The Voting News

United Kingdom: Russians hacked Liam Fox’s personal email to get US-UK trade dossier | Dan Sabbagh/The Guardian

A personal email account belonging to Liam Fox, the former trade minister, was repeatedly hacked into by Russians who stole classified documents relating to US-UK trade talks, the Guardian understands. The security breaches last year, which are subject to an ongoing police investigation, pose serious questions for the Conservative MP who is currently the UK’s nominee to become director general of the World Trade Organization. Whitehall sources indicated the documents were hacked from a personal account rather than a parliamentary or ministerial one, prompting Labour to ask why Fox was using unsecured personal emails for government business. A spokesman for the former minister declined to comment and later stressed the Cabinet Office had not publicly confirmed which account was hacked. Downing Street and the Cabinet Office said it was inappropriate to comment further given that criminal inquiries were continuing. The stolen documents – a 451-page dossier of emails – ultimately ended up in the hands of Jeremy Corbyn during last winter’s election campaign after Russian actors tried to disseminate the material online. Read More

National: Republicans Reject Trump’s Suggestion to Delay Election, Something He Cannot Do | The New York Times

Top Republicans on Thursday rejected President Trump’s suggestion that the Nov. 3 general election be delayed — something he has no authority to order. “Never in the history of the federal elections have we not held an election and we should go forward,” said Representative Kevin McCarthy, the House minority leader, adding that he understood “the president’s concern about mail-in voting.” Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, declined to answer questions on Capitol Hill, but dismissed Mr. Trump’s suggestion in an interview with WNKY television in Bowling Green, Ky. “Never in the history of the country, through wars, depressions, and the Civil War have we ever not had a federally scheduled election on time, and we’ll find a way to do that again this Nov. 3,” Mr. McConnell said. “We’ll cope with whatever the situation is and have the election on Nov. 3 as already scheduled.” Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, 2016 rivals for the Republican presidential nomination who have since become staunch Trump supporters, both dismissed the idea that Election Day could change. Senator Lindsey Graham, Mr. Trump’s foremost public defender in the Senate, said there would be a safe vote in November. And officials in key swing states showed little interest in engaging on the topic. “We’re going to have an election, it’s going to be legitimate, it’s going to be credible, it’s going to be the same as it’s always been,” Mr. Rubio told reporters at the Capitol in Washington. Mr. Cruz agreed. “I think election fraud is a serious problem,” he said. “But no, we should not delay the election.” Even for Mr. Trump, suggesting a delay in the election is an extraordinary breach of presidential decorum that will increase the chances that he and his core supporters don’t accept the legitimacy of the election should he lose to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. Read More

National: Trump refuses to back down on suggestion of election delay | Quint Forgey, Zach Montellaro and Caitlin Oprysko/Politico

President Donald Trump on Thursday refused to back down from his suggestion earlier in the day that the November general election be postponed, repeating unsubstantiated predictions of widespread voter fraud amid the coronavirus pandemic and saying that large numbers of mail-in ballots might mean “you never even know who won the election.” The president’s extraordinary proposal, which he is not constitutionally empowered to enforce, represented his first attempt at floating a suspension of the election less than 100 days away. “With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history,” Trump wrote on Twitter in the morning. “It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???” Hours later, he appeared to launch a partial clean-up of the suggestion after it was roundly rejected by members of his own party. “Glad I was able to get the very dishonest LameStream Media to finally start talking about the RISKS to our Democracy from dangerous Universal Mail-In-Voting” Trump said Thursday afternoon, reiterating that he “totally” supports absentee voting. The president added that in his view it was imperative to find out who won the election on election night, “not days, months, or even years later,” as some election experts have indeed warned that a drastic surge in mail-in ballots might mean a close race isn’t called on the evening of Nov. 3. Read More

National: Trump floats idea of delaying the November election, a power granted to Congress, as he ramps up attacks on voting by mail | Amy Gardner and John Wagner/The Washington Post

