'Five-alarm fire': Expert warns that he's 'never been more worried about American democracy'
President Donald Trump at a campaign rally during the House of Representatives impeachment vote. (Max Elram / Shutterstock.com)

One of the top elections experts in the country has just issued a "five alarm fire" warning: "time to wake up."


Richard L. Hasen, better known as "Rick," says "I’ve never been more worried about American democracy than I am right now." Hasen is a law professor at the University of California, Irvine School of Law and was a founding co-editor at Election Law Journal.

Professor Hasen has a Master's and PhD degree in political science and also has a Doctor of Jurisprudence (JD), but may be best know for his writings at ElectionLawBlog.

"If we are lucky enough, the election will not be close, and we will avoid this election meltdown only to start panicking again in the run-up to 2024. But if it is close, all bets are off," Hasen writes at Slate.

Hasen points to a two-pronged attack being waged by Trump.

The first is to try to reduce turnout, including the return of mail-in ballots – which he calls "not a particularly strong" argument.

The "second play...is far more worrisome."

"The idea is to throw so much muck into the process and cast so much doubt on who is the actual winner in one of those swing states because of supposed massive voter fraud and uncertainty about the rules for absentee ballots that some other actor besides the voter will decide the winner of the election," Hasen warns. "That could be the RBG-less Supreme Court resolving a dispute over a group of ballots. Indeed, on Tuesday, Vice President Mike Pence suggested that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s replacement needs to be seated, possibly without so much as a hearing, in order to decide 'election issues [that] may come before the Supreme Court in the days following the election,' including questions involving 'universal unsolicited mail' and states 'extending the deadline” for ballot receipt.'"

"The president has been laying the groundwork for these claims for months, and just Tuesday his son, Donald Trump Jr., baselessly suggested that Democrats will 'add millions of fraudulent ballots that can cancel your vote and overturn the election.' (The video remains up on Facebook even though it contains blatant election disinformation. Facebook has added a label to the post, however,)" Hasen adds.

He concludes, "if another body tries to overturn the will of the people in voting for president, there will be protests in the streets, with the potential for violence."

Read Hasen's entire piece here.