Will Presidential Elections Be Postponed In America: On the one hand, the coronavirus epidemic has blunted the edge of the American economy; on the other hand; this fear has also started torturing people about what will happen in the election year.
Primary elections are delayed or stopped in America. Polling stations are closed, and the voting process in anyone's absence has been made suspicious.
Politicians have been embroiled in a bitter fight over the issue of the electoral process in the legislature and the courts. According to a pre-determined schedule, elections will be held this November for the new President, most seats of Congress and thousands of seats of provincial governments.
- 1 Will Presidential Elections Be Postponed In America? What are the options?
- 1.1 What does the American constitution say
- 1.2 If the election date is extended, then …
- 1.3 Can the coronavirus disrupt the election?
- 1.4 Can US states challenge the election result?
- 1.5 Are there any legal challenges?
- 1.6 How will the risk be reduced?
- 1.7 Why do some states not like postal ballots?
- 1.8 Will political parties be able to agree on saving the election?
- 1.9 Is American democracy in danger?
Will Presidential Elections Be Postponed In America? What are the options?
How will election day be? Will elections be held on time or not? The continuing debate among the American people on these questions. We have tried to find answers to some such key questions.
Can President Trump also postpone elections?
So far, 15 states have postponed the primary elections to be held before the presidential election. Most of them postponed these elections till June.
But the most important question related to this is whether the presidential elections scheduled in November can also be postponed? Under the law of 1845, every four years, there is a presidential election on every Tuesday after the first Monday of November.
This year, this date is falling on November 3. Any change in it will have to be approved by the Congress. Congressional approval meant that the proposal would have to be passed by the Democratic-dominated House of Representatives and the Senate controlled by the Republican Party.
What does the American constitution say
Will Presidential Elections Be Postponed In America? What are the options?There is little possibility of an agreement between the two parties on the postponement of the presidential election. If the date of the election is also changed, then another difficulty will have to be dealt with. That is, the US constitution only prescribes a four-year term for a president.
In other words, the first term of President Donald Trump will end on the afternoon of January 21, 2021. If he is re-elected, he will get another four-year term. If Trump loses the election, then-Democratic Party leader Joe Biden will replace him.
But the time is running out, and even the decision to postpone the election cannot change the political situation to come.
If the election date is extended, then …
If there is no presidential election in America before the start of the new administration, then everyone will lose sight of the second line of succession.
The first name in this queue comes from Vice President Mike Pence. But the problem with Mike Pence is that his term is ending with President Trump. The third name in this line of succession is Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House of Representatives, but her two-year term ends this December.
In such a 'doom' situation, 86-year-old Republican Chuck Grassley is the most senior person to have qualified for the presidency. He is from the state of Iowa and is currently a Senate Protem President.
The Republican Party hopes that once a third of the 100 seats in the Senate are vacated, they will remain in control here.
Even though there is little chance of any direct change in the scheduled date of the election for the presidency, it does not mean that there is no significant danger on the electoral process.
Professor Richard L. Hasson of the University of California Irvine is also knowledgeable in electoral laws.
In the opinion of Professor Richard, the Trump administration and the provincial governments have these emergency powers that they can make radical changes in the places of polling stations and consider its use.
For example, in the recently concluded Gue Wisconsin primary election, there were concerns of infection with the coronavirus. Volunteers who participated in the election process had fallen short, the supply of the necessities of the election could not be supplied. As a result, 175 out of 180 polling stations in Wisconsin's largest city, Milwaukee, were closed.
If such steps are taken keeping political interests in mind, then the areas dominated by the opponents can be targeted, and this can have an impact on the election results.
Can US states challenge the election result?
Professor Richard says that this will be an extraordinary situation, although it is unlikely. The state legislature can take a claim to decide which candidate will be declared victorious from their state by citing infection with coronavirus.
There is no such constitutional obligation on the states to support only the presidential candidate who is getting majority support in their province or to hold elections for the presidency in any case.
Everything will depend on the system of important and time-running Electoral College (electoral college) of American elections. This electoral college consists of state electors who vote for the post of President.
