U.S. President Donald Trump (pictured above)
on Thursday raised the possibility of delaying the nation’s November presidential election despite its date being enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.
Trump, without evidence, repeated his claims of mail-in voter fraud and raised the question of a delay, writing: “delay the election until people can properly, securely and safely vote?”
It comes after polls suggested Trump is trailing by as many as nine points to his rival candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden, ahead of November’s election.
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And it followed news that the US economy had suffered its worst period ever, with estimates of GDP falling by more than 32 per cent in the second quarter of 2020.
President Trump has repeatedly suggested he could ignore the two-term limit and stay on as President beyond 2024.
He’s even suggested he would question the legitimacy of the 2020 election if he lost, and refuse to give up the White House.
But today marks the first time the President has public called for November’s presidential election to be cancelled - leaving him in power and unchecked by democratic process.
The President has no direct power to cancel an election.
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Election days are set in law by a number of acts of congress - with term limits and inauguration day written in to the US constitution.
Any change to the date or frequency of elections would need to be voted through by both houses of congress - and amendments to the constitution require a two-thirds majority in both the House and the Senate.
Claims of postal vote fraud has been a regular topic of tweets by President Trump.
Around a quarter of votes were cast by mail in the 2016 election. Some states require a reason for allowing a postal vote, others do not.
There is no evidence of widespread fraud in the system, according to numerous studies.
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The overall rate of voter fraud in the US is estimated at between 0.00004% and 0.0009% of all ballots, according to a 2017 study by the Brennan Center for Justice.
Oregon has held postal only votes since 2000, and in that time has only reported 14 attempts of fraud.