Trump suggests delaying election amid ‘fraud’ claims, but has no power to do so

Trump suggests delaying election amid ‘fraud’ claims, but has no power to do so

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the news media before departing on Marine One for travel to Midland, Texas from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, July 29, 2020.

Leah Millis | Reuters

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Thursday suggested that perhaps the United States would need to “delay the election” on November 3, claiming that mail-in voting would make this fall’s election “the most inaccurate and fraudulent in history.” 

Trump has no power to unilaterally delay elections, which were set for the first Tuesday in November through a mid-19th century law passed by Congress. Since then, it has never changed, said presidential historian Michael Beschloss. 


But Trump is trailing in the polls by double digits to Democrat Joe Biden, and election experts have long worried that the president would actively try to interfere with the election in order to prevent a potential loss. 

As states grapple with how to help citizens vote safely during the coronavirus pandemic, many have turned to mail-in voting as a potential solution that allows people to cast their ballots without waiting in long lines at potentially crowded polling places. 

But Republicans, led by Trump, have strongly objected to expanding access to mail-in ballots, claiming without evidence that voting by mail invites voter fraud. Trump’s presidential campaign and the Republican National Committee are spending tens of millions of dollars this year on lawsuits to challenge state efforts to expand access to mail-in ballots. 

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates. 

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