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Dave and Dujanovic: No, Trump, you can’t delay the election

A polling location station is ready for the election day. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

SALT LAKE CITY — President Donald Trump proposed delaying the Nov. 3 election during the coronavirus pandemic because of his unsubstantiated claims of mail-in voter fraud on Thursday. 

 

Salt Lake County Clerk, Sherrie Swensen, joined Dave Noriega and Debbie Dujanovic to challenge the president’s unsupported claims of mail-in voting fraud.

Trump’s argument to delay the election 

The COVID-19 pandemic has expanded fears about long lines and big crowds at polling places.

“If you have wholesale mail-in voting, it substantially increases the risk of fraud,” said US Attorney General Bill Barr during in a House Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday.

In May, President Trump threatened to “hold up” funding for Michigan and Nevada if they allowed more residents to cast mail-in or absentee ballots due to the pandemic safety concerns. The president later backed off the threat.

President Trump trails his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, in presidential election polls by an average of 8.3 percentage points, according to Real Clear Politics.

 

No proof of voter fraud 

Swensen said every registered voter is entered into the statewide database and given a voter ID number. Every ballot ordered is assigned an ID number. 