U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday that he doesn’t want to delay the November election hours after raising the possibility on Twitter.
“Do I want to see a date change? No,” Trump said during a press conference at the White House. “I don’t want a delay. I want to have the election.” “But I don’t want to see a crooked election,” he added, doubling down his criticism of mail-in voting.
“I also don’t want to have to wait for three months and then find out that the ballots are all missing and the election doesn’t mean anything,” the president told reporters. “Mail-in ballots will lead to the greatest fraud.”
In a tweet on Thursday morning, Trump claimed — without providing any proof or evidence — that 2020, with mail-in voting, will be “the most inaccurate & fraudulent election in history.” “It will be a great embarrassment to the USA,” he wrote. “Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”
The tweet immediately ignited a political firestorm and has drawn bipartisan pushback from Capitol Hill, as legal analysts agreed that Trump has no authority to delay the presidential election as the U.S. Constitution gives Congress the power to set the date.
“The Congress may determine the Time of choosing the Electors, and the Day of which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States,” reads a section of the country’s Constitution.
Since 1845, the U.S. Congress has required the appointment of presidential electors to take place on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, which falls on November 3 this year.
U.S. Congresswoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming, also the House Republican Conference chair, tweeted that the resistance to Trump’s suggestion among Republicans is “overwhelming.” “We must take all necessary steps to prevent election fraud,” Cheney said. “But we will not be delaying the election.”
Most U.S. states are expanding access to mail-in voting in order to allow voters to cast their ballots safely in the November election in light of the coronavirus pandemic that has led to nearly 4.5 million infections and more than 152,000 deaths as of Thursday night. -Xinhua