Trump Floats November Election Delay, But It Won’t Happen

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President Donald Trump gives a thumbs-up as he walks from Marine One as he returns to the White House from Texas, Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is for the first time publicly floating a “delay” to the Nov. 3 presidential election, as he makes unsubstantiated allegations that increased mail-in voting will result in fraud.

The date of the presidential election — the Tuesday after the first Monday in November in every fourth year — is enshrined in federal law and would require an act of Congress to change, including agreement from the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives. The Constitution makes no provisions for a delay in the end of Trump’s term — noon on Jan. 20, 2021.

Still, the mere suggestion of the delay was extraordinary in a nation that has held itself up as a beacon to the world for its history of peaceful transfer of power, including during the Civil War, the Great Depression and World War II.

Trump tweeted Thursday: “With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”

Trump’s tweet came on a day of bad economic news and amid a dark political patch for his reelection effort, both driven in part by a nationwide resurgence in coronavirus cases.

The government reported Thursday just minutes before Trump’s tweet that U.S. economy shrank at a dizzying 32.9% annual rate in the April-June quarter, by far the worst quarterly plunge ever, as the coronavirus outbreak shut down businesses, threw tens of millions out of work and sent unemployment surging to 14.7%.

And Trump trails in the polls, nationally and across battleground states, and some surveys even suggest traditionally Republican-leaning states could be in play. While Trump has come back before after trailing consistently in the polls throughout 2016, it’s raised the possibility that he could face a landslide loss if he doesn’t turn things around.

There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud through mail-in voting, even in states with all-mail votes. Five states already rely exclusively on mail-in ballots, and they say they have necessary safeguards in place to ensure that a hostile foreign actor doesn’t disrupt the vote. Election security experts say that all forms of voter fraud are rare, including absentee balloting.

One Republican governor, Chris Sununu of New Hampshire, quickly shot down Trump’s idea: “Make no mistake: the election will happen in New Hampshire on November 3rd. End of story. Our voting system in NH is secure, safe, and reliable. We have done it right 100% of the time for 100 years – this year will be no different.”

Hogan Gidley, the Trump campaign’s national press secretary, pointed to the delays in counting votes in New York’s primary. “The President is just raising a question about the chaos Democrats have created with their insistence on all mail-in voting. They are using coronavirus as their means to try to institute universal mail-in voting, which means sending every registered voter a ballot whether they asked for one or not. ”

Trump has increasingly sought to cast doubt on November’s election and the expected surge in mail-in and absentee voting as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. And Trump has called remote voting options the “biggest risk” to his reelection. His campaign and the Republican Party have sued to combat the practice, which was once a significant advantage for the GOP.

Trump refused in an interview just weeks ago with Fox News to commit to accept the results of the upcoming White House election, recalling a similar threat he made weeks before the 2016 vote.

“I have to see. Look … I have to see,” Trump told moderator Chris Wallace during a wide-ranging interview on “Fox News Sunday.” “No, I’m not going to just say ‘yes.’ I’m not going to say ‘no,’ and I didn’t last time, either.”

Trump and many members of his administration have previously availed themselves of absentee voting, but Trump has sought to differentiate that from a growing push by states to mail all registered voters either ballots or absentee request forms.

Voters and public health officials have expressed concerns about the potential dangers for spreading the virus during in-person voting, and states have reported difficulty filling poll worker positions given the pandemic.

Trump’s stated concern for poll safety defies his otherwise aggressive push to “reopen” the nation from partial shutdowns meant to slow the spread of the virus, even as rising confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths have pushed the U.S. to the top of the list for the world outbreak.

“He has absolutely no power to do this,” said Wendy Weiser, director of the democracy program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU’s Law School. “And Congress is not going to vote to change the statute that has governed for decades and decades when and how we hold elections. This is just sowing chaos.”

Last month, Trump told supporters in Arizona that “This will be, in my opinion, the most corrupt election in the history of our country.”

There appears to be next-to-no appetite in the Capitol for a change to the Nov. 3 election. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi replied to Trump’s tweet by tweeting a quote from the Constitution assigning Congress the power to set the timing of elections.

Democrats have pushed to include billions of dollars in the next coronavirus relief bill to fund election security and accessibility improvements for this year’s vote, but Trump and Republicans have so far resisted those efforts.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., did not respond to questions about Trump’s tweet on the way to the Senate floor Thursday morning.

Just months ago, in April, Trump had ruled out the prospect of trying to change the election. “I never even thought of changing the date of the election,” he said. “Why would I do that? November 3rd. It’s a good number. No, I look forward to that election.”

“I’m not thinking about it at all,” he added. “Not at all.”

And in March, Trump opposed moves by several states to delay their presidential primaries because of the coronavirus.

Attorney General William Barr, speaking to a House committee earlier this week, claimed there was “a high risk” that mail-in voting would lead to “massive” fraud. He said he had no “reason to think” the upcoming election would be rigged. But he said he believed “if you have wholesale mail-in voting, it substantially increases the risk of fraud.”

