If November’s U.S. presidential election is too close to call, a new Bloomberg report has claimed that Joe Biden has a “secret edge” over President Donald Trump that could pull him over the finish line. In particular, the publication suggested that many of the top election officials in the key states likely to determine the outcome in November are Democrats.
Trump continues to suggest that mail-in ballots are subject to fraud, and Bloomberg said that it’s possible he could declare preemptive victory if he leads in in-person ballots amid the count of the vote-by-mail tally. But in this scenario, secretaries of state will have the responsibility of counting mail-in votes and determining the winner.
“These relatively anonymous state officials could prove a bulwark for Biden as they cope with what is expected to be an unprecedented surge in mail-in ballots because of the coronavirus pandemic,” the report read.
Although election officers are purportedly nonpartisan, J. Kenneth Blackwell, a former Ohio secretary of state who is now part of Trump’s campaign, claimed that it’s impossible to remain free of bias in difficult situations, such as a contested election.
“You can’t take politics out of politics. It’s the way our system is set up. I don’t all of a sudden become a non-Republican when I have to make a judgment associated with my job in the political sphere.”
Daniel Tokaji, dean of the University of Wisconsin Law School, appeared to agree with Blackwell and claimed that local election officers could play a crucial role in influencing the direction of an election in a close race.
“There’s just no getting around that conflict of interest. Even well-intentioned officials trying to do the right thing, their actions can always be called into question.”
Conversely, Charles Stewart III, an elections scholar and professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, argued that the legal system would likely play a more significant role in determining the direction of a possible contested election.
Analysts and politicians have long predicted that Trump will likely contest the results of November’s election if he loses. As The Inquisitr reported, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders recently called on Congress and the media to begin preparation for a scenario where Trump refuses to leave the White House. Fueling such concerns is Trump himself, who has hinted at the possibility on multiple occasions. During the Republican National Convention, the U.S. leader said that the only way he would lose is if the election were rigged against him.
Elsewhere, CNN’s Chris Cillizza pointed to White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany’s comment last month that suggested the president would not admit defeat readily.