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American Prospect editor says election could be several worst case scenarios 'all at once'

The American Prospect (TAP) executive editor David Dayen warned Tuesday that the 2020 election could echo some or all of “the worst examples” of previous elections and presidential transitions "all at once."

“You have the economic disaster of 1932 transition between Hoover and Roosevelt, where the sitting president would not… in the months after the election would not help the new president with any additional measures,” Dayen said Tuesday during an interview on Hill.TV.

“You could have the disputed result of the 1876 election where Rutherford Hayes and Sam Tilden were in a battle that lasted until two days before the inauguration.”

“You could have the real sort of tribal fallout that happened after the 1860 election where seven states seceded from the Union,” he added.

Dayen said that while a presidential election did not coincide with the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic, “having a lack of leadership and a contested election in the middle of [an ongoing pandemic] is going to be a recipe for disaster as well.”

Part of the problem, Dayen said, was the number of states whose absentee ballots can't be opened until after the polls close. “We’re just not going to have a count on election night that reliably gives you every state’s result, and the longer that process takes … the longer and closer that whole process is, the more opportunities for the president or whoever to say this is an illegitimate vote.”