World

Trump attempts an electoral and political coup, and reaches out for judicial approval

WASHINGTON: The US Presidential elections are on the verge of turning into a chaotic farce worthy of a banana republic after President Donald Trump claimed he has won before a full counting of votes and said he would approach the country’s Supreme Court to stop a “fraud” on the American people.
In a nightmare scenario some commentators had anticipated based on Trump’s own pronouncements over weeks, the US President threw a wrench into an already shambolic election process, accused Democrats of trying to steal the election, and demanded all counting votes be stopped after 4 a.m.
“We will win this. As far as we are concerned we have already won it,” Trump told cheering supporters in a 2.30 a.m meeting, trying to force an end to the election process;
There is nothing in the law that calls for the results on election night or even the day after, and the counting process is largely the domain of states. It is not clear if Trump was serious about approaching the Supreme Court and if he did, on what basis it would stop counting of votes. In at least two cases, the US Supreme Court has deferred to the states.
Trump claimed victories in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, and North Carolina, all states where counting is still going on, claiming his leads were too big for the Democratic ticket to catch up. While he was clearly leading in all these states, Democrats, demanding a full and complete counting, maintained the final score would be reversed because in most instances mail-in ballots, which favor Democrats, are yet to be counted. In some states, votes from heavily Democratic cities are also yet to be counted, Democratic operatives said.
Shortly before his attempt at an electoral and political coup for which he is invoking the Supreme Court’s intervention and approval, Trump tweeted: “We are up BIG, but they are trying to STEAL the Election. We will never let them do it. Votes cannot be cast after the Poles are closed!”
“Millions of people voted for us…some sad people are trying to disenfranchise them. We were ready to celebrate and all of a sudden it was called off,” Trump said later to his supporters.
While there were no significant accounts of votes being cast after polls (which the President misspelled), no one had stopped the counting. In fact, counting was continuing even after Trump spoke at 230 a.m. In some states like Wisconsin, state officials are mandated to finish counting of votes in one stretch, no matter how long it takes. The Wisconsin count is expected to finish at 6 a.m and offer a definitive projection.
It is entirely possible that Trump may still win after a full counting of ballots is completed in the states he is leading in, so it was not clear why he would seek to stop the counting — unless he fears a loss. There were no accounts of large scale fraud or late casting of votes to help Trump make his case.
As much as Trump’s attempted coup is audacious, the US President has been fairly transparent about it, warning for weeks that he is against counting of unsolicited mail-in ballots and wants the results declared election night, even though there is no legal or constitutional requirement to do so.
In fact, what has long been regarded as “results” on election night or the morning after are actually projections made by the media, mainly Associated Press and TV networks. The formal results are declared by the Secretary of State in each state several days after the election, only after all votes have been tabulated.
Perhaps anticipating Trump’s move, Democratic candidate Joe Biden called meeting about an hour before to demand a full counting of votes while declaring, “It is not my place or Trump’s place to claim a win. It is up to the American people.” Biden did not claim a win,” and adding, “It ain’t over till every ballot is counted.”
An hour later Trump claimed he has won the election, even though millions of votes remain to be counted and formal results are yet to be declared.

You may also like

More in:World

Comments are closed.