0 Shares 56 Views

Here's what we know about Trump suggesting the idea of delaying the November election

Jul 31, 2020
0 57

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Thursday raised the idea of delaying the November election because of issues stemming from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

The suggestion came from a tweet where he said universal mail-in voting would cause the most “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 tweeted.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="More: Trump floats delaying election over mail-in voting, legal experts say that power rests with Congress” data-reactid=”14″>More: Trump floats delaying election over mail-in voting, legal experts say that power rests with Congress

What followed was a day of reactions from legal experts, political allies and rivals, and a press conference where he appeared to take back some of his earlier statements.

Here is what you need to know about Trump’s tweet, the reaction and some of the legal conversations that took place as the day unfolded. 

Trump later claims tweet was to start discussion

Trump tweeted later Thursday, writing, “Glad I was able to get the very dishonest LameStream Media to finally start talking about the RISKS to our Democracy from dangerous Universal Mail-In-Voting (not Absentee Voting, which I totally support!).”

“Do I want to see a date change? No,” Trump said during the press conference Thursday, “but I don’t want to see a crooked election.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="‘I don’t want a delay’: Trump rows back on delaying election but not on mail-in ballots” data-reactid=”21″>‘I don’t want a delay’: Trump rows back on delaying election but not on mail-in ballots

Sen John Cornyn, R-Texas, told reporters on Capitol Hill earlier Thursday that Trump’s election-delay tweet was a joke so “all you guys in the press, your heads will explode and you’ll write about it.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Some users on twitter have pointed out that the suggestion may have been a distraction from&nbsp;two grim milestones:&nbsp;the sharpest economic contraction in modern American history and more than 150,000 deaths caused by the coronavirus.” data-reactid=”23″>Some users on twitter have pointed out that the suggestion may have been a distraction from two grim milestones: the sharpest economic contraction in modern American history and more than 150,000 deaths caused by the coronavirus.

Pete Buttigieg, the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor, and a Democratic presidential candidate, tweeted, “The USA held an election during the Civil War, and we will hold one in 96 days. No distractions—let’s get to work.”

Just minutes before Trump’s morning tweet, news broke that stocks slumped on Wall Street after the U.S. posted a record economic contraction in the second quarter as the coronavirus pandemic battered the economy, leading to widespread business shutdowns. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="More: Dow slides 200 points after US posts record economic drop in second quarter” data-reactid=”27″>More: Dow slides 200 points after US posts record economic drop in second quarter

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Meadows: ‘Not optimistic’ on COVID-19 stimulus deal, as lawmakers debate unemployment boost” data-reactid=”28″>Meadows: ‘Not optimistic’ on COVID-19 stimulus deal, as lawmakers debate unemployment boost

The U.S. economy shrank at a 32.9% annual rate in the April-June period, its worst quarter in history by far. Also adding to pressure Thursday, another 1.4 million laid-off Americans applied for unemployment benefits, which will formally expire Friday.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Chris Lu, a former Obama administration cabinet secretary,&nbsp;tweeted," What Trump is suggesting is dangerous, but it’s also an intentional distraction."” data-reactid=”30″>Chris Lu, a former Obama administration cabinet secretary, tweeted,” What Trump is suggesting is dangerous, but it’s also an intentional distraction.”

MoveOn, a progressive public policy advocacy group, tweeted that “Trump’s outrageous suggestion that the election be postponed is just a distraction from today’s disastrous economic news. Don’t fall for it — and make a plan to vote!”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Former Vice President Joe Biden told Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., at a virtual fundraiser that Trump’s election-delay tweet was an attempt to distract from the funeral of the late Rep. John Lewis, saying Trump "doesn’t want to focus on what’s going on today with our buddy, and your close friend, Jim, who you just buried."” data-reactid=”32″>Former Vice President Joe Biden told Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., at a virtual fundraiser that Trump’s election-delay tweet was an attempt to distract from the funeral of the late Rep. John Lewis, saying Trump “doesn’t want to focus on what’s going on today with our buddy, and your close friend, Jim, who you just buried.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="More: Photos from capitol procession of Rep. John Lewis” data-reactid=”33″>More: Photos from capitol procession of Rep. John Lewis

Mail-in ballots vs. absentee ballots 

Trump and others in his administration have repeatedly railed against mail-in ballots specifically heading toward November, calling them unsafe and untrustworthy as COVID-19 forces many Americans to stay and vote from home. 

