Could we reverse a hacked presidential election?


The Constitution provides no clear answer — and we need a solution.

What would happen if we discover that Russians hacked into the results of the 2016 presidential election and tipped the outcome in favor of Donald Trump — literally changed the vote totals?

In the past few weeks, we have learned that the Russian government reached more than 10 million Americans with a misinformation campaign on Facebook, and that hackers targeted 21 state election systems, stealing information from 90,000 voting records in the state of Illinois alone. These are just the latest of many revelations about Russia’s unprecedented interference in the election.

It is cold comfort that we have no evidence so far that Moscow actually manipulated vote tallies to change the election’s outcome.

But what if it emerges that Russian operatives were successful on that front as well? Setting Trump aside, what if a foreign government succeeds in the future in electing an American president through active vote manipulation?

The Constitution offers no clear way to remedy such a disaster.

Any evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia raises its own set of important issues — now being assiduously investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller. But the disturbing scenario in which hackers manipulate election results, conceivably rendering the true vote tally unrecoverable, would pose a unique threat to a foundational principle of our democracy: rule by the consent of the governed. We would in no sense have a government “by the people.”

Although such a constitutional crisis now seems all too plausible, we have yet to seriously consider provisions that might protect our democracy — measures that could allow us to reverse such a result.

The Electoral College can act, but only if the hack is discovered immediately

One tool to resolve a hacked election is that old, …read more

Source:: Vox – All

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