US President Donald Trump yesterday suggested the possibility of an unprecedented postponement of presidential elections in the United States, claiming that the mechanisms for voting safely in a pandemic will produce fraudulent elections. “With the universal vote by mail (not the absentee vote, that’s good), 2020 will be the most imprecise and fraudulent election in history. It will be a major embarrassment for the United States,” said the American chief executive, adding: “Postpone elections until people can vote correctly, adequately and safely? “.
The United States never postponed a presidential election, not even during the Secesso War (1861-1865). Anyway, it is unlikely to be postponed this time. The US Constitution is very clear: only Congress can change the election date, set by law on November 3, and opposition Democrats control the Chamber of Deputies.
Several US states want to make voting by mail more accessible to limit the spread of the new coronavirus as much as possible. Many have allowed this voting system for years and have not reported any major problems other than isolated incidents. Trump, who faces very unfavorable research, has evoked the specter of mass fraud on several occasions in the past few weeks. His comments on this subject led Twitter to report for the first time in late May that one of its tutes was misleading, adding the words: “Check the data”.
In late April, his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, predicted that the billionaire would do his best to postpone the election. “Remember what I say, I think he tries to postpone the elections in one way or another, and find reasons why they cannot be held,” he said. A few days later, Trump, questioned during a press conference at the White House, categorically rejected this hypothesis. “I never thought about changing the date. Why would I do that?”
The presidential tute that evoked the possibility of postponing the elections was sent a few minutes after the announcement of a historic fall in US GDP in the second quarter (-32.9%), as a result of the health crisis. The new coronavirus pandemic is still out of control in some regions of the country, including states with Republican governments, such as Florida and Texas. The COVID-19 outbreak forced many states during the first few months of the year to postpone primary elections or to keep them with fewer polling stations. Major sports programs have been canceled or reduced, and serious doubts remain across much of the country over whether schools and universities will reopen in September, after the summer holidays.
With the election approaching, Trump radically opposed Democratic attempts to increase the availability of voting by mail, arguing that this method promotes electoral fraud. According to the president, Americans should line up at polling centers, as usual. His opponents say there is no evidence of significant election fraud in the United States, and that what should be promoted is a greater effort to improve the logistics of the already complicated email vote.
Trump, a tycoon who arrived at the White House after a surprise victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016, devoted much of his administration to defying existing rules and the first president of the country’s history to seek a second term after going through a process impeachment in Congress. Suspicions about his intentions are growing among Democrats, as polls indicate that he will lose in several commuting states, in which victory is decisive for winning the presidency.
According to an average of national polls conducted by the RealClearPolitics website, for six weeks Biden was ahead of Trump by 8 to 10 percentage points in voting intentions. In the prevailing climate of uncertainty, pandemic fears put an end to traditional American election campaigns. Trump had to postpone his big partners, which were striking in his previous campaign, and Biden, his Democratic rival, promotes his election from his home in the state of Delaware.