- We answer some key questions about holding elections in a crisis.
- And no, the president cannot cancel an election on his own.
President Trump, who is trailing badly in polling of the race for the White House, suggested on Thursday that the Nov. 3 general election be delayed “until people can properly, securely and safely vote.” Even for him, floating the idea of postponing the election was an extraordinary breach of presidential decorum.
But the president does not have the authority to move the date of a federal election. And Mr. Trump’s other claim on Thursday, that widespread mail-in voting would make the election “inaccurate and fraudulent,” is false.
Here are answers to some key questions about holding elections in a crisis.
Can the president cancel or postpone an election with an executive order?
It would take a change in federal law to move that date. That would mean legislation enacted by Congress, signed by the president and subject to challenge in the courts.