Home Les bulletins GEAB GEAB 147 November US Elections: Three scenarios in anticipation of an electoral crisis

GEAB 147

The monthly bulletin of LEAP (European Laboratory of Political Anticipation) - 15 Sep 2020

November US Elections: Three scenarios in anticipation of an electoral crisis

Our last article on the American election dates from four months ago (‘US Election 2020 – A New America takes over’ – GEAB, 15 May 2020).[1] Among the many arguments suggesting a significant risk of process derailment, we identified concerns about the management of the election; we believed that the change in voting access was likely to lead to the next U.S. chief executive’s appointment being stalled. Since then, the technical problems of holding the election have only become more apparent and the war is raging between Democrats and Republicans on whether or not to use inmail voting, given the Covid crisis.[2] The Democrats see this as an opportunity to change the electoral base to their advantage by extending voting access to populations that were skilfully kept at a distance by the old practices[3]. Meanwhile, the Republicans believe that the US Postal Service is not reliable enough, thus opening the way to fraud (postal slip ups could be used as a pretext to throw away outlying ballots).[4]

Articles are flourishing on the risks of derailing the sacrosanct US democratic machine.[5] As both camps, (and the entire establishment) have seen the risk coming, what solutions are there?

Among those incumbent on the Legislature we find a jumble of things: amending the Constitution, postponing the date the new President takes office, creating a bipartisan commission, etc.  For months now, it has been calling on reference studies from the academic world such as that of the Loyola University of Chicago for example.[6] But it must be said that, two months before the election, nothing seems to have been implemented yet.

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