e wanted to know: What’s the worst thing that could happen to our country during the presidential election? President Trump has broken countless norms and ignored countless laws during his time in office, and while my colleagues and I at the Transition Integrity Project didn’t want to lie awake at night contemplating the ways the American experiment could fail, we realized that identifying the most serious risks to our democracy might be the best way to avert a November disaster. So we built a series of war games, sought out some of the most accomplished Republicans, Democrats, civil servants, media experts, pollsters and strategists around, and asked them to imagine what they’d do in a range of election and transition scenarios.

A landslide for Joe Biden resulted in a relatively orderly transfer of power. Every other scenario we looked at involved street-level violence and political crisis.

Picture this:

On the morning of Election Day, false stories appear online claiming that Biden has been hospitalized with a life-threatening heart attack and the election has been delayed. Every mainstream news organization reports that the rumors are unfounded, but many Biden supporters, confused by the bogus claims, stay home.