US Elections

US elections 2020: could Trump contest results if he loses to Biden?

President Donald Trump has plenty of options available to him to retain power if he loses the 2020 presidential elections to Joe Biden on 3 November.

US elections 2020: could Trump contest results if he loses to Biden?
ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS AFP

President Donald Trump told a campaign rally that he wants to serve three terms in the White House and he also warned during an interview with Fox News that he will not necessarily “abide by the election results” when he goes head-to-head with Democractic challenger Joe Biden on 3 November. In doing so, Trump has suggested that he is prepared to do whatever it takes to stay in power regardless of the results of the elections. 

Trump could seek to drag out election outcome

Due to the coronavirus pandemic millions of Americans are voting through the mail and Trump has repeatedly questioned the legitimacy of mail-in ballots. He publicly said that the elections should be postponed due to the possibility of voter fraud and has threatened to withhold funding from states that are trying to help people vote through the US Postal Service.

There will be a new voting procedure during the presidential elections this year because of the outbreak so this means that there could be a significant delay in the vote counting beyond 3 November. If Trump loses he could file a number of lawsuits and launch a federal and state investigation against the results of the ballot. There is a sense of fear that any adverse results could lead to violence among his supporters all over the country.

Trump could also use his power to ask the Justice Department and Homeland Security to stop the vote count or seize ballots if he were to lose the election in November. If Trump plays his cards right he could conceivably convince millions of Americans that the elections were not transparent.

This in turn could lead to people deciding not to go out and vote in fear of something happening, especially among minority groups. Trump could use several of these tactics to push the election into January when the new Congress convenes

According to the Constitution’s 12th Amendment, House Representatives can choose a new President if neither candidate receives a majority of the Electoral College votes.