Election 2020: Will this year be a contested presidential election?

Posted at 4:25 PM, Sep 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-30 18:13:24-04

TAMPA, Fla. — President Donald Trump calls the voting-by-mail system a disaster and says he won't go along with the election results.

But Stetson Law Professor Ciara Torres-Spelliscy says election fraud of any kind is extraordinarily rare.

“You are more likely to be hit by lightning than to find election fraud. There are very isolated incidents of voter fraud. They are easily caught because the people that do them are not that clever," said Torres-Spelliscy.

Political expert Dr. Susan MacManus says both sides assembled legal teams a long time ago in preparation for fighting the results of the 2020 Election.

“You name every facet of the election and there could be a legal challenge to it. Whether it’s registration, whether it’s percent location choice, whether it’s poll worker training," said MacManus.

Any contested results would first be handled in individual states.

“The trick with election law is not that you can change the outcome through litigation, but you can gum up the works considerably. It can also leave a bad taste in the mouth of voters," she said.

The Constitution has a process in place that will ensure a president is named by Inauguration Day.

If neither candidate reached 270 electoral votes, The House of Representatives elects the president and the Senate elects the vice president.

But that’s only happened once, and it was almost a hundred years ago.

Experts say voters should expect a delay in finding a winner, and that is not a sign of fraud, that’s because military ballots aren’t due until 10 days after the election and it takes a long time to count mail-in and provisional ballots.

“If we don’t inform people about that, the automatic assumption would be, somebody is trying to steal the election. All kinds of conspiratorial theories will surface. Protests will go to the streets," said MacManus.

The last contested election came from the fight over ballots in Florida in 2000. That went all the way to the Supreme Court.