Trump’s Call to Delay Election Meets Swift Bipartisan Backlash in Wisconsin



By Jessica VanEgeren

July 31, 2020

Trump receives bipartisan backlash for suggesting presidential election be delayed.

Republican Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke succinctly summed up the swift, bipartisan backlash against President’s Trump suggesting the November election be delayed when he tweeted Thursday morning: “Hard NO.”

Trump took to his favorite form of social media Thursday, tweeting: “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’s suggestion to delay the election came hours before former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama each eulogized civil rights icon and Georgia Congressman John Lewis, who died July 17 at the age of 80. Trump did not attend the service.

“There are those in power who are doing their darndest to discourage people from voting by closing polling locations and targeting minorities and students with restrictive ID laws and attacking our voting rights with surgical precision, even undermining the postal service in the run up to an election that’s gonna’ be dependent on mail-in ballots,” Obama said. 

Republican and Democratic lawmakers in Wisconsin quickly pounced on the Commander-in-Chief, mostly to quell inaccurate information and point out it would take an act of Congress to change the November election date. 

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, in disagreeing with Trump, also took the opportunity to blame the media.

“I don’t think we should move election dates – but I get the president’s larger point on election security issues,” tweeted Fitzgerald. “The liberal media is full of hypocrites.”

Dean Knudson, a former Republican lawmaker who serves on the Wisconsin Election Commission, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “We must not let a pandemic derail our democracy. Delay isn’t necessary as proven by Wisconsin’s successful April election with record participation, 75 percent voting absentee ballot, with the right to vote safely in person an essential safeguard.”

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, disagreed with Trump, while at the same time congratulating himself and other Wisconsin Republicans.

“@wisgop was right not to follow @GovEvers request to delay the April election and we shouldn’t delay the November election either,” Vos said in a tweet. “Elections need to happen for democracy to function.”

“The election should not be delayed,” Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner of Menomonee Falls said in a statement. “The 20th Amendment sets the terms of the election and is clear. The terms of the president and vice president shall end at noon on the 20th day of January.”

Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, weighed in during a call with reporters to say that doing as Trump suggested would require an act of Congress, “and I don’t see that happening.”

“Frankly just bringing it up is breathtaking in and of itself,” Evers said. “I think the president has gotten pushback on that. It’s unlikely he will be talking about that anymore.”


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