Washington: President Donald Trump is for the first time floating a “delay” to November’s presidential election, as he makes unsubstantiated allegations that increased mail-in voting will result in fraud.
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.
Trump tweeted Thursday: “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???”
There is no evidence of widespread voter
fraud through mail‑in voting, even in states with all‑mail votes. A large number of Congressional Republicans, including members of House and Senate leadership, openly rejected Trump’s suggestion Thursday.
Trump’s attack on the election process comes even as polls show him trailing his Democratic challenger Joe Biden by ever widening margins ranging from 7-15 per cent i. Shortly before his latest salvo came the shock news that the US economy had contracted by 33% in April-June quarter, the worst quarter ever, because the coronavirus pandemic has shut down businesses, thrown tens of millions out of work and caused 15 per cent unemployment.
Trump has long cast aspersions on the US elections although its imperfections are what put him in office. Even in the best of circumstances, US elections are jumble of inconsistent rules (that vary by state and even county), gerrymandered districts (constituencies cartographically manipulated to get a desired outcome), and an archaic electoral college system that gives disproportionate weight and representation to thinly populated, white-majority states at the expense of nationwide popular vote.