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Trump Floats Plan to ‘Delay the Election’ Until Americans Can Safely Vote in Person

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump formally accepts the nomination at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, July 21, 2016. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

President Trump on Thursday suggested delaying the 2020 election “until people can properly, securely and safely vote.”

In a series of tweets, the president attacked mail-in voting, saying it “is already proving to be a catastrophic disaster” and would cause “the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history.”

“The Dems talk of foreign influence in voting, but they know that Mail-In Voting is an easy way for foreign countries to enter the race,” he added.

Federal law requires federal elections to be held the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. A change in the law would require an act of Congress.

In a statement responding to the tweets Thursday, Hogan Gidley, Trump 2020 national press secretary, said the president is “just raising a question about the chaos Democrats have created with their insistence on all mail-in voting.”

“They are using coronavirus as their means to try to institute universal mail-in voting, which means sending every registered voter a ballot whether they asked for one or not. Voter rolls are notoriously full of bad addresses for people who have moved, are non-citizens, or are even deceased,” he said.

Gidley added that universal mail-in voting “invites chaos and severe delays in results,” citing the New York Congressional primary, which still has not finished tallying results more than a month after the election.

In May, Twitter fact-checked a tweet by the president saying,“There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent. Mail boxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged & even illegally printed out & fraudulently signed.” 

Twitter added a link to each tweet in his May thread giving users the option to “get the facts about mail-in ballots.” 

These claims are unsubstantiated, according to CNN, Washington Post and others. Experts say mail-in ballots are very rarely linked to voter fraud,” Twitter wrote.

While the president has repeatedly taken aim at mail-in voting, 29 states already have no-excuse absentee voting, including the states where control of the White House and the Senate will be decided: Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida, Arizona, North Carolina, Georgia, Iowa, Montana, and Maine. 

A study by the National Vote At Home Coalition found that out of 100 million votes cast in Oregon since mail-in voting was adopted in 2000, there were only twelve cases of fraud.

States take a number of steps to prevent fraud, including signature matching, requiring identifying information such as the last four digits of the Social Security number and using barcodes for each ballot.

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