Preventing a Constitutional Crisis

Throughout American history, when a president has lost re-election, he has always stepped down willingly. Accepting the will of the people, and allowing a peaceful transition of power, is a hallmark of American democracy.

But today, Trump routinely ignores democratic norms and continues to chip away at democratic institutions. In 2016, Trump repeatedly threatened not to accept the election results, and Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen has warned Congress that “given my experience working for Mr. Trump, I fear that if he loses the election in 2020, there will never be a peaceful transition of power.” Most recently, Trump even threatened to “deploy the United States military” against the American people to quash peaceful protests. There is no line he won’t cross.

With COVID-19 poised to wreak havoc for months to come, the threat to our democracy is particularly acute. As Congress works to expand mail-in voting and in-person early voting, we must prevent Trump from using this moment to sow discord, confusion, and doubt on the November election results.

We cannot ignore the threat that Trump poses to our democracy and a peaceful transition. We will stand together to ensure that if Trump loses the 2020 presidential election he will not throw our country into a constitutional crisis. We will honor the valid results of the 2020 election, ensure that every vote is counted, and show up to demand that the losing candidate put their ego aside and concede for the good of our country.

“I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election . . . if I win.”

— Donald Trump, October 2016
Photo by Gage Skidmore

“Even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has told her party to prepare for the possibility that Trump contests the 2020 results.”

— Politico
Photo by Gage Skidmore

Count Every Vote

Trump threatened not to accept the results in 2016. He claimed the election was “rigged” and “millions of people” were voting unlawfully. Afterward, he claimed—without evidence—that he actually won the popular vote in 2016.

Trump has repeatedly hinted that he will not leave the White House willingly. He warned that “people would demand that I stay longer” and even mused about being president for 20 years.

In 2020, we will not allow Trump to follow through on those threats. We will demand that every vote be counted, even if it takes days or weeks to get an accurate count from critical states, especially given the expansion of mail-in and absentee voting during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will organize to ensure that the loser concedes, and that Congress, the Electoral College, and state officials honor the accurate, final vote count.

“I didn’t like the outcome of the 2008 election. But I had a duty to concede, and I did so without reluctance. A concession isn’t just an exercise in graciousness. It is an act of respect for the will of the American people, a respect that is every American leader’s first responsibility.”

— Senator John McCain

About Us

Protect the Results is a joint project of Indivisible and Stand Up America to protect the valid results of the 2020 election.

Indivisible and Stand Up America are committed to strengthening our democracy, electing progressives, and defeating Trump in November 2020. However, all Americans—Democrats, Republicans, and Independents—must be prepared to protect and defend the valid results of the election whether their preferred candidate wins or loses.

If Trump loses, he must accept those results. Our democracy depends on it.

Resources

  • NYTimes, Will Trump Ever Leave the White House?
  • NYTimes, Pelosi Warns Democrats
  • NYTimes, Populists Don’t Lose Elections
  • CNN, Donald Trump: 'I will totally accept' election results 'if I win'
  • NBCNews, GOP Slams Trump: Not Accepting Election Results Would Be 'Beyond the Pale'
  • Politico, What if Trump won’t accept 2020 defeat?
  • Newsweek, Trump Jokes About Being President for 16 Years, Adds, “I’m Not Looking to do it, Unless you Want To Do It.”
  • Slate, What Happens if Trump Won’t Step Down?
  • CNN op-ed, What if Trump refuses to accept defeat in 2020?
  • Vice, The Nightmare Scenario: Trump Loses in 2020 and Refuses to Concede
  • NYTimes, Could Donald Trump Reject the Election Results? Yes. Would It Do Any Good? Nope.
  • Slate, Trump’s Jokes About Defying Election Results Could Create Chaos
  • NYMag, Odds of a Contested November Election Are on the Rise
  • Slate, What Happens in November if One Side Doesn’t Accept the Election Results?
  • NY Post, Schiff ‘worried’ Trump may try to keep people from voting in 2020
  • U.S. News and World Report, Will the Coronavirus Pandemic Threaten Election Legitimacy?
  • Washington Post, We need to prepare for the possibility of Trump rejecting election results
  • New York Magazine, Trump Is Laying the Groundwork to Contest the Results of the Election
  • Vox, Will He Go? A Law Professor Fears Meltdown This November

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