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Old 08-22-2019, 10:20 AM
RTFirefly is offline
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Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Maryland
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Originally Posted by asahi View Post
It's inevitable: there will one day be a day when the nightmare scenario happens, and I suspect that day will come sooner than we think. But imagine the fallout if, say, Donald Trump lost on election night but managed to bribe a handful of electors into changing their votes. He wouldn't even need to get them to switch to Trump; he could just bribe enough of them to vote for a write-in candidate or a third party candidate. He bribes them with some money up front, and then completes the bribe by offering electors political positions. then the election goes to the House, where the House, with a state delegation majority, votes for Trump. Imagine a race in which 55% of the country votes for a Democratic candidate, and yet the Republican loser wins the presidency. We're a lot closer to this moment than people realize.
It almost happened that way in 2000. In the last week or two before the election, Bush's team was more worried about winning the popular vote and losing the electoral vote than the other way around. And his team was prepared to launch a campaign to persuade electors to switch their votes to ratify the will of the people. New York Daily News, Nov. 1, 2000:
So what if Gore wins such crucial battleground states as Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania and thus captures the magic 270 electoral votes while Bush wins the overall nationwide popular vote? "The one thing we don't do is roll over," says a Bush aide. "We fight."

How? The core of the emerging Bush strategy assumes a popular uprising, stoked by the Bushies themselves, of course. In league with the campaign - which is preparing talking points about the Electoral College's essential unfairness - a massive talk-radio operation would be encouraged. "We'd have ads, too," says a Bush aide, "and I think you can count on the media to fuel the thing big-time. Even papers that supported Gore might turn against him because the will of the people will have been thwarted."

Local business leaders will be urged to lobby their customers, the clergy will be asked to speak up for the popular will and Team Bush will enlist as many Democrats as possible to scream as loud as they can. "You think 'Democrats for Democracy' would be a catchy term for them?"

asks a Bush adviser. The universe of people who would be targeted by this insurrection is small - the 538 currently anonymous folks called electors, people chosen by the campaigns and their state party organizations as a reward for their service over the years. If you bother to read the small print when you're in the booth, you'll notice that when you vote for President you're really selecting presidential electors who favor one candidate or the other. Generally, these electors are not legally bound to support the person they're supposedly pledged to when they gather in the various state capitals to cast their ballots on Dec. 18. The rules vary from state to state, but enough of the electors could theoretically switch to Bush if they wanted to - if there was sufficient pressure on them to ratify the popular verdict.
Another thing that almost happened in 2000 was that, while the Florida outcome was being debated in the courts, the GOP-controlled Florida legislature considered meeting to choose a GOP slate of electors by fiat.

Since each state has the authority to determine how to choose its electors, really the only question would have been, is it kosher for them to change the rules after Election Day just because they didn't like the popular outcome? I could easily see a Supreme Court like the one we've got supporting a GOP legislature that overruled the vote in this manner.