The facts you need to know about the never-ending elections

by Phil Schneider

The 2020 elections will go down in history as one of the closest elections in history. But the court proceedings that may or may not ensue may actually dominate the memories long after the dust has settled on the election. Donald Trump will probably not succeed in his efforts, despite the many questions that remain from the election. What is good about this show is that it focuses on the facts that we do know while the events unfold.

There is a great contrast between the 2000 election year controversy and the 2020 election. In 2000, basically everyone agreed that the election was split down the middle in terms of electoral votes, with Florida left too close to call. Both sides agreed that whoever won Florida, indeed won the election. But Florida vote counting went in a zig-zag manner on election night. At first, it was called by one network for George Bush, then it was rescinded. Then it was called again for Bush by another network, and then rescinded. Following an agonizing few days, it was clear, seemingly, that Bush had won by a few thousand votes. Al Gore called to concede. But, then when some more question marks arose, Gore rescinded his concession. Then, the legal wrangling began. That is when the United States got a good lesson in terms of state and federal law. What mattered were the laws of Florida, not Federal laws of elections. All of a sudden, the fact that Florida had a Republican Secretary of State and a Republican Governor (who was George Bush’s little brother), was extremely important. Critical decisions relating to recounting ballots were largely made on a State level. Ultimately, the Supreme Court of the United States did get involved and stopped a final recount. Then Al Gore accepted that he had no chance to win and conceded.

The situation today is much more complex. If the Trump campaign brings multiple lawsuits in multiple States against the fairness of the election, they will have multiple obstacles to overcome. First, they will need to win over each of the judges that they have enough evidence to make a case. Secondly, they have to prove that there is a reasonable chance that the evidence could actually change the results of the election. Then, they will have to win the case – in three States. The odds are very slim, even if the evidence is there. Ultimately, the results of the legal action of the Trump campaign may be eclipsed by the exposure of the weakness and fairness of the electoral process. Perhaps, some States will institute new election rules that will insure that the public does not lose their trust in the electoral system.

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