President Donald Trump created quite a stir on Thursday morning when he weighed in on November’s crucial election.
The president took to Twitter to suggest that the election could be delayed if Americans are unable to “properly, securely and safely vote” this year amid the coronavirus.
“With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history,” Trump wrote in a Thursday tweet. “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 has repeatedly suggested on Twitter and in interviews that mail-in voting could be subject to fraud and has called the practice “one of the biggest risks I have.”
His likely Democratic opponent Joe Biden has suggested Trump could try to delay the election. “Mark my words,” Biden said in April. “I think he is going to try to kick back the election somehow; come up with some rationale why it can’t be held.”
The date of the presidential election is set by law and would require both houses of Congress to vote in favor of a change, making the president’s suggestion unlikely.
“The Congress may determine the Time of choosing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States,” the U.S. Constitution reads.
In an interview with Fox News this month, Trump declined to say if he would accept the results of the November election. Pressed to give a “direct answer,” Trump said he would “have to see.”
“No, I’m not going to just say ‘yes,’” the president said. “I’m not going to say no and I didn’t last time either.”
The exchange came after Trump was asked if he was a gracious loser. Trump said he was not and speculated that “mail-in voting is going to rig the election.”
Democrats argue that voting by mail aids voter participation, notably with older voters. The Republican National Committee has also encouraged the practice.
In pre-recorded phone calls this year, Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump, a top campaign adviser, and his son Donald Trump Jr., asked voters in a California special election to return their ballots “safely and securely” by mail.
Trump is trailing his likely Democratic opponent Joe Biden in national polls.