By Gbenga Abulude
United States president, Mr. Donald Trump has floated the idea of having the November’s presidential election delayed over mail-in voting.
Trump stated that the presidential election should be postponed until people can properly and safely vote adding that increased postal voting (also known as mail-in voting) could lead to fraud and inaccurate results.
In a series of tweets, Trump said “universal mail-in voting” would make November’s vote the “most inaccurate and fraudulent election in history” and a “great embarrassment to the USA”.
Trump also said postal voting was “already proving to be a catastrophic disaster” in areas where it was being tried out.
“The Dems talk of foreign influence in voting, but they know that Mail-In Voting is an easy way for foreign countries to enter the race,” he said.
Postal voting is voting in an election where ballot papers are distributed to electors (and typically returned) by post, in contrast to electors voting in person at a polling station or electronically via an electronic voting system.
Postal voting seemed to be a good option due to health concerns and the United States wants to make postal voting easier due to public health concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.
In the month of June, New York allowed voters to vote by post in the Democratic primary poll for the party’s presidential candidate. But there have been long delays in counting the ballots and the results are still unknown. US media report that there are also concerns that many ballots will not be counted because they were not filled in correctly or do not have postmarks on them that show they were sent before voting officially ended. However, several other states have long conducted votes by post.
Trump has long railed against mail-in voting which he has said would be susceptible to fraud.
Already, his tweets are already generating reactions from the opposition, the Democrats.
Reacting to Trump’s suggestion, Democratic Senator from New Mexico Tom Udall said there was “no way” Trump could delay the election.
“But the fact that he is even suggesting it is a serious, chilling attack on the democratic process. All members of Congress and the administration should speak out,” he said.
Earlier this month, six US states were planning to hold “all-mail” ballot elections in November: California, Utah, Hawaii, Colorado, Oregon and Washington. Other states are considering it, according to a postal voting campaign group.
According to the constitution, the president cannot delay November’s presidential election without Congress, partially controlled by the Democrats, first approving the decision.