If there were a massive disaster (Hurricane, Earthquake, etc) could a Presidential Election be postponed?

5 comments

I would doubt that Hurricane Sandy (if it were on Election Day) would be enough to prompt anyone to think a Presidential Election date should be changed.

But what about a massive Hurricane (like Katrina) or a truly massive Earthquake? Or some other large scale disaster.

Is there some legal mechanism to change the date of a Presidential Election?

Comments:

First, the United States is a VERY big country-part of the reason why Federalism is the form of government (not Unitarianism like most of Europe); because the US is so large it is HIGHLY unlikely that a natural disaster would actually physically impact the entire US.

The Presidential election is held on the first Tuesday of November that is not the first day of November. The election of electors would not be delayed-at best there may be a court case that would very quickly get shot down (as in the day it was filed).

{ 5 comments }

Richard England

obviously.

Snake Bait

Anything to create civil unrest, riots, and create a reason to institute marshall law. It would be totally illegal and unconstitutional but then so is Obamacare. Lets all hope and pray we have a peaceful transition from communism back to capitalism we had before Obama took office. Hope for the best but prepare for the worst. If the Obama lovers riot you may not be able to go to the store for weeks.

Bflowing

Note that the date of the election is not in the Constitution. Congress decided when election day is.
There are several options. The first, is that there may already be a system in place to handle disasters.
If not, Congress can pass a quick bill to postpone the date. Either for the whole nation, or just those areas affected by the disaster. The best way is to only postpone for the areas in a disaster zone, but let the rest of the country cast their ballots.

Chris

First, the United States is a VERY big country-part of the reason why Federalism is the form of government (not Unitarianism like most of Europe); because the US is so large it is HIGHLY unlikely that a natural disaster would actually physically impact the entire US.

The Presidential election is held on the first Tuesday of November that is not the first day of November. The election of electors would not be delayed-at best there may be a court case that would very quickly get shot down (as in the day it was filed).

Billie

Given that a large proportion of the electorate (much of the East Coast) will not be able to vote due to this massive storm and power outages, it seems only fair that the election date be extended for affected areas. Election sites and the people who man them may not be able to be up and running in time for Nov 6 nor will voters be able to get to polls even if they are open. As close as this election will probably be, any one elected without the full participation of the citizenry would face serious concerns about the legitimacy of his election.

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