Total bipartisan rejection of Trump’s suggestion the election be postponed
President Trump took his crusade against voting by mail to a whole new level Thursday, suggesting for the first time that "delay" of the election is the best way to prevent his re-election from being stolen from him.
The idea was either castigated, dismissed as impossible or disregarded as a silly trial balloon diversion by senior members of Congress from both parties as well as legal scholars.
But it nonetheless intensified the president's efforts to sow doubt about the reliability of the November result — which, if he ends up contesting and refusing to concede defeat, could produce a constitutional crisis posing an unprecedented challenge to democracy.
With fewer than a hundred days to the presidential election, almost half the states have now altered some normal laws or regulations to make casting a ballot easier and safer in light of the coronavirus.
Most of the changes so far, but not all of them, are designed to promote voting by mail — the healthiest way to exercise the franchise this year, but a practice President Trump falsely alleges is an incubator of fraud.
Other states may yet modify their regulations, either voluntarily or as a consequence of one of the myriad lawsuits being pressed by voting rights groups. But time to implement changes is dwindling, fewer than 14 weeks, so the time seems ripe to look at the broad array of significant changes already locked down in these 24 states.
With the presidential election now fewer than 100 days away, courthouses across the country are continuing to process a record flood of litigation hoping to improve access to voting during the coronavirus pandemic.
This week legal actions were filed in New York to extend the deadline for registration, and in both Virginia and North Carolina to improve the ability of blind citizens to vote from home.
Success for any of those lawsuits would likely increase turnout, but the only place where the extra voters might prove dispositive is North Carolina, where both the presidential and Senate contests look to be tossups. The other two states seem solidly blue.
"A surge of hundreds of federal officers into American cities would represent an unprecedented expansion of the role of the federal government into local police matters," writes Sarah J. Adams-Schoen of the University of Oregon.