Several members of Utah’s Congressional delegation along with Gov. Gary Herbert, have spoken out against President Donald Trump’s call to delay the November election.
In a Thursday morning tweet, Trump called absentee voting fraudulent and for the November presidential election to be delayed “until people can properly, securely and safely vote.” Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many states are increasingly relying on mail-in voting. But election experts say documented cases of voter fraud connected to mail-in ballots are rare.
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???
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 30, 2020
Additionally, the president doesn’t have the authority to delay an election. That power lies with Congress.
“Mail-in voting works in our state extremely well,” Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said in a statement. “Secondly, of course, we are going to have an election on time. It’s unthinkable that that would not be the case.”
Utah’s June primary election was held entirely by mail, with the exception of San Juan County, and no major allegations of voter fraud have surfaced. Though, results were delayed compared to years past because election officials let ballots sit for 24 hours as a COVID safety precaution
Herbert praised Utah’s elections officials and emphasized that there is no evidence mail-in ballots lead to widespread fraud.
“I feel no reason to postpone the election,” he said during a news conference Thursday. “From a Utah perspective I think that would be foolish.”
Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, also commended elections officials in the state, and wrote on Twitter that Utah is an example of how to conduct mail-in voting well. He left open the possibility of postponing the election, however.
“I believe the election will proceed as planned with measures ensuring that Americans can vote safely and securely — as we do in Utah,” he tweeted. “If circumstances arise, then Congress will be the one to determine a delay, as is our Constitutional duty.”
Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, also tweeted that he does not support delaying the election.
I do not support delaying the election. Congress sets the election date, not the President.
— Rep. Chris Stewart (@RepChrisStewart) July 30, 2020
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Rep. Ben McAdams, D-Utah, declined to comment.
Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.