Election 2020: When Are Results Official and What Happens if Results Are Disputed

The 2020 Presidential election is seeing unprecedented volatility leading up to November 3. Will this volatility make a difference, helping or hurting the system’s capacity to serve its purpose? This is the first of many questions about the 2020 election that moderator Steven F. Huefner (Moritz Law) will discuss with Edward B. Foley (Moritz Law), Derek T. Muller (Iowa Law), and Franita Tolson (USC Gould Law) on this episode of Reasonably Speaking.

Every election year presents its own distinct set of challenges, but 2020 has been a uniquely challenging year. What can voters expect on and after Election Night? Election results are never final until much later – this year on December 14. On that date, electors will be appointed in all states on the basis of the popular vote in each state, but will we declare success? If not, why not; in other words, what would cause the failure to achieve closure by December 14 in one or more pivotal states? Will the pre-election volatility play a significant role in post-Election Day events?

A transcript of the episode is available here. Please excuse typos due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.

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Published: 2020


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