America

Trump tweets about delaying US election over unsubstantiated mail-in vote fears

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Issued on: 30/07/2020 – 17:53

US President Donald Trump questioned Thursday if the presidential election should be delayed, tweeting unsubstantiated fears that a rise in mail-in voting due to Covid-19 could lead to fraud. The Constitution makes no provision for delaying elections, the rules for which would require an act of Congress to change.

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Trump is for the first time floating a “delay” to the November 3 presidential election, as he makes unsubstantiated allegations that increased mail-in voting will result in fraud.

The dates of presidential elections – the Tuesday after the first Monday in November in every fourth year – are enshrined in federal law. The United States' Constitution makes no provisions for a delay to the presidential inauguration due on January 20, 2021.

Still, the mere suggestion of the delay was extraordinary in a nation that has held itself up as a beacon to the world for its history of peaceful transfer of power.

Trump tweeted Thursday: “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???”

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's tweet came on a day of bad economic news and amid a dark political patch for his re-election effort.

The government reported Thursday that US economy shrank at a dizzying 32.9 percent annual rate in the April-June quarter, by far the worst quarterly plunge ever, as the coronavirus outbreak shut down businesses, threw tens of millions out of work and sent unemployment surging to 14.7 percent.

And Trump trails in the polls, nationally and across battleground states, with some surveys even suggesting traditionally Republican-leaning states could be in play. While Trump has come back before after trailing consistently in the polls throughout 2016, it has raised the possibility that he could face a landslide loss if he does not turn things around.

There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud through mail-in voting, even in states with all-mail votes. Five states already rely exclusively on mail-in ballots, and they say they have necessary safeguards in place to ensure that a hostile foreign actor does not disrupt the vote. Election security experts say that all forms of voter fraud are rare, including absentee balloting.

Trump has increasingly sought to cast doubt on November's election and the expected surge in mail-in and absentee voting as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. And Trump has called remote voting options the “biggest risk” to his re-election. His campaign and the Republican Party have sued to combat the practice, which was once a significant advantage for the GOP.

Mail-In Voting is already proving to be a catastrophic disaster. Even testing areas are way off. The Dems talk of foreign influence in voting, but they know that Mail-In Voting is an easy way for foreign countries to enter the race. Even beyond that, theres no accurate count!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 30, 2020

Trump refused in an interview just weeks ago with Fox News to commit to accepting the results of the upcoming White House election, recalling a similar threat he made weeks before the 2016 vote.

“I have to see. Look … I have to see,” Trump told moderator Chris Wallace during a wide-ranging interview on “Fox News Sunday”. “No, Im not going to just say yes. Im not going to say no, and I didnt last time, either.”

Trump and many members of his administration have previously availed themselves of absentee voting, but Trump has sought to differentiate that from a growing push by states to mail all registered voters either ballots or absentee request forms.

Voters and public health officials have expressed concerns about the potential dangers for spreading the virus during in-person voting, and states have reported difficulty filling poll worker positions given the pandemic.

Last month, Trump toRead More – Source