Trump floats delaying the presidential election, which he can't do

President Trump
(Image credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)

President Trump is now openly floating a delay to the 2020 presidential election.

Trump in a tweet on Thursday continued to baselessly claim that mail-in voting will result in a "fraudulent" election this November while arguing absentee voting is fine, even though experts note they're effectively the same, and analysis shows mail-in voting is largely just as secure and accurate as in-person voting. This time, though, Trump went a step further by tossing out the possibility of postponing the election entirely.

"Delay the election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???" he wrote.

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Delaying the election is something Trump does not have the power to do. "The Constitution empowers Congress, not the president, to select Election Day," Common Cause director of voting and elections Sylvia Albert explained to The Washington Post. "No laws passed by Congress have delegated these powers to the president, even in an emergency, so Congress is the only entity that has the power to change the date of the election." A delay to the presidential election has never happened before.

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Former Vice President Joe Biden previously predicted that Trump would attempt to postpone the presidential election, saying in an interview, "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." At the time, the Trump campaign referred to these comments from Biden as "incoherent, conspiracy theory ramblings," and Trump himself said, "Why would I do that? November 3rd. It's a good number."

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