Election expert: We need to be ‘vigilant’ on Saturday of difficulties as a result counter protests

By: - November 6, 2020 9:26 pm

Experts from the National Task Force on Election Crises said on Friday that the story so far has been the lack of political violence but that Saturday is a day to keep an eye on. 

“The story here is a little bit of a nothingburger from the violence perspective. And that’s great. That’s what we like to see,” Rachel Kleinfeld, a senior fellow of the Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a non-partisan think tank, said.

However, Kleinfeld said that Saturday may be a “difficult day” as groups on the right organize more counter protests.

Other task force experts addressed other post-Election Day concerns such as the possibility of faithless electors.

“In 2016, there were a handful of presidential electors who did not vote for the candidate who won the popular vote in their state. I think that was mostly a failure of vetting by the candidates and the parties who selected those folks. They didn’t make sure that the electors were going to do the right thing,” Adav Noti, senior director for trial litigation and chief of staff at the Campaign Legal Center, said.

Noti said that he does not expect that to happen this time around.

When addressing this false narrative that Republican state legislatures can overrule its state’s electors, Noti said that under federal law it cannot happen after Election Day.

“And even if they were to try to do that, it would violate the constitutional rights of the voters in that state who have a right to vote and right to have their votes counted for the candidate that they voted for,” Noti said.

One task force expert tried to assuage concerns about an election being resolved in court.

“But just because there’s litigation now does not mean that we should think about this election being resolved in court, let alone being resolved with the U.S. Supreme Court,” Joshua Geltzer, executive director and visiting professor at Georgetown Law’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy & Protection, said. “The litigation, thus far, filed by the Trump campaign has gone nowhere fast. It’s been rejected across the board, and in some cases abandoned on appeal.”

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