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Has an election ever been held during martial law?

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robertpaulsen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-01-04 05:48 PM
Original message
Has an election ever been held during martial law?
I started thinking about this after reading Ray McGovern's excellent article Code Red (States). He doesn't believe in LIHOP or MIHOP but wouldn't put it past the Bush administration to use the threat of a terror attack as an excuse to stop the election.

snip-

Bush administration leaders may even look on the prospect of a terrorist event in the United States in the coming months as a possible opportunity as well as a risk. I do not suggest they would be perverse enough to allow one to happen, orstill lessto orchestrate one. But there is ample reason to believe that they would take full political advantage of a terrorist attackor even just the threat of one. Ashcrofts remarks last week might be regarded as the opening salvo in a campaign to condition the country for this.

No less a figure than Gen. Tommy Franks, who led the war on Iraq, went so far as to predict publicly last November that if terrorists attacked the United States with weapons of mass destruction, the Constitution would probably be discarded in favor of a military form of government.

The key question for the next five months, then, becomes how far the administration will go. An elevated threat level justifying martial law and postponement of the election? No doubt such suggestions will seem too alarmist to those trusting that there is a moral line, somewhere, that the president and his senior advisers would not cross. I regret very much to note that their behavior over the past three years leaves me doubtful that there is such a line. If my doubts are justified, the sooner we all come to grips with this parlous situation the better.

Meanwhile, dont be taken in by credible intelligence.

more...

http://www.tompaine.com/articles/code_red_states.php

So, has there ever been an election held during martial law? In this country, I don't think so. If any Civil War buffs know different, feel free to correct me. I don't think Spain declared martial law after their terror attacks, so why should Bush? Not that Bush ever lets logic get in the way of power.
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freetobegay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-01-04 05:57 PM
Response to Original message
1. Put it this way no election has ever been cancelled.
Not even during WWII. that in itself speaks volumes!
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-01-04 06:05 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. The 1864 election wasn't cancelled
And we were in a spot more trouble in this country than anything that's happened since.

Will the Bushistas try to suspend elections? I wouldn't put it past them. Will they succeed? Not if I can help it. And not if you can help it.
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Media_Lies_Daily Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-01-04 06:22 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. In 1864, the Confederacy was destroyed in all but the final surrender...
...so, we weren't even close to being in trouble back then. It was already over.
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DivinBreuvage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-01-04 10:58 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Not true at ALL!
By August of 1864 the Confederacy was closer to winning the war than it had ever been. Why? Because Sherman couldn't get into Atlanta; because Grant, after having racked up enormous casualties, had nothing to show for it but a stalemate at Petersburg; and because Confederate troops were raiding up the Shenandoah Valley clear to the outskirts of Washington and no one was able to stop them. Northern morale was at its lowest ebb and war-weariness at its peak; many Republicans considered Lincoln a lost cause and wanted to dump him for a candidate who wasn't a sure loser; Lincoln himself fully expected to get "badly beaten" and famously wrote a secret note for his cabinet to sign, in effect pledging them to do everything in their power to bring the war to a successful conclusion before March 1865, at which time the Democratic victor would take office and be compelled to grant independence to the Confederacy.

All the Confederacy had to do was hold on for one more month to see Lincoln made a lame duck and the northern war movement repudiated, with corresponding effects on Northern and Southern morale and will to fight. But the Confederate president replaced his western general with a head-on fighter who wrecked his army with frontal assaults and had to abandon Atlanta because he no longer had the strength to prevent Sherman from getting astride his supply lines; and in the east Grant sent Sheridan to the Shenandoah, and Sheridan smashed the Confederates, drove them from the valley, and then burned everything he could get his hands on so it could never be used as an invasion route again.

These two victories coming one month before elections ended up producing a huge electoral success for Lincoln and the Northern war party; but Lincoln couldn't foresee that, of course, and even in the blackest gloom of certain defeat he never dreamed of cancelling the election.

Needless to say, Bush is no Lincoln.
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Yupster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-01-04 11:37 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. Disagree Media-Lies
It's easy to say in hindsight that all was lost for the Confederacy, but the spring of 1864 was one of the south's brightest moments. There were victories in Tennessee, Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana without a loss anywhere. An entire Yankee garrison was surrounded and surrendered in North Carolina.

Lee's Army was strong in Virginia, and Joe Johnston's Army of Tennessee was in its best shape ever.

The way to victory was clear.

Just keep up an active defense until the election, and the Democrats will kick Lincoln out of office and make peace. Lincoln even told his cabinet that it was likely he would lose his reelection bid.

Then the federal summer campaigns started, and Lee was backed against Richmond, though his army fought Grant with great success. The ANV hit Grant so hard at the Wilderness (2x1 losses) that any other northern general would have retreated to refit. It's to Grant's credit that he kept going.

Johnston though had a much more favorable situation than Lee, but he was unable to ever bring his army to battle with advantage and let Sherman traverse the mountains and rivers of Tennessee with little loss. At that point Atlanta was doomed.

Even after Atlanta fell though, the Confederacy was not finished. Soon Hood had maneuvered Sherman out of Atlanta in a masterful campaign which ended in an incredible blunder at Franklin. President Davis was soon visiting the burned city of Atlanta which was back in Confederate hands demonstrating the problem with every invasion. It's easy to conquer land, but hard to hold it.

I think the end of the war was two things. Sherman's march to the sea where he destroyed the civilian means of production and survival, and Sheridan's burning of the Shenandoah Valley. Those two acts took away the south's ability to sustain armies in the field long-term, and severely hurt the civilian morale of a people who had already had 1/4 of their adult male population killed and another 1/4 wounded.

