Food 5 New Things You Can Expect to See in Most Restaurants This Fall

21:27  05 august  2020
21:27  05 august  2020 Source:   eatthis.com

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a group of people sitting at a desk: A worker uses an electronic scanner while processing ballots at a Board of Elections facility, Wednesday, July 22, 2020, in New York. AP Photo/John Minchillo © AP Photo/John Minchillo A worker uses an electronic scanner while processing ballots at a Board of Elections facility, Wednesday, July 22, 2020, in New York. AP Photo/John Minchillo
  • The 2020 presidential election will almost certainly see record levels of mail voting.
  • States will likely struggle to adjust to holding elections during an unprecedented pandemic.
  • President Trump has spent months making misleading statements about mail voting, which he claims is inherently fraudulent and corrupt.
  • The president's false claims about mail voting hint at how his campaign could contest results in November.
  • A close election where the winner shifts as ballots are counted could lead to a legal dispute over the results, one that could drag on for days or weeks.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump has spent months making misleading statements about mail voting, which he falsely claims is inherently fraudulent and corrupt. In recent days, he's escalated those attacks by questioning whether the election should be postponed and demanding immediate results on election night.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has placed unprecedented strains and burdens on America's election infrastructure. The United States Postal Office is undergoing cost-cutting measures that slow down mail delivery as demand for mail voting surges, setting up the possibility for a messy, chaotic election.

While Trump cannot unilaterally delay the election, and Congress has expressed no appetite to do so, there are myriad ways that the results of the election could be disrupted or contested.

In the wake of Trump refusing to commit to accepting the results of the election in July, Trump communications director Tim Murtaugh accused Democrats of wanting to eliminate key election integrity provisions and cited some of the problems states have experienced in trying to scale up mail-in voting as a good reason to be skeptical over the results.

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"We don't know what kind of shenanigans Democrats will try leading up to November," Murtaugh told Insider. "If someone had asked George W. Bush and Al Gore this same question in 2000, would they have been able to foresee the drawn out fight over Florida?  The central point remains clear: in a free and fair election, President Trump will win."

As Insider has previously reported, the substantial increase in Americans voting by mail means that barring a blowout landslide victory, the race will very likely not be called on election night, a scenario Americans haven't experienced since the disputed 2000 election.

Not only do 19 states allow ballots that arrive after election day to count, but paper ballots simply take longer to process than votes cast on electronic machines.

Mail ballot request trends for the November election and public opinion surveys indicate a sharp partisan divide for how Americans plan to vote, with Democrats far more likely than Republicans to cast ballots by mail this fall, meaning two different candidates could lead the in-person and mail vote, respectively.

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A possible scenario is for Trump to prematurely declare victory based on leading the initial count of in-person votes in some states, only to have his lead significantly narrow or reversed as mail ballots are processed.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Donald Trump AP Photo/Alex Brandon © AP Photo/Alex Brandon President Donald Trump AP Photo/Alex Brandon

How could Trump or Biden contest the results?

The tactics and legal strategies the Trump or Biden campaigns could employ to challenge the results will depend on how close the margins are in some of the key states set to decide the election.

The larger one candidate's margin of victory is, the harder it will be for the other candidate to challenge the results, and the more difficult it will be for state legislatures and governors to disagree over how electoral college votes should be allocated.

"Things are going to go wrong, there's no question about it," Rick Hasen, a prominent election law scholar at the University of California-Irvine and author of "Election Meltdown" recently told Vox. "The biggest question is how close the margin is. If it's a blowout, the public will look past many of the problems."

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The last time a presidential election was seriously disputed was in November of 2000, when multiple Florida counties conducted machine and hand recounts to resolve a razor-thin margin between George W. Bush and Al Gore in the battleground state.

Many of the recount disputes revolved around votes cast on Florida's faulty, user-unfriendly, and aging punchcard voting machines, which were later phased out completely. The case spurred a number of court challenges within Florida over how and where hand recounts of votes would be counted at the county level, with the case eventually going to the US Supreme Court.

The day of the safe harbor deadline, deadline by which states must certify their results without risking Congress getting involved, the Court found that Florida's varying recount policies between counties violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th amendment by arbitrarily valuing some votes over others.

The Court still ruled 5-4 to uphold Florida's certification of the state's electoral college votes for Bush. The ruling was in line with the wishes of the Florida legislature, which wanted the state to certify the results and avoid leaving the winner of the state's electoral college votes to Congress.

Both parties have a high incentive to resolve any dispute over the results before the safe harbor deadline. If the electoral college doesn't vote to award a candidate 270 electoral college votes, the current president and vice president's terms expire on January 20th, and the presidency goes down the line of succession.

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According to the National Council of State Legislatures, 43 states allow for candidates, voters, and other actors to request recounts of counties or entire states. Some states mandate automatic machine recounts if a candidate's victory is within a certain margin, including the key battleground states of Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

In addition to requesting a recount, candidates can contest the results and fight in court to get as many ballots as possible disqualified for arriving past the deadline, being improperly signed or sealed, or for other irregularities either campaign may claim to be signs of fraud.

