Does Kushner ignore the law or did he let us know about the whirlwind of ideas being beaten in a nervous White House?
This is not the first time that the specter of presidential interference with elections has been raised. Last month, in a discussion by actions that could threaten
the ability of some Americans to vote safely during the pandemic, the alleged Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, told donors in a virtual fundraising event: “Mark my words, I think he will try to dismiss the election a little, devise some reason why it can’t be kept. ”
At the time, President Donald Trump’s campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh refuted the request with a characteristic Biden stain. He called the statement “the inconsistent conspiracy theory that shocks a lost candidate who is out of touch with reality.” Trump himself said he had no intention of postponing the election.
So why, when the question was asked of Kushner, did he refuse to rule it out? Why didn’t he simply dismiss the question as absurd? After the social media storm that followed Tuesday, Kushner tried to clarify his statement later in the day. Hear the phrasing of his follow-up statement. “I have not been involved in, nor am I aware of any discussion of trying to change the date of the presidential election.”
Is there any reason he could not simply reassure America: the elections will not be postponed? A senior official told CNN that there are no conversations in the White House on how to change the date because it is a decision by Congress.
Can elections be postponed? Experts say it cannot, “No law passed by Congress has delegated these powers to the president, even in the event of an emergency, so Congress is the only entity that has the power to change the election date.” noticed Sylvia Albert,
Director of Common Cause voting and elections in the Washington Post.
The law of 1875 that established
that election day takes place “on the Tuesday following the 1st Monday of November” comes from Congress legislation, not the Constitution. This means that Congress has the power to change it. Could Trump convince Congress to do it? Republicans in the Senate may get along, but Democrats, who control the House of Representatives, would never allow it.
At least one powerful Republican senator, the chairman of the Roy Blunt Rules Committee, has closed the idea. “We had elections in the middle of the civil war and in the middle of the second world war,” he said, “I can’t think of any justification for changing the election.”
Election day is not in the Constitution, but that document establishes when the current presidential term ends: January 20, 2021. At that time the Trump presidency will end, unless the re-election wins.
Rescheduling the elections would really be the longest of the long throws, but you can see the theoretical appeal for Trump. Delaying the election may or may not help him buy time to get the economy out of his routine, but discouraging voter turnout – especially in states prone to democracy – may prove more useful.
More than 80,000 Americans died in a pandemic according to which polls show that most Americans believe that it has handled badly. With 30 million sudden unemployed and the economy in free fall, polls show him running behind Biden nationally (albeit ahead in some key battlefield states). There is no doubt that Trump will do almost anything he thinks can help him dominate and save his reelection.
When Kushner, exuding an unearned authority, explained why he could not “commit in one way or another” she was recognizing him
there may be problems for voters to come to the polls in November.
This raises a critical problem. Trump cannot postpone the election, but could still reflect on other options. Already, voters fought
to cast their vote in some primaries. Trump is work transparently to block e-mail voting efforts
, wrongly claiming that the votes sent are full of fraud. This is a lie.
If there is any doubt that an election could take place normally in November – and certainly it is, given that the coronavirus travels an unpredictable path across the country – the administration and Congress must give top priority to ensure that the mail- in the vote can happen smoothly.
American democracy depends on preventing Trump from playing in any way with citizens’ right to vote easily on November 3.
Kushner has just let us know that the administration cannot consider anything sacrosanct – not even the certainty that the election day will unfold completely as planned – as it approaches the end of this catastrophic presidential term.