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How to Steal A Presidential Election

with Matthew Seligman

Even in the fast and loose world of the Trump White House, the idea that a couple thousand disorganized protestors storming the U.S. Capitol might actually prevent a presidential succession was farfetched. Yet perfectly legal ways of overturning election results actually do exist, and they would allow a political party to install its own candidate in place of the true winner.

Lawrence Lessig and Matthew Seligman work through every option available for subverting a presumptively legitimate result—from vice-presidential intervention to election decertification and beyond. While many strategies would never pass constitutional muster, Lessig and Seligman explain how some might. They expose correctable weaknesses in the system, including one that could be corrected only by the Supreme Court.

Any strategy aimed at hacking a presidential election is a threat to democracy. This book is a clarion call to shore up the insecure system for electing the president before American democracy is forever compromised.


Preface ix

A Coup in Search of a Legal Theory 1

The Scenario 8 VP Superpowers 15

“Faithless” Electors 33

Rogue Governors 47

The “Force Majeure” Game 88

Who’s the Judge? 102

The Nuclear Option: Back to the Founding 115 The Most Dangerous Strategy 126

Fixing the Flaws in Presidential Democracy 131

The Soul of Democracy 142

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