WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Thursday suggested the possibility of delaying November’s election based on concerns of voter fraud.
“Mail-In Voting is already proving to be a catastrophic disaster,” the president tweeted. “Even testing areas are way off. The Dems talk of foreign influence in voting, but they know that Mail-In Voting is an easy way for foreign countries to enter the race. Even beyond that, there’s no accurate count!”
“New York Mail-In voting is in a disastrous state of condition. Votes from many weeks ago are missing – a total mess. They have no idea what is going on. Rigged Election. I told you so,” Trump continued. “Same thing would happen, but on massive scale, with USA. Fake News refuses to report!”
The response to the president’s comments came quickly from both the left an the right, as both Democrats and Republicans balked at the idea.
“The fact that he is even suggesting it is a serious, chilling attack on the democratic process. All members of Congress – and the administration – should speak out,” New Mexico Senator Tom Udall said of Trump’s comments.
Even some of the president’s staunchest allies condemned the idea.
“Never in the history of the federal elections have we ever not held an election and we should go forward with our election,” House of Representatives Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, too, said the election should go forward on time as planned.
Grilled by reporters over whether or not the president had the authority to move the election date, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he would not “enter a legal judgement on the fly” but said the justice department would “make that legal determination”, adding “we want an election that everyone is confident in”.
Chris Stewart, a Republican congressman from Utah said while he did not agree with the idea of postponing the election, the president had a valid point when it comes to election tampering.
“Can you ensure the accuracy of mail-in voting?” Stewart said. “Now in some states you can. In my state in Utah, for example, we’ve been doing it for quite a while, but we’re a small state with a relatively small population. It’s harder to do on a national scale.”