TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – On Twitter Thursday morning, President Donald Trump floated the idea of possibly delaying the 2020 presidential election.
“With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history,” the president posted.
“Delay the election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???” the tweet asked.
8 On Your Side turned to Brendan T. Beery, a professor at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School.
“It’s a very fundamental misunderstanding on how our republic is supposed to work,” Beery said.
He explained that only the U.S. Congress has the power to change the date of a presidential election; the president has no authority.
“Elections were carried out on schedule during the Civil War, during World War II, so realizing this is a public health emergency probably unlike anything in our lifetimes we’ve ever seen, nonetheless there would be no precedent at all for changing the dates of a presidential election,” he said.
U.S. Rep. Charlie Christ, D-Florida, sent the following statement to 8 On Your Side:
“I don’t take these tweets seriously. We’re not delaying the election, end of story. The irony is we’ve had vote by mail in Florida for 20 years. It’s a safe and secure way to cast your ballot. And Florida Republicans have a strong vote by mail program that’s worked very well for them. Party officials must be tearing their hair out.”
As for the safety of ballots, 8 On Your Side turned to Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer.
“In Florida, we’ve had no excuse vote-by-mail since 2002, and historically over a third of our voters in the entire state have voted by mail. So this is kind of ingrained in our DNA. This is nothing new to Florida,” he said Thursday.
As for the safety of it, Latimer explained that aspect is also nothing new.
Ballots are signature verified, he said, and voters can go online to determine if their ballot safely arrived at the office.
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