Though it seemed all-but-impossible just a couple of weeks ago, Donald Trump won the presidential election and Hillary Clinton, as promised, accepted the result. But there may be cause for concern that could lead Clinton to challenge the win — especially with the talk of voter suppression and hacking that has plagued this election cycle. The question is, how far will that gripe go — can Hillary Clinton challenge the win?
In a way, it's a huge relief to see Clinton accept the results, especially after Trump, at one point, wouldn't confirm he'd accept the outcome — a move that would threaten the fabric of our democracy. While Clinton is the candidate who, through this entire process, has made it a priority to recognize the importance of a peaceful concession by the losing party, and highlighted how a smooth transition of power is fundamental to the health and effectiveness of the democratic process, she still could contest the results.
A presidential candidate can contest the results, but even for a national election, that happens on a state level. Usually it's about recounts in the event that the votes weren't counted correctly or counted at all. For example, just last week, the NAACP of North Carolina filed a lawsuit alleging voter suppression. According to the president of the North Carolina NAACP, Rev. Dr. William Barber II, at least three counties have returned, and thereby canceled, thousands of voter registrations. In a statement, Barber insisted:
[It's] the worst onslaught against minority voting ... since the days of Jim Crow ... The NAACP is defending rights of all North Carolinians to participate in this election ... We’re taking this emergency step to make sure not a single voter's voice is unlawfully taken away. This is our Selma, and we will not back down and allow this suppression to continue.
But even if that claim is pursued, Clinton might not even have to go so far as to challenge the outcome since certain experts have already advocated for the potential impeachment of Trump. According to University of Utah law professor Christopher Lewis Peterson:
Unlike his promised crimes yet to come, the illegal acts in Trump’s high pressure wealth seminars have already occurred. Indeed, a federal judge appointed under Article III of the U.S. Constitution has already determined that Trump’s alleged actions, if true, constitute fraud and racketeering ... Congress would be well within its legal rights under the Constitution to insist upon a President who is not a fraudster or a racketeer as defined in its own law.
All that to say, Clinton could potentially have grounds to challenge the win — but it is highly unlikely she would.
Image: Bustle/Allison Gore