President Trump has made it extremely clear that he is not in favor of mail-in voting for the 2020 election, and his narrative on the subject has turned downright combative in recent days.
The Commander in Chief’s concerns stem from his belief that any plan to gather ballots through the mail would open the door for election interference by both foreign and domestic actors looking to prevent him from being reelected. With cases of coronavirus still on the rise here in the United States, plans to conduct mail-in votes have been a hot topic in Washington, particularly after primary voters around the nation were seen waiting in long and crowded lines to cast their ballots.
This week, Trump even went so far as to float the possibility that he could take executive action to prevent any such plan from getting off the ground.
President Donald Trump claimed Monday that he has the authority to issue an executive order on mail-in ballots, whose increasing use, he argues, could increase election fraud and uncertainty, though it is is unclear what he could do to curtail the practice.
“I have the right to do it,” Trump told reporters at a White House press conference. “We haven’t gotten there yet, we’ll see what happens.”
Trump added that Republicans are planning to file suit as soon as Tuesday to try to block Nevada’s expansion of mail-in voting.
The idea would certainly face some pushback, however.
Nearly all election procedures are governed on a state-by-state basis, with the remainder set by Congress or enshrined in the Constitution. There is no precedent or apparent authority for Trump to try to curtail the use of mail-in ballots by executive order, though he could use a document to formalize his opposition to the practice.
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