Chapter 1: Election Day

The sun comes up over the East Coast of the US.  Most Americans were looking forward to a mundane set of used automobile sales and bad lawyer commercials to replace the endless political ads that had darkened their TVs for the last few months.  However, the news haunted the room, announcing that 235k lives had been lost to the coronavirus.  Early voting had closed on Thursday of last week, showing that Texans cast votes making ninety percent of 2016.  Georgians followed suit totaling 2.2 million early voters, greater than 50% of 2016, with another two million expecting to come to the polls.  Almost 8 million Floridians cast their early votes, and early voting exit polling showed the former Vice President in the lead.

By 10 o’clock eastern time, President Trump and his son Donald Jr. had been making their way on conservative TV and radio, pushing a message that the mail-in votes were fraught with issues. “The Democrats are trying to steal the election. They had a whole caravan of illegals voting in Texas”, Donald Trump told an eager Tucker Carlson. “Just look at my rallies, there were thousands, those are the votes.  I had thousands; Sleepy Joe only had seven”.  Donald Jr later appeared on Fox News, pleading for their followers not to let the leftists steal the election; calling for people to watch the polls, echoing what his father had said several times in October.

The week before the election, a lawsuit had been opened in Michigan regarding open carry at voting places.

The Court of Appeals had overruled an initial decision by a Judge stating that it was illegal.  The Proud Boys and other militia groups had heard Donald Jr’s calls; it was no longer time to stand by. It was time to stand to.  They mustered by midday and went to the polls in Michigan to ensure that the President’s election to win was not stolen.

By dinner time on the east coast, about two hours before the first polls closed, national exit polling showed President Trump well in the lead.  A 7 PM, the first set of polls closed.  From CNN, Wolf Blitzer was eager to start calling winners, but being gun shy from 2016, was hesitant for the first thirty minutes. By 7:30 PM, CNN wanted to be the first and called Indiana, Kentucky, and South Carolina for President Trump.  The former Vice President is declared the winner for Vermont.  Georgia and Virginia’s polls closed too, but those states were too close to call.   Exit polling in those two states favors President Trump, and he led the former Vice President 28 to 3 electoral college votes.

A few minutes later, 7:30 PM, polls closed in North Carolina, Ohio, and West Virginia.  Trump went into the day at a +25 lead in West Virginia, so with only 1% of the votes, West Virginia was called for Trump.  Donald Jr appeared on Fox News, showing surveillance video of people as they deposit ballots in drop boxes in Philadelphia, illegally depositing multiple ballots. 

At 8 PM, the most extensive poll closing time, several states are called just minutes after closing.  President Trump took Alabama, Maine 2nd district, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.   Biden rallies with Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Maine 1st district, and the at-large vote, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. At this point, the former Vice President has 82 to President Trump’s 77 electoral votes. 

At 8:30 PM, the poll closed in Arkansas and was immediately called for President Trump, making Trump ahead by one in the electoral college. At this time, nothing unexpected has occurred, but the Trump Campaign hits the airways making claims about ballot harvesting, invalid signatures, and Illegals voting.  Their full push is on Pennsylvania, Ohio, and the rust belt.  Exit polling data from Florida and Texas show President Trump in a comfortable lead. Donald Trump Jr claims that this will be a red wave landslide.

9 PM rolls around with polls closing in the Midwest.  Biden immediately is declared victor in Colorado, New Mexico, and New York, taking him to 125 electoral votes. Trump counters with Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska 1st district, North and South Dakota, and Wyoming. This closes Biden’s lead by 18; Trump was sitting at 107.

By 9:25 PM, Minnesota and Virginia are called for Biden.  10 PM one of the night’s biggest surprises, Nevada, is called for the former Vice President. Montana and Utah are called for President Trump.  At this point, Biden was at 154 and President Trump 116.

Before the 11 PM polls closing, Fox News and the conservative radio channels provided “evidence” of voter fraud in Texas and North Carolina.  In North Carolina, the Trump campaign argued that the change in witness rules was unconstitutional, calling the US Supreme Court to take the case. President Trump launched a flurry of tweets claiming that Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court ruling stating that unverified signatures did not invalidate a mail-in vote needed to go to the US Supreme Court.  He also tweeted that all absentee and mail-in ballots received on election day required to be sequestered from all other votes and independently verified as authentic. 

