Can Trump really postpone the 2020 US presidential elections? Here’s everything you need to know

By Yair Oded

Published Jul 31, 2020 at 10:41 AM

Reading time: 2 minutes

Faced with a rapidly shrinking economy and poor forecasts in the polls, President Trump floated the idea of postponing November’s presidential election, citing “fraudulent” mail-in voting as a rationale.

Trump’s tweet has been seen by many as indication that he and some in his base might reject the outcome of the election should his Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., win in November. Why exactly would Trump want to postpone the 2020 US presidential election and can it actually happen?

Trump’s tweet about postponing the election

“With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history,” Trump tweeted Thursday morning. “It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”

The tweet has elicited immediate backlash from Democrats but, to date, received little response from Republican lawmakers and politicians.

Trump’s baseless attacks on mail-in voting

This isn’t the first time Trump has taken aim at mail-in voting. Throughout the primary season, Trump repeatedly claimed that conducting elections via mail-in ballots guarantees fraudulent outcomes and tip the scales in favour of Democrats. “There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent,” the president tweeted back in May, referring to the California primaries. “Mail boxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged & even illegally printed out & fraudulently signed. The Governor of California is sending Ballots to millions of people, anyone…”

It’s important to highlight that Trump’s assertions regarding mail-in ballots as a fraud-inducing voting method are downright inaccurate, and bi-partisan experts from across the US have repeatedly attested to the contrary. “Multiple studies have found that there is no widespread fraud in US elections, and that includes voting by mail,” the CNN reported.

Responding to Trump’s claim that mailing in ballots will benefit Democratic candidates, David J. Becker, executive director of the Center for Election Innovation & Research, stressed that both Democrats and Republicans have won elections through mail-in voting. “Honestly, amongst election administrators it’s not [a political fight]. They know mail voting is secure, they know mail in voting will be preferred by a lot of people in this environment, and it helps them provide for in-person voting for the people who need it,” he added.

To be clear, unlike what many Republicans have stated previously, Democrats are not pushing for a federally-mandated system of mail-in voting across the nation in November, but are rather advocating for increased federal financial assistance to states so they could institute their own mail-in voting mechanisms.

Trump is only deflecting attention

Many view Trump’s proposal to postpone the election as an attempt to shift attention away from his poor handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which has to date cost the lives of more than 150,000 people in the US, and a swelling economic crisis.

Trump’s tweet was posted minutes after the Commerce Department announced that the US GDP has shrunk by 9.5 per cent over the three months ending 30 June, and that the US economy shrank at a 32.9 per cent rate during these months—the worst drop on record. Once a promising re-election pillar, the economy has become a matter so dire that Trump is desperate to deflect public attention from it.

Trump’s poor performance in recent polls and his unclear prospects in key battleground states may have also propelled him to call for a postponement of the election and cast doubt about the validity of the results.

Can Trump postpone the election?

No. The US President has no authority to cancel or reschedule election dates. According to Article II of the US Constitution, only Congress is endowed with the power to do so.

Trump’s tweet does, however, place American democracy at grave risk by inspiring distrust about the electoral process among his voter base, and preparing the ground for his refusal to accept the election results and leave office should he lose in November.

Keep On Reading

By Charlie Sawyer

Who are Marvel actor Jonathan Majors’ girlfriend and ex-girlfriend, Meagan Good and Grace Jabbari?

By Charlie Sawyer

Criminals targeting teenage boys online are now selling sextortion guides on social media

By Alma Fabiani

Watch terrifying moment waterslide explodes into huge fireball at theme park

By Abby Amoakuh

From techno string quartets to thrifted dresses, Gen Z weddings are on the rise

By Charlie Sawyer

Jenna Ortega shocks fans by departing hit Netflix show

By Charlie Sawyer

The Criminal Justice Bill will negatively impact over 300,000 homeless people across the UK

By Abby Amoakuh

Industry insider accuses Kris Jenner’s boyfriend Corey Gamble of grooming Justin Bieber and more in wild interview

By Charlie Sawyer

Ron DeSantis’ obsession with the anti-woke agenda ruined his chances of becoming president

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Problematic Christmas songs you probably shouldn’t sing anymore

By Abby Amoakuh

Men are warming up to lip fillers and finding more than just one use for the injections

By Abby Amoakuh

From Disney star to space start-up CEO, here’s everything you need to know about Bridgit Mendler

By Charlie Sawyer

Will the TikTok ban push Gen Z into the arms of Donald Trump?

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Dementia diagnosis for Trump? Experts weigh in as Anderson Clayton emerges as Biden’s secret weapon

By Charlie Sawyer

Is Rishi Sunak’s 4 July general election a strategic move to hit uni student voter turnout?

By Abby Amoakuh

What is Megan’s Law and what does it have to do with Nicki Minaj and Megan Thee Stallion’s beef?

By Abby Amoakuh

Underage deepfake porn of Jenna Ortega and Sabrina Carpenter used in Instagram and Facebook ads

By Abby Amoakuh

Newly leaked documents suggest Putin is ready to start World War 3

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Julia Fox’s recent fashion statement sparks intense criticism from FGM survivors

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Taiwan political stunt backfires as 3 hospitalised after eating free laundry pods distributed in campaign

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Florence Pugh reveals her mum got high with Snoop Dogg at the Oscars