Hours after suggesting a possible delay in the 2020 US election, President Donald Trump says he does not want to postpone the vote but remains concerned that millions of mail-in ballots will cause problems.
“I want an election and a result, much, much more than you,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Thursday.
“I don’t want to delay. I want to have the election.
“But I also don’t want to have to wait three months and then find out that the ballots are all missing, and the election doesn’t mean anything.”
Trump cited recent media reports about potential problems with mail-in ballots arriving late and said it could take weeks, months or even years to sort it out.
“Do I want to see a date change? No. But I don’t want to see a crooked election,” he said.
The backflip came a few hours after President Trump tweeted that “universal mail-in voting” would make the vote the “most inaccurate and fraudulent election in history”.
“It will be a great embarrassment to the USA,” he wrote.
“Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”
It was the first time he had floated the idea, though he has no authority to delay an election with Congress holding the power to set the date for voting.
The President has been pushing hard to block the expansion of postal voting in states around the country and has repeatedly claimed that mail in ballots were fraudulent.
A Tweet in which he raised the issue back in May was infamously tagged with a ‘fact-checking’ warning on the social media platform.
The movement for mail in ballots has been growing, as part of an effort to making voting easier particularly as a result of the spread of coronavirus across the country.
There is no evidence to support the idea that either absentee or mail-in ballots contribute to voter fraud.