Register to read | Financial Times

A contested result and the risk of civil unrest would pose a dilemma for Congress, courts and the military

Donald Trump has repeatedly refused to commit to accepting the election outcome © Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty

As Americans prepare to cast their vote in the US election, a nightmare scenario looms large: what if Donald Trump were to lose the presidency but refuse to accept defeat?

Mr Trump has repeatedly refused to commit to accepting the election outcome, predicted widespread fraud, and claimed that the results from postal voting — which is expected to surge because of the coronavirus pandemic — might not be known “for months or for years”.