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Who Has the Power to Delay the Presidential Election?

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In a tweet on Thursday, President Donald Trump suggested that the United States should delay its November presidential election until “people can properly, securely, and safely vote." He wrote that otherwise, due to mail-in voting, it would be “the most inaccurate and fraudulent election in history."

TheStreet's Jim Cramer noted that the tweet was among the factors driving stocks sharply lower in early trading. 

But who actually has the power to delay a presidential election — and is there any evidence that mail-in voting leads to increased fraud?

First, in terms of who has the power, it's not Trump. The date of the election — the Tuesday following November 1 — was set in stone by an act of Congress in 1845. So, only an act of Congress — new legislation — can change that. And if new legislation were enacted by Congress, it would be subject to challenge by the courts, which could take a very long time.

A presidential election has never been delayed in U.S. history — not even during the Civil War or during World War II.

And what of Trump’s claims about mail-in voting? According to experts, there’s no evidence that voting by mail invites fraud. Voter fraud is incredibly rare. There are five states that conduct voting almost entirely by mail — and those states report near to no fraud. Colorado has been voting by mail since 2014. Utah also votes by mail.

President Donald Trump is behind presumptive democratic nominee Joe Biden in the polls. Trump has said he may not accept the results of the November election.

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