US President Donald Trump on Thursday suggested delaying the November presidential election while baselessly warning that mail-in voting will lead to “the most inaccurate and fraudulent election in history.”
“It will be a great embarrassment to the USA,” he tweeted. “Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”
States are increasingly offering mail-in ballots due to concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic, but Trump has repeatedly tried to dissuade people from voting by mail, claiming — without any supporting evidence — that it will lead to voter fraud.
Trump has no power over the election schedule; moving it would require changing federal law. The Constitution states the exact date and time when a president and vice president’s term ends. There is no clause that would allow a president to remain in office beyond that date, which is the Jan. 20 following the presidential election.
Trump’s urging came on the heels of the release of dire new economic figures from the Commerce Department, which showed that the US economy’s annual rate shrank by 33% between April and June — the worst quarterly plunge ever.
There are fewer than 100 days until the election, and Trump is trailing badly in the polls.
His likely Democratic challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden, has previously suggested that Trump may try to delay the election in an effort to win.
“I think he is gonna try to kick back the election somehow, come up with some rationale why it can’t be held,” Biden told supporters in April.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.