Donald Trump wants to delay United States presidential elections

Friday, 31 Jul, 2020

Rep. John Katko and his Democratic opponent, Dana Balter, on Thursday rejected President Donald Trump's suggestion that the November 3 election should be delayed because of the risk of voter fraud.

Mr Trump could be setting the stage for a legal challenge to mail-in ballots after the election, even though there has been no evidence to suggest it would lead to fraud and the president and senior members of his administration have voted by mail in the past.

Trump tweeted on Thursday: "With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history".

The president added: "It will be a great embarrassment to the USA".

The date of the presidential election - the Tuesday after the first Monday in November in every fourth year - is enshrined in federal law. Top Republicans in Congress also quickly rebuffed the idea: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the election date is set in stone, while House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy said the election "should go forward" as planned.

Trump's 2020 rival, Joe Biden, predicted back in April that Trump "is gonna try to kick back the election somehow, come up with some rationale why it can't be held".

The remarks were made in a tweet where he railed against "universal mail-in voting". We are obliged to note - not being critical here, just stating a fact - that this is the kind of claim the president often makes, which helps him dominate the news and then nothing ever comes of it.

"A sitting president is peddling lies and suggesting delaying the election to keep himself in power", Democratic Representative Dan Kildee wrote on Twitter.

Several Michigan Democrats pushed back against Trump's claims on Twitter Thursday.

Our view? We do not believe the 2020 elections ought to be delayed - nor do we believe there is a snowball's chance in hell they will be delayed - although we believe Trump is not necessarily out-of-bounds in calling attention to the broader issue of voter integrity. And that number could rise as a growing number of states are expected to turn to mail-in ballots instead of in-person voting because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Trump has already suggested that he won't immediately accept the results of the election if he were to lose in November.

Presidential historian Michael Beschloss said such a move would "violate American law". For the August 4 primary, more than 300,000 voters have requested and received mail ballots.

Kaine continued to push Pompeo for an answer "on the record" about whether Trump could delay the November 3 election.

Others have pointed to numerous potential problems with mail-in voting based on the results of past elections, from votes being "lost by mail" to ballots being rejected for arriving late by no fault of the voter.

In the states, Republican leaders said officials are doing all they can to ensure voting systems are secure and reliable.

Democrats have also raised concern, given the likelihood of increased mail voting, over recent developments at the U.S. Postal Service. We held legislative elections - hotly-contested legislative elections - over that same period of time.

"No, I'm not going to just say 'yes.' I'm not going to say 'no, ' and I didn't last time, either", Trump said.

"I never even thought of changing the date of the election", he said.