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Trump’s reign does not extend to delaying the presidential election

On July 30, Trump suggested delaying the U.S. election scheduled for November, arguing again that mail-in voting could be fraudulent.

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Trump’s favorite place to make false comments, Twitter, was his first stop when mentioning the fraud he believes exists in this year’s voting process.

On July 29, he also tweeted about a local news station performing a test on mail-in ballots:

But after his explicit comments about potentially delaying the presidential election in November, and concerning citizens, let us make one thing very clear: The president has no authority to delay an election. 

That is because the Constitution gives Congress that power by setting the day to vote.. 

His comments on fraud with mail-in voting are not surprising, as he has been advocating about it for weeks. 

He had laid the groundwork to sow doubt in voters about the election results by creating the narrative that with mail-in voting, the election will be rigged. 

Trump's “concerns” come from recent polling in swing states. The states he won in 2016 show him tying with his Democratic competitor, Joe Biden.

Additionally, his thread of tweets on Thursday came after the U.S. Department of Commerce reported the economy had shrank a record 32.9% in the second quarter of 2020. 

It also reflected that the U.S. Department of Labor had an increasing number of Americans filing and claiming state unemployment benefits. 

His accusations about the mail-in ballots are because he claims that they will favor the Democrats, and two, because it makes it easier to cheat.

However, several studies discredit both of those claims. 

One of the most widely-cited about potential partisan favoritism is a Stanford study from April 2020 that looked at mail-in-voting in California, Utah and Washington during elections between 1998 and 2018. It found no Democratic favoritism nor any affect on the election outcomes.  

To debunk the claim of high fraud, one can look at the low rates of fraud found in a study done by the Heritage Foundation, a Republican think tank. Not only did the study exaggerate its findings with its headlining, but most of the cases it found were individual cases of fraud and not large-scale efforts to sway whole elections.

That’s not to say the large-scale efforts don’t happen, but the last one was by a Republican congressional candidate in North Carolina in 2018 that tried to illegally collect absentee ballots.

The effort was caught, and a new election was quickly organized. 

Besides, before he could even appeal to Congress to delay the November election, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rejected considering the idea, saying the election in 2020 will be held "on time." 

Editor's note: This article has been updated with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's response.
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