Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) dismissed President Trump’s suggestion on Thursday to delay the November elections because of possible voter fraud, along with a number of additional high-ranking Republican officials.
McConnell said this year’s election would go forward as planned on November 3 in a call to Kentucky’s WNKYTV. The majority leader mentioned that elections have been held in the midst of crises in the past. While it was not immediately clear which crises McConnell was referring to, the U.S. has held elections in the midst of the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic as well as during the Civil War.
Congress must set the day of the elections, according to Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution. A number of Republican senators have already said they do not support changing the date this year.
“The election is going to be held in November. Absentee ballots in North Carolina are strongly encouraged, as has the president encouraged them,” Senator Thom Tillis (N.C.), told CNN. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said of a possible date change, “I don’t think that’s a particularly good idea.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy concurred: “Never in the history of federal elections have we ever not held an election and we should go forward with our election.” Senators Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R., Texas) also spoke out against changing the election date.