Complexities – President Trump now wants to delay the elections reasoning that mail-in ballots is not the way for America to go to polls in November. But for the incumbent, as well as his Republican party, things could horribly go wrong.
The global pandemic’s latest victim could be the world’s most important election. The Presidential Election of the United State of America is scheduled for the 3rd of November 2020. But with the economy almost hitting abyss and the outbreak showing no signs of stopping, Trump thinks it would be wise to delay the elections. But time if of essence here
“We’ve had elections in this country when we were at war, even when we were in civil war. And we should have the elections on time.”Condoleezza Rice in 2004
The answer to this question is not simple. But in the most basic terms, yes it can, but only for a couple of months. But that in itself would be catastrophic and unprecedented. For the house as well as the state of government of the world’s most powerful country. In fact, the US could be left without a president at all, effectively becoming machinery without a chief executive. Not quite. In an unlikely historic tale of events with delay in elections till Jan 20th, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi finds herself replacing President Donald Trump in the oval office.You will find more infographics at Statista
President Trump wants to postpone the elections opining distrust in mail ballots which he has repeatedly claimed to be fraudulent, even leading to his tweet being fact-checked by Twitter a while back. Trump’s anxiety is also connected to the fact that he now lags 10 points behind Biden, a gap he looks less likely to shorten with each passing day.You will find more infographics at Statista
How far can the Congress delay the Presidential Elections?
Traditionally, the US presidential election is held on the “Tuesday next after the first Monday in the month of November of the year”. But let’s consider a scenario where Trump manages to get them postponed.
The incumbent President does not have the authority to change the deadline for electors with an executive order.
There are two methods by way of which the US President Elections date can be changed. The first which would be extremely unpopular among voters would mean that all 50 states “conceivably change the method by which they choose their electors to something other than popular vote” via cumbersome legislation before 3rd of November.
But the real option will be for the US Congress to pass a law that supersedes the Presidential Election Day Act, thus helping shift it to a new date. Now even in the unlikely scenario where the fighting Democrats and Republican pass such a law in both houses and bring about President Trump to sign it, they only have until 20th Jan 2021. That is if they still want to have a President.
What happens if the US Elections don’t happen by then?
President Donald Trump’s current four-year term ends on the 20th of January as per the 20th Amendment to the United States Constitution. In the extremely unlikely scenario that there are no elections in states by that date, the United States of America will be left without a President. The Congress shall be in chaos with the temporary in-charge being Speaker of the House. Such a scenario turns fate on its head for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Pelosi, as the Leader of the House Representatives, is third in the line of succession after President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence as per the US Constitution. Now no elections by Jan 20th, 2020 would mean that both Trump and Pence are out of jobs.
So that much delay in US elections will make House Speaker Nancy Pelosi the automatic, albeit temporary, President of the United States of America replacing Donald Trump. Now, how about that?