If the states fail,
to the public.
States have traditionally taken a strong role during local or regional emergencies, sensibly enough. The addition fits our nation’s tradition.
This is a reasonable and needed safeguard, especially today.
Hackers knocking out an entire state's electronic voting couldn't have been anticipated in 1868. Nor were modern terrorists or nuclear weapons. The people's business still has to be done even if a catastrophe prevents any voting at all.
The public retains the power to hold a write-in election if their state’s government is also unable to perform its duties or to petition for a special election if it delays a special election for permanent replacement.
Amendment XXVIII, (proposed), Section 4:
"[I]f that office is also vacant a write-in election will take place.
"When writs do not issue promptly, a State may petition its legislature for an election."
The public must also take action when necessary.
This isn’t about hurricane warnings but replacing members of Congress when any crisis reduces their number below quorum and your state’s legislature and governor are also unable to perform their duties, or when either delays a special election.
Every valid right or power exists to enable the performance of a responsibility.
The people's power to call for an election limits any vulnerability to state control.
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution
nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights,
shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."
When an emergency reduces either House of Congress below quorum,
state governments can respond with temporary replacements
faster than special elections can be held.
Although the kind of emergency this answers may never happen, the section adds significant power to the states when the government would be weak and especially vulnerable to possible abuse.
This is an exception to the text's balance of state and United States powers
and must be given serious consideration.
What section 4 adds to states' powers
balances a potential reduction of state powers
although they don't alter any text regarding this balance.
It isn't necessary for an amendment to retain any particular balance of powers
but it's best to balance losses with gains.
And preserving the continuity of government takes precedence.