President Donald Trump suggested delaying the presidential election over his debunked conspiracy theory claiming mail voting is rife with fraud.
Trump, who does not have the power to delay the election, reiterated his baseless claims that mail voting (which is the same thing as “absentee voting,” which Trump says is “good”) would result in rampant voter fraud. Numerous analyses have found that there has been no significant risk of fraud detected in the decades that states have been using mail voting. Some states, including red states, already have all-mail elections.
“With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history,” Trump baselessly alleged. “It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”
Trump is lying:
Trump has repeatedly been given the facts on mail voting by reporters and advisers but continues to push the same baseless claim that mail voting is linked to voter fraud.
A Washington Post analysis found that mail voting has a potential fraud rate of 0.0025%.
In reality, there have been more than 250 mail ballots cast over the past 20 years. There have only been 143 criminal prosecutions related to mail ballot fraud, a rate of just 0.00006%.
There are also numerous safeguards in place to prevent fraud and laws those that are caught are prosecuted.
Trump also cannot delay the election. Congress set the date of the election as the first Tuesday following the first Monday of November in 1845. Only an act of Congress can delay the election.
Republicans reject Trump’s idea:
Republican senators roundly rejected the idea of delaying the election.
“I think delaying the election probably wouldn’t be a good idea,” said South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.
“No, we're not going to delay the election,” said Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso.
“We’re going to have an election. It’s going to [be] legitimate, it’s going to be credible,” said Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. “It’s not going to change. We’re going to have an election in November and people should have confidence in it.”
“We’re a country based on the rule of law so nobody’s going to change anything until we change the law,” said Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley. “It doesn’t matter what one individual in this country says. We are still a country based on the rule of law and we want to follow the law until either the Constitution is changed or until the law’s changed.”