President Trump drew immediate rebukes from Republicans and Democrats alike on Thursday after floating the prospect of delaying the November election and claiming without evidence that widespread mail balloting would be a “catastrophic disaster” leading to fraudulent results. “With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history,” Trump tweeted. “It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???” Trump gave no indication that he will push for the date change — or that he thinks he has the power to do so. The U.S. Constitution gives the power to regulate the “time, place and manner” of general elections to the U.S. House and Senate, with Congress also empowered to alter the rules. States control the dates of primary elections. Nowhere is the president granted such power. In addition, the Constitution spells out a hard end to a president’s and vice president’s terms on Jan. 20 in the year following a presidential election. “The President has no power to change the date of the election,” said Richard L. Hasen, a law professor at the University of California at Irvine. “This is yet another statement by the President which undermines voter confidence and that seeks without evidence to undermine the legitimacy of voting by mail.” Democrats and Republicans alike quickly condemned the president’s tweet, many expressing alarm at the president’s apparent disregard for the limits of his power. Read More

National: Trump floats idea of election delay, a virtual impossibility | Zeke Miller and Colleen Long/Associated Press

President Donald Trump, lagging in the polls and grappling with deepening economic and public health crises, on Thursday floated the startling idea of delaying the Nov. 3 presidential election. His campaign to sow doubt about the election’s outcome drew immediate pushback from Democrats and Republicans alike in a nation that has held itself up as a beacon to the world for its history of peaceful transfer of power. Trump suggested the delay as he pushed unsubstantiated allegations that increased mail-in voting due to the coronavirus pandemic would result in fraud. But shifting Election Day is virtually impossible and the very idea represented another bracing attempt by Trump to undermine confidence in the American political system. The date of the presidential election — the Tuesday after the first Monday in November in every fourth year — is enshrined in federal law and would require an act of Congress to change. Top Republicans in Congress quickly rebuffed Trump’s suggestion. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the election date is set in stone and House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy said the election “should go forward” as planned. Regardless, the Constitution makes no provisions for a delay in the end of Trump’s term — noon on Jan. 20, 2021. Read More

National: GOP Leaders Rebuff Trump’s Suggestion of Delaying Election | Tarini Parti and Alex Leary/Wall Street Journal

President Trump floated the idea of delaying the November presidential election for the first time in a tweet Thursday until a time when “people can properly, securely and safely vote,” prompting top Republicans and Democrats in Congress to swiftly dismiss the idea. A record number of Americans are expected to vote by mail in the November election because of the coronavirus pandemic, but Mr. Trump said Thursday that an election that allowed universal mail-in voting would lead to inaccurate and fraudulent results and would be “a great embarrassment” for the country. The date of the election can only be changed by Congress, and lawmakers from both parties—including some of the president’s closest allies—said changing the date wasn’t an option. “We’ll cope with whatever the situation is and have the election on Nov. 3 as already scheduled,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said in an interview with WNKY TV in Bowling Green, Ky. Election Day in the U.S. was fixed as the first Tuesday after Nov. 1 by an act of Congress in 1845 and would require new legislation for it to be delayed. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) responded to Mr. Trump’s tweet Thursday with a tweet quoting an excerpt from Article II, Section I of the Constitution stating that the authority to set election dates is held by Congress. Sens. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) and Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) also rejected moving the election date. Read More

National: Trump can’t delay the election. But his tweet is terrifying | Erwin Chemerinsky/Los Angeles Times

Once again, President Trump has shown his ignorance of the Constitution and federal law in raising the question on Twitter of whether the November presidential election should be delayed. To be clear, President Trump has absolutely no legal authority to do this. The date for the election is set by federal statute and can be changed only by Congress. But that didn’t stop Trump from tweeting on Thursday morning, “With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???” The president, who is significantly down in the polls, clearly does not want the election to be held in November, and it’s hard not to interpret his tweet as a blatant, if desperate, attempt to stay in office past the end of his term. Thankfully, the Constitution gives him no way to do this. The Constitution explicitly gives to Congress the power to set the date for national elections. For the first half-century of American history, each state set its own election date and balloting for the presidential election stretched out over six months. Read More

National: ‘We will not allow you’: Governors slam Trump for floating delay of presidential election | Joey Garrison/USA Today

