WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — President Donald Trump suggested delaying the 2020 presidential election on Thursday, tweeting it will be “the most inaccurate and 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,” the tweet read. “It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”
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.
Trump’s numerous tweets against mail-in voting have many Republican fearful GOP voters will be less likely to take advantage of what many election and health officials agree is the easiest and safest way to vote in a pandemic.
Political campaigns in both parties typically push their voters to cast ballots by mail because they can bank votes for their side in advance, freeing up scarce resources to chase down less-frequent voters and turn them out by Election Day. Amid the coronavirus, that push has become all the more urgent.
But while Democrats have tried to expand access to voting by mail, Republicans have struggled with what to tell their voters. Some have pushed for it, while Trump and his allies at the Republican National Committee have tried to limit expansion of remote voting.
Increasingly, GOP operatives and officials are voicing their concerns with that strategy. “Why give Democrats 10 or 11 days to vote and expect Republicans to vote on one day?” asked Rohn Bishop, Republican Party chair in Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin. “It puts us at a disadvantage.”
Trump has called mail ballots “corrupt” and “substantially fraudulent,” even though the five states that now send ballots to all voters have had no signs of substantial fraud. Despite the president’s objections, numerous states have loosened restrictions on mail voting amid the pandemic.
Trump’s own campaign isn’t heeding his warning. It continues to encourage its voters to sign up for mail ballots when possible — even as the RNC is fighting in court against Democratic efforts to further expand mail voting and issuing statements like one last week saying the expansion has led “to delays, disaster and dysfunction.”
There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud through mail-in voting, even in states with all-mail votes.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.