American Consequences - April 2020

By Kim Iskyan

Even though toilet paper is a bigger talking point than the primaries right now, politics still matter. So what other ways might politicians attempt to do the hokey pokey with the American presidential election... Only Congress could, in theory, name a new date for elections. But Nancy Pelosi and company in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives aren’t likely to let anything stand in the way of (they hope) the White House door hitting Donald Trump on his way out. or not – the U.S. president can’t fiddle with presidential elections. As the Heritage Foundation explains: “Under our Constitution, the executive branch has no authority whatsoever to delay, reschedule, or otherwise change the federal election in November.” Martial law or a state of emergency couldn’t override that. The president is chosen not by the popular vote, but by the Electoral College – made up of 538 electors from the 50 states. Those electors are assigned to the candidate that won the state’s popular vote. So if a state has 23 electoral votes, the 23 electors from that state are supposed to vote for the candidate who wins the popular vote in that state.

In this time of chaos – featuring multitrillion- dollar stimulus packages, daily death counts, and makeshift hospitals in New York’s Central Park – normalcy is gone. And that’s true for the upcoming U.S. presidential elections in November, too. “Could the 2020 Election Be Postponed?” asked a headline from the New York Times on March 14. “Can Trump Use Coronavirus to Delay 2020 Election?” asked think tank Heritage Foundation. “How Donald Trump Could Steal the Election,” explained an article on Sunday in The Atlantic . Maybe COVID-19 will be a fuzzy bad memory by November, like ‘80s hairstyles and wide ties. But that’s likely wishful thinking... Already, there are hundreds of thousands of cases in the U.S.. Entire public hospital systems have emptied out to make space for coronavirus patients. And the “second wave” experience of Singapore and other countries in Asia suggests that COVID-19 will be widespread in the U.S. for months to come. Even though toilet paper is a bigger talking point than the primaries right now, politics still matter. And you can bet that politicians in both the Democrat and Republican parties are looking to exploit COVID-19 for a political advantage. It’s clear that constitutionally – pandemic

American Consequences


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