This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates as more information becomes available.
Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee to face President Donald Trump in the Nov. 3, 2020 elections, suggested Trump may try to postpone the election.
“Mark my words, I think he is going to try to kick back the election somehow, come up with some rationale why it can’t be held,” Biden said Thursday during an online fundraiser, NBC News reported.
President Donald Trump has not made any comments about delaying the election, nor would he have the necessary constitutional power.
“Those are the incoherent, conspiracy theory ramblings of a lost candidate who is out of touch with reality,” Tim Murtaugh, a communications director for the Trump campaign, said in a statement provided to CNN on Friday. “President Trump has been clear that the election will happen on November 3rd.”
Concerns about delays in elections have been raised throughout the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The Congressional Research Service conducted a recent examination of the constitutional laws surrounding delays of elections and the potential effect of coronavirus. In their study the service assessed that since 1845 “Congress has required states to appoint presidential electors on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, which represents the date by which voters in every state must cast their ballot for President.”
The service noted no congressional acts granting the president the power, during emergency declarations, to delay presidential elections and said, “Neither the Constitution nor Congress provides any similar power to the President or other federal officials to change this date outside of Congress’s regular legislative process.”
During the virtual fundraiser Biden also reportedly raised concerns that Trump would leave the U.S. Postal Service without funding to accommodate mail-in votes.
“Imagine threatening not to fund the post office. Now, what in God’s name is that about? Other than trying to let the word out that he’s going to do all he can to make it very hard for people to vote,” Biden said. “That’s the only way he thinks he can possibly win.”
Trump has stated opposition to providing financial relief to the U.S. Postal Service during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, NBC reported. Trump’s criticisms of the service do, however, predate the virus outbreak. He has criticized the service for losing “massive amounts of money” providing shipping services for Amazon.
Trump has also opposed expansions to mail-in voting practices, raising concerns the voting method may be used to cheat in an election.