After stimulus negotiations fell apart in October and it became clear a deal would not be made prior to the election, the focus shifted to waiting out to see if a deal could be made after the election but before the new year.
One of the first steps to getting to another stimulus package was an uncontested election.
There are basically two ways that the election would be contested.
If some of the final results were simply too close to call, then it is not unprecedented for a candidate to request a recount or for that state to take the initiative to perform a recount.
(When you are talking about millions of votes and a difference of only a few thousand, it’s probably not a bad idea to double check the counting.)
This is what happened in the year 2000 when Bush won Florida’s electoral votes by a margin of only 537 votes out of almost six million votes.
And it appears to be happening now as states like Georgia have announced they will be doing a recount.
The other scenario is where are outright fraud is alleged.
I’ve seen some murmurings of this being tossed around with respect to certain states like Pennsylvania.
There are also accusations of improper activity in Nevada and speculation about the outcome in Arizona.
Here is the most recent statement from the Trump administration.
If it is a recount that we are dealing with then that could probably be resolved in weeks. In 2000, the Florida recount took five weeks and ended up in the Supreme Court.
If fraud is alleged and there is some level of evidence to support the assertion, I would imagine that the process could take much longer.
Those type of allegations would involve extremely thorough investigations and it’s possible that they may have to take place in multiple states.
That could lead all the way into 2021.
Based on how close some of the outcomes are and some of the allegations we have already heard, I would not be surprised to see recounts or investigations end up in the Supreme Court.
As the election results are pending, I would put the odds of a meaningful stimulus package getting put together at close to zero.
I just don’t see Republicans going along with any type of large package and Democrats will be completely turned off to packages smaller than what they might be able to pass if they wait it out.
So hopefully we will get some clarity about the real election results and we can avoid controversy and protracted recounts but as the days go by and we hear more, it’s looking more likely that we will see some delays.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.