Trump Suggests Delaying Election Over Unsupported Belief That Mail-In Voting Is 'Fraudulent'

Extensive research has shown that voter fraud of any kind is exceedingly rare. Under the U.S. Constitution, the president does not have the authority alone to postpone the election; he or she would need the approval of Congress.

President Donald Trump prompted widespread outrage Thursday with a tweet suggesting the presidential election be delayed over his unsubstantiated belief that mail-in voting implemented in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic would lead to more voter fraud. 

"With Universal Mail-In Voting... 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???" he tweeted. 

No presidential election in the history of the country has ever been delayed. Not even during the Civil War. There is no evidence that mail-in voting is more likely to be fraudulent, and extensive research has shown that voter fraud of any kind is exceedingly rare, according to the Brennan Center for Justice.

As outlined in the Constitution, the date of the election is set by Congress, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shot back at Trump's suggestion.

"We'll cope with whatever the situation is and have the election on Nov. 3 as already scheduled," McConnell said.

Other Republicans also challenged Trump's comment, including Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham and Majority Whip Sen. John Thune.