President Trump floated the idea of delaying the 2020 elections, warning that universal mail-in voting will lead to widespread voter fraud.
In a tweet Thursday morning that is now pinned to his feed, Trump framed the suggestion as a question that the election should be delayed “until people can properly securely and safely vote?” arguing universal mail-in voting “will be the most inaccurate & fraudulent election in history.”
“With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history,” Trump tweeted. “It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely, and safely vote???”
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
Trump has railed for months against the expansion of mail-in voting as a majority of states begin to embracing this method as an alternative to in-person voting for the General Election. Several states have so far mailed all registered voters a ballot request applications to apply for an absentee ballot, while five states— Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, and Utah will automatically mail a ballot to every registered voter whether they asked for one or not.
This marks the first time that Trump has raised the suggestion to delay the November elections, despite rejecting this idea previously raised by his opponents and Democrats.
Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden warned a few months ago that Trump would seek to delay the election.
“Mark my words I think he is gonna try to kick back the election somehow, come up with some rationale why it can’t be held,” Biden said during a fundraiser in late April. “Imagine threatening not to fund the post office. Now, what in God’s name is that about? Other than trying to let the word out that he’s going to do all he can to make it very hard for people to vote. That’s the only way he thinks he can possibly win.”
Trump responded to Biden’s remarks during an April Coronavirus Task Force press briefing, calling it “made-up propaganda.”
“I never even thought of changing the date of the election. Why would I do that? November 3rd. It’s a good number. No, I look forward to that election and that was just made-up propaganda.”
Trump campaign spokesperson Hogan Gidley clarified the tweet, saying the President was just “raising a question about the chaos Democrats have created with their insistence on all mail-in voting” by using the pandemic as means to institute a system that would invite “chaos and severe delays in results.”
Election Day is set by federal to take place the first Tuesday in November. The president has no authority to delay a general election. The Constitution gives Congress the power to change the date.