US | Scenarios for a political crisis around elections

Complimentary access to a Strategic assessment from our Security Intelligence & Analysis Service, designed for corporate security decision makers.

A dispute over the results of a presidential election in the US on 3 November has the potential to escalate into a broader political and constitutional crisis. A key issue following the vote will probably be the counting of mail-in ballots, and if and how they sway the preliminary results in key swing states. This looks highly likely to be the subject of legal disputes. And a crisis would probably emerge if either candidate refuses to accept any court rulings on the result after a deadline for the resolution of disputes on 8 December. 

Our SIAS team (Security Intelligence & Analysis Service) has curated a feature infographic that clearly illustrates how such a crisis after the election may evolve. We have not designed it as a forecast, but rather a way for clients to monitor if and how disputes related to the election are de-escalating, or escalating into a wider political or constitutional standoff. The complete scenario that we outline on the timeline is an outlier – that is, low probability but high impact – and several variables would need to align for it to come about.

This assessment was sent to clients of Dragonfly Intelligence’s Security Intelligence & Analysis Service (SIAS) on 29 September 2020.

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