Biden's In - Now What if He Dies 1 Month Before the Election?
As of 2020, the life expectancy of U.S. citizens was 77 years old. President Joe Biden is 80 years old.
On Tuesday, the president announced his intention to run for re-election. Biden wishes to remain in the White House until Jan. 20, 2029, at which time he’ll be 86 years old… if he’s still alive, of course.
In response, GOP presidential hopeful Nikki Haley said what many are likely thinking during an appearance on Fox News.
“If you vote for Joe Biden, you really are counting on a President [Kamala] Harris,” Haley said. “The idea that he would make it until 86 years old is not something that I think is likely.”
Despite these concerns, the Democratic National Committee has opted to fully back the aging incumbent and is refusing to hold any primary debates, according to Fox News. In all likelihood, Biden will be the Democratic nominee.
This begs a morbid yet important question: What happens if Biden dies just before the 2024 election?
Replacing Biden Last-Minute Would Be Difficult if Not Impossible
According to Reuters, both parties have rules in place to sub in a replacement candidate if one is to pass away.
But if that death happens roughly a month before Election Day, some states will have already begun early voting.
Now, with the way the U.S. election system works, voters aren’t really voting directly for their candidate of choice. Rather, they are notifying their representatives in the Electoral College of which candidate they want them to elect.
Then, the Electoral College, made up of 538 electors, meets to select the winner based on the wishes of the voters each elector represents.
If Biden died just weeks prior to the election, it is conceivable that he would be in a position to win some electors posthumously since mail-in voting would already be underway.
You would think, then, that those electors would simply vote for the Democrats’ replacement candidate, but the situation is more complicated than that.
According to The Associated Press, some electors would be able to switch their vote to a replacement candidate. Others, however, would be required by state law to vote for the candidate who won, regardless of whether or not he was still breathing.
Furthermore, it’s unclear if the electors and the Democratic Party would even be able to agree on a replacement.
So Democratic votes would likely be split between multiple candidates.
Democrats Would Push to Delay the Election, Unsuccessfully
Congress does hold the power to delay Election Day.
If the Democratic Party wanted to wipe the slate clean of early mail-in votes for Biden, a delay would likely be the only feasible option.
However, all of Congress would need to be on board with such a move.
While many establishment Republicans are well-known for finding ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, it’s incredibly unlikely that Democrats would be able to successfully delay Election Day.
Absolute Chaos Would Ensue
If you thought the 2020 election was heavily litigated, that would likely be nothing compared to the 2024 election if this scenario were to take place and Republicans were able to take advantage of the confusion and secure a victory.
After all, there is no precedent for something like this happening.
The DNC would push for election cases to make it to the Supreme Court, and state and federal election laws would be contested, revised and introduced for years to come.
And unlike Donald Trump’s contesting of the 2020 election, this effort on the part of the DNC would have the full and unquestioned backing of the entire establishment, including major news media outlets and social media giants.
It would be unlike any election controversy this country has ever seen.
And Democrats would have absolutely no way of altering the outcome.
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