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3. Share full transition resources with both candidates if ascertainment is delayed

The PTA makes clear that during the period between Election Day and ascertainment, both candidates continue to receive support at pre-election levels. This change would simply provide that if ascertainment is delayed, for example by one week, both candidates for president would receive the full resources as if they are each the apparent successful candidate.

The Case For

Supporters argue that rather than wrestle with the difficult complications of identifying the right criteria or the right people to make such a charged political decision, it would be wiser simply to ensure that whoever is ultimately found to have won the election would not be hampered by the sort of delays that occurred in 2000 and 2020. Proponents argue that the actual expense involved in providing both candidates with the resources for a matter of days or weeks is trivial compared to the national interest in having the eventual new president prepared to govern effectively on the first day.

The Case Against

Opponents argue that this arrangement would prolong the uncertainty of not having a presumed winner. In fact, they argue it may decrease the pressure on the GSA Administrator to make an ascertainment decision. It could also discourage the apparently unsuccessful candidate from conceding. Opponents also argue that it would create added, and ultimately unnecessary, expense and effort.