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Delay the Election? Trump Hemmed In by Constitution

Only Congress can make such a move
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 30, 2020 12:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – President Trump just went there. In a morning tweet on Thursday, he raised the possibility of delaying the Nov. 3 election because of the pandemic. But as many have been quick to point out, the president doesn't have the authority to make such a move himself. Coverage:

  • The Constitution: It gives Congress, not the president, the power to set the date. Officially, Election Day takes place on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, a date that has been fixed since 1845, per the New York Times. What's more, the Constitution stipulates that presidential terms end on Jan. 20. Barring a change to the Constitution, then, any voting delay could only be for a few weeks.
  • What Trump said: "With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???" He didn't explicitly suggest he would push for the move. Later, he "pinned" the tweet, ensuring it would remain at the top of his feed.

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