Fact Check: The Constitution Does NOT Say That A Candidate Can Just Declare Themself Winner

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: The Constitution Does NOT Say That A Candidate Can Just Declare Themself Winner No Such Rule

Does the Constitution say if Trump declares himself the winner at any time on November 3 then he automatically wins? No, that's not true: This is satire from Houston talk radio host Michael Berry.

The claim was posted to Facebook and Twitter. A tweet (archived here) was published by Berry on November 2, 2020. It opened:

Constitution says if Trump declares himself the winner at any time tomorrow then he automatically wins. And he's gonna do it.

This is what the post looked like on Twitter at the time of writing:

Twitter screenshot

(Source: Twitter screenshot taken on Tue Nov 3 14:21:57 2020 UTC)

While it is probably clear to the talk show host's audience that this comment was meant as satire to wind up liberals, some people who saw the post did not understand that context. There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that says a candidate or incumbent president can simply declare themself the winner at any time during Election Day. The final results of the election may not be known for days or even weeks after the election.

The Official Guide to Government Information and Services offers this guide on the Presidential Election Process

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  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Southeastern Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


 

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