At 11 PM, Washington, California, Oregon, and Hawaii are called for Biden, and Idaho called for Trump.  By 1 AM, the final poll, Alaska, closes and goes to Trump. By 1 AM, Texas is called for Trump, and President Trump calls upon Biden to issue a concession speech, even though Biden has 232 and Trump 161.  FoxNews declared Trump the winner of the 2020 election, and Trump headed to the Trump Hotel for the victory speech.   A rally size gathering of Trump Supporters flood Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the hotel.  Twitter and Facebook could not keep up with the barrage of QAnon posts against Biden, victory declarations about Trump, and disinformation about mass voter fraud.

During the victory speech, Trump proclaimed that the deep state was trying to steal the election.  He stated exiting polling data Florida and that the state legislature should determine Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina because of voter fraud and ballot abnormalities.

Minnesota had many ballots received on election day, and a ruling by their supreme court earlier in the week stated that all votes needed to be counted by 8 PM.  The Trump campaigned had threatened earlier that they would activate the National Guard to ensure that all vote counting would cease at 8 PM.  With numerous uncounted votes, the election was too close to call, and the Biden campaign was arguing the ballots were received and should be counted. Sean Hannity had President Trump on the air. The President continued to state that the rule of law was necessary and that if the state Supreme Court said that the counted needed to stop, it was his responsibility to enforce the law. The legislatures should throw out any vote counted after 8 PM. Since they cannot determine how many were added, the results are invalid,  the State Senate should select the electors to send to the electoral college in December. 

By 2 AM, Florida and Arizona are called for the Former Vice President giving him 272 electoral college votes securing the Presidency. CNN makes a counter-claim and states that Joe Biden has reached the 270 vote threshold and will be the next President of the United States.  Over the next few hours Georgia, Ohio, North Carolina, Arizona, Nebraska 2nd district, and Iowa follow suit taking Biden to 328 to Trump’s 164 electoral votes.  Four Senate seats switch from the Republicans to the Democrats, completing a blue wave.  The Democrats now have the presidency and both chambers of Congress.

President Trump refused to issue a concession speech, continued to declare victory, and pushed that the election was invalid.  He stated that he knew this was going to occur and that the election will wind up before a Supreme Court, and that is why getting it “done” was such an important issue.  He demanded a recount in Michigan, stating that the poll watches saw democrats forging votes and bringing in boxes full of ballots.  In Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, the campaign argued that they had violated the cutoff date for counting mailed ballots and their tally was invalid.  In a series of late-night tweets, President Trump calls upon his followers, stating that if the Democrats wanted to act like thugs, so could they go to the streets and force them to make the election right.

Trump threatens to call out the National Guard to secure uncounted and sequestered ballots in Michigan and Minnesota until the Supreme Court could determine is ballots received after 8 PM should be counted. Before the night was over, he called upon all GOP-led legislatures to decide whether they felt their election was the will of the people. They should select the electors who they felt actually would be voting the intention of the people.

By 5 AM, the Trump peaceful celebration on Pennsylvania had become violent.  Businesses throughout Washington, DC, had been looted and set on fire.  Trump had retreated to the White House and spent the rest of the night tweeting about stolen elections and re-tweeting Biden’s fake photos, claiming he was a pedophile and Satanist.  The President followed this up by calling in to Fox and Friends spending an hour talking about voter fraud, Hunter Biden’s emails, and claiming Antifa was the rioters, dressed in MAGA hats. 

At 6 AM, Alisyn Camerota and John Berman opened their CNN show New Day.  The backdrop was a video of a fiery Washington DC flooded with maskless Trump Supporters.  Similar scenes are shown of other cities in the Midwest, armed militiamen patrolling the street.  Ms. Camerota told of the former Vice President’s victory and the violence that followed.  Berman followed up, “and if 2020 was not bad enough, yesterday we had an additional hundred and twenty-seven thousand confirmed coronavirus cases, the largest single-day in history, bringing our death count to 130k”.  Last week in Texas at a rally, President Trump declared “all you hear is COVID, COVID, COVID.  On November 4th you will not hear anything about it”, that too was a lie.

Furious over the slanted CNN coverage, President Trump called into Fox and Friends, this time he was put on hold.

As a career intelligence professional, I have spent hours of my life wargaming all kinds of scenarios. I was asked what do you think might happen on Election Day. I used my Election Day Prediction map as the results. Coupled with the actual poll closing times, the timeline is probably close. This is not a prediction but one of many possibilities.