Rep. Cedric Richmond, D.-La., asked Barr at the hearing whether a sitting U.S. president could move the election date. Barr responded: “Actually, I haven’t looked into that question under the Constitution.”

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21 COMMENTS

  1. The march towards fascism continues.
    The parallels with Putin’s Puppett ancestral home are fascinating.
    The modern Amalek also won the 1932 election fair and square,and then proceeded to consolidate his power by postponing all the following elections. We all know how that ended for the Jews and the world.
    Putin’s ROI (Return on Investment) in the useful orange idiot is much greater than any stock market gains under the failed leadership of the
    steak in the mail salesman, the purveyor of bottled water, the Fuhrer of scam university, and the ‘businessman’ who declared bankruptcy multiple times. The only thing he has learned from all his failed ventures, is that you need not take responsibility for any of your failures. The 150,000 dead are not his fault.
    Four more years and we will all be dead (or wish we were).

    • Seek help for your TDS before you hurt yourself, and keep voting for those wonderful Democrats who want to ban religious freedom and who support the looting rioting murdering thugs.

    • Nebach from a so called foolish chassidishe yid, wake up your liberal dems are evil and want and have destroyed ever part of this county. You’re like Jews who supported Stalin. Nebach

    • Very Well Said. A gut shabbos to you, and relax, nachamu nachamu Ami. The RS”O sent us Covid for a reason. To open our eyes, as it is said in mishlei and many other places, Geivah is punished with a mackka or many mackkas.

  2. Election Day should not be delayed because 1) Trump will IY”H win big time, 2) the RIOTS will stop then ‘cuz they won’t gain anything anymore, 3) the CHINA virus will disappear, 4) the Socialists/DemocRATS will move outta America.
    be sure to VOTE FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP FOR FOUR MORE YEARS

  3. BY The Way: every living President except Carter (who didn’t attend due to health reasons but sent heartfelt condolences) deemed it appropriate to attend and pay respects to a civil rights icon…in a time of unprecedented racial division in this country, it is simply inexcusable for a sitting President to not have at least gone through the motions of unity and reconciliation…we all know Trump is a racist but couldn’t he at least pretend?….i guess he determined not to offend his white trash bigoted base by attending the funeral of a black man, no matter his contributions to the country

    • Seek help for your TDS before you hurt yourself, and talking about unity from someone who wishes death uponpeopel you disagree with is a bit rich.

    • Now Phineas let’s set the record straight. There is no racial division. Baloney and nonsense . There is terror period . We have bored soles due to extended lockdowns by dems who decided to smash steal loot rob , burn , Mug and kill . These are anarchists ruling the street . We should have shot them dead when they had the nerve to smash the first window in midtown .

      Why are we so stupid enough of this garbage . We the people need national guards to restore order and protect us .

  4. President Trump continues to troll the democrats and their fake news media propagandists, if you can protest in person you can vote in person.

  5. Trump questions the integrity of the NEXT election when he accepts the integrity of the 2016 vote that we know was infected by Putin’s Russia! He tells people not to vote due to the epidemic, but he wants to open the schools! He jas no shame or brains.

    • Schools are essential. I have kids and I can tell you this is a must and will have devastating ramifications. This aside for physical danger they threat with no structure and the danger to society as a whole when parents can’t work or function .

      What makes elections essential? Push it off 3 months . Big deal .

      And you really have not addressed the issue . How do you make polling stations safe ?
      You disinfect after every voter ? Lines are usually packed , how do you safely social distance ? Who will want To volunteer for this ? How will they get staff ? ( most are over 70 too )

      How do we make a safe elections ? Why don’t you care ?

      • “What makes elections essential?”

        Hitler and Mussolini said the same thing, and the rest is history.

        “How do we make a safe elections ”

        Voting by mail, of course. Totally secure. When Harry Winston wanted to donate the Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian, he mailed it. Trump himself votes by mail and voting by mail has been used by members of the US millitary since the American Civil War.

        • If you push it off for 3 months you are not hitler. Your hyper answer don’t add any intellect.
          By the way hitler initial rise to fame was via elections . It’s not elections vs authoritianism that was the issue

          I don’t believe the country is ready nor prepared to do full elections by mail . There is a reason we never did that in the past . And if I can get my old tenant ballot in the mail ( true story ) I don’t see how’s its integrity is intact .

          Please act mature and stick to one name . Thanks

        • Really? Because if you actually read the Constitution, you won’t find it. All you’ll find is this:

          The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.

          It wouldn’t hurt you to look up some actual facts before you comment, you know.

  6. No question that the Dems know that basement old demented Joe cannot win.
    So they’re going all out fraud with the mail-ins. If a delay is necessary , then let’s do it.
    Dems breaking rules and laws, illegal votes, no ID, no Electoral College , etc..
    Fight back and persevere.
    It’s time for GOP cowards to step up and take the war to Dems.

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