21

On Monday, the directors of the FBI and National Security Agency testified before the House Intelligence Committee.

During the hearing, the House Intelligence Chairman asked Mike Rogers if votes tallies in key swing states were changed and Rogers confirmed that there's no evidence that any votes have been compromised in the election.

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes listed several key swing states -- Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina and Ohio -- and asked Rogers if there was any evidence that vote tallies were changed.

Source: http://edition.cnn.com/2017/03/20/politics/comey-russia-hearing-trump-obama-what-learned/

I'm just curious as to what would happen if they found evidence that vote tallies were actually changed. Since the electoral college had already voted for the winner and the President had already inaugurated, what would happen since the Constitution doesn't state anything (as far as I recall)?

  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is asking us to predict a potential future action based of a hypothetical situation. – SoylentGray Mar 22 '17 at 15:46
  • 11
    @ Soylent - I think a minor edit of one or two words works better than vote to close. From what I can infer, the question is asking 'what do US constitution/laws/customs state should happen'. The accepted answer correctly states this, without predicting any potential future actions. – Scott Mar 23 '17 at 0:36
  • I would reformulate the question to ask for general procedures and regulations upon a (potential) discovery of voting irregularities after the winning candidate has already been inaugurated. I would call the Supreme Court and see what happens. It's probably their job to clarify the situation in a constitutional crisis which includes voting fraud. – Trilarion Mar 23 '17 at 13:26
  • 2
    I'm typically not too happy with what-if questions, but this specific hypothetical seems very well framed to be objectively answerable – user4012 Mar 23 '17 at 14:46
29

The actual vote for President is conducted by Presidential electors, not rank and file voters, and the validity of the electors is vested in Congress at the time that it receives the votes, not the states.

A determination that vote tallies were tampered with resulting in the President improperly being elected would not change anything legally in terms of the President being the President, although it would radically undermine the legitimacy of the incumbent President.

|improve this answer|||||
  • So there is no kind of comission overseeing the voting process who may declare the voting to be invalid in case of irregularities? I remember the election of the Austrian president last year which had to be repeated and the decision for that was made by a court in Austria. – Trilarion Mar 23 '17 at 13:23
  • @Trilarion The US has the Federal Election Commission (FEC) but its responsibility is to regulate campaign finance. – Era Mar 23 '17 at 13:28
  • @Trilarion No. there is no commission or body of that kind in the United States. A state official (usually called a Secretary of State) certifies state results regarding the election of electors. Court intervention, if it happens, happens before the electors vote. Those electors meet in state capitols in a constitutionally specified date and cast votes for President and Vice President. Those votes are forwarded to Congress and disputes are resolved by Congress. Once Congress makes up its mind, that's it. If Congress were uncertain it could first, as it did on one occasion, appoint a commission – ohwilleke Mar 19 '18 at 18:18
  • OK, but many electors are obliged to follow the popular vote in their state. Supposing that in some nationally decisive swing state the popular vote tallies later prove to have been nefariously flipped by some secretive agency, causing that state's dutiful electors to vote for the nefariously flipped (un)popular vote rather than the actual popular vote as they swore to do. So the electors themselves complain they've been disenfranchised. – agc Jul 28 '19 at 4:39
1

Well if the tampering can be traced back and proven to have been effected by a person(s) then they could face criminal charges.

If the tampering was enacted and planned by a foreign country then that country could face sanctions from the US/NATO/UN depending on who it was and what they did. Any agents could be arrested/deported or have the consular privileges rescinded.

But being the internet age any problems with the voting probably happened over the internet and the agents could have never set foot in the US. The US may never be able to prove or even have more than guess work and conjecture about who was pulling the strings behind the curtain. The US is unlikely to take any action against any significant country unless it can definitively prove that link. But there are some countries that this might make a great justification for military action. For instance if it was North Korea, or Syria then you can expect that the military will punish the entire country for the actions of its government. Or at least that will be the excuse.

|improve this answer|||||
  • 5
    Regarding military actions as retaliation for election fraud: Are you aware that in this hypothetical situation, the commander in chief of the US military is the US president who got put in power by that election fraud? The only president who would have an interest in retaliation would be a) one who won despite election fraud or b) their successor. In the first case there is no harm done, and in the latter case that would be retaliation for something that happened at least four years ago. – Philipp Mar 22 '17 at 15:52
  • @Philipp - Did you also notice that no where in my answer is that the president would be changed... that is because that is not a possible outcome of this discovery. Even if DJT were to be impeached its not going to be Hillary that takes the CiC position. – SoylentGray Mar 22 '17 at 15:56
  • 4
    That's my point. The US election system doesn't account for a change in power because election fraud was discovered. That means anyone who got in power through election fraud stays in power. That means the president has no interest to punish the people who helped them to get into power. – Philipp Mar 22 '17 at 15:58
  • 1
    @Philipp - Unless the president already wants to punish those people. Think GWB with his invasion of Iraq as part of the war on terror. It was never really about WMD's. That was just an easy excuse because they thought it was a slam dunk reason. – SoylentGray Mar 22 '17 at 16:02
  • 1
    But being the internet age any problems with the voting probably happened over the internet Hogwash. All of the most likely tampering tactics involve either hands-on physical access to voting machines (see accusations that machines came in with numbers already on them) or being close enough to connect to a local wireless network. – chrylis -on strike- Mar 23 '17 at 5:10

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .