GZERO VIDEO: What could go wrong in the US election?

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NEW YORK (GZERO MEDIA) - A clear win for US President Donald Trump or presidential nominee Joe Biden would be much better than a close election, says election law expert Rick Hasen.

Speaking with American foreign policy expert Ian Bremmer, Mr Hasen says that both Democrats and Republicans see the elections as an existential one about the future of the US, and thus a close fight would be litigated as much as possible.

Mr Hasen is Chancellor's Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of California, and a CNN Election Law Analyst.

"What we really need to see is a victory that is outside the margin of litigation, which means we don't come down to a very close vote in a swing state that's crucial for the electoral college or some kind of massive failure... something else that makes it impossible for someone to be able to vote in one of these key states," he tells GZERO Media.

According to the Financial Times, the two big US political parties have set aside tens of millions of dollars for legal costs in what has been the most litigated US election in modern history.

Legal wars have emerged over absentee or mail-in ballots with squabbles across states over what votes should be counted or discarded.

With the coronavirus pandemic raging on in the US, the use of absentee ballots has surged to new levels this year especially in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, three key Midwestern states that were part of Mr Trump's Electoral College coalition, says Mr Hasen.

While these states have little experience counting the flood of absentee ballots, they are also seeing an amount of litigation over these ballots making its second trip to the United States Supreme Court just out of Pennsylvania.

"...I think if it came down to Pennsylvania, for example, and we actually had to look under the hood and see how the election is actually being run, I don't think we'd be too happy with what we'd see."

This GZERO media video is being shown here as part of a media partnership agreement with The Straits Times.

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