President Donald Trump on Thursday proposed postponing the November election until "people can vote correctly, safely and securely".
But Trump does not have the power to delay the election. That would require an act of Congress, which is highly unlikely.
However, Trump's statement came right after the news that the U.S. economy shrank 33 percent in the April-June quarter. This number marks the worst quarterly slump ever and is due to the corona virus pandemic closing companies, making tens of millions of people unemployed and increasing unemployment to 14.7 percent.
Trump combined his proposal to delay the election with his complaints about mail-in polls, which he has repeatedly objected to, and which will lead to election fraud. Numerous studies have shown that there is very little electoral fraud by mail-in voting in the United States.
& # 39; With universal mail-in voting (not postal voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most inaccurate and fraudulent choice in history. It will be a big embarrassment for the United States. Delay the vote until people can vote correctly, safely and securely ??? Trump tweeted.
Unemployment claims rose again last week after falling 15 weeks in a row since the peak in late March when the coronavirus shutdowns initially occurred
President Donald Trump proposed postponing the November election until "people can vote correctly, safely and securely".
Market reaction: How Dow sank via Trump Tweet
WHO WILL DECIDE WHEN US VOTES?
The White House has little or nothing to say at the time of the elections – it has already been determined by Congress.
The constitution limits the term of office of the president on January 20 and stipulates responsibility for the election of a new electoral college made up of the voters of the states.
It then says that Congress must select the date for the election of voters, which must be the same across the country.
Initially, not all states chose voters by referendum, but when they did, and with the advent of instant telegraph communication, it became clear that there had to be a national election date.
In 1845, Congress itself set the date of the presidential election as the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.
It hasn't changed since then and would need an act of Congress to change it. Given the Democrats' influence on the house, this seems impossible.
However, the White House has room to pressure states to postpone elections for a few weeks.
The constitutional requirement for them to elect their voters does not set a date – but in 1948, Congress did so as "the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December".
In theory, states could postpone their elections – but that would put the country on the brink of a constitutional crisis and seems highly unlikely.
Hogan Gidley, spokesman for President Trump's re-election campaign, said the president only questioned the legitimacy of the postal vote.
& # 39; The President is just raising a question about the chaos that the Democrats have caused with their insistence on all mail-in votes.
“They use corona virus as a means to initiate universal mail-in voting. This means that each registered voter will be sent a ballot, regardless of whether they have asked for a ballot or not.
“Voter lists are notoriously full of bad addresses for people who have moved, are not citizens or have even died. The universal mail-in poll results in chaos and significant delays in results, as evidenced by the New York Congress primaries, where we still don't know who won after more than a month, ”said Gidley in a statement.
Trump's proposal is unlikely to resonate on Capitol Hill.
Republican Senator John Barrasso from Wyoming immediately rejected Trump's idea of delaying the election.
"No, we will not delay the choice," he said to Fox Business Thursday morning. “We will have completed the election by election day and will have completed the vote. It will take a while for all the votes to be counted. & # 39;
Attorney General Bill Barr was asked at a hearing on Capitol Hill on Tuesday whether the President was authorized to postpone the competition in November.
"Actually, I have not examined this question in the constitution. I've never been asked the question, I've never looked at it, ”he said.
Barr also said he had "no reason to believe" that the upcoming elections would be "manipulated."
The date of the general election is legally determined as "the Tuesday after the first Monday in November" or "the first Tuesday after November 1", in accordance with Congress's 1845 law. Only new laws could change this date.
In addition, Article II of the Constitution declares that Congress actually sets the election date: “Congress can determine when voters vote and when they should vote. Which day should be the same in the United States? "
But Trump's tweet could arouse fears that already exist among Democrats. The president will use his executive powers – such as the declaration of martial law – to suppress voter turnout in democratic areas such as major cities.
Polls show that suspected democratic candidate Joe Biden is a leader in national polls and in many battlefield countries that will decide on the competition.
Biden has warned that Trump could try to cancel and delegitimize the competition in November if he loses.
"Mark my words: I think he will try to push the election back somehow. Justify why it cannot be held," said Biden during a virtual fundraiser in April.
And Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan described Trump's decision to send federal forces to US cities with demonstrations in support of the Black Lives Matters movement as "dry-running for martial law."
Durkan said, President Trump, "targeted cities run by democratic mayors. He said it himself."
"He uses law enforcement as a political tool," she told CNN earlier this week. "I hate to say it, but I really believe that we are seeing dry running for martial law. This is a president who uses law enforcement and federal forces for political purposes and who should deter all Americans. & # 39;
Trump also suggested Thursday that mail-in voting would allow foreign interference in the election.
& # 39; Mail-In Voting is already proving to be a catastrophic disaster. Even test areas are far away. The Dems speak of foreign influence in voting, but they know that mail-in voting is an easy way for foreign countries to take part in the race. Even beyond that, there is no exact count! He tweeted.
Many states have decided to expand mail-in voting options for the November competition due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump has weathered these decisions and the Republican Party has created a $ 20 million legal fund to fight them.
The Florida-based president has absenteeized several elections, including the state presidential primaries earlier this year. Vice President Mike Pence and several other members of his administration also voted absently.
However, Trump argues that the absence of votes is different than the widespread postal vote.
According to a Washington Post balance sheet, he has attacked postal voting in interviews, comments, and tweets nearly 70 times since late March, including at least 17 this month.
Attorney General Bill Barr said at a congressional hearing on Tuesday that he had "no reason to believe" that the upcoming elections would be "manipulated."
The alleged democratic candidate Joe Biden has warned President Trump that he may try to delay the November competition
Polls have shown that most Americans, including the Republicans, are voting by mail as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
In mitigating circumstances, such as traveling to work during an election or being bedridden, voters in most states can request postal votes to cast their vote by mail before the election date.
There are five states – Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Washington – that are already voting by mail.
Long lines have plagued several states in their area codes in recent months. The number of polling stations was limited due to the shortage of workers due to the virus. Social distancing measures also mean that the coordination process takes longer.
In the June area code in Georgia, voters waited in line for hours without submitting a ballot paper due to a lack of election workers and socially distant precautions caused by the coronavirus contributed to the problem. Some districts were closed due to the lack of election officials available for work, and the official limited the number of people admitted to the open to prevent the virus from spreading.
Voters went to Twitter to post photos of the long lines and point out polling stations that had not opened at 7 a.m. as scheduled. Technical problems with the new voting system – the touchscreens with scanned ballots at races for President, Senate and dozens of other competitions combined – brought the voting to a standstill.
The voters in Fulton County are waiting in line for the Georgia primary on Tuesday
In May, President Trump threatened to hold federal funds from states like Michigan that sent postal ballot papers to all registered voters.
Trump also criticized the California mail-in election initiative, where registered voters received ballots without having to make a formal request.
Republicans have filed a lawsuit against the move of Democratic Governor Gavin Newsome.
Republicans have long been suspicious that easing the vote would vote for more Democrats. For example, young people tend to be more democratic, but they are also less likely to vote personally.
In addition, the Republicans have long complained about "harvesting ballots" – their name for the process in which someone (usually a party volunteer) collects and sends postal ballot papers from a group of people. Democrats call it collecting ballots.
In two thirds of the states, any qualified voter can vote absently without an excuse, and in one third of the states, an apology is required, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. But many states – including West Virginia and Virginia – add the fear of the corona virus as a valid excuse to request a postal vote.
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