Trump calls for delaying the election

The moment some of us have been predicting has arrived. Trump took to Twitter today and suggested the election be delayed. His primary reason is his belief that voting by mail will lead to a fraudulent election.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nbcnewyork.com/news/politics/trump-suggests-unprecedented-delay-to-november-election/2542252/%3Famp

I predict Republicans, both elected officials and average voters, will either come out in agreement with Trump or at the very least not come out against the idea. What a fucked up country we’ve become :cry:

He won’t hesitate to let Covid run rampant just to use ‘In the interest of public health’, as a reason to cancel voting, I’m guessing.

Sadly predictable. The Republicans have been undermining the security of the electoral system for years, at the same time setting up the “the Democrats are trying to undermine the electoral system!” narrative.

Ah well - it was a nice country while it lasted.

Why would the very states that have legislated mail-in voting answer this call? The only way he gets out of this election is by resigning or dying.

As far as I know, the states are in charge of all the voting, so I don’t think he has any say over it. I guess red states could call for a delay, while blue states go ahead, but I don’t think that would help Trump.

I remember, just a few weeks ago, when people were worried about this, and we were all assured that this is always a worry, especially with Obama, so don’t worry about it. I think we’re all still waiting for cites that show Obama calling for delaying the election. Also for the cites that he pre-emptively questioned the legitimacy of the election, or wouldn’t say whether he would accept the results. He must have, though, because everything bad that Trump does must have an equal an opposite thing that some Democrat has done, because both sides are always equally bad, forever and ever, amen.

But wait, there’s more. Call now, and we’ll give you post office closures and service cuts just as mail-in ballots are becoming a thing at no extra charge.

Call now. Operators are standing by.

…as many of us have predicted.

I endorse this idea!

Re post office closures: That not affects mail service. Post Offices have long been one of the places where you can go to get a passport. I am really looking forward to the end of this year.

Trump’s next tweet will probably float the idea of delaying 2021.

Well that’s a bit unclear, right? Imagine if states controlled by GOP governors and state congresses (so, not MA, VT, and MD) delayed their elections. That’s 223 EV. Then on election night Trump wins in MT, LA, KY, KS, NC, and say WI (the last one being the long-shot at this point). That’s 273 total, enough to claim that we have to wait until it’s safe for the delayed states to vote.

I honestly have no idea what happens in the disaster-world scenario, and find it a bit insane that the states would even consider that, but it’s not obvious what would happen.

In particular, imagine if Trump’s team has convinced him that in a November election he loses FL and AZ and maybe even TX. I could imagine a world in which those three states, all COVID hotspots with GOP governors, delay their elections. It’s just possible in that scenario that Biden doesn’t get over 270 on election night if you keep those three states from voting. IA could be another “Trump might lose so delay” state.

More likely Trump is just trolling and sowing doubt so he can claim he didn’t really lose (if he does).

Heads up: I just mentioned this in The Pit. Please don’t think of it as duplication; this forum requires civility… and that news makes me want to curse him out a blue streak…

Let’s get down to the brass tacks of what would happen if some states delay their elections. From what I understand there are two scenarios.

  1. Neither Trump or Biden get to 270 EV and the election goes to the current House for POTUS and to current Senate for VP. Voting in the House is by state delegations and not individual representatives. This would likely lead to Trump and Pence being re-elected.

  2. Neither Trump or Biden gets to 270 EV. Because the election was canceled, there are no House members because their terms all expired. Trump‘s and Pence’s term ends at noon on 1/20/2021 per the US Constitution. At that point the line of succession kicks in. The Speaker of the House is next in line, but that office is vacant since their were no elections. Next up is the President of the Senate Pro Tem. Currently that post is occupied by Chuck Grassley R-Iowa. However, if the elections are canceled that means the Ds have the majority and the new Senate President Pro Tem would be Pat Leahey D-Vermont. Leahey would then be the new POTUS.

Obviously Trump thinks things would work out more like the first scenario rather than the second. What are the things that have to happen to trigger one scenario vs. the other?

I don’t think it’s up to the individual states but instead election day is set by federal law.

"The Tuesday next after the 1st Monday in November, in every even numbered year, is established as the day for the election, in each of the States and Territories of the United States, of Representatives and Delegates to the Congress commencing on the 3d day of January next thereafter.

(R.S. § 25; Mar. 3, 1875, ch. 130, § 6, 18 Stat. 400; June 5, 1934, ch. 390, § 2, 48 Stat. 879.)"

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/2/7

Meaning the Democratically held House would have to approve a law changing that.

This is the ranting of a guy who knows he’s going to have his ass handed to him. Republicans are now going to have to go along with him because, well because that’s what they do. But Nancy Pelosi can wave her gavel and say “Begone! You have no power here!”. The election cannot be delayed or canceled.

Yeah, from what I can tell on quick reading this morning only Congress could actually change the law to allow for a different date for federal elections. The state executives can do lots of mucking with place, rules, etc, but not change the actual date.

So this is just sowing FOD.

My wife says that birthdays during quarantine don’t count.

Look closer at what he’s doing: he’s not claiming he has the authority to cancel the election; he’s laying the groundwork for claiming that the election results are invalid.

Look carefully at his rationale for delaying the election. He’s arguing that due to the pandemic that it will be impossible to hold an election that bears any resemblance to the ones we’ve had in the past, and the way things are going, he might actually have a point.

What he doesn’t say is that if the election turns into a debacle, it will be mostly because of his failures and the failures of his party to control a raging pandemic, their failures to deal with economic dislocation, failures to support polling stations and elections infrastructure, and failures to support mail-in voting. He’s deliberately laying down the groundwork for calling the election a sham, and he’s now trying to see whether or not the rest of the party will support him in this endeavor.

I don’t think he has a clue as to what he can or can’t do. We all know that he’s not going to accept the results of any election that he doesn’t win. But it makes no difference if he accepts the results or not. The election will be held. The electors will meet. Their votes will be counted in Washington. Joe Biden will win. He will be out of office at 12:00 on Jan 20, whether or not he accepts the results.

If the rest of the party ignores Trump and plays by the conventional rules of respecting elections results, then Trump would have little choice but to leave office the way other 1-term presidents do.

But I wouldn’t be so sure that this will happen. The electors will indeed meet, but the question is whether or not there will be enough electors to give Biden a clear victory. If not, then Biden and American democracy have a serious problem.