politics

What happens if Hillary Clinton wins but Donald Trump refuses to concede.

We know it’s been an exhausting election campaign, but cast your mind back 18 days to the third and final debate between the two US presidential hopefuls, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Can you picture it? Trump is standing behind the podium in a red tie, and he’s flat out refusing to answer a single, simple question from moderator Chris Wallace. Clinton is looking on, exasperated. (In a fetching white pant suit.)

Trump is asked if he would commit, on stage, to accept the result of the election, he says:

“I will look at it at the time… I’ll keep you in suspense, okay?”

Well, the time is now. The election is today.

No.

The results aren't quite in yet, so don't get out your dust pan and brush to sweep up the shards of that glass ceiling. But, what if Clinton wins and Trump does refuse to concede?

What if he decides the system is "rigged" against him and follows through with his oft-repeated threat to ignore the will of the American people?

Thankfully not much, fingers crossed.

You see, Trump's options are fairly limited. If the results are too close to call, he has the legal right to contest the outcome and demand a recount.

If he believes electoral fraud has occurred he can file lawsuits against the officials he believes are responsible.

But if Clinton wins with an overwhelming majority and he still won't accept it, well, there really isn't much he can do to alter the outcome, although he could theoretically challenge it in court.

As New York University constitutional law professor, Samuel Issacharoff explained to The Independent

"He can go to court and challenge the outcome of the election," the professor said.

"He can try to sway individual members of the electoral college to abandon Hillary Clinton in his favour - but that has pretty much never happened in American history."

Mia discusses the US election with author Jodi Picoult:

According to Issacharoff, it would most likely end up in the supreme court, who are very unlikely to rule in his favour.

"The supreme court is not in the business of overturning elections," he said.

"It would act to ratify the electoral result."

Historically, there have only been three US elections contested in 1800, in 1876 and in 2000. The latter, filed by Al Gore against George W. Bush was resolved by the supreme court a month after polling day.

So, what about all those Trump supporters who just won't be convinced?

"There are some people who still believe the earth is flat."

Good luck to them, basically.

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