What if 2020 was just a rehearsal?

But even as he and other elections experts warn of a three-alarm fire, he’s troubled that Democrats in Washington seem to lack the same sense of urgency and focus.

“I think this should be the number-one priority, and I thought that Democrats wasted months on the For the People Act,” he says. “The Democrats’ answer … is ‘Well, the Democrats just have to win elections.’ There needs to be a plan B to that.”

If the same state and local election officials are in place in 2024 as in 2020 — many of them Republican — Hasen is confident they would be able to stand up to Trump’s pressure to disregard the vote count and declare him the winner. But Hasen isn’t confident they will be in place. Many election officials are fleeing and, he says, are “being replaced by people who do not have allegiance to the integrity of the process.” (We got a taste of that this week, when Texas announced an “audit” of the 2020 election results in four counties some eight-and-a-half hours after Trump publicly called for one despite no serious evidence of problems.)

Or consider how things might’ve played out in January if Congress’s makeup had been different. “What would have happened if the election was exactly the same, except Kevin McCarthy was Speaker of the House?” Hasen asks. “I don’t know that we’d have a President Biden right now.”