Note. This commentary is by Charles Landis and is largely based on recent studies by the Hover Institute and the Heritage Foundation.
It is very probable we will not know who was elected President on No v.4. Because Trump supporters prefer in person voting over mail in ballots, Democrats prefer mail in, and as much as 50 % of electorate will vote absentee, it is probable Trump will declare victory based on the count at that time. However, Democrats predict a “blue wave” from mailed in ballots, some of which may not be mailed until days after Nov. 3.
Some states do not permit verification of signatures of millions of mail -in ballots to begin until Nov. 3., for example such key states as Pennsylvania. Michigan, and Wisconsin. Verification is very time consuming and there will be many contested ballots and demands for recounts based on allegations of fraud or inability to accurately count ballots. It is very possible some states may not be able to certify results by the Dec. 8 deadline. Consider, also, nearly 300 counties have dirty lists where there are more on registrar roll than residents.
Note. The Heritage Foundation study shows 1,300 convictions for voter fraud and related issues since 2016 elections. These are convictions, not allegations, of which there are many more. Hover Institute study reports there are already 279 law suits filed in 2020 in 45 states.
The Electoral Vote Count Act of 1887establishes December 8 as the deadline date for states to submit certified lists of electors to Congress. If there are any contests or controversies remaining unresolved, the Act provides for Congress to decide which electors, if any, will cast heir state’s ballots. Then the Electoral College meets Dec.14. Further, if a state is not able to certify votes by December 8, , because of contested after time ballots or other litigation, as opined in SCOTUS decision in Bush v Gore, the state legislatures may take back appointment of elector decision from voters and vest in the legislative branch. This would require special superseding legislation which would again entail time and litigation, especially if legislative bodies are split.
Again, pursuant to the Electoral Count Act, the decision will be passed to Congress (House) where each state has one vote and Republicans have a 26-23 majority (Pennsylvania is split). The12th Amendment, however, requires all certificates of electors be opened publicly by the President of the Senate, Vice President Pence, in presence of House and Senate and shall be counted. Constitutional issue arises because Act does not say who is to do the counting and the issue has not previously been brought before the Court. It logically follows the Vice president does but this requires him to also decide if some state’s electors should be counted if controversies and litigation are still not resolved. Democrats would certainly object to a Republican deciding in case of a closely contested battle ground state.
A new House is seated on January 3, President assumes office Jan. 21.,. but the members elected in 2020 will vote not those elected in 2018. Some may also be contested or require run offs. One new Democrat representative in Pennsylvania and a flip in one other state and the House could be divided 25-25. Therefore, the Electoral System fails.
If the Electoral system fails in House, the 12th Amendment says the Senate must immediately elect a Vice President. The Republicans with 53-47current vote majority would chose Pence Vice President. However, it will be the Senators chosen in the 2020 election not the Senators chosen in 2018. If the Senate is split 50-50, VP Pence decides and he can cast the deciding vote and thus he is elected Vice President. On January 20, 2021, he then become President because of inability of House to break its own deadlock.
However if it is decided Pence should not cast tie breaking vote, then the Presidential Succession Act. Of 1947, amended 2006, comes into play where Speaker Pelosi is first in line, President pro tem, Senator. Grasley, follows, and then cabinet officers beginning with Secretary of State Pompeo. However, the Act is also considered unconstitutional because neither Pelosi or Grasley are Officers as required and succession falls to Pompeo.
All of this suggests a Constitutional crisis as never before or as imagined by Founders. Just as in 2016 election, Democrats will not accept Trump as President again. Whereas in 2016 there was much weeping, wailing, and thumping of the chest by Democrats, a 2020 re-election of Trump, promises to be met by much civil disturbance in the large blue urban areas. As the Democrat Socialist party has said, the movement is a revolution and it has started.
These is reason why Republicans/Trump thought it imperative there be a 9th Supreme Court judge before the Nov. 3 election. A 4-4 Court would mean a return to the appellate court or Congress. Then the confusion really begins.
Have a nice day. MAGA. Res Publica.