WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump sent up a trial balloon Thursday about delaying the November election — and at least some Midlands Republicans were quick to shoot it down.
“We are not going to delay the elections and there should be no talk about it … period,” Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., wrote on Twitter.
Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., was even shorter in his own statement on the topic, using just five words.
“Don Bacon is exactly right,” Sasse said.
Trump tweeted Thursday: “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???”
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???— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 30, 2020
Asked about the president’s election delay suggestion, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, noted to reporters that federal election dates are set — by law — as the Tuesday after the first Monday in November.
“All these things are pretty well set and have been going on for decades,” Grassley said. “So we are a country based on the rule of law, so nobody is going to change anything until we change the law.”
Grassley was asked whether it was appropriate for the president to suggest a delay and to potentially undermine faith in the integrity of the election.
“All I can say is, it doesn’t matter what one individual in this country says, we still are a country based on the rule of law, and we want to follow the law until either the Constitution is changed or until the law is changed.”
Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., provided a statement opposed to postponement.
“On November 3rd, the American people will exercise their right to vote,” Fischer said. “I do not support delaying the election.”
Sen. Joni Ernst spokesman Brendan Conley said the Iowa Republican would not support a postponement. He added that she has expressed support for allowing votes by mail as long as the voters have requested the ballots.
The Douglas County Republican Party issued a statement saying the Constitution makes clear the president has no authority to postpone a federal election.
“While we understand the concerns of holding safe elections this fall, there are many opportunities for those who cannot safely make it to the polls to include mail-in voting,” said Theresa Thibodeau, the county party chair. “We disagree with the President on postponing any elections past the originally scheduled date in November. We also believe this would set an extremely dangerous precedent. We encourage all members of Congress to stand firmly against postponing or delaying the election.”
Not everyone was quite that clear on opposing a delay.
“President Trump is right about the fraud opportunities presented by universal vote-by-mail,” Rep. Adrian Smith, R-Neb., said in a statement. “We must do everything we can to ensure a safe, secure election is held on Election Day.”
Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb., also did not state whether that election date should be pushed back, writing on Twitter simply that “Elections in Nebraska, either in person or by mail, are secure.”
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