Trump suggests delaying November election

The US President Donald Trump is for the first time floating a “delay” to the presidential election, scheduled for 3 November, as he makes unsubstantiated allegations that increased mail-in voting will result in fraud, news wires reported.

The dates of presidential elections, the Tuesday after the first Monday in November in every fourth year, would require an act of Congress to be changed. The Constitution makes no provisions for a delay to the presidential inauguration on 20 January 2020.

“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???”, Trump tweeted on Thursday. His tweet came on a day of bad economic news and amid a dark political patch for his reelection effort, AP noted.

The government reported Thursday that the US economy shrank at a dizzying 32.9% annual rate in the April-June quarter, by far the worst quarterly plunge ever, as the coronavirus outbreak shut down businesses, threw tens of millions out of work and sent unemployment surging to 14.7%.

And Trump trails in the polls, nationally and across battleground states, and some surveys even suggest traditionally Republican-leaning states could be in play. While Trump has come back before after trailing consistently in the polls throughout 2016, it’s raised the possibility that he could face a landslide loss if he doesn’t turn things around.

There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud through mail-in voting, even in states with all-mail votes. Five states already rely exclusively on mail-in ballots, and they say they have necessary safeguards in place to ensure that a hostile foreign actor doesn’t disrupt the vote. Election security experts say that all forms of voter fraud are rare, including absentee balloting.

Trump has increasingly sought to cast doubt on November’s election and the expected surge in mail-in and absentee voting as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. And Trump has called remote voting options the “biggest risk” to his reelection.

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