So assume sometime on the night of November 8, 2016 or maybe in the wee hours of the morning on the 9th, the media declares Hillary Clinton the next president of the US. In response Donald Trump does not accept the results of the election as legitimate.

What are his legal options? Assuming the he is meeting with his crack legal team, what are they going to tell Donald Trump about their options and likelihood of success if Trump goes forward with a challenge to the results?


2 Answers 2


He can legally demand recounts in States where he can demonstrate a recount is permissible. Since state recount laws vary by state, see this excellent database if you have additional questions.


  • 1
    If the current polls are any indicator, he will not get recounts in enough states to make a difference, most states need it pretty close to recount and while he may make this burden in a few states, he will not be likely to win doing this. I was thinking what other legal arguments he may have that would actually have a chance.
    – Jon
    Commented Oct 24, 2016 at 19:05
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    Unless there is a specific allegation of election fraud or a recount that is necessary in a given state, there is very little any politician can do to legally challenge results. For more on certifying election results you can go here: uniformlaws.org/shared/docs/military%20and%20overseas%20voters/…
    – user9790
    Commented Oct 24, 2016 at 19:11
  • let me clarify, he is going to have to legally disenfranchise/void large numbers to have any chance to turn the results of a large margin win by HC, is this even a remote possibility? If so how?
    – Jon
    Commented Oct 24, 2016 at 19:15
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    No, that's not a possibility unless he can somehow prove that those ballots were cast illegally.
    – user9790
    Commented Oct 24, 2016 at 19:16

Well the obvious answer was he can sue for recounts, which I accepted as the answer.

But today, election day Donald Trump sued the Clark County elector for letting people in line at closing time still vote. Read details here.

It should be noted that Nevada is a state where Las Vegas and Reno will lean toward the left in an election and the rest of the state is on the right. So if there is a legal strategy here, it is to put into limb the votes in left leaning areas. This particular polling place was at a Latino super market.

In the lawsuit Trump, a New York businessman and reality TV personality who has never previously run for political office, asked that the ballots from that polling place be kept separate from other votes, pending any future legal challenges to the results in the state.

Hanging things up in court, is one of the options.

I would love to hear more options like this, and would like to broaden the question to include this kind of thing. (kind of late I know).

  • This additional question doesn't have at all to do with Trump winning or losing.
    – user9790
    Commented Nov 8, 2016 at 20:10

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