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Donald Trump calls for delay of US presidential elections

Credit: Belga

United States president Donald Trump has suggested delaying the US presidential election in November.

The election should be delayed “until people can properly, securely and safely vote,” Trump tweeted.

Each US state can decide the way they hold elections, and many are opting to allow people to vote by mail in light of the coronavirus pandemic, which has hit the United States hard, with 4,263,531 confirmed cases and 147,449 deaths as of Wednesday, according to the World Health Organisation.

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There are two ways to vote by mail – universal mail-in voting and absentee voting. According to Trump, that first system, in which all registered voters receive their ballots via the post, can easily be subject to fraud. He did not provide evidence for this claim.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden predicted in April that 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,” he said at the time. “That’s the only way he thinks he can possibly win,” he said.

While Biden has not yet reacted to Trump’s tweet, Democratic senator Kamala Harris, who is rumoured to be Biden’s future running mate – meaning she would be the vice-presidential candidate -, tweeted that “we will see you at the ballot box on November 3rd.”

Trump cannot decide by himself to delay the presidential election, which, according to the law, must be held on the Tuesday after the first Monday of November. Only Congress can change the date of an election, and Trump’s Republican Party does not have a majority in the House of Representatives.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times

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