WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump yesterday raised the idea of delaying the November 3 US elections, an idea immediately rejected by both Democrats and his fellow Republicans in Congress – the sole branch of government with the authority to make such a change.
Critics and even Trump’s allies dismissed the notion as an unserious attempt to distract from devastating economic news, but some legal experts warned that his repeated attacks could undermine his supporters’ faith in the election process.
Trump’s statement on Twitter comes as the US is enduring the greatest crises of a generation: a coronavirus pandemic that has claimed more than 150,000 lives, a crippling recession sparked by the outbreak and nationwide protests against police violence and racism.
The government yesterday reported the worst US economic contraction since the Great Depression: 32.9 per cent in the second quarter.
Trump, who opinion polls show trailing Democratic challenger and former Vice President Joe Biden, said he would not trust the results of an election that included widespread mail voting – a measure that many observers see as critical given the coronavirus pandemic.
He claimed that mail voting would be rife with fraud.
“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,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”