Under normal circumstances, these electors (almost always) give their support to the candidate who gets the majority of popular votes in their states.
But it is not necessary that things should always be this way. For example, in the election of 1800, many state legislatures gave instructions to their voters to vote.
If this happens, the popular candidate will do it again. If a state takes such a stern step, then in the opinion of Professor Richard, people will take the flag of protest on the streets.
Are there any legal challenges?
What kind of hindrance in the electoral process is going to come in the coming days can be gauged from the recent experience of Wisconsin primaries.
In Wisconsin primaries, people saw long queues for voting at a number of polling stations where National Guard personnel and Election Volunteers dressed in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits were stationed.
Before the primary election, a long legal battle ensued in Wisconsin between Democratic Governor Tony Evers and the Republican-dominated state legislature, which ultimately had to be decided by the US Supreme Court.
The issue of this legal battle was whether the governor had the right to postpone the election till June and extend the date of voting for the non-resident voter.
In the month of March, Republican Governor of Ohio Province Mike Devine also faced a court battle to postpone the primary election in his state.
A Texas federal judge said in an order issued last Wednesday that an infection with the coronavirus is a legitimate reason for an outgoing voter to extend the voting date to November. There are strict conditions to be followed for postal ballots in Texas.
How will the risk be reduced?
In a recent survey conducted by Pew Research Center, 66 percent of Americans said that they are not comfortable going to the polling station to vote because of the coronavirus epidemic,
Such concerns have increased pressure on American states to increase the availability of postal ballots so that more and more voters can vote to protect themselves from the risk of infection.
All the states in America have some kind of provision to vote without attending the polling stations, but strict conditions have to be followed for this.
Professor Richard says, "We have a decentralized system here. States have full scope for how they implement something." Five states, including Washington, Oregon, Colorado, have conducted their elections entirely through postal ballot.
In California, there is a provision that whoever requests for a postal ballot will be given the opportunity.
Why do some states not like postal ballots?
But it is not the case that the option of postal ballot in all US states is easy and convenient. In 17 states, there is a provision that people applying for postal ballot must give a valid reason for their non-availability at polling stations.
In these states, an appeal is being made for relaxing the existing rules and laws for postal ballot so that more people can get the approval, although some politicians are opposing it.
In Missouri, Republican Governor Mike Parson said on Tuesday that allowing more people for postal ballots is a political issue. From his talk, it seemed that the fear of infection with the coronavirus could not in itself be the reason for allowing voting through postal ballot.
Republican state governors in other states, including North Carolina and Georgia, have also held such an opinion. In this situation, the Congress can interfere if it wants.
If it wants, it can direct the states to put some minimum conditions on the postal ballot for national elections. But given the kind of political disagreement in the Congress, it seems unlikely.
Will political parties be able to agree on saving the election?
No, its probability is slim. The political polarization environment in America should not be surprising given that the ongoing debate on alternative methods of conducting elections in the midst of the epidemic of COVID-19 is often debunked.
President Trump himself has expressed his views against the expansion of ballot voting. He says that there is scope for fraud in this. He has indicated that if the rules for postal voting are relaxed, the voting percentage will increase, and this could harm Republican candidates.
Recently President Trump said in an interview with Fox News, "There are voting levels. If you agree to this, then no Republican candidate will ever win the election in this country."
But past experiences show that in the case of postal voting, the supporters of the Republican Party have always participated more strongly than the Democrats.
Is American democracy in danger?
The corona virus-spreading epidemic is affecting every aspect of American life. On the one hand, where President Trump and other politicians are making every effort to bring the lives of ordinary Americans back on track, on the other hand, there is no guarantee that the situation will be normal by June.
Many states have postponed the primary elections till June. The parties are to have a convention in August. There will be a debate between the presidential candidates in October and elections are due in November.
Had the situation been ordinary, people would have been living amidst the noise of political activities, but at this time, everything is under doubt. Even some people are doubting the foundation of American democracy.
Professor Richard says, "Long before the virus attack, I have doubted whether people will be able to accept the outcome of the election of 2020 easily. Coronavirus has increased this concern."