If history is a guide, the answer is no. Even as far back as 1796, and a number of very close elections subsequently, we have seen where the perspicacious Founders of our country left us without a fruitful mechanism for deciding disputed presidential elections. Just take the case of the 2000 election, with a time deadline looming, the U.S. Supreme Court was brought into the ‘chad’ fiasco, invoked the equal protection clause of the Constitution, but cautioned that its ruling in Bush v Gore should never be followed in the future. Constitutional scholar, Alan Hirsch, addresses the history and offers solutions to it in his concise, yet dense, book, ‘A Short History of Presidential Crises(and how to prevent the next one’)’. If 2016 is a guide, computer technology adds an additional dimension to this problem and more means for mayhem. In his view, the Electoral College is an idea whose time has long since past and is a major contributor to the potential disruption in this process. The potential changes that may have to be instituted in the 2020 election owing to the recent pandemic are also discussed. It’s a history of crises and a ringing of the alarm bell about what we continue to do which exacerbates the Founders initial flaw–and that is nothing.
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