RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN/AP) – President Donald Trump on Thursday floated the idea of delaying the November election because mail-in voting would make it “the most inaccurate [and] fraudulent election in history.”
The president asked in a tweet if the country should “Delay the Election until people can property, securely and safely vote???”
Trump has previously railed against mail-in voting, calling it the “biggest risk” to his reelection.
“My biggest risk is that we don’t win lawsuits,” Trump said in an interview with Politico in June. “We have many lawsuits going all over. And if we don’t win those lawsuits, I think — I think it puts the election at risk.”
Health officials have said voting by mail can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. But Trump has made clear he believes widespread mail-in voting would benefit Democrats. He has alleged — without citing evidence — that mail voting will lead to massive fraud, and the Republican National Committee has budgeted $20 million to fight Democratic lawsuits in at least 18 states aimed at expand it.
To some degree, Trump’s effort appears to be pushing against the tide. Many states, including some with GOP leaders, are moving ahead with plans that ease access to mail-in ballots. Wisconsin, a state that swung to Trump in 2016, decided this week to send absentee ballot requests to nearly all voters before November’s elections, a step already taken by Michigan, another swing state.
Primary elections have seen a surge in mail-in voting that suggests voters are comfortable casting ballots remotely. Many states already have easy access — requiring no excuses.
The dates of federal elections are set by Congress, and the Constitution makes no provisions for a delay to the Jan. 20, 2021 presidential inauguration.
According to the National Constitution Center, delaying the election would be an arduous process.
There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud through mail-in voting, even in states with all-mail votes.
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