Utah Republicans Push Back At President Trump’s Election Delay Tweet

Jul 30, 2020, 7:13 PM
FILE (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)...
FILE (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
(Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah  – Several Utah Republicans quickly rejected President Donald Trump’s tweet suggesting that the November presidential election be delayed.

Trump sent a tweet Thursday morning that said, “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???”

Earlier in the morning, the president tweeted that mail-in voting is a “catastrophic disaster” and it’s “an easy way for foreign countries to enter the race.”

Several members of Utah’s congressional delegation pushed back on the idea of a postponed Election Day and defended Utah’s election process.

“Mail-in voting works in our state extremely well,” Republican Sen. Mitt Romney told a reporter at the U.S. Capitol. “The great thing about it is that you have a paper document so that if you need to do a recount, you don’t have to worry about machines having been tampered with, so I’m a fan of voting by mail.”

Romney went on to say, “Secondly, of course, we are going to have an election on time. It’s unthinkable that that would not be the case.”

Republican Rep. John Curtis said in a series of tweets that the problem isn’t with mail-in voting itself but rather with “ballot harvesting and mismanagement of election procedures.”

Curtis went on to say that Utah is an example of how to hold successful mail-in elections.

“I believe the election will proceed as planned with measures ensuring that Americans can vote safely and securely — as we do in Utah,” Curtis said in a tweet. “If circumstances arise, then Congress will be the one to determine a delay, as is our Constitutional duty.”

Fellow GOP Rep. Chris Stewart tweeted: “I do not support delaying the election. Congress sets the election date, not the President.”

Top Republicans in the House and Senate also dismissed the idea of changing the date of the election.

“Never in the history of the country through wars, depressions and the Civil War have we not had a federally scheduled election on time,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, in an interview with NBC affiliate WNKY. ”And we’ll find a way to do that again this Nov. 3.”

McConnell went on to say the nation will cope with any situation and hold the election as scheduled.

The chairman of Utah’s Republican Party issued a statement saying that Utah has been voting by mail for over a decade with procedures to guard against voter fraud.

“Our system has integrity and has worked well, including in the most recent primary election,” said Utah GOP chairman Derek Brown. “The concerns the president has expressed with mail-in voting are highlighting states that, unlike Utah, do not have the kinds of safeguards that Utah has in place which deter voter fraud.”

Brown’s statement also said the law is clear about delaying an election and that it would need congressional approval.

Gov. Gary Herbert praised Utah’s election system when asked about Trump’s tweet.

“I don’t think we need to postpone the election,” Herbert said.

From a Utah perspective, Herbert said postponing the election would be “foolish.”

“We’ve seen no evidence of anything untoward with mail-in ballots,” Herbert said. “We think, in fact, that it’s been a blessing to a lot of people to be able to get the ballot, review the ballot, study the issues and the candidates and make an informed decision.”

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Utah Republicans Push Back At President Trump’s Election Delay Tweet