No election...who's president? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

The is a two part question: 1. Would it be possible to hold a presidential election in 2000 without the aid of computers? 2. If no presidential election can be held, are there any provisions in the constitution (or anywhere else) that allow for who would be the president (until such time as a national election could be held)? Extra Credit: Does anyone else wonder if prehaps Clinton is saying everything is okay because he thinks that there won't be an election and he could become president for life????

-- Barbara Bull (, July 14, 1998


A couple of answers, perhaps... as usual, my opinions only.

1. Yes, an election could be held if each district has paper ballots ready to go. It's only been a couple of years since my (admittedly rural) county switched to punch cards; it wouldn't be hard for us to switch back. Larger districts could split up if necessary, or simply get more volunteers to count ballots.

There's about 2.5 months between the November elections and Inauguration Day, mainly to allow for time to count the ballots and for the winner to travel to DC... during a time when all ballots were paper & railroads were experimental at best.

2. I don't think there's any provision for a missed election. But the Constitution ***does*** say that one person can only be president for 10 years tops. And, I suspect that the Supreme Court (appointed to sort this kind of stuff out, after all) would rule that since the Electoral College could not be convened, the House of Reprehensibles would be tasked to choose a new president.

Extra credit: No, I don't think that's a factor. See the previous paragraph, then find something real to worry about. Jeez.

Final thought: if things get so hosed that we can't hold an election, would there even be a president; and if so, of what?

-- Larry Kollar (, July 14, 1998.

Unfortunately there is another option. If a national emergency is declared (no I'm not a black helicopter freak), then under the current law, the Constitution can be suspended and martial law declared if necessary with FEMA working as a controlling entity for all government agencie. Don't discount this prospect as you can not trust the current resident of the White House.

-- John Galt (, July 15, 1998.

Reality check: given what you know about the people in the military, do you think they would stand for Clinton suspending the Constitution? After all, don't they take an oath to uphold it?

Like I said, we have enough real stuff to worry about in the next 17.5 months to be creating boogeyman stories. The "real" John Galt -- the one in Atlas Shrugged, not someone borrowing that name for a pseudonym -- was an objectivist; he would have done a better job of thinking things through.

Let's start at the worst(?) case & run down from there -- I'm only looking at possible effects to the gov't.

-- Larry Kollar (, July 15, 1998.

Larry-I strongly disagree on two points. 1. As an objectivist you have to be a realist two. At no point in my posting did I say that the military would tolerate it. I do see a point in such a declaration that some if not a majority of members would refuse to be obey the orders from any single leader or leadership group. 2. I was answering her question only in the least desirable of alternatives. Honestly I feel the situation will fall somewhere around an early 30's depression lasting no more than two years while the programming/technocrat community cleans up the mess to make the nation more functional again. I do believe in preparedness though. Do not mistake that for paranoia. The producers, as usual will have to save the day. This will, as throughout human history, be the fact. Regardless of whether or not there is an election in 2000, which I would not hedge a bet on this early, there is that stark reality that the egotistical con men and looters of the world will try to take advantage of this situation. They will lose as they always come back to us. Remember this fact, it will serve you well over the next 5 years.

-- John Galt (, July 16, 1998.

What military?

Have you seen a man in uniform lately? Think about it.

Our Army has been downsized 40% and is spread in over dozens of countries. We couldnt fight a war anywhere let alone enforce martial law . They would just call in the U.N. Could you just imagine foreign troops in your neighborhood?

-- Greg Wiatt (, July 17, 1998.

JG - so why answer the question "only in the least desirable of alternatives"? Shouldn't the realist stance be to answer with the most probable outcome as you see it, then list other possible outcomes?

And you're right, I don't confuse preparedness with paranoia. I've had to live w/o power for 9 days in winter; that and the problems they had in Canada last winter should be enough to get onself to *some* level of preparedness without dragging Y2K into it. :-) The good part is, I've found that once you're set up to go a week w/o infrastructure, it's not hard to stretch it to a month. From there, you can take it as far as you need.

Looters & con men will always be with us. From my point of view, it seems that there's only a very narrow window of Y2K trouble that will give them any extra leverage -- fewer problems, nobody listens; more problems, they're running for their lives with 'most everyone else. And if it works out just right, and they attempt to seize their opportunity, it might well push the situation into the "run for it" category -- like you said, they will lose. 'Course, that doesn't mean we shouldn't keep watching the slippery so-and-sos.

Finally, Greg Wiatt brings the UN up again. Who made up the bulk of UN troops in Bosnia or Somalia? Gee, it wouldn't have been... American soldiers, would it? The UN's major function is for each nation to exile their blowhards to New York, where the hot air they generate is piped into the city's steam tunnels and thence to radiators all over the city. Bosnia should be enough to show anyone how silly this is -- the UN hasn't acted decisively since the Korean War, and has long since lost the ability.

So the answer is, no, I couldn't imagine foreign troops in my neighborhood. On the probability scale, I rank that far below the notion of Clinton or some bureaucrat seizing dictatorial power (remote in itself). If things look like they're going to be really bad, I *would* expect to see the Reserves and National Guard activated -- how many respond is an open question.

Y'all need to visit . I don't agree with everything he says, but he *does* have lots of practical ideas for living in and through an economic collapse. In a nutshell, he says to move to a more rural setting, prepare for hard times, learn a useful trade that doesn't require high technology, and be able to defend yourself but don't go bonkers about it.

-- Larry Kollar (, July 17, 1998.

Whoops! I put < and > around and the forum s/w ate it.

-- Larry Kollar (, July 17, 1998.

Larry, thanks for an intelligent response instead of some of the typical name-calling and flaming I have seen here and on other forums. I do not think it will deteriorate to that severe a level either where we will see the black 'copters and blue flagged helmets everywhere in the U.S. I do however see some politicians, hmmm, maybe those enjoying sexual liasons in the White House for example potentially taking advantage of this situation. No, I do not see him succeeding however. Thankfully we have not destroyed all of our military and there will be enough intelligent people left to take action if necessary. At least we still have the freedom to disagree and agree all in the same forum. When we lose that, then the worst case scenario has hit our country. P.S. - I've always carried a one month supply for hurricanes so I can relate to your outages. The longest I have ever had to "rough it" was 7 days in an ice storm in the mid-south years ago. I agree, that yes, we will make it, but I too have made the necessary purchases to feed my family and protect them also. Preparedness is the key. Let's hope everyone else is listening.

-- John Galt (, July 18, 1998.

John Galt said,

"Preparedness is the key. Let's hope everyone else is listening. "

They are NOT LISTENING, John. Prepare aCcordingly.

-- Will Huett (, July 18, 1998.

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