WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- The president has called for the election to be postponed, citing potential mail-in voting fraud.
- According to the Constitution, however, only Congress has the power to push back the date of the election, not the president.
- Several Republican lawmakers have since spoken out against Trump’s remarks.
Republicans in the House and Senate have denounced President Donald Trump’s suggestion to postpone the November 3 election to prevent alleged mail-in voting fraud.
The president remarked on Twitter: “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???”
He later added that the election results should be made known “on the night of the Election, not days, months, or even years later!”
The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), remarked, “I wish he hadn’t said that. But it’s not going to change. We’re going to have an election in November. And people should have confidence in it.”
The Senate Intelligence Committee also implored American officials, including the president, to not plant seeds of doubt about U.S. elections, since such statements could invite foreign countries to intervene.
The president has never presented any evidence of mail-in voting fraud. And according to the Constitution, only Congress has the power to push back the date of the election, not the president.
Several Republicans have since spoken out against Trump’s remarks.
“He can suggest whatever he wants. The law is what it is. We’re going to have an election that’s legitimate,” said Rubio.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who is set to be the next president pro tempore of the Senate, gave a similar statement, saying that the remarks of “one individual” should not change the fact that “we must follow the law.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) declared: “No way should we ever not hold an election on the day that we have it.”
Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) tweeted: “Moving Election Day would seriously jeopardize the legitimacy of the election. Federal, state and local officials need to continue to work hard to ensure that Americans can vote safely, whether by voting early or on November 3.”
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) also took to Twitter, saying: “Reminder: Election dates are set by Congress. And I will oppose any attempts to delay the #2020Election.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declined to comment, but he reportedly told WNKY in Kentucky that the election is set in stone, saying that past crises have taken place during an election.
Trump’s poll numbers are currently trailing behind those of presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, who predicted in April that Trump would seek to push back the date of the election.