BOISE, Idaho — None of the four members of Idaho's congressional delegation say they would support pushing back the date of the presidential election in November, despite a Tweet from the president calling for the election to be postponed.
"With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history," President Donald Trump tweeted. "It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???"
The date of the United States presidential election, which falls on Nov. 3 this year, is set as a matter of federal law on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November in every fourth year. Changing that date would require an act of Congress, something lawmakers from both parties have said they are unwilling to do.
KTVB reached out to Idaho's four representatives in Congress, none of whom said they would support changing the date of the presidential election. Their responses are listed below.
Sen. Mike Crapo:
“The election will proceed as scheduled on Tuesday, November 3, 2020. I trust Idaho election officials to ensure proper safety protocols to ensure all eligible Idaho citizens have access to the ballot box this November.”
Sen. Jim Risch:
“By law, the election will be held on November 3rd. There is no pending legislation in Congress to change that.”
Rep. Russ Fulcher:
“Although there is an appropriate place for "absentee" voting provisions, it should be the exception, not the rule. A universal mail-in voting system would greatly increase chances for fraud and inaccuracy in our elections. This issue underscores why it is important to maintain locally administered elections. I am confident Idaho can reinstate in-person voting procedures and do so without delaying the election date.”
Rep. Mike Simpson:
“I understand concerns about increased voter fraud and agree that our utmost priority is to ensure a safe and fair election. In-person voting is one of the cornerstones in our democracy, however I don’t believe we should delay the November election."
Trump's tweet comes as states mull leaning more heavily on mail-in ballots instead of in-person voting amid the coronavirus pandemic. Five states - Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington and Utah - already conduct their elections entirely by mail. Idaho allows for registered voters to request a ballot and cast their vote through the mail, although the Gem State also uses traditional polling places where Idahoans can vote in person if they choose.
Idaho held a mail-in only primary election in May, drawing record turnout. However, Secretary of State Lawrence Denney said he does not expect the state will make a permanent move to mail-only voting.
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