Contested Elections Are Nothing New

Nov 18, 2020

Contested presidential elections are nothing new in America. In fact, there have been several... and Liberty Counsel has been in the fight for election integrity before. Read on to learn more about how the Constitution provides a path to protect the Republic in uncertain times. -Mat

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Our nation’s first contested presidential election was in 1800 and the most recent was in 2000, a situation in which our Liberty Counsel team tirelessly litigated for five weeks nonstop. We have been here before.

A brief history of contested U.S. presidential elections...

The first contested presidential election was in 1800. A vicious political fight resulted in a contested election between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, who ran together. Congress had to step in, as was their duty under Article II of the Constitution. It took 36 votes in Congress to finally decide the election and Jefferson became the next president.

To avoid such a stalemate in the future, the Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified in 1804.

That Amendment has been tested in the presidential elections of 1825 and 1877. In 1825, the House chose John Quincy Adams over Andrew Jackson, and in January 1877, Congress resolved the disputed election by appointing a bipartisan commission and Rutherford B. Hayes became president.

Remember, when the House counts the electoral votes, if no candidate receives a majority, then in January 2021 each state delegation gets one vote. Currently, there are more Republican-led states than Democrat.

Although the Twelfth Amendment did not come into play in 2000, we’ve been down this road before. That year, George W. Bush beat Al Gore by a mere 537 votes in Florida. The 2020 election is far from over!

And now, Liberty Counsel is fighting for election integrity again.

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Here’s a timeline for what will happen in this contested election:

December 14, 2020 - The nation’s electors cast their ballots for president.

January 3, 2021 - If no candidate received a majority of the electoral votes, the NEWLY ELECTED Congress goes into action. The members of Congress from each state meet as a delegation, and each state casts one vote.

The House of Representatives chooses the president, and the Senate chooses the vice president from the candidates presented by the electoral college.

January 21, 2021 - The president is sworn into office.

Not only has America been in this situation before, so has Liberty Counsel…and we’re intensely fighting for election integrity once again.


  • In PA, from the state’s own website, 1,601 people between the ages of 100 to 202 years old requested mail-in ballots, nearly all of which were returned in time for the November 3 vote.
  • In Philadelphia, election officials refused to obey a court order to allow authorized observers from the GOP to observe the vote count.
  • In Wayne County, Michigan, over 500 people have signed sworn affidavits under penalty of perjury attesting to election fraud they personally witnessed in just this one Michigan county.
  • In Antrim County, Michigan, where Dominion Voting Systems equipment and software was used, 6,000 Trump votes went to Biden. Similar reports where Dominion software was used are coming in from other states, including Georgia.

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So, what happens now?

There are several ongoing lawsuits in several contested states. These lawsuits will continue until their legal conclusion. This, too, is not unusual, as in 2000 the Gore campaign was still filing lawsuits as late as November 27.

The courts will decide these cases and if a majority of electors’ votes are not cast for either candidate, the Twelfth Amendment kicks in.

While Democrats have a majority of votes in the House of Representatives, Republicans have a majority of the state delegations, which is what counts when an election is decided by Congress.

Take Heart!

We’ve been here before; we survived then, and we will survive now. Liberty Counsel led the 2000 fight for election integrity, and elements of our staff are on the ground in Pennsylvania fighting that same fight in 2020.

We need your help! Defending the pastors, parishioners and churches attacked by lawless governors has put a strain on our resources. Thankfully, a NEW Year-End Challenge Grant has been established to DOUBLE YOUR IMPACT. Every gift between now and the end of the year will be doubled.

Will you help Liberty Counsel defend free and fair elections? Select here or the button below.

America is the only nation other than Israel to be founded on the Word of God. And you and I know what God tells us to do in times of national distress. Please join me and all of Liberty Counsel’s staff in praying for God to heal our land!

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” 2 Chronicles 7:14.

Mat Staver
Founder and Chairman

P.S. NEW YEAR-END CHALLENGE GRANT! As I mentioned above, we have a new Challenge Grant that will effectively DOUBLE the impact of your donations between now and the end of the year! Select here or the button below.