Could the 2024 Presidential Election Get Overturned?

I’m not in the business of scaring people, so I need to warn you that this post might be a bit scary.

I’ve read several articles now about how attorneys who are experts in election law are increasingly worried about the 2024 presidential election, specifically, that Republicans may try to overturn the election if it doesn’t go their way. The most recent article was this one from NBC News: What’s keeping democracy experts up most at night? An overturned election

In it, they outlined several “nightmare scenarios”:

  • local officials refusing to certify votes
  • governors disagreeing with state legislatures and each sending separate electoral vote tallies to Congress
  • the US House and US Senate disagreeing on who the winner is

Any one of those things is bad, and again, legal scholars are concerned because none of these issues has really been litigated before. It’s new territory.

And then yesterday, I saw this report from the Washington Post:

Which brings me to the question you all know I will ask. What can we do about this?

When I look at these issues, what I see is the most important reason we need to get involved with our local elections right now. We cannot let election deniers win these races. We know that Republicans have been relentless in taking over state legislatures and there’s no reason to believe they won’t put similar efforts into local election boards or Secretaries of State or Attorneys General in 2022, a full 2 years before the next presidential election.

The key is each of us needs to plug into our local community organizations so that we can learn and share information about problematic candidates.

Now, if you’re in a really red area, and it is pre-ordained that a Republican will win a particular seat, well then, learn about the Republican primary candidates to make sure that the Trump-loving election denier loses to a hopefully more moderate Republican. At the very least, share information with your community when truly problematic people are running.

How can you get plugged into a local community organization? Some ideas:

  • Start with your local Democratic party chapter
  • Check if your town/city has an active Indivisible group
  • Call your local League of Women Voters and ask if they have an active voter mobilization group
  • Contact the local/state ACLU and learn about their turnout activities

Really, any social nonprofit would be a good bet to call and see if they have voter mobilization activities. And remember, these organizations are mostly run by volunteers, so be patient and persistent when reaching out to them. If you don’t jive with one group, try another. You’ll find the right fit somewhere.

But whatever you do, get involved locally. We simply cannot afford to let election deniers win these critical local races.


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4 replies

  1. I worry about the state legislatures, too. My problem is the opposite one–I’m in such a reliably blue area, I’m not sure if what I do really makes a difference (even though I am very much involved with my local Dems.) Maybe I can get plugged into some outreach to swing states again….

    • There are bad actors and conspiracy theorists trying to get onto school boards and state legislatures. Reach out to a swing state, sure, but keep an eye out locally, too.

      • Oh, I do get that. I live in the Beaverton/Hillsboro area, and we’ve had some of those candidates who were fearmongering about “critical race theory” trying to get on the school board. They lost by quite a bit, but they will keep trying. And these off-year local elections tend to drop off people’s radars and get low turnout, alas.

      • You’re absolutely right about that. We cannot let our guard down.

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