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LostInParadise's avatar

What will happen when Trump insists that vote counting stops on election day?

Asked by LostInParadise (29643points) October 29th, 2020

Trump has been saying that the winners of the federal elections be determined on Nov 3. Will he get away with this? If he does, the votes of overseas troops will not be counted. Link

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21 Answers

SmashTheState's avatar

What will happen is your de facto dictatorship will become a de jure dictatorship. You can expect all the same moves you see in places like Russia and Turkey, like the elimination of term limits, the removal of balances on power, the formation of semi-formal paramilitary squads which can transition to death squads as required, and probably crack-downs on the media to prevent criticism of these things. Amerika already has concentration camps and a ready-made State media apparatus in Fox News, so it will happen quickly.

Of course, you’ll also see concommitant growth of radicalized elements in opposition to the new dictatorship. Most liberals already lean authoritarian and have spines of Jell-O, so they’ll either become Good Germans or just keep pretending not to see, but a small percentage will realize that we anarchists have been right all along and begin the usual process of forming cells of resistance in a race to see whether they can learn the basics of paranoid security culture faster than the secret police can infiltrate them.

Depending on how violent the reactions grow, you may also see the entire Internet shut down while the new dictatorship cleans house and seizes control of social media to prevent any kind of wide-scale organizing. We know from Snowden that these plans are already in place. You may wish to make sure you have currency on hand, since taking down the Internet is likely to play havoc with online banking, ATMs, and debit machines.

You’re also going to have to decide how much you value your life under dictatorship, and whether you’re prepared to spend whatever remains of it on your knees.

“Still if you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed, if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not so costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance for survival. There may be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no chance of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.” – Winston Churchill

Tropical_Willie's avatar

He can insist but it is not Federal law. Each state has its own voting laws and requirements. Like @SmashTheState says if he declared himself “dictator for life” things may change ! (25th Amendment kicks in !)

SmashTheState's avatar

@Tropical_Willie Republikan-controlled states have already begun organizing to pass laws forcing their college electors to vote universally Republikan. Some media outlets have crunched the numbers and believe the Republikans have the power to elect Trump by diktat.

Darth_Algar's avatar


Unfortunately the 25th Amendment kinda hinges on those in the Cabinet not being groveling sycophants.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

The SCOTUS just said in North Carolina (and many other States) it is okay to continue to count votes for after November 6th.

kritiper's avatar

Nothing. He’s not The King. Each state has different laws and ways of doing things like counting votes.

jca2's avatar

I can envision him declaring victory prior to the votes being tallied up. Then we’ll have unrest.

gorillapaws's avatar

The Democrats are weak and spineless. It makes them easy to trample as they try to appear willing to compromise and find “moderate middle” ground with the extremist right. Their attempts at impeachment were pathetic. They’ve signed off on almost everything Trump has ever asked of them: tax cuts, huge expansions to the military, I believe the largest single giveaway to corporations in US history—all financed by debt.

If the Dems do allow Trump to steal the election, I think that would be the time for people on the left to turn off their corporate news propoganda like CNN and MSNBC, #demexit en masse and work on building a working-class 3rd party that’s willing to take the gloves off.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

He can insist but it is not Federal law. Each state has its own voting laws and requirements

The US Supreme Court overruled Wisconsin’s extension for mail ballots. Kavanaugh used Bush v Gore as a precedent. He was a lawyer for Bush in that case. So was Barret. So was Roberts.

The number of Supremes who helped orchestrate that travesty now equals the number of Democratic appointees.

jca2's avatar

Proud Boys: Stand By and Stand Back.

janbb's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay I’m not sure it’s clear what the Supreme Court will do if called in. I may be wrong but I believe Kavanaugh upheld the state’s right to end the extension in Wisconsin’s case against a challenge. They have also upheld the rights of Pennsylvania and North Carolina to count mail in ballots after Election Day.

Far be it from me to defend this Court; I am hoping they will not be called in. But I am not entirely sure what will happen if they are.

Demosthenes's avatar

No, he won’t get away with it. Like @kritiper said, he’s not a king. We have the courts to prevent Trump from trying to halt the democratic process. I predict things will get ugly, but I don’t think Trump will be able to prevent votes from being counted.

Jaxk's avatar

Will you all never get tired of these ridiculous conspiracy theories? At some point the voting has got to end and a winner declared. We are merely haggling over what that point should be.

Article II of the Constitution authorizes Congress to determine the date of the general election for federal office, only mandating that the “Day shall be the same throughout the United States.” Sounds pretty clear.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Jaxk “We are merely haggling over what that point should be.”

Here’s a thought: how about after everyone’s votes are counted?

Jaxk's avatar

@gorillapaws – How much time do you need to count those votes? A day, a week, a month, a year?

LostInParadise's avatar

A week should be sufficient

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

the Constitution authorizes Congress to determine the date of the general election for federal office, only mandating that the “Day shall be the same throughout the United States.” Sounds pretty clear.

So early voting and counting a single vote after that day is unconstitutional.

It’s so clear that no states agree.

JLeslie's avatar

LMAO. So, first he says the counting will go one direction days, maybe weeks, and now he’s saying he will order the counting stopped.

Why does anyone listen to him?

The states run their elections, even the election for President. I’m not worried about Trump at all.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Like all blowhards he loves to project an image of authority and power that he simply does not possess. Most people see right through his bluster, but, sadly, his cult eats it up every single time.

stanleybmanly's avatar

The massive turnout this time should give so huge a lead to the Democrats that there is no reasonable dispute regarding the Presidential outcome.

stanleybmanly's avatar

When Trump insists—he will be ignored as usual.

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