Trump and Republicans have sought to draw a distinction between absentee voting – offered to seniors, the military, disabled people and others who are unable to vote in person on Election Day – and universal mail-in voting, where ballots are mailed to all registered voters. Only a few states historically have utilized universal mail-in voting.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Opinion:Trump and Barr are making false claims about mail-in ballots to scare us out of voting” data-reactid=”39″>Opinion:Trump and Barr are making false claims about mail-in ballots to scare us out of voting

According to election experts, absentee and mail-in voting are fundamentally the same thing – voting from home.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="And while there were bumps in the presidential primary elections regarding voting-by-mail, there is little to no evidence that mail-in ballots in November would lead to widespread voter fraud.” data-reactid=”41″>And while there were bumps in the presidential primary elections regarding voting-by-mail, there is little to no evidence that mail-in ballots in November would lead to widespread voter fraud.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="More: ‘He’s scaring our own voters’: Republicans run into a Donald Trump problem as they push mail voting” data-reactid=”42″>More: ‘He’s scaring our own voters’: Republicans run into a Donald Trump problem as they push mail voting

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The president tweeted earlier in July,&nbsp;that mail-in ballots are "Just a formula for RIGGING an Election" but "Absentee Ballots are fine because you have to go through a precise process to get your voting privilege. Not so with Mail-Ins. Rigged Election!!!"” data-reactid=”43″>The president tweeted earlier in July, that mail-in ballots are “Just a formula for RIGGING an Election” but “Absentee Ballots are fine because you have to go through a precise process to get your voting privilege. Not so with Mail-Ins. Rigged Election!!!”

However, as David Becker, founder of the nonpartisan Center for Election Innovation and Research explained to USA TODAY, “There is essentially no difference between absentee and mail-in voting” and that for both absentee and mail-in ballots, there are several identifying features included to protect the integrity of the ballot, including matching a voter’s signature.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Becker also pointed out voter fraud is&nbsp;not be one of the biggest potential problems with mail ballots, but rather, the "confusion about requesting a ballot, filling out the ballot or envelope, or returning the ballot could all lead to some voters not having their votes counted."” data-reactid=”45″>Becker also pointed out voter fraud is not be one of the biggest potential problems with mail ballots, but rather, the “confusion about requesting a ballot, filling out the ballot or envelope, or returning the ballot could all lead to some voters not having their votes counted.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="More: ‘Do-or-die moment’ to boost vote-by-mail for November election. But the politics is getting harder” data-reactid=”46″>More: ‘Do-or-die moment’ to boost vote-by-mail for November election. But the politics is getting harder

As a response to the ongoing pandemic, states have loosened rules and restrictions on how citizens can receive postal voting ballots, with some proactively sending ballots to all registered voters due to the pandemic.

“About 1 in 4 voters voted by mail in 2016 including, more than 1 in 4 in Florida, where the president now votes,” Becker continued. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Trump has voted by mail several times, including &nbsp;in Florida’s March 17 presidential primary.” data-reactid=”49″>Trump has voted by mail several times, including  in Florida’s March 17 presidential primary.

Delaying election faces constitutional issues

The date of the presidential election is set by federal law, meaning Congress, not the president, has the power to change it, according to Edward Foley, a law professor from Ohio State University and an election law expert.

Delaying a presidential election would be unprecedented – the nation did not do so even during the Civil War and World War II.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="More: ‘We will not allow you’: Governors slam Trump for floating delay of presidential election” data-reactid=”53″>More: ‘We will not allow you’: Governors slam Trump for floating delay of presidential election

Even if the president and Congress wanted to delay the election, it would be very difficult legally. The Constitution requires congressional elections every two years. To hold congressional and presidential elections together, a delayed presidential election would still need to take place in 2020.

Regardless, the four-year term of a president, in this case Trump, ends at noon on Jan. 20, according to the 20th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Therefore, if the presidential election were somehow not held, Trump would not simply continue to hold office, according to Foley.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The president later tweeted, "Must know Election results on the night of the Election, not days, months, or even years later!"” data-reactid=”56″>The president later tweeted, “Must know Election results on the night of the Election, not days, months, or even years later!”

This is not a requirement for any election in the United States. 

He also reiterated this point several times during the press conference, saying the results may be delayed by “weeks and even months.”

GOP response 

Even some of the president’s most loyal supporters pushed back on the idea that the election would be moved. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="More: McConnell, other top Republicans say Election Day isn’t moving after Trump floated delay” data-reactid=”61″>More: McConnell, other top Republicans say Election Day isn’t moving after Trump floated delay

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, a Republican and Trump supporter, tweeted, “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.”

