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Monday, October 24, 2016

Can Donald Trump actually challenge the U.S Presidential election result?

Donald Trump last week said he'd refuse to accept the U.S presidential election if he loses to his rival Hillary Clinton but can the Republican party candidate and Billionaire business man actually challenge the U.S Presidential election if it doesn't go his way? Read the article from Mirror UK MirrorUK after the cut....

'Donald Trump caused upset during the final Presidential debate this week as he implied that he might not accept the election result if Hillary Clinton wins. The billionaire, who is representing the Republican party, refused to tell the debate in Las Vegas whether he would accept a loss in the November 8 election.'


When the moderator Chris Wallace asked Mr Trump if - in the event he loses the election - he would concede to the winner, he replied: "What I’m saying is that I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense."

His reticence to be straightforward follows a narrative in which he claims that the 'mainstream media' and Clinton's campaign are behind the 'rigging' of the election.
But can he refuse to accept the result if he's not the winner - and what effect will that have on the country he's fighting to represent?

The night after the debate, he told a rally in Ohio: "I will accept the results of the great presidential election if I win."

In the event that he loses, he told Las Vegas and the world that he would decide on that basis what to do, saying "I'll keep you in suspense".

Can Donald Trump refuse to accept the result of the election?

In a word, yes, he can - even if it's not popular with Hillary's supporters - or his own. The Republican party will probably have an opinion on it too.

According to Reuters , before mounting any court challenge against a result he believes is rigged, Trump probably would have to ask for a recount, said Donald Brey, a Republican election lawyer in Ohio.

If the campaign did not pursue out-of-court options first, he said, a judge likely would dismiss the case.
What does a recount entail?

Recount rules vary from state to state. North Carolina, for example, doesn't allow a presidential candidate to request a recount at all if one candidate has a lead of more than 0.5 percent of the total votes cast.

In Wisconsin, the challenging candidate must pay the full expense of a recount if the vote in dispute is more than 0.25 percent, and in Colorado if it is more than 0.5 percent - which is expensive.Officials in one Wisconsin village put the cost of a local recount, in which about 9,000 votes were cast earlier this year, at nearly $13,000 (around £10600), said Michael Maistelman, a Wisconsin election lawyer who represented the unsuccessful candidate.

To maximise his chances of overturning a Clinton win, Trump might need to challenge the results in several states, said Troy McCurry, a former Republican National Committee lawyer who was part of the party's recount team in 2012.

And if he goes straight to court?

Trump could try to bring a legal claim without asking for recount first, says Reuters, by alleging, for instance, that an abuse of power by an election official, said McCurry.

But if Trump's lawyers were unable to muster specific facts to support that premise, he said, a judge would dismiss the lawsuit.
Any lawsuit that withstood early challenges would face an uncertain future.

With the US Supreme Court split 4-to-4 between liberal and conservative justices, state supreme courts or federal appeals courts could well make the final ruling in any election dispute.

So does he have a point about the election being rigged?

Donald has made sport of accusing many parties of rigging the election in recent days on his notoriously febrile Twitter account.

Numerous studies have shown US elections, which are decentralised and run by the states, are basically sound, reports Reuters.

"Mr. Trump never mentions what criteria would be necessary for him to make a decision about a challenge," said Stephen Zack, an attorney who represented Vice President Al Gore in the case that was brought to the Supreme Court over the election recount in Florida in 2000. Basically it is left as, 'I'll see what it smells like and then I will surprise you,'" Zack said. 
"There are rule-of-law issues that pertain to elections that separate us from anywhere else in the world."

Election officials in several states have rejected suggestions the balloting might be rigged.

Eric Spencer, election director in Arizona, said that while isolated incidents of voter fraud might occur and should be investigated, election workers come from all political parties and work with integrity.
"The notion that the election is rigged is preposterous if not insulting," Spencer said.
And some election watchers question how serious Trump is about a challenge.
"A lot of this is just posturing," McCurry said. "At the end of the day I don't see how this happens."
Eric Spencer, election director in Arizona, said that while isolated incidents of voter fraud might occur and should be investigated, election workers come from all political parties and work with integrity.
"The notion that the election is rigged is preposterous if not insulting," Spencer said.
And some election watchers question how serious Trump is about a challenge.
"A lot of this is just posturing," McCurry said. "At the end of the day I don't see how this happens."
Source: Mirror UK

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