ITHACA, N.Y. — President Donald Trump launched a new attack on the integrity of voting by mail on Thursday that has earned him rebukes from Republicans and Democrats alike — including Congressman Tom Reed.
On Thursday morning, the president tweeted that vote by mail would lead to the “most inaccurate and fraudulent election in history.” The president has made similar claims, without evidence, several times in recent weeks. The suggestion that the election is delayed was a bridge too far for even his most ardent supporters.
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
Rep. Tom Reed, one of the president’s earliest supporters in Congress, says he does not believe the election should be moved.
“Our elections should proceed as planned in November,” Reed’s office told The Ithaca Voice through a spokesperson on Thursday afternoon. “As always, I have faith in the American people and our democratic system that we can continue to carry out our elections properly.”
Reed added that vote by mail does pose challenges, as it represents a dramatic change to how elections are traditionally conducted, that these problems should be addressed in a bipartisan fashion.
“We will have to address the purely logistical problems posed by a massive change in how votes are sourced. I hope Republicans and Democrats can come together in these unprecedented times and agree we should be doing everything we can to secure our elections and prevent fraud.”
To be clear, the president of the United States is not vested with the authority to change the date of an election. Federal law on the books since 1845 requires the election be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November. It would require congressional approval to change the election day. Judging by the response from elected officials of all stripes on Thursday, congress doesn’t seem to have much appetite for an election delay.
The presidential election will be held Tuesday, Nov. 3.