The US president says the election this autumn will be a “great embarrassment” to the country
Donald Trump, the sitting President of the United States, has suggested that there be a delay to November’s presidential election in the country, claiming that it will be the “most inaccurate and fraudulent in history”.
US election dates are set by the US Congress and are enshrined in federal law, which means they would require an act of Congress to make the change.
There are also no constitutional provisions that permit a delay to the presidential inauguration in January 2021.
This comes after Twitter gave the son of the American president a 12-hour suspension from tweeting on Tuesday after he posted a link to a video to his many followers that contained what the social media company said was misleading information about the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Trump, who is trailing behind the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in recent polls, tweeted about his idea of a delay after criticising the country’s plans for increased postal voting amid the coronavirus pandemic.
He wrote on Twitter: “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???”
And in a recent interview with Fox News, Mr Trump refused to commit to accepting the results of November’s election.
“I have to see. Look … I have to see,” the president told the news channel.
“No, I’m not going to just say ‘yes.’ I’m not going to say ‘no,’ and I didn’t last time, either.”
This comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told Members of Parliaments that there was “no smoking gun” in the now-released Russia report, as opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer claimed that the Prime Minister “sat on” the “extremely serious” report.
Back in April, Mr Trump ruled out trying to change the date of the election, saying: “I never even thought of changing the date of the election.
“Why would I do that? November 3rd. It’s a good number. No, I look forward to that election.”
“I’m not thinking about it at all,” he added. “Not at all.”
Democratic Representative Zoe Lofgren, who chairs the House committee overseeing election security, rejected any delay, she told the Reuters news agency:
“Only Congress can change the date of our elections,”
“Under no circumstances will we consider doing so to accommodate the president’s inept and haphazard response to the coronavirus pandemic, or give credence to the lies and misinformation he spreads regarding the manner in which Americans can safely and securely cast their ballots.”
Republican politicians also gave the idea short shrift.
“We should not delay the election,” Republican Senator Ted Cruz told journalists.
“I think delaying the election probably wouldn’t be a good idea,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham said.
Even in US states with all-mail votes, there is no evidence that voting via post will result in any large-scale voter fraud.
Five states American which exclusively utilise postal voting systems have already said that they have the necessary safeguards in place in order to ensure the vote counts are not disrupted.
Security experts have also said that all forms of voter fraud are rare, including absentee balloting.