President Donald Trump on Thursday morning suggested a delay to the 2020 election over the possibility it could be rigged via mail-in voting.
The executive branch doesn't have the power to unilaterally delay elections, which are set for the first Tuesday in November. That provision was passed in the 1800s by Congress.
Should Trump seek to delay the election, he would have to change federal law by having the measure passed by both chambers of Congress before signing it into law.
Five states already rely exclusively on mail-in ballots, and say they have necessary safeguards in place to ensure that a hostile foreign actor doesn’t disrupt the vote. Election security experts have told news outlets that all forms of voter fraud are rare, including absentee balloting.
"With mail-in ballots, you introduce something in the middle of an election year and you have something where it's very complex. You have no time to fix this very complex process. It's very complex," he remarked, adding: "A friend of mine who is a great guy had a son who passed away seven years ago. Seven years ago. He came to see me the other day. He said they just sent to my son Robert a mail-in ballot. He died seven years ago. There's no way they can control that."
In a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday, Attorney General William Barr said that he has "no reason to think" the upcoming election will be "rigged."
However, he stressed that when "you have wholesale mail-in voting, it substantially increases the risk of fraud." He also did not rule out the possibility of foreign powers attempting to sway the election.
"By category, Unknown had the highest percentage of accused at 31 percent (645 cases), followed by Voters at 31 percent (633 cases). The most prevalent fraud was Absentee Ballot Fraud at 24 percent (491 cases). The status of most cases was Pleaded at 27 percent (558 cases)," the study said. "Responses to requests for public records varied from state to state. Some state and local officials were quick to respond by sending available records; others failed to provide a single document."