White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows pushed back against a suggestion from President Donald Trump that the Nov. 3 Election Day should be suspended due to the potential threat of voter fraud amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“[The president] has not looked at delaying any, any election. What we will do is if we try to transform this and start mailing in ballots all across the country, all 50 states, what we will see is a delay because they’re just not equipped to handle it,” Meadows told CBS News on Sunday.
Meadows said that when the election is held on Nov. 3, Trump “is going to win.”
On July 30, Trump wrote on Twitter that Election Day could be put off until later.
“With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???” he wrote.
Both Republicans and Democrats in Congress then sought to pour cold water on the suggestion. It has been noted that only Congress can pass a law to change the day of the presidential election.
“Never in the history of the Congress, through wars, depressions and the Civil War have we ever not had a federally scheduled election on time and we’ll find a way to do that again this November third,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in an interview. “We’ll cope with whatever the situation is and have the election on November third as already scheduled,” he added.
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.
Trump has increasingly cast doubt on November’s election and the expected surge in mail-in and absentee voting as a result of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic. The president has called remote voting options the “biggest risk” to his reelection. His campaign and the Republican Party have sued to combat the practice.
November’s ballot “will be, in my opinion, the most corrupt election in the history of our country and we cannot let this happen … they want it to happen so badly,” the president said last month during a Turning Point USA Convention.
“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,” 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.”
Attorney General William Barr said last week that there is “no reason” to believe any election rigging is afoot.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.