President Donald Trump just tweeted out the idea of delaying the 2020 election to avoid the use of nation-wide mail-in balloting, which he considers vulnerable to fraud.
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
Trump only raised the question of delaying the election; he did not expressly advocate doing so. Still, when the President of the United States tweets pretty much anything, he brings a lot of attention to it.
Democrats have said that nationwide mail-in voting is needed to give people a safe way to vote in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, but there has been no evidence that voting spreads the virus.
No evidence of coronavirus spread at polling places
When the Wisconsin primary was held in person because a court rejected a push to switch to all mail-in voting, there was no corresponding spike in coronavirus cases and no cases traced back to voting.
Turnout would be higher in the presidential election, however, and could lead to long lines at some polls that make it difficult to social distance. The risks could be higher in a general election, and even masks may not completely stop the risk of spread when there are coronavirus cases rising in the area.
But does Trump really want to postpone the election?
It’s entirely possible that he tweeted about delaying the election for another reason: to provoke a response from his critics, the Democrats and others.
Trump playing devil’s advocate?
Trump is not a stupid man, no matter what his critics like to say about him. He knows that if he advocates something, the Democrats will suddenly think it’s horrible.
Look at hydroxychloroquine: a Yale epidemiologist came out and said that Trump’s political opponents probably caused tens of thousands of deaths by demonizing hydroxychloroquine after Trump talked it up.
So if he advocates delaying the election, he knows the Democrats will suddenly be completely against doing so–which is what he really wants.
Now if he just would have come out in favor of mail-in voting a few months ago, we would be exactly where we should be on it, and the election in general.