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Trump floats idea of presidential election delay in tweet

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President Donald Trump delivers remarks about American energy production during a visit to the Double Eagle Energy Oil Rig, Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Midland, Texas.
President Donald Trump delivers remarks about American energy production during a visit to the Double Eagle Energy Oil Rig, Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Midland, Texas.   -   Copyright  Tony Gutierrez/AP Photo
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President Donald Trump has floated the idea of delaying the US presidential election on Twitter.

It came on the same day as the economy suffered a record low quarter.

The US president tweeted claimed that mail-in voting would create widespread fraud and suggested that the election should be delayed.

Trump tweeted: “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???”

His tweet followed the government announcing that the economy shrank at a record 32.9 per cent annual rate this quarter. US media reported this was the worst period since the 1940s.

The US president's approval ratings have also fallen significantly as the country reports record numbers of COVID-19 cases.

More than 160,000 people have died due to COVID-19 in the United States.

Several law professors pointed out on Twitter that the US President does not have the power to delay federal elections.

Congress has the power to delay elections but US federal law requires the president's term to end in January, significantly limiting the ability of Congress to change elections without changing the constitution, according to US election law experts.

Trump has previously claimed that voting by post was fraudulent in tweets that were subsequently fact-checked and flagged by Twitter.

But at least 46 of 50 US states offer some form of postal ballot for all voters, according to a recent report by the Open Source Election Technology Institute.

Mail-in voting has been in the news due to the coronavirus pandemic as states decide how to run the country's November general election.