PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — President Donald Trump, lagging in the polls and grappling with deepening economic and public health crises, floated the idea of delaying the Nov. 3 election. In a tweet, Trump claimed universal mail-in voting will lead to the “most INACCURATE and FRAUDULENT Election in history.
He says elections should be delayed until “people can properly, securely and safely vote.”
The idea got a swift pushback from Democrats and Republicans.
Election professor and author Lori Minnite says there should be no reason to fear the mail-in ballot process if election agencies have the resources needed to deal with the huge increase of mail expected in November.
“To make elections run smoothly, we need to help election officials be able to do that job, especially under the conditions of the pandemic,” Minnite, an associate professor at Rutgers Camden, said.
Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, who does not support moving the election, agrees with Trump on mail-in ballots, saying, “The president is right to point out that universally mailing ballots to people who don’t request them is a horrible idea and would likely lead to voter fraud.”
Delaware Sen. Chris Coons says delaying the elections will be dangerous for our democracy. He is calling on his Republican colleagues to publicly and forcefully refute Trump’s suggestions.
Minnite says mail-in votes could help the underserved.
“That could overcome some forms of voter suppression that we’ve seen before that may involve trying to intimidate people at the polls,” she said.
Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell spoke with CBS News in Kentucky Thursday afternoon and confirmed that the Nov. 3 election will occur on time despite Trump’s Twitter suggestion.
He says even through wars and a depression, the U.S. has never rescheduled a presidential election.