Even then, had Lee escaped to Danville, the war could have continued another year, and maybe turned itself into a guerrilla war which could have taken many years to end. Lee gets credit for not allowing that, and Grant gets credit for beating Lee to Jetersville, although the wrong train at Amelia CH had a lot to do with that too.

Thanks to anyone still reading at this point. Got a bit longer than I had intended.
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Lars39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-01-04 06:01 PM
Response to Original message
2. IIRC, FL was under martial law in the 2000 elections.
If you can call that an election. :shrug:
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Parche Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-01-04 06:07 PM
Response to Original message
4. Martial Law
I guarantee you, if Bushy decides to declare Martial Law
during that time and tries to stop the Election, then there WILL
be a Civil War, that will make our first one look like a cake walk.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-01-04 06:08 PM
Response to Original message
5. The only election
where the will of the voting public was ignored, and large segments of the legally registered voters were disenfranchised, and a federal court ruled outside of the law, was -- of course -- in 2000.
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Yupster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-01-04 11:50 PM
Response to Reply #5
13. "The only election"??
Have you read much on the election of 1876?

How about the election of 1868. The voters of South Carolina voted for Ulysses Grant for President three years after the Civil War ended. You don't think maybe there was a bit of disenfranchising going on there? Or were the veterans of the Army of Northern Virginia, which was about every white adult male in the state just that forgiving?

Or what about the elections in S Carolina after 1880 where African-Americans just stopped voting pretty much entirely. You don't think there was a bit of disenfranchising going on there?

Why does everyone think they're living in the best or the worst times.

Most things have happened before, and they've happened either better or worse than this time.
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robertpaulsen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-02-04 03:52 PM
Response to Reply #13
19. Or 1960. Or 2002.
Oliver Stone implies that Kennedy stole the election with the help of Mayor Daley in the movie Nixon. Not sure if I believe that, but I definitely believe the Rethugs Diebolded their way to victory in the 2002 Congressional elections.
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-02-04 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. Daley stole Chicago, Repubs stole downstate.
LBJ stole big time in Texas. My understanding (and please correct if wrong) is that the stealing in 60 was pretty much a wash.

Illinois always have had some interesting vote counts.
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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-02-04 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Even if Nixon had won Illinois
Kennedy would still have won the presidency.
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amber dog democrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-01-04 06:13 PM
Response to Original message
6. During the American Civil War
I believe Lincoln even suspended Habeus Corpus as well, and Ex Parte Milligan which led to the Posse Commutatus rulings had to do with martial law in the Union states.

I could be off here, its been a while since I studied constitutional law.
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robertpaulsen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-01-04 06:18 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. I think you're right.
Of course, I'm going by my memory of Scorsese's Gangs of New York. But I'm pretty sure this happened during 1863. By the time the election rolled around in 1864, I don't think we were in a state of martial law.
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amber dog democrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-01-04 06:35 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. The Draft Riots....
That was some serious stuff. Yes there were shoot to kill orders at specific times and places.. but I don't think complete martial was ever imposed.
During the Galveston flood, martial law was imposed on looters in 1900 and a few were exectued but they were warned.

There ware challenges to the use of the Army for local law enforcement that went to the Supreme Court... but I believe you were correct. Even during a Civil War situation, the nation was not under complete martial law.
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Yupster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-01-04 11:53 PM
Response to Reply #7
14. Draft riots were in early July 1863
Just a few days after Gettysburg.

The riots were much more racially aimed than the movie shows. Almost all the dead were African-Americans.

The draft started July 1, and many people blamed the African-Americans for the draft and the war.

An interesting what if is what if the Confederates won the battle of Gettysburg and then the draft riots hit with Lee's Army traversing around Pennsylvania threatening Philadelphia. Things may have spun out of control.
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Yupster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-01-04 11:44 PM
Response to Reply #6
12. Lincoln did lots of stuff
Members of the Maryland legislature were arrested while trying to get to their job to talk debate secession. The former governor of Ohio was kicked out of the country for being against the war. The movie "Man Without a Country" is about him. Lincoln called forth the militia though the Constitution reserves that right entirely to congress. Lincoln freed slaves with his pen though the right to keep slaves was a Constitutionally guaranteed right.

People always act like right now is the worst everything ever. As an old history teacher it makes me wonder.
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Beatrix Donating Member (154 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-02-04 12:03 AM
Response to Original message
15. Elections can be at different times
Edited on Wed Jun-02-04 01:01 AM by Beatrix
For example, congress years ago passed an act saying that Alaska (due to poor weather) could hold its election in October rather than November if it so chose. It did not choose to do so, however.

People act like this is not a power congress has, but according to the constitution:

"The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Place of Chusing Senators."

So it seems that according to the constitution congress would be within its rights to define a time, place, and manner of holding elections. (as would the states) The courts might have to confirm it though.

What it does NOT say is that elections can never be held, however.

And of course this is a power granted to congress NOT bush.

I would say though that (realistically) if there was legit reason to declare martial law (i.e. the Russians soldiers are on your street going from house to house) people would be FAR more concerned with the matter at hand rather than voting.
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SilasSoule Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-02-04 01:18 AM
Response to Original message
16. Wasn't the U.S in a war for survival and fighting off a British Invasion
Edited on Wed Jun-02-04 01:20 AM by SilasSoule
For the 1814 presidential elections?
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Yupster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-02-04 01:24 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. Elections were in 1812 and 1816
remember the curse of the zero year?

00, 04,08,12,16, 00.
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robertpaulsen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-02-04 03:34 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. That would mean there was an election during the War of 1812.
I believe Washington D.C. was burned to the ground during this time. So, if that's correct, then Bush has no excuse for postponing the election, even if Washington was nuked.

Again, not that that won't stop Bush from trying.
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