US President Donald Trump on Thursday raised the possibility of an undue postponement of presidential elections in the United States, claiming that mechanisms for voting by post due to the pandemic could enable fraud, but he received unanimous criticism from the political class, including your own party.
Trump, who will face Democrat Joe Biden on the November 3 vote, has no power to change the election date. “With the universal vote by mail (not the absentee vote, that’s good), 2020 will be the most IMPRECISE AND FRAUDULENT election in history. It will be a major embarrassment for the United States,” wrote the president in a post on Twitter.
And he asked: “Postpone the elections until people can vote correctly, properly and safely ???”.
The president’s tute was published at a time when official statistics confirmed that the American economy went into recession after registering a historical retraction of 32.9% in the second quarter.
The United States never postponed a presidential election, not even during the Secesso War (1861-1865), and it is likely that this will happen now. The US Constitution is clear: only Congress can change the election date, set by law on November 3, and opposition Democrats control the Chamber of Deputies.
On the matter, the Democratic National Committee responded by classifying the proposal as “a desperate attempt to divert attention from devastating economic figures.” Trump can tweet what he wants, but the reality that he cannot postpone the elections, “adds the note.
In the Republican Party, there was also repercussion. “Never, in our country’s history, despite wars, crises and the Civil War, did we have a federal election that had not been held on the scheduled date,” pointed out the leader of the Republican majority in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, network WNKY. Senator Marco Rubio, a Trump ally, told reporters in Congress that he “wished he hadn’t said that.”
Several American states want to make voting by mail more accessible to limit the spread of the new coronavirus as much as possible. Many have allowed this voting system for years and have not reported any major problems other than isolated incidents.
– Falling numbers –
In late April, Biden predicted that the billionaire would do his best to postpone the election. “Remember what I say, I think he tries to postpone the elections in one way or another, and find reasons why they cannot be held,” he said.
However, a few days later, the magnate, questioned during a press conference at the White House, categorically rejected this hypothesis. “I never thought about changing the date. Why would I do that?”
The presidential tute that evoked the possibility of postponing elections was sent a few minutes after the announcement of a historic fall in US GDP in the second quarter (-32.9%) as a result of the health crisis.
With the economy in recession, the new coronavirus pandemic is still out of control in some regions of the country, including states with republican governments, such as Florida and Texas.
The COVID-19 outbreak forced many states during the first months of the year to postpone primary elections, or to keep them with fewer polling stations.
Major sports programs have been canceled, or reduced, and serious doubts remain across much of the country over whether schools and universities will reopen in September, after the summer holidays.
– Scarce evidence of fraud –
With the election approaching, Trump has vigorously opposed Democratic attempts to increase the availability of voting by mail, arguing that this method promotes fraud. His opponents say that there is no evidence of significant fraud in local elections, and that what should be promoted is a greater effort to improve the logistics of voting by mail.
Trump arrived at the White House after a surprising victory against Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016, and devoted much of his government to defying existing rules. Suspicions about his intentions are growing among Democrats, as polls indicate that he will lose in several commuting states, in which victory is decisive for winning the presidency.
According to an average of national polls conducted by the RealClearPolitics website, for six weeks Biden was ahead of Trump by 8 to 10 percentage points in voting intentions.
Former President Barack Obama said, during the funeral of Congressman and civil rights activist John Lewis, that few elections “were so urgent. Everyone has to go out to vote.”