Can the US presidential election be delayed? (I have a twist...I think...before you jump to a conclusion)

I will assume everyone reading this is familiar with president Trump recently suggesting that the 2020 presidential election may be delayed.

It has been noted by many, far and wide, that the president has absolutely no authority to do this. And they are 100% right.

But what if individual red states decided, on their own, to not hold the election?

Some red states refused to hold republican primaries and that worked. States are given broad authority to conduct their elections as they see fit. So, what if those states just decide to skip it?

What happens? Do the blue states then submit their results on their own and only their electors go to the Electoral College and vote?

Something else?

Somebody noted in another thread that the Constitution doesn’t require a President to be elected by a majority of possible Electoral College votes; he only requires a majority of the votes that were submitted. The precedent of this is 1864 when several southern states didn’t cast votes for obvious reasons.

So let’s say, as a hypothetical, that every state with a Republican governor declares that they are postponing their elections until things are “better”. And the states with Democratic governors go ahead and hold elections. The results would be a total of 291 Electors being chosen, with 266 of them committed to voting for Biden. That’s an overwhelming majority.

Let’s say the Republican governors are a little more on the ball and those of them in states where the polls show Trump winning hold elections. This goes better for Trump; there would be 427 Electors chosen with Trump getting 161 to Biden’s 266. That would still give Biden a clear majority.


I wish I could give you a thumbs-up or upvote or something.

IIUC, ‘states’ don’t hold primaries parties do. Primaries are not elections.

Remember that elections are about more than just the President. Governors, Senators, Representatives, State Legislatures, County and City officials, judges, and all the other possible offices need to be on the ballot as well.

What governor is so insane as to block all the politicians in their states from reaching office? For that matter, what would make you think that the state constitutions would allow them to do this?

These conspiracy theories are embarrassing, not least because they require such enormous amounts of ignorance of basic politics, law, and governance. Stop. Just please stop.

To be clear…I was not pushing a conspiracy theory. It was a hypothetical to better understand the process.

I’m kinda surprised you thought it was a real effort to find a way upend the election. Pretty sure I am not completely unknown to you here.

Sorry, dude. I have no image at all of how you normally post. And if I am supposed to think of you as a poster to be respected, this is an exceptionally poor way to go about it. But you now better understand the process so some good came of it. Although you could just have read the several other threads that have gone over every possible scenario in detail, obviating the need to post this one at all.

I didn’t see all those other threads. I saw some. I read some. I missed this part. I did not know we needed to be 100% up on all threads on the board before posting. That’s a new one. Maybe you do that…bully for you.

Makes me sad though…I’ve been here for 20 years with 20,000+ posts.

I’m sure this is the place where you comment on the quality of those posts. I get it.

The president of the United States has called for delaying the elections.

There are many reasons why this probably will not happen, but to call it a conspiracy theory that it is being attempted is to simply ignore reality.

Trying to suss out ways that it could be acomplished are not entirely unproductive. At the very least, it may give us more faith in the institutions of our country.

Trump did not actually call for the election to be delayed. He knows it can’t be. So he threw out the insinuation that they should be delayed in order to make the final result look suspicious. That’s a very different thing.


Sen John Cornyn, R-Texas, told reporters on Capitol Hill earlier Thursday that Trump’s election-delay tweet was a joke so "all you guys in the press, your heads will explode and you’ll write about it.”

No, I don’t believe that either. I do believe that Trump is an idiot, but a shrewd one. He stirs up those of his followers who can’t read between the lines at the same time he sticks a finger in the eyes of his opponents who also can’t read between the lines.

It’s obviously working. Your head is exploding. Your reaction here is exactly as suckered as all the posts talking about the coup he’s going to get the military to approve so he doesn’t have to leave office if he loses. Stop letting Trump play with your heads.

Your naivete is shocking.

Ah, the shrewd 27th dimensional chess defense. How original.

That I take a wannabe dictator at his word that he wants to try to assert power is not my head exploding, but you ignoring it is you shoving your head into the sand.

You don’t think he will try if he has an opportunity? You are the one claiming his tactical brilliance.

And, as I even said in that other thread, the fact that I don’t think that the military will go along with his shenigans is probably our best protection from his authoratarian desires.

“Trump was just messing around again. He joked about cancelling the elections so you would all talk about how he’s a dictator wannabee who’s ignorant of the law and he’s unfit to be President. And you fell for it! He got you good!”

In that other thread that has been talking about this, the one I assumed you had read because you talked about having a twist, Kent Clark - among others - said exactly what I’m saying.

He tweeted this a half-hour after another piece of damning economic news, successfully grabbing the story of the day while pushing back the real story to the business pages and down to the middle of the evening news.

Trump’s a master of misdirection. Don’t let him fool you.

Trump doesn’t play chess. I said that myself in another thread. He lives in the minute. He plays with heads. He insults and whines and avoids responsibility and blame. He’s doing that here.

Get your heads in the game. Whatever he’s planning - and of course he (or at least his team) is planning something - it’s not going to be what he’s tweeting about now. Stop obsessing about trivia. Worry about the things that are being done quietly in the background and don’t get tweeted about.

I’m not obsessing over trivia.

I’m multitasking. I’m tossing a toy for my dog, typing this out, and reading discussions in several other threads, and on different news sites.

There are lively and active discussions on this board about all the other things that the Trump admin and republicans are doing.

Taking a moment to call out even the hint of authoritarianism in our govt is the least of my duties as a citizen in a democracy.

If there is something going on in the background that you feel is not getting enough attention, I would say that a much more productive use of your time would be to call attention to those things, rather than obsessing over people critizing the president for what he says to the public he represents.

I don’t agree that we should allow things like this to pass by unremarked, and the real game that is being played on you is to try to convince us to accept and normalize such behaviors.

“Oh, he just called to violate the constitution to trigger the libs, lol”, that is getting old as an excuse, and has been used to excuse greater and greater displays of totalitarianism.

I remain vigilant, my head unesploded an everthing.

Too late to edit.

Just want to make clear that I am attributing that excuse to Sen Cornyn and the likes, not to you.

Yet despite this thread being answered in the first response you came in to criticize.

We have no shortage of republican dirty tricks. Their efforts in denying votes are manifest and abundant.

Yet here you are telling us nothing to see here.

Question: Do you think republicans would not try this if they thought they could?

Wait, so what about all the theorizing of red states refusing to certify electoral votes, and the election being voted on by the House on a one state per vote basis, re-electing Trump? The entire thing hinged on Biden not reaching a certain threshold and thus unable to claim the presidency outright, and no one ever brought this up that I recall.

If no one is “elected” president because of something like you say then I would expect the 25th amendment of presidential succession to kick in. With no elected president or vice-president then the Speaker of the House becomes president.

That only happens if nobody gets a majority. Which is really only possible if more than two candidates do really well. The last time a presidential election was decided by the House of Representatives was 1824 when John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, William Crawford, and Andrew Jackson split the 261 Electors up between them enough that nobody had the 131 needed to win.

(It was supposed to be a fix; Clay was the Speaker of the House and he figured he could split the regular vote to the point that nobody would win and then be chosen by his fellow representatives. But he did poorer than he expected; he fell into fourth place and the Constitution requires the House to choose from among the top three candidates.)

So unless the Republicans figure some third party candidate is going to emerge in the next few weeks and do well enough to draw away some Electors, this scenario does not lead to a Trump victory.