President Donald Trump suggested Thursday that the presidential election be delayed because of increased use of mail-in ballots during the coronavirus pandemic. Photo by Sarah Silbiger/UPI | License Photo
July 30 (UPI) -- Calling mail-in elections "ripe for fraud," President Donald Trump suggested on Twitter Thursday delaying the Nov. 3 presidential election during the coronavirus pandemic.
Under the U.S. Constitution, only Congress can change the date of the general presidential 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. "It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly securely and safely vote???"
Mail-in ballots have played a critical role during the primary elections because of coronavirus restrictions that have limited the number of polling places around the country.
Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Washington already offer mail-in ballots for all of its elections, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Trump's Democratic challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden, said in April he feared Trump would try to delay the election.
"Mark my words, I think he is going to try to kick back the election somehow, come up with some rationale why it can't be held," Biden said in an online fundraiser.
Some Senate Republicans, including leader Mitch McConnell, dismissed Trump's idea later Thursday.
"Never in the history of the country, through wars, a depression and the Civil War, have we not had a federally scheduled election on time, and we will find a way to do that again this Nov. 3," McConnell told WNKY-TV, agreeing that the date is "set in stone."
"We will cope with whatever the situation is and have the election on Nov. 3, as already scheduled."
"I have concerns about mail-in ballots being the exclusive way to cast votes but I don't believe we should delay the elections," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said. "I want to reopen the economy in a sound way. I want people to go back to school safely.
"I think delaying the election probably wouldn't be a good idea."
"We're going to vote on Election Day and in the lead up to Election Day, it will be a secure election," said Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Barrasso of Wyoming. "No, we're not going to delay the election."
"Since 1845, we've had an election on the first Tuesday after November 1st and we're going to have one again [this year]," Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who ran against Trump for the 2016 Republican nomination, added.
"We're going to have an election. It's going to legitimate, it's going to be credible. It's not going to change. We're going to have an election in November and people should have confidence in it."
Legal experts have said there no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the United States, either by mail or in person.