General Question

Ltryptophan's avatar

Can a sitting President use executive authority to order the confiscation of voting machines in the United States?

Asked by Ltryptophan (12091points) December 20th, 2020 from iPhone

We are now just one month from the moment a new President is expected to be inaugurated.

Prior to that inauguration certain legal hurdles must be vaulted.

January 6th the congress will ratify the results of the electoral college electors.

If that can be avoided by the sitting President who is challenging the veracity of the election, then it may require the examination of the physical equipment that was used to decide the winner.

Will martial law establish the authority needed for the executive branch to confiscate these machines?

Will the states deny the executive branch’s authority based on the rules of martial law, and the natural boundaries of federal regulations?

Is the current President out of moves for challenging the election?

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29 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

What a tragedy for us that this question would even occur to someone.

He won’t be out of moves before he’s tipped the board over and kicked the pieces around the floor.

I don’t know the answer, though. I wonder who really does.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
JLeslie's avatar

I am not worried about this at all. I hope I am right. The states are responsible for their voting machines and the state electors are the ones who vote for the president. The states seem to be standing behind the vote as it has been counted.

Lunatic congressmen who are grandstanding with the president are being ridiculous. In the end, America is not going to allow Trump to do any of this crazy stuff he is threatening and the military is not going to take an order from him in my opinion to do such a thing.

I don’t even think Trump will actually try it, I think he just wants his groupies to stay emotional to keep them loyal so he can make money off of them.

jca2's avatar

What’s saddest is how desperate he is acting.

elbanditoroso's avatar

No. It’s illegal. No constitutional authority to do so. And he know it.

That doesn’t mean he won’t try. This is a sick and deluded man.

gorillapaws's avatar

No. Anyone who disagrees can’t ever claim to support states’ rights again…

janbb's avatar

He can’t and also much of the voting was done by mail in so machines won’t cut it. He has no legal right to do it as the states control elections. And I believe that if he tries to impose martial law, the military would not cooperate.

However, it is clear that we have a demented president in office now. I wish he would resign or be removed at this point. Having no functioning President while we are in such dire straits is very upsetting (not that when he was functioning, it was much better.)

jca2's avatar

@janbb Trump during his original campaign, on his “best behavior.”

elbanditoroso's avatar

@janbb he was over his head on day 1 of his administration, and at this point, he is tuned out entirely.

JLeslie's avatar

@janbb What does mail-in have to do with it? Are the swing states electronic voting for in-person? The mail-in are counted by hand?

elbanditoroso's avatar

Georgia voting in person – touch screens, which print a QR code on a piece of paper, and the scanner reads the QR code.

JLeslie's avatar

@elbanditoroso Thanks for finding that. When I lived in TN I voted touch screen. So, do those states have electronic readers for the mail-in?

elbanditoroso's avatar

@JLeslie don’t know. I was at my polling place voting last Thursday, which is how I can be so sure of what Georgia is doing.

janbb's avatar

@JLeslie i was reacting to the suggestion of Trump confiscating voting machines and saying that would be inconclusive since much of the voting was done by mail in, in addition to it being illegal. All the photos I saw of main-in counts were people in large rooms verifying and counting by hand.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Another bit of blustering bullshit.

JLeslie's avatar

@janbb I’d be shocked if it’s done by hand. Sometimes a second recount is done that way when the first recount is a very close call. I could be wrong though. Maybe these states that use touchscreen don’t have machines to read the ballots.

kritiper's avatar

He would probably need a warrant which would mean that there needed to be probable cause, which there isn’t.

si3tech's avatar

IMHO he should have that authority. Considering that is where the infomation is.

Jeruba's avatar

One of the things I simply don’t understand is why Trumpists, any Trumpists, would apparently be happy with a dictator at the helm. They’re Americans. So how can that be?

JLeslie's avatar

@Jeruba They perceive him as protecting their freedom. Plus, they are convinced the election was stolen.

They aren’t thinking rationally they are rationalizing. They ignore what doesn’t make sense and twist the rest into a pretzel.

janbb's avatar

@Jeruba And another thing I can’t understand is why they still support him when he clearly has no interest in governing any more, if he ever did, and is not addressing any of the current crises like the pandemic upsurge or the Russian hacking. He has no concern for anything except himself. I wish we had the means and the will to remove him from office.

Dutchess_III's avatar

His supporters leave me completely befuddled.

Jeruba's avatar

@janbb, I’ve been thinking about that not-addressing-the-pandemic business, and it suddenly strikes me that his way of addressing it would be something like “How can we leverage this?” It would be consistent with his moral poverty to think of the coronavirus as something he could use to his own advantage: Who owns or controls the antidote? What will people do for it? How much will they pay?

Maybe they will give up their votes for it?

I know the vaccine isn’t an antidote. I’m speaking in those terms because it recalls movie villains who extort riches or information by withholding the antidote to a poison they’ve already administered.

Too cynical? Not for this guy.

janbb's avatar

^^ Oh, I agree. Apparently though some of his staff members have said that Trump was “done with the pandemic.” “What’s in it for me?” should be his motto.

JLeslie's avatar

Absolutely! Trump immediately was thinking how can I use the virus to profit or gain power. He would tell himself it’s not immoral, and part of that line of thought is it is not his fault the virus exists. You’ll see this type of messaging across social media among his supporters; there are always viruses out there, this is just another virus, and then they will flip and call it the China virus. Either way, Trump is not the cause of the virus.

Capitalizing on anything and everything is ok in Trumper circles, even death and destruction. If the death is going to happen anyway why not capitalize on it? Many of them buy into the herd immunity plan, and they are fatalists, believing they will get the virus sooner or later, just a matter of time.

They believe in God and that people of faith don’t need to worry and the atheist socialists are trying to take away their freedom and scare people with a virus to achieve their sinister goals. Trump is their savior.

Jeruba's avatar

Do they also talk about the idea of actually holding vaccinations and remedies hostage in exchange for overturning the election? That’s the thought that scared me.

Strauss's avatar

@si3tech IMHO he should have that authority. Considering that is where the infomation is.

Can you please elaborate? What information?

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Dutchess_III's avatar

I seriously doubt “the information” just sits in the voting machine. It’s just the first stop before It’s all sent to a master database for processing.

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