President Donald Trump’s bid to delay the presidential election due to concerns over potential voter fraud is a political tactic designed to create doubt and mistrust among voters, according to a politics expert available for interviews.
Via Twitter today, Trump suggested the election on Tuesday, Nov. 3 should be postponed, claiming mail-in voting options during the coronavirus pandemic “will be the most inaccurate and fraudulent election in history... Delay the election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???” The president also suggested mail-in voting is “an easy way for foreign countries to enter the race.”
“The law doesn’t allow Trump to delay the election,” said John Cluverius, a UMass Lowell political scientist and researcher, who added that while mail-in voting “isn’t perfect,” this election season, “political chicanery is far less likely due to the ongoing pandemic.”
Cluverius believes Trump’s tweets are politically motivated to leverage the COVID-19 crisis to create confusion among voters.
“Trump’s comments just throw gasoline on fire of uncertainty raging in the electorate, most of whom will either be voting by mail for the first time or trying to vote in person during a pandemic,” Cluverius said. “Sowing anxiety and distrust in the electoral system helps to suppress turnout among people who think that their votes won’t be counted and embitters the president’s voters if he does indeed lose the election.”
Cluverius is also available to discuss:
- The pros and cons of voting by mail;
- Why Trump’s actions play to his supporters.
Cluverius is the associate director of the UMass Lowell Center for Public Opinion and an assistant professor of political science. Before joining the university, he worked as a political operative for a variety of candidates for elective office and interest groups.