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2. Require the GSA Administrator to ascertain the apparent winner when the first of multiple specified events occur

Like the first proposal, the GSA Administrator would be required to either (a) ascertain the apparent winner immediately after the earliest of any one of several events occur or (b) explain the failure to do so. The specified criteria could include:

  • Concession by the losing candidate
  • State certification of a majority of electoral votes for one candidate
  • No pending litigation with the potential to change the results
  • One week has passed since the election

The Case For

Supporters argue that establishing this use of criteria effectively addresses both problems with the current ascertainment provisions. First, it provides the criteria that are now missing. Second, proponents argue that by making the decision less discretionary, it will reduce the political pressure the GSA Administrator could feel as a presidential appointee.

The Case Against

Like the first proposal, opponents argue that the provision that allows the GSA Administrator to fail to ascertain despite one or more of the criteria being met creates a significant loophole for a rogue, politically motivated presidential appointee to exploit.