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, cited the Constitution, and said “we’re a country based on a rule of law. No one is going to change anything until we change the law.” 

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who is a vocal Trump supporter on Capitol Hill,  said the president’s call to delay the election is not “a particularly good idea.”

Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., dismissed Trump’s idea in an interview with WNKY television, saying, “Never in the history of the country, through wars, depressions and the Civil War, have we ever not had a federally scheduled election on time, and we’ll find a way to do that again this Nov. 3.” 

Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida, who both represent critical states in the 2020 election, dismissed the idea that the election could change. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="More: Trump to brief reporters after floating the idea of delaying the election” data-reactid=”68″>More: Trump to brief reporters after floating the idea of delaying the election

Rubio stated, “We’re going to have an election, it’s going to be legitimate, it’s going to be credible, it’s going to be the same as it’s always been,” 

Cruz  agreed, saying “I think election fraud is a serious problem, but, no, we should not delay the election.”

Democrats response

To the left of the aisle, Democrats expressed their stern disapproval with the suggestion.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., tweeted language from the U.S. Constitution in response: “The Congress may determine the Time of choosing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="More: Obama condemns voter suppression in John Lewis eulogy, as Trump attacks mail-in voting” data-reactid=”74″>More: Obama condemns voter suppression in John Lewis eulogy, as Trump attacks mail-in voting

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., who has been raised as a top contender to run as presumptive nominee Biden’s running mate, tweeted, “Donald Trump is terrified. He knows he’s going to lose to @joebiden.”

“We will see you at the ballot box on November 3rd, @realDonaldTrump,” she continued.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="‘Do not&nbsp;hold grudges’: Biden’s notes reveal several talking points about Kamala Harris” data-reactid=”78″>‘Do not hold grudges’: Biden’s notes reveal several talking points about Kamala Harris

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., expressed disbelief that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo – a Harvard educated lawyer –  refused to refute the idea that Trump could delay the election during a Senate hearing Thursday, noting it is clearly established that Trump does not have that power.

“I don’t think it’s that hard a question … that should lead to any equivocation by somebody who’s fourth in line of succession to be president of the United States,” Kaine said.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Former President George W. Bush at John Lewis’ funeral: ‘He will live forever in the hearts of Americans’” data-reactid=”81″>Former President George W. Bush at John Lewis’ funeral: ‘He will live forever in the hearts of Americans’

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Andrew Bates, Biden's&nbsp;director of rapid response, tweeted an article from April where&nbsp;Biden said Trump would try to delay the election.” data-reactid=”82″>Andrew Bates, Biden’s director of rapid response, tweeted an article from April where Biden said Trump would try to delay the election.

“Phone home,” he quote-tweeted in response to the Trump campaign then stating such a suggestion from Biden “fuels election conspiracy theory while the media keeps quiet.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Contributing:&nbsp;David Jackson, Joey Garrison, John Fritze, Nicholas Wu,&nbsp;Courtney Subramanian, Bart Jansen, USA TODAY” data-reactid=”84″>Contributing: David Jackson, Joey Garrison, John Fritze, Nicholas Wu, Courtney Subramanian, Bart Jansen, USA TODAY

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump walks back suggestion for delaying election – what we know” data-reactid=”85″>This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump walks back suggestion for delaying election – what we know

You may be interested

He was working security at a Key West bar. Police say he’s part of a murder plot
Entertainment
15 views
Entertainment
15 views

He was working security at a Key West bar. Police say he’s part of a murder plot

Webby - August 15, 2020

Key West police and U.S. Marshals arrested a man working security at a bar in the Southernmost City this week who is a suspect in a stalking…

U.S. Navy carrier conducted exercises in South China Sea on Aug. 14
Entertainment
15 views
Entertainment
15 views

U.S. Navy carrier conducted exercises in South China Sea on Aug. 14

Webby - August 15, 2020

U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan is seen during its visit to Hong KongMoreSHANGHAI (Reuters) - A U.S. Navy aircraft carrier conducted exercises in the contested…

More than 50 Confederate symbols moved, taken down in wake of George Floyd's death, study says
Entertainment
15 views
Entertainment
15 views

More than 50 Confederate symbols moved, taken down in wake of George Floyd's death, study says

Webby - August 14, 2020

Among some of the more prominent changes sparked by Floyd’s death is the speedy removal and renaming of landmarks and monuments representing the Confederacy. Such symbols have…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Most from this category