Democratic and Republican governors Thursday swiftly denounced President Donald Trump’s suggestion the November presidential election be delayed, defending the legitimacy of voting by mail and assuring voters the election will take place Nov. 3. The blowback from the state level added to the chorus of bipartisan criticism nationally that followed Trump’s tweet in which he warned mail-in voting would lead to the most “INACCURATE AND FRAUDULENT Election in history” before posing the question: “Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???” Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, fired back at the president in a series of tweets: “@realDonaldTrump, Illinois will hold our election as required by law on November 3rd.” Pritzker called the right to vote “essential,” adding that’s why he signed a law to expand vote-by-mail and make elections in Illinois safer during the coronavirus pandemic.  “The President cannot move an election,” Pritzker said. “We will not allow you to undermine the foundations of our democracy. Everyone: keep November 3 on your calendar.” Read More

Editorials: Trump Can’t Postpone the Election—But He’s Trying to Destroy Its Legitimacy | David A. Graham/The Atlantic

In his latest assault on the American electoral system, President Donald Trump today proposed postponing the November election. “With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history,” Trump tweeted, offering no evidence for a debunked assertion. “It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???” As Trump may or may not know, the date of the election is set by law, and would require an act of Congress to be overturned. Trump probably cannot postpone the election, the bedrock of American democracy, but the greater danger is that he can destroy its legitimacy. The idea of a delay has been floated previously, though usually vaguely and in response to questions. Jared Kushner refused to rule it out, and the presumptive Democratic nominee, Joe Biden, has warned that Trump would try to postpone the election, though the president has previously affirmed November 3 as Election Day. This time is different, because Trump is raising the idea of his own volition. Read More

Editorials: Trump’s call to postpone elections is an outrageous break with American faith in democracy | Michael Waldman and Harold Ekeh/The Washington Post

President Trump suggested Thursday that the 2020 elections be postponed. To be clear: Trump does not have the power to reschedule voting. Election dates are set by statute dating to 1845, and no U.S. presidential election has ever been postponed. Trump’s call for a delay is an outrageous break with American faith in democracy. This year won’t be the first time Americans have voted amid disruption and crisis. U.S. democracy has functioned through wars and previous public health emergencies, as history shows. In November 1864, the Civil War still raged, with hundreds of thousands dead or wounded. President Abraham Lincoln thought he was likely to lose the election to former general George McClellan, who proposed ending the war with slavery intact. Lincoln was so gloomy about his chances that he wrote a memo to his Cabinet, to be unsealed only after Election Day, that assumed he had lost. (He urged his officials “to save the Union between the election and the inauguration, as [his opponent] will have secured his election on such ground that he can not possibly save it afterwards.”) Last-minute military victories, especially the Army’s capture of Atlanta, swung support toward Lincoln. Voting was not easy, and circumstances led to innovation. The first widespread use of absentee ballots let Union soldiers vote, providing Lincoln’s margin of victory. Two days after his reelection, Lincoln spoke to a crowd serenading him at the White House. There were “emergencies,” he noted. “But the election was a necessity,” he declared. “We can not have free government without elections; and if the rebellion could force us to forego, or postpone a national election, it might fairly claim to have already conquered and ruined us.” That faith in democracy has been evident when Americans have voted during other national emergencies. Read More

Arizona: Election officials push back on Trump tweet | Jeremy Duda/Arizona Mirror

Arizona election officials of both parties repudiated a tweet from President Donald Trump that again pushed the baseless allegation that voting by mail fosters election fraud and suggested that the November election should be delayed “until people can properly, securely and safely vote.” Trump has repeatedly promoted, without evidence, unverified claims that voting-by-mail is susceptible to fraud, largely in response to Democratic calls for all-mail balloting to ensure that people can vote safely amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The president reiterated those claims on Thursday, along with a more novel argument that the alleged fraud may necessitate moving the date of the Nov. 3 general election. “With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???” Trump tweeted Thursday morning. Democratic and Republican election officials in Arizona took issue with both the election fraud allegations and the suggestion that the election be delayed. “I have no words. It’s very disappointing,” said Yavapai County Recorder Leslie Hoffman, a Republican. Read More

