“The general election will happen on November 3rd,” Trump told reporters Friday night at the White House.
Trump is up for reelection. The only two Democratic presidential candidates left in the field are former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), though there have been rumblings about a contested convention leading to a different nominee to challenge the president.
Voters in presidential election years choose who they want for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives alongside voting for commander-in-chief candidates.
Trump said efforts to delay primary elections in Wisconsin appeared to stem from a Republican state Supreme Court candidate, Dan Kelly, who received an endorsement from the president.
“I just endorsed him today and it was a very strong endorsement. His polls—he’s gone very high up. And all of a sudden, the governor comes out—the Democrat governor, by the way—comes out and says, ‘Oh, we’re going to move this election,'” Trump said.
The president said he opposes mail-in voting because he supports people only voting after showing identification.
“It shouldn’t be mail-in voting. It should be: You go to a booth and you proudly display yourself,” he said. “And you should have voter ID, because when you have voter ID, that’s the real deal.”
Biden has also said he supports the election moving forward as planned while Sanders has called for a delay, along with Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers.
Evers, a Democrat, signed an executive order on Friday calling a meeting of the state Legislature as he tries to postpone the state’s primary election, which is currently slated to take place on April 7.
Evers wants the legislation passed allowing the election to take place entirely through mail-in voting. The bill should also mandate the sending of a ballot to every registered voter who has not already requested one by May 19, and extend the time for those ballots to be received to May 26, his office said.
“Folks, I can’t move this election or change the rules on my own. My hands are tied,” Evers said in a video posted to Facebook. “And that’s why I spoke to legislative leaders about this weeks ago. I even publicly called upon them to act. They have made it clear they are unwilling to make changes.”
Voters going to polling locations would create “a very unnecessary public health risk,” Evers said.
U.S. District Judge William Conley, an appointee of President Barack Obama, ruled this week that he couldn’t delay the election.
“The only role of a federal district court is to take steps that help avoid the impingement on citizens’ rights to exercise their voting franchise as protected by the United States Constitution and federal statutes,” he wrote.
Conley, who ordered absentee voting extended to April 13, said during oral arguments that Wisconsin’s Legislature and Evers “are not willing to step up and say there’s a public health crisis and make it absolutely clear that we should not be allowing poll workers and voters to congregate on April 7,” according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
Republican Party Opposes Delay
The Wisconsin Democratic Party supports pushing the primary back, while the state Republican Party, which holds majorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, does not.
Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, both Republicans, accused Evers of changing his mind in recent weeks.
“If the governor had legitimate concerns, we could have come to a bipartisan solution weeks ago. This discussion would have happened long before today. The only bipartisan discussion we’ve had was to ensure the election would continue safely and to maximize the opportunity to vote absentee,” they said in a joint statement. “Unfortunately, it’s this type of feckless leadership Wisconsin has come to expect of the governor in the face of this crisis. Instead of remaining strong to ensure our representative democracy continues, he caves under political pressures from national liberal special interest groups.”
“Our Republic must continue to function, and the many local government positions on the ballot must be filled so that municipalities can swiftly respond to the crisis at hand. We continue to support what Governor Evers has supported for weeks: the election should continue as planned on Tuesday,” they added.
Biden said in a virtual press conference this week that he thinks the state can still hold the election but that it is up to the governor and state officials. Sanders said in a statement that “People should not be forced to put their lives on the line to vote, which is why 15 states are now following the advice of public health experts and delaying their elections.”
Wisconsin should move entirely to voting by mail, the senator said.