The Volokh Conspiracy

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Donald Trump

State Legislatures and Presidential Electors

Trump's hope that state legislatures will replace Democratic presidential electors with Republican electors will be dashed.


New from me at the Washington Post on the law and politics of Donald Trump's bid to persuade Republican state legislators to ignore the results of the November election and directly designate a slate of presidential electors pledged to vote for Trump's reelection. It is a mad scheme that is doomed to failure and Republican leaders should denounce it. This is how you build support for a constitutional amendment to eliminate the Electoral College.

A taste:

At any rate, unlike the 2000 presidential election, the 2020 presidential election does not come down to a few dozen votes in a single state. Trump needs to flip not just one state but multiple states. Even if he were to persuade enough Republican-dominated state legislatures to go along with a plan to directly appoint presidential electors, he would still need to persuade governors, several of whom are Democrats, to accept the necessary legislation and certify new slates of presidential electors. Ultimately, those electoral votes will be counted in Congress, and the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives would play an important role in resolving any disputes over the validity of any state's electoral votes.

Read the whole thing here.