Donald Trump Suggests Delaying 2020 Presidential Election Over Vote-By-Mail Concerns

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a news briefing at the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House.
Alex Wong / Getty Images

President Donald Trump said that the 2020 presidential election should be delayed. In a tweet raising concerns about voting by mail, Trump suggested putting the election off “until people can properly, securely and safely vote.”

“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???”

In another tweet on his account, which he’d “pinned” (meaning that it’s at the top of his tweets, though he’d posted it 14 hours earlier), Trump showed a video from a local New York news station, in which a reporter and his team sent mock ballots in the mail from locations across Philadelphia to a P.O. box they’d rented, to simulate ballots being mailed, and documented the results.

The reporter initially found that “most” of the votes had apparently been “lost,” although they were later found, having been collected and kept “somewhere else” rather than in the P.O. box they’d rented. At the end of the experiment, three out of 100 ballots seemed to have simply disappeared.

The news report then goes on to note that different states have different rules about the deadline to request mail-in ballots and the deadline by which they must be received relative to the election date.

“So you can forgive the public for being a tad confused,” the reporter concluded.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, several states have attempted to expand access to voting by mail, in an effort to prevent having to place voters and poll workers into close contact with each other.

Trump, however, has steadfastly opposed expanding the process, repeatedly claiming it would open up the election to widespread fraud. Back in June, NPR News noted he claimed ballots would be stolen out of mailboxes; that expanded access to mail-in voting would help Democrats and hurt Republicans, despite supposed proof that the opposite is true; and that foreign countries would print up and send out “millions” of fraudulent mail-in ballots.

“IT WILL BE THE SCANDAL OF OUR TIMES!” he tweeted at the time.

As USA Today reported, Trump’s likely Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, said he believes the president is trying to indirectly “steal” the election by making it harder for people to vote and by laying the groundwork for a potential claim that the election was fraudulent, should Trump wind up losing.