US President Donald Trump said Thursday that he does not want to postpone the country’s general elections scheduled for November. However, he opposes voting by mail.
Speaking at a press briefing at the White House, Trump criticized the mail-order vote. “I just feel that I don’t want to postpone the elections. I want the elections to take place in November, but I also don’t want to wait three months for their results, and then find out that all the ballots sent by mail are gone, and the elections mean nothing. This is what happens when you vote by mail. This is common sense, ”the president explained.
“Everyone knows this. Smart people know this, stupid people may not know, and some people do not want to talk about it, but they know it, ”added Trump.
“A laughing stock to the whole world”
The head of the Washington administration stressed that he wants elections, during which Americans come to polling stations, including those with absentee ballots, indicate their name, and sign the corresponding document. “I have done this for many years,” said the head of the White House.
He called the vote by mail “extremely unfair” to the United States. “If this [vote by mail] happens, our country will become a laughing stock to the whole world, because everyone knows that this will not work,” the head of state said.
He said that he was surprised to read criticism of the vote by mail in the American media. “This is a catastrophe. We’re asking for trouble. Do I want to postpone the [election] date? No, but I don’t want a dishonest election. If this [voting by mail happens], then these elections will be the most rigged in history, ”the American leader concluded.
Trump also said his Twitter post about the possibility of postponing the US general election in November was intended to explain the downsides of mail-order voting.
“I wanted to explain to people, but it doesn’t even require much explanation, <…> that what happens in November will be a mess,” he said at a press briefing at the White House on Thursday. According to Trump, a similar situation has already occurred during the primary elections (primaries) this year. “Tens of thousands of mailed ballots were not counted in this year’s primaries,” he read as an example the headline of an article in The Washington Post. “These are false media, but in this case it is not a lie, it is true,” the president added.
According to the American leader, the results due to voting by mail may become known only in “a week after November 3, or a month, or, frankly, taking into account all subsequent proceedings and so on, years.” This situation, in his opinion, is unacceptable. “Or else no one will ever know who won the election,” he stressed.
At the same time, Trump noted that he has nothing against voting with absentee ballots. “We are not talking about voting with absentee ballots. This is different, ”he said. “I myself vote by absentee ballot, because I cannot be in Florida, since I am in Washington, in the White House,” the American leader emphasized. Trump had previously changed his permanent residence from New York to Palm Beach, Florida.
US President Donald Trump on Twitter on Thursday suggested considering postponing the elections due to the spread of coronavirus in the country. Given his constant criticism of the mail-order vote, the American leader said the 2020 election could be the most unreliable and dishonest in history.
As American experts and lawyers previously warned in connection with the pandemic, in reality the scenario of a potential postponement of the elections is practically impracticable. This would require a change in federal legislation governing the conduct of elections. Under the Presidential Election Day Act of 1845, voting takes place “on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November.” Therefore, the postponement of the election date would require the approval of the Senate and the House of Representatives of the US Congress of the relevant bill and its signing by Trump. However, it is hardly an exaggeration to say that reaching consensus on this key issue between Republican Trump and the opposition Democratic Party, which at this stage has a majority in the House of Representatives, is possible only as a last resort.
The matter is even more complicated with the cancellation of elections. The 20th Amendment to the US Constitution provides for the expiration of the presidency and vice president “at noon on January 20” (four years after taking office). That is, even if the elections were canceled, Trump and his vice president Michael Pence would lose their powers. As stated by American experts, all these norms are virtually impossible to violate. The 59th US presidential election is scheduled for November 3.
The possibility of face-to-face voting in the country is facing the problem of widespread coronavirus. According to Johns Hopkins University, which calculates based on information from federal and local authorities, more than 4.4 million cases of infection have been detected in the United States, more than 151.6 thousand people have died.