US President Donald Trump is for the first time floating a “delay” to November’s presidential election, alleging that “increased mail-in voting will result in fraud”.
“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?” he tweeted on Thursday morning.
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???
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 30, 2020
The dates of federal elections are set by Congress, and the Constitution makes no provisions for a delay to the January 20, 2021 presidential inauguration.
Ever since the novel coronavirus pandemic has reached the US, many have pushed for the expanded use of postal ballots as opposed to in-person voting to ensure social distancing, a critical measure adopted around the world to halt the outbreak.
President Trump’s Republican party has been resisting these efforts – with its legislators and court appointees at both state and federal levels working against the expansion of absentee balloting.
Republicans have argued that postal voting could increase risks of voter fraud, and have accused Democrats of using the pandemic as a pretext to further election reforms.
Critics have called exaggerated Republican fears that postal voting could cause electoral fraud, insisting that such malpractices are exceedingly rare in the US.
Tom Perez, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, has called Republican efforts “voter suppression on steroids.”
President Trump, who has openly voiced the Republican opposition, has said that should plans to expand postal voting succeed, “you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.”