President Donald Trump said he does not want the November presidential election delayed, hours after he stoked strong feelings by floating the idea of a delay.
“I dont want a delay. I want to have the election,” the Republican told reporters at the White House in Washington.
Trump took to Twitter on Thursday morning to rail against mail-in voting, saying it would make 2020 the most inaccurate and 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 wrote.
Members of Congress said Trump doesnt have the power to delay the election and many came out in opposition of any possible delay.
“No, were not going to delay the election,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said in a television appearance. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) at the Capitol accused Trump of proposing “an indefinite delay, leaving him in power indefinitely.”
Mail-in voting refers to voters receiving ballots in the mail and returning them by mail. Absentee ballots are similar. They have traditionally been available for people to complete by mail if people are not able to show up in person at polling sites. A number of states during the COVID-19 have moved toward sending ballots to every voter and other states are allowing any voter who feels uncomfortable voting in person request a mail-in ballot.
While he wants the election to happen on Nov. 3, Trump is still concerned about the method of voting.
“I also dont want to have to wait for three months and then find out that the ballots are all missing and the election doesnt mean anything. Thats whats going to happen, Steve. Thats common sense, and everyone knows it. Smart people know it. Stupid people may not know it. And some people dont want to talk about it, but they know it,” he told reporters.
“Do want to see a date change? No. But I dont want to see a crooked election. This election will be the most rigged election in history,” he added.
Several states are struggling to return official results from primary elections conducted primarily by mail, including portions of New York. One district could throw out one in five mail-in ballots, according to election board documents. The state and city election boards didnt respond to requests for comment. In California, more than 100,000 mail-in ballots were rejected during the March primary.
Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, a watchdog group, told The Epoch Times earlier this year that “absentee and mail in voting is the vehicle for voting that is most susceptible to fraud,” pointing to several reports.
“It stands to reason when youre not voting at a polling place, and you have ballots that are being voted on lord knows where and transmitted through the mail, it increases the opportunity for voter fraud and intimidation,” Fitton added.