The U.S. has never delayed a presidential election. Here's why it's so tricky.
Only Congress has the power to move Election Day, which kept to its scheduled date even during the Civil War, Spanish Flu, and Great Depression.
On Thursday morning, President Donald Trump tweeted a suggestion that the United States delay the November 2020 presidential election “until people can properly, securely and safely vote.” His comment was part of his ongoing criticism of mail-in voting, a practice that many states have expanded during the coronavirus pandemic.
Although Trump’s suggestion was shot down by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, including Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, it has raised questions about whether delaying a presidential election would even be constitutional and, if so, what would need to happen first.
While it is technically possible, the power to set an election date doesn’t sit in the executive office. The Constitution gives that power to Congress, the