Edward Foley, the director of election law at Ohio State University's Moritz College of Law, published a prescient article in December 2019 exploring how a contested 2020 election in Pennsylvania could play out.

Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, all of which Trump won by less than one percentage point in 2016, will be important states to watch for possible election challenges.

All three prohibit election officials from processing absentee ballots until the day of the election, meaning the shift towards Democrats could be particularly dramatic as ballots are counted, and all three have Democratic governors but Republican-controlled state legislatures who could disagree over how to award the state's electoral college votes.

In a hypothetical scenario outlined by Foley, Trump declared victory over his Democratic opponent in Pennsylvania after initial election night results based on in-person votes showed him leading by 20,000 votes. But Trump's lead substantially shrank over the next few days as mail-in votes were tabulated, an effect that Foley dubs the "overtime shift," until his Democratic opponent took the vote lead and then declared victory themselves.

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Trump's campaign is likely to attempt to reduce the size of the overtime shift towards his Democratic opponent as much as possible by challenging the validity of late-arriving mail ballots and provisional ballots.

"When one is ahead and attempting to preserve a lead, the goal is to shut down the counting process as much as possible," Foley explained.

In addition to challenging the validity of mail ballots, Foley noted that in line with Trump's years of baseless accusations of in-person voter fraud, the president's campaign could also attempt to claim voting discrepancies and fraud at in-person polling places, particularly heavily Democratic ones in urban areas.

Trump's ideal objective, Foley said, would be to keep his opponent's margin of victory down by securing favorable court rulings to invalidate or disqualify votes.

A court order siding with Trump's campaign in rejecting a large number of ballots and therefore mandating that the governor certify the state's election for Trump would be the optimal outcome of such challenges, and would avoid the state legislature having to step in or Congress getting involved.

Mitch McConnell wearing a suit and tie standing in front of a flag: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Associated Press © Associated Press Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Associated Press

What happens if the election goes to Congress?

Republican-controlled state legislatures could disagree with a Democratic governor's certification of results declaring Biden the eventual winner after mail ballots were counted, taking the false position that mail-in voting is fundamentally rife with fraud and thus the initial results showing Trump leading from in-person votes are the only valid ones.

GOP-controlled state legislatures could then attempt to appoint the state's electoral college votes for Trump on the basis that most of the mail-in votes were fraudulent.

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We don't have to look far back to see such an argument from Trump. In the 2018 midterm elections in Florida, GOP Senator Rick Scott and Gov. Ron DeSantis led by substantial margins on election night based on the in-person vote, but saw their leads narrow significantly over the next few days as mail ballots were processed.

"The Florida Election should be called in favor of Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis in that large numbers of new ballots showed up out of nowhere, and many ballots are missing or forged. An honest vote count is no longer possible-ballots massively infected. Must go with Election Night!" Trump tweeted on November 12. After a recount in the US Senate race, both Scott and DeSantis were certified as the winners of their respective elections.

Wisconsin and North Carolina's Republican-controlled state legislatures, in particular, have made aggressive plays in recent years to undermine their Democratic governors and secure Republican political dominance both in drawing district maps that favor Republicans and passing new restrictions on voting.

Under Article II of the Constitution, state legislatures have the authority to appoint their states' electoral college votes in the manner they determine, which legislatures could cite as a justification for directly appointing all the state's electoral college votes for Trump. As Foley notes, however, such a move could come into conflict with existing state-level statutes requiring states to allocate electoral college votes by popular elections.

A state submitting two separate slates of electoral college appointments, one based on the governor's certification and one directly from the legislature, would put Congress in the position of having to resolve the dispute, untested territory that the US didn't delve into in the 2000 election.

Foley writes that "the procedures for handling a disputed presidential election that reaches Congress are regrettably, and embarrassingly, deficient," with both of the provisions of 12th Amendment and the Electoral Count Act of 1877, passed in the wake of the disputed 1876 election, holding remarkably unclear directions on how both houses of Congress are to handle resolving two separate slates of electoral appointments.

These disputes plunge even further into uncharted waters if the Democratic-controlled House and Republican-controlled Senate disagree over who is the rightful winner of a state's electoral college votes, raising the risk that no candidate is awarded 270 electoral college votes by January 6.

Republicans could interpret the existing statutes to point to Vice President Mike Pence, in his capacity as the president of the Senate, having the authority to determine the winner under the 12th Amendment, Foley writes, while Democrats could argue that under the Electoral Count Act, Congress must side with the results certified by a governor's signature.

Foley goes into more specific detail about how the disputes over the election and the Electoral Count Act could hypothetically play out within Congress or end up at the US Supreme Court, as the 2000 election did. However the circumstances might play out, Foley's conclusion is clear: The existing laws have left Congress and the United States remarkably unprepared for a seriously disputed election.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Video: Bipartisan pushback to Trump election delay tweet (Associated Press)

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