Trump Can’t Delay the Election No Matter How Much He Wants To
And he really wants to
Another day, another threat to the fabric of our democracy delivered by a sad, dangerous old man with an inferiority complex who doesn’t want to lose his job because he hates losing. Yes, Donald Trump tweeted today floating the idea of delaying the election and also falsely calling into question the accuracy of mail-in voting. Just another Thursday in the American hellscape.
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
Everything in this tweet is wrong and bad on a level that would be incomprehensible in a normal world. For one, and we cannot say this enough: VOTE BY MAIL IS ACCURATE, SAFE AND FAIR. Donald Trump is sowing the seeds of doubt when it comes to the election because his poll numbers are terrible right now and he’s afraid to lose.
But Trump trying to undermine the results of the election before they happen is old news. What’s new here, and most terrifying, is Trump floating the idea aloud of delaying the election. Again, we have to be very clear here and assure you that this is NOT something the president has the power to do.
The Constitution sets the end of the president’s term, and it gives the power to the states regarding how they conduct elections. Federal law set election day; 2 U.S. Code § 7 says: “The Tuesday next after the 1st Monday in November, in every even-numbered year, is established as the day for the election, in each of the States and Territories of the United States.”
It would take an act of Congress to delay the election, and a Constitutional amendment to delay the end of Trump’s first (and hopefully only) term. And yes, Donald Trump does not care about the Constitution or the law, or think they apply to him but … they do. As much as he wants to, he can’t change the way we do democracy with a tweet.
Following this terrible tweet, responses were varied: from keyboard smashing and screaming about fascism to accusations that Trump was just using this empty threat to distract from the worst Gross Domestic Product drop in US history. Trump can no longer run on a good economy because the coronavirus and his mishandling of the crisis broke America, and so he wants a distraction … but that might be giving him too much credit.
This is why Trump wants to delay the election. pic.twitter.com/eUUr5KeNqA
— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) July 30, 2020
Other responses went from measured to furious.
The president can’t legally delay the election, but he’s further undermining its legitimacy here to pave the way for further abuses of power to impede it. I’m increasingly convinced that he intends to resist leaving office using any means practically available to him. https://t.co/9F2qiTM6C8
— Evan McMullin (@EvanMcMullin) July 30, 2020
Luckily he doesn’t have the authority. Only an act of Congress could delay an election and thankfully, Republicans don’t control all of congress. That said: every Republican near a microphone should be asked if they would vote to delay the election. Try to name one who wouldn’t. https://t.co/7kQ2iTa60B
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) July 30, 2020
Oh, and the conservative attacks on Joe Biden for suggesting in APRIL that Trump might try to delay the election have not aged well.
Wash. Post columnist Henry Olsen in April: “Biden’s unfounded accusation Thursday that President Trump wants to delay November’s election was not only clearly over the line but also unmasks how low the supposedly moderate Biden will go to win.” https://t.co/crq5ifVLrl pic.twitter.com/l8PEvIyo3t
— Eric Hananoki (@ehananoki) July 30, 2020
In April, Biden said, “I think Trump is gonna try to kick back the election somehow, come up with some rationale why it can’t be held.”
Trump’s campaign called his comments “incoherent, conspiracy theory ramblings of a lost candidate”
Today Trump suggested we delay the election
— Mrs. Krassenstein (@HKrassenstein) July 30, 2020
There’s no low to which Donald Trump won’t sink to stay in power. The election, which will happen, is 96 days away and we have to make sure that everyone votes, that every vote is counted, and that we deliver such a resounding defeat to Donald Trump that he won’t have any choice but to finally get out of the White House.
(image: Drago – Pool/Getty Images)
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