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Analysis

What’s Behind Trump Election Delay Proposal?

Monday 3 August 2020
What’s Behind Trump Election Delay Proposal?

Alwaght- While less than 100 days separate the US from the presidential elections, President Donald Trump in surprising words suggested in a tweet on Thursday that the vote be delayed “until people can properly, securely and safely vote.” 

He made the suggestion as he believes that in the mail-in voting the fraud possibility was high. 

“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???”, Trump tweet read. 

The core of the point of the criticism raised by the president is the main-in voting system which he says is vulnerable to fraud. According to the reports, the six states of California, Hawaii, Colorado, Washington, and Oregano are planning to hold the voting process through the mail-in system. In these states, the ballots are sent to registered eligible voters in their homes and they have to vote through sending the filled election forms via post boxes or in person deliver them to the polling stations on the Election Day. At the same time, these states will facilitate in a limited way in-person voting. Half of the states said that they will allow the citizens to vote through the mail if they wish to. 

Trump's suggestion comes while he is constitutionally in no position to delay the voting process. According to a law that was approved in 1845, the US Election Day is the Tuesday next after the first Monday in the month of November. Change of this law needs Congress permission. Both the Democratic-dominated House and the Republican-dominated Senate need to approve the election delay. 

Although in his next tweets Trump relatively modified his stance on the delay due to opposition his suggestion received from both the Democratic and Republican leaders, his tweet prompted a question: Why did he make the election delay suggestion in the current conditions? Three reasons may have motivated him to do so: 

Trump seeks Democratic retreat from the mail-in voting idea 

Certainly, the key goal for the delay tweet was to persuade the Democratic leaders to review their push for mail-in voting. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, in some Democratic-led states mail-in voting was proposed. In response, Trump raised some doubts about the idea, saying that it could lead to unmatched fraud. He argued that during the delivery process, the post offices may lose the ballots or not deliver them in time or displace them. This, he says, can prolong the elections. The election process can take several days under the mail-in system, he argued. 

But the reality of Trump's concerns may be deeper than what is thought. He knows that now many American citizens are unhappy with his performance and the economic conditions. The latest polls suggest that two-thirds of the Americans are discontented with his function. He knows that in the Republican-dominated states, if the pro-Republicans do not vote, he will have no chance to win. All in all, the delay proposal is an attempt by the president to press the Democrats to quit the idea of mail-in voting. But it seems that neither the Democrats want to abandon the idea nor will Trump accept it. 

Trump seeks to persuade people to vote by playing victim 

Yet another reason for Trump to propose the delay is to excite the American citizens, especially the Republicans, for maximum turnout to secure his reelection. Recently, Trump lamented “nobody likes me” and warned that in the elections the “sleepy Joe” could win. He also cautioned against the possible fraud by the Democrats and asserted that the mail-in voting is unfair. And the latest proposal is the delay of the elections because of coronavirus pandemic. With these remarks and warnings, Trump seeks to attract public opinion. Actually, playing victim has turned into his newest strategy to steer clear of defeat against his Democratic rival Joe Biden. 

Preparing the ground to rejection of election results and possible home conflict 

Another drive behind his call for delay, which has concerned the Democrats and drew warnings from the observers, is his plan to reject the election results and create a big security crisis in the country should he lose to Biden. The fact is that in the current conditions, the American society is deeply polarized and in the months towards the elections, the US could be sitting on a powder keg. Many of the bigoted Republicans and fanatic supporters of Trump consider him a “God-given leader” and are ready to do anything to defend Trump. 

Now the question is that will Trump and his radical supporters accept the results? Or will they take arms if he loses to his rival? Now many political analysts deem serious possibility of civil conflict in the US. They even asked the Congress lawmakers to make arrangements for the day after the Election Day. They are certain that Trump will not leave the White House easily and even he can incite his supporters to chaos and violence.

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Trump Delay Election Coronavirus Mail-in Voting

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