Donald Trump mentioned in a tweet a possible postponement of the presidential election in November. A proposal was also condemned in its own camp.
“Postpone the election until people can vote safely and normally ???” In a provocative tweet he is used to, US President Donald Trump on Thursday, July 30, considered postponing the presidential election in November due to the Covid-19 health crisis. A proposal that provoked an uprising on both sides of the American political spectrum.
With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACTER & FRAUDULENT election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the United States. Delay the election until people can vote properly, safely and securely ???
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 30, 2020
The US Constitution is clear: the president has no power to decide whether an election is postponed. The date of the election is set by a federal law, only Congress can take the initiative in this direction. However, the fact that the President himself mentions this hypothesis may help to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the election within his electoral base.
The tweet is also an acknowledgment of a fever on Donald Trump’s part, fearing a humiliating defeat that would make him the first president in a single term of more than a century.
“We are in America. We are a democracy, not a dictatorship. The constitution sets the date for the November election. Nothing the president says, does or tweets can change that,” replied Dale Ho, civil rights organization ACLU.
This is America. We are a democracy, not a dictatorship. The constitution allows Congress to determine the election and Congress sets the date for November. Nothing President Trump says, does, or tweets can change that fact.
– Dale Ho (@dale_e_ho) July 30, 2020
It is noteworthy that several leading Republicans did not quickly and clearly agree with the president and rule out a possible postponement of the vote.
The leader of the Republican majority in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, recalled that “never in the history of the United States” has an election been postponed, either during the civil war or in the midst of serious economic crises. “We will make sure that is the case again on November 3,” he added.
His counterpart in the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, also rejects the idea.
“Never in history have federal elections been interrupted. We must move forward with our election,” he said.
Steven Calabresi, co-founder of the conservative Federalist Society, which states that he voted for Trump in 2016 and for all Republican candidates in the White House since 1980, said he was “terrified” and provoked in a forum in the New York Times, a “fascist” tweet.
Democratic Representative Zoe Lofgren, chair of the Nomination Committee’s Security Committee, also rejected a deadline
Under no circumstances will we consider [décaler l’élection] to satisfy the President’s incompetent and disorderly response to Covid-19. We do not want to give credit to the lies and misinformation he spreads, she said in a statement to Reuters.
Former Democratic President Barack Obama also voted.
“Few elections have been as important as this on many levels,” said the former president at the funeral of John Lewis, an icon of the United States civil rights struggle.
“Votes by mail will be decisive in this vote,” he added, condemning Donald Trump without mentioning it.
The issue during a press conference at the end of the day in the White House, the US president maintained the ambiguity in the vote.
“Do I want a new date? No. But I do not want to see a rigged choice,” he replied, assuring fears, due to the postal vote, of having to wait for the results for “weeks”, “months” or even “year”.
With AFP and Reuters