President Donald Trump.
(Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP)

No, the President Can’t Postpone the Election

(INDIANAPOLIS) — Expect Election Day to be on November 3 as scheduled — no matter what anyone says on Twitter.

President Trump renewed his assault on mail-in voting in a Thursday morning tweet, but for the first time floated the idea of delaying the election until people can vote safely. Even the president included three question marks, and IUPUI McKinney School of Law Professor Gerard Magliocca says he couldn’t delay it if he wanted to.

Several states, including Indiana, delayed their primaries because of the coronavirus pandemic. But the Constitution doesn’t say anything about primaries. It does talk about the general election, and says Congress determines Election Day.

If the White House were to try to change the date by executive order, Magliocca says, state election
administrators would presumably challenge the move in court, not only noting the conflict with the
Constitution but arguing that the order made it impossible for them to plan for pre-election deadlines with the date thrown into doubt.

Republican leaders in both houses quickly threw cold water on the idea of a delay. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the November 3 date is “set in stone.” And Magliocca notes Trump’s first term expires January 20 whether there’s an election or not.

Magliocca says that’s an academic discussion, though — he says flatly that a delay won’t happen. “I think it’s just a tweet,” Magliocca says

Share

Related Articles

Loading...