Date: October 12, 2020
“The Trump campaign plans to carry out this scary plot no matter the 2020 election results.
Trump campaign officials and legal advisers are reportedly preparing to appoint their own state electors as a way to secure victory in a contested election, a move that would precipitate an unprecedented constitutional crisis.
The country will in all likelihood not know the outcome of the presidential election on Election Day. It is likely, given a raft of threatening public statements from President Trump, that he will reject unfavorable results.
The president is not directly elected by the people — the official votes are cast by electors on behalf of the voters in their states. Though states have historically chosen their electors by popular vote, the Constitution does not mandate that, saying only that a state shall appoint its electors “in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct.”
Every state has allowed its voters to make the call in every election since the late 1800s. But in 2000, the Supreme Court held in Bush v. Gore that the states “can take back the power to appoint electors.”
According to a Sept. 23 article in The Atlantic, campaign advisers to Trump, in conjunction with Republican state leaders, are preparing to test this theory. Sources in the Republican Party, at both state and national levels, say that the campaign is considering a plan to “bypass” the popular vote results and install its own electors in key battleground states where the legislatures are controlled by Republicans.