Will the 2020 US Presidential Election be Postponed?

US presidential election be postponement Possibility

The original schedule of the US presidential election primaries was also disrupted by the new crown pneumonia epidemic. Georgia and Puerto Rico, an overseas territory of the U.S., which were to hold primary elections in late March 2020, have announced the postponement of their primary elections.


States declaring postponement of elections

Earlier, Ohio announced late at night on March 16 that it would cancel the primary election originally scheduled for the next day and postpone it until the end of April. Alaska postponed the primary elections in early April to mid-day, and 13 states in the United States announced the postponement of the primary elections. 

In addition, three other states adjusted the form of primary elections to all mail-in ballots to reduce the spread of the new crown virus.

 And many states that will hold primary elections in April and May have also postponed their dates, bringing the so-called "super postponement day" to the Democratic primary elections-June 2 becomes a vote for residents of 10 states and Washington DC The day to choose his preferred party candidates. 

The states of New York, Louisiana and Kentucky even postponed their primary elections until the deadline (June 9) set by the Democratic National Committee.


2020 POTUS Elections

While the trend of the epidemic is still unclear, whether the presidential election to be held in November 2020 can be held as scheduled has become one of the focus issues both domestically and internationally in the United States.

The state/territory whose primary election date was postponed due to the spread of the epidemic (blue is the state that postponed the primary election date to after the primary election deadline set by the Democratic National Committee)


Whether the election will be postponed is of real concern?

Many people are concerned about whether the current government can postpone the election in accordance with the law in the case of the new crown pneumonia epidemic in the United States. 

However, this question is not that difficult to answer. "The Trump administration cannot unilaterally decide to postpone the election," wrote the Washington Post political reporter David Weigel.


So does Trump have the ability or power to postpone the election? 

Unlike primaries organized by state governments or state political parties, the US presidential election has not been postponed in history. 

When the Twenty-Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which limited the president’s term to “no more than two consecutive terms,” was passed in 1947, Franklin Roosevelt ran for his third re-election in 1944 during World War II. 

The presidential election was not cancelled or postponed due to the war at the time. 

Before the presidential election on November 7, 1944, the Allies led by the United States liberated Paris from Nazi Germany and won the Battle of Wright on the Pacific battlefield. Roosevelt finally won 53.4% ​​of the votes and 432 elections. People voted for their fourth term.


Each state appoints the electoral college to vote for the president of the United States

The second part of the US Constitution introduces the executive power held by the president. It is clear that each state appoints the electoral college to vote for the president of the United States, and the time for each state to elect its members and the date when the electors vote for the president is determined by Congress; this day is the same throughout the United States. 

In 1845, the U.S. Congress passed a law to set the day when each state elects its electoral college members on the day after the first Monday in November of each general election year. In 2020, this day is November 2nd. 

Postponement of election day will require both houses of Congress to pass a new law announcing the repeal of the previous law and setting a new date. "Washington Post" said that although such a situation "may (will happen), but the probability is very low."


Postponement of election day will also result in changes to the oath of office dates for the president and vice president.

 The day when the 20th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution passed in 1933, the date of the swearing-in of the new president and vice president, was moved forward from March 4 to noon on January 20, in order to shorten the previous president’s The "lame" period between the handovers (in 1933, this meant that the new President Roosevelt could not immediately take office to solve the challenge of the great economic crisis facing the United States at the time).

 If you want to postpone this day, it means that the US Constitution needs a new amendment. The Democrats in Congress will obviously not support the rescheduling of the general election. 

To reschedule, Congress must pass an amendment. The process of drafting and passing constitutional amendments is very complicated, so the Washington Post said that although it is "possible, it is less likely."

Some people have questioned that Trump will "disregard the Constitution, postpone the election or not hold the election at all." "This is unlikely to happen." CNN current affairs commentator Julian Zelizer retorted, "He has nowhere to find at least legally."


What may become the main voting method in US 2020 Election?

Mailing ballots may become the main voting method. 

"The biggest problem now is the number of voters. Can the voting results reflect people's true hopes for the election." 

Julian Zelizer pointed out that the US government used to mail ballots to solve the problem of not being able to vote on the spot, but there is no doubt that this method of mailing ballots may reduce the turnout rate.


On March 30, the latest poll released by the Harvard University CAPS/Harris showed that 57% of Americans said it was unsafe to hold elections during the outbreak, and 77% of voters said they support all subsequent elections in 2020 Voting by mail, 57% of voters said they should vote online.


"Voters remain open to new voting methods, and most people prefer to vote by mail or online." Harvard University CAPS/Harris poll director Mark Penn said, "This will largely trigger a change in the way Americans vote."


Almost impossible for voters to vote in person

National Radio (NBC) pointed out that if the new crown pneumonia epidemic makes it "almost impossible" for voters to vote in person, it is not impossible that the November election will be conducted mainly by mail.


Currently, eight states in the United States have designated mail-in ballots as the main method of voting in primary elections, and the open letter of the National Association of Secretaries of States on March 24 also stated that it will increase voting methods such as mail-in ballots. 

However, on the same day, Paxson, an employee of the conservative organization "Growth Club," accused the Democrats of "fraud" by mailing votes. Republican Congressman Thomas Massie from Kentucky reposted this tweet and further stated that "mail Voting will end the (American) republic as we know it."


Indeed, some readers have asked the question "Republicans or Democrats will benefit from mailing votes". The Washington Post pointed out that although members of the two parties already have "the answers they believe", the research on this is still inconclusive. 

At present, most of the states that use mail-in ballots as the main method of voting are Democratic states, such as Colorado, Oregon, and Washington. 

However, this way of voting "can sometimes help Republican candidates." Moreover, the actual operation of mailing ballots in each state is different, which will also bring uncertainty. 

For example, if voters do not automatically get votes, but need to go through the process of applying for voting, then "it is likely to be the worst for the Democratic Party."


Douglas Brinkley, a CNN history commentator who knows the president’s decree, said, “No matter the cost, the general election must be held. This is not the NBA season or the Olympics. In November this year, we must have Vote.

 If we can vote in the American Civil War, and if Franklin Roosevelt can campaign for his unprecedented fourth term in World War II, then we will definitely find a way to keep the 2020 election free and fair.”

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