Colorado: Gov. Jared Polis Reacts To Trump’s Tweet About Delaying Election: ‘Undemocratic, Outrageous And Insulting’ | Anica Padilla/CBS Denver

Gov. Jared Polis said November’s General Election will be held on schedule, after President Donald Trump floated the idea of delaying it. The president expressed concerns about mail-in voting and questioned whether the election should be delayed until people can vote “securely and safely.” “With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???” Trump tweeted Thursday morning. During a news conference on Thursday afternoon, Polis was asked about the president’s tweet — and fired off a rapid response. “Look, our Democracy will not become a casualty of this pandemic, and any suggestion to the contrary is undemocratic, outrageous and insulting to the constitutional principles of a representative Republic that our nation is built on,” Polis stated. Read More

Maryland: Trump’s pitch to delay election is ‘absurd,’ suggests he could try to hold job if he loses, Maryland Democrats say | Jeff Barker/Baltimore Sun

President Donald Trump’s pitch to delay the Nov. 3 presidential election “reeks of desperation” and is an ill-conceived attempt to smear the sort of mail-in voting that Maryland employed in its June primary, Democratic members of the state’s congressional delegation said Thursday. Trump should “cease his attempts to delegitimize mailed ballots and stop sowing discord over the integrity of our elections,” said Rep. John Sarbanes, a Baltimore County Democrat. Trump tweeted Thursday that the election might better be postponed “until people can properly, securely and safely vote.” The Republican, who is seeking a second term, tweeted that universal mail-in voting would make it “the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history.” There is no universal mail-in voting. Maryland is among the states offering voters the opportunity to vote by mail to keep citizens and election workers safe during the coronavirus pandemic. The state will send applications for absentee ballots to all voters, and they can request one without providing a reason for not voting in person. Read More

New Hampshire: Governor Sununu slams Trump’s suggestion to delay election – News | Fosters

Gov. Chris Sununu declared “the election will happen in New Hampshire on November 3rd,” joining many fellow Republicans pushing back Thursday after President Donald Trump suggested delaying the presidential election. Trump doesn’t have the power to change the election date, but he floated the idea as he pushed unsubstantiated allegations that increased mail-in voting due to the coronavirus pandemic will result in fraud. Sununu, who has supported the president since Trump was elected in 2016, was clear in his opposition to him on this issue. “Make no mistake: the election will happen in New Hampshire on November 3rd. End of story,” he tweeted. “Our voting system in NH is secure, safe, and reliable. We have done it right 100% of the time for 100 years – this year will be no different.” With Trump lagging in the polls and confronted by fresh evidence of an economic collapse and an escalating public health crisis, his comments were widely viewed as an attempt to change the subject and rile his base. Read More

Utah: ‘No reason to delay’ election, Utah official says in response to Trump | Lisa Riley Roche/Deseret News

President Donald Trump’s tweet Thursday suggesting the November election be delayed because the move many states are making to voting by mail due to COVID-19 means the results would be “fraudulent” comes during Utah’s eighth year of holding by-mail elections. But Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, whose office oversees elections in Utah, tweeted there’s no need to put off the vote. And other Utah politicians, including Sen. Mitt Romney, maintain the voting will be done as scheduled. “While no system is perfect, Utah is a model of showing vote-by-mail can be successful and secure. We are happy to advise and assist other states (and we have) to make sure there is no reason to delay a general election,” Cox tweeted. The lieutenant governor, who won the state’s June 30 GOP gubernatorial primary, told the Deseret News that when the president tweeted, his office was in the middle of a training exercise run by national security officials to learn how to detect attempts at election interference, such as misinformation campaigns by a foreign government. Read More

Tennessee: Lawmakers voice opposition to delaying the election | Scripps Media

On Thursday, President Trump floated the idea of delaying the November election. It is something that has never happened in the United States. He cited his continued claims that the election will be inaccurate with the use of mail-in voting. The President does not have the authority to delay an election, rather the Constitution gives Congress the power to set the date for voting. Many lawmakers from both parties very quickly said the likelihood an election would be delayed is very low. Senator Marsha Blackburn responded to the President’s idea during an interview on Fox News Thursday. Senator Marsha Blackburn: “I served on the election committee in my county in the late 80s; so I know that our local election commissions do everything they can possibly do to make sure these elections are fair. The elections are set. They’re going to take place and I don’t think you’re going to see them stopped. Other Tennessee representatives and senators took to social media to express their disapproval. Read More

Vermont: Leaders reject Trump suggestion to delay November election | Elizabeth Hewitt/VTDigger

President Donald Trump on Thursday suggested the 2020 election should be postponed, prompting swift condemnation from Vermont leaders. Vermont officials said the president does not have the authority to change the date of the election, which is set by the Constitution. They also challenged Trump’s assertions that expanded mail-in voting during the pandemic would lead to increased voter fraud — a claim he has repeated in recent months and is not backed by evidence. “With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???” Trump wrote in a statement on Twitter. The president’s suggestion of delaying the election was rejected by political leaders on both sides of the aisle, including Vermont’s congressional delegation, Secretary of State Jim Condos and Gov. Phil Scott. Read More

Washington: Mail-In Voting Is ‘Not Rampant Voter Fraud,’ Says Washington’s Top Election Official | Emma Bowman/NPR

This past week, President Trump renewed his unsubstantiated claim that mail-in voting begets inaccurate or fraudulent results when he raised the prospect of delaying November’s election. “With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history,” Trump tweeted Thursday. Trump’s rhetoric alarms Kim Wyman, the secretary of state of Washington, one of a handful of states that vote almost entirely by mail. A growing number of states are embracing mail-in voting — which is essentially the same as absentee voting — over fears that going to polling stations could increase exposure to the coronavirus. “I think it really shatters peoples’ confidence in the process,” Wyman, a Republican, said in an interview with All Things Considered on Saturday. “We need to make sure we’re inspiring confidence in the public that this is a fair election. And the way you do that is balancing access and security.” Contrary to the president’s claims, fraudulent mail-in voting is very rare, according to election security experts. And as for Washington, Wyman said, “We’ve seen a very low incidence of any kind of voter fraud.” Read More

Wyoming: Cheney, Barrasso reject suggestion of election delay | Tom Coulter/Wyoming Tribune Eagle

After President Donald Trump tweeted the idea of delaying the November election, several Republicans in Congress quickly rejected the idea Thursday, and two of Wyoming’s federal delegates were among them. The president’s tweet, which was met with widespread disapproval from federal leadership in both parties, was posted Thursday morning. ”With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history,” Trump tweeted. “It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???” The first public reaction among Wyoming’s congressional delegation came from Sen. John Barrasso, who said there would be no delay of the November election in an interview later Thursday morning with Fox Business. ”We have been focused and working on making sure elections are secure, and we will get results,” Barrasso said. “It’s going to take a while. We may not know on election night the balance of the House of Representatives or the Senate or the presidency, but we will not delay the elections.” Read More

Australia: ‘Rigged’: Trump talks November delay, Republicans reject idea | Matthew Knott/Sydney Morning Herald

Leading Republican politicians have forcefully rejected US President Donald Trump’s suggestion that the November 3 election may need to be delayed because of concerns about mail-in voting, insisting the election must go ahead as planned. Trump tweeted on Thursday morning, US time: “With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???” Later, speaking at the White House, Trump said he believed the election would be be “fraudulent”, “fixed” and “rigged”. “I don’t want to have to wait for three months and then find out the ballots are all missing and the election doesn’t mean anything,” he said. “That is what is going to happen.” Presidential election dates are enshrined in federal law and would require an act of Congress to change – an impossible prospect given Democrats control the House of Representatives. The Constitution makes no provision for a delay to the January 20, 2021 presidential inauguration. Even so, Trump’s tweet and statement were widely seen as a remarkable provocation and a disturbing portent of how the voting process and legitimacy of the election results could be undermined in November. Read More