Democrats & Liberals Archives

Refusing To Concede: Trump Could Go To Supreme Court

Some took it as an affront to the democratic process, others saw it as a meaningless throwaway remark, but when Donald Trump said he would have to “look at it at the time” when asked if he’d accept defeat to Hillary Clinton, it opened up an interesting question. Can a presidential candidate legitimately refuse to concede, and if so what are their options?

The short answer is yes. Election fraud is a well considered risk, even in the United States, and having a mechanism to challenge the result for President is a logical fail safe. The dispute first goes to federal district court and can also be put before the members of the electoral college, who on paper can overturn the decision. This however has never happened in the history of the United States.

Of course there would have to be some evidence of significant and organised vote rigging before such a claim could gain ground. Trump simply kicking up a fuss and refusing to concede for the sake of it would not change the outcome. He or indeed Hillary are perfectly free to be sore losers, but a legal case has to have a legal basis. If it did, it would be up to the supreme court to make the ruling.

The last time the US presidential election was contested was the year 2000, when democrat Al Gore demanded a recount in Florida after losing by only a few hundred votes to George Bush. Although the issue did hit the supreme court, Gore soon conceded and walked away.

That election was infamously covered in the Emmy nominated HBO documentary Hacking Democracy, which highlighted the ability to hack an actual electronic Diebold voting machine that was used in Leon County, Florida. In Volusia County, Florida, it was discovered that one computer had subtracted Al Gore's votes from his total instead of adding them!

Widespread organised vote rigging was never proven, but the potential for such a thing was at least demonstrated, which is still extremely worrying.

The only other two contested presidential elections were in 1800 and 1876.

For the 2016 elections, accusations of the system being "rigged" mostly seems to be hot air from Trump himself. Several isolated cases of voter fraud have been uncovered on both sides, but not enough to change the outcome and not as part of any conspiracy involving the candidates themselves.

In one Californian home 83 people were found registered to vote. In Iowa a woman named Terri Lynn Rote was charged with voter fraud for casting two ballots because she feared the election was rigged in favor of Clinton - the fear of fraud creating real life fraud.

It's no surprise when Trump has continuously called for his supporters to look out for Clinton supporters fixing the vote. 73 percent of Republicans surveyed by Politico/Morning Consult said they thought the election could be "stolen" from Trump. Therefore if Clinton does win, it's highly likely that Trump's supporters will expect him to contest the result.

Fortunately significant voter fraud is very rare and unless something has changed, accusations are all it will probably turn out to be. A large scale analysis of over 1 billion votes made in the United States between 2000 to 2014 showed only 31 being "possibly" fraudulent.

We look ahead to tomorrow.

Posted by KeelanB at November 7, 2016 2:27 PM
Comments
Comment #409663

Can anyone find me a quote or video of Hillary saying she will accept election results if she loses?

I was unsuccessful in finding any.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 7, 2016 4:35 PM
Comment #409666

RF,

Hillary said, “Well, I support our democracy. And sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. But I certainly will support the outcome of this election.” in her closing remarks from the first Presidential debate.

Posted by: Warren Porter at November 7, 2016 5:29 PM
Comment #409676

RF,

A link of the video of the above statement: https://youtu.be/457ecqJhzY4?t=4m2s

Posted by: Warren Porter at November 7, 2016 8:17 PM
Comment #409678

Thanks Warren Porter, you killed two birds with one stone in that link. Both candidates said they would support the outcome of the election.

I would advise Trump and Hillary both to wait for the decision of the Electoral College to be announced before either concede. The vote of the people is constitutionally meaningless.


Posted by: Weary Willie at November 7, 2016 8:44 PM
Comment #409680
Both candidates said they would support the outcome of the election.

Except, Trump later disavowed his words.

quote textI would advise Trump and Hillary both to wait for the decision of the Electoral College to be announced before either concede. The vote of the people is constitutionally meaningless./blockquote>

I don’t think it is necessary to wait until December 19 for a candidate to concede.

Posted by: Warren Porter at November 7, 2016 9:39 PM
Comment #409684

No, he basically said it would be dumb to concede before the election was over.

Posted by: Weary Willie at November 8, 2016 1:25 AM
Comment #409694

WW,

No, Chris Wallace’s question in the third debate had nothing to do with conceding before the results were in. He asked whether Trump would promise to accept those results whatever they may be.

Posted by: Warren Porter at November 8, 2016 8:01 AM
Comment #409696

And why would he forfeit the ability to challenge the vote prematurely?

The media would claim he is bowing out of the race if he said he would accept any outcome. The whole question was a trap to get Trump to embarrass himself.

Posted by: Weary Willie at November 8, 2016 8:59 AM
Comment #409697
The media would claim he is bowing out of the race if he said he would accept any outcome

This is complete nonsense. Nobody said he was bowing out of the race when he told Lester Holt that he’d accept the results of the election, win or lose.

Posted by: Warren Porter at November 8, 2016 9:11 AM
Comment #409704

First, The concession on election night is a courtesy. The Electoral Vote Count makes you President, not the other Candidate’s decision to gracefully concede a lost election.

Second, if Hillary’s early voting numbers hold up in Florida, this won’t be a long night. Republicans are being forced to pull the typical tricks of voter suppression, which sort of makes me sad for them. Suppression, whether it’s in the form of mandating ID checks, reducing the number of polling places, playing the games with poll watchers, are just the dishonest ways to avoid facing the GOP’s demographic problem. As the problem intensifies, it will move beyond the ability of even gerrymandering to fend off.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 8, 2016 10:37 AM
Comment #409726

That sounds like your setting up your talking points if Trump wins.

Posted by: Weary Willie at November 8, 2016 9:47 PM
Comment #409737

What about all the dead people and an estimated 3% of all votes by illegal aliens that vote Democrap?

At any rate, we just witnessed a massive failure or fraud by the main stream media. Most, if not all polls were not even close.
Was it an honest mistake, or a fraud that backfired?
A lot of people won’t have any faith in the MSM and polls for a long time.

MSNBC is now saying uneducated racist white males and rural people are to blame for Trump winning. MSNBC is also predicting violence, more racism, and doom and gloom.

I have a friend who said his healthcare insurance just went up from $400 to $800 with a $13,000 deductible (for him and his wife). Maybe that has something to do with it? Who said it was “the craziest thing in the world?”

Posted by: D.a.n at November 9, 2016 4:33 AM
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