Pennsylvania announced that they would appeal to the Supreme Court of the state court’s decision on a mailed vote.

A Pennsylvania court ruled last week that voters in the state can still send back their ballots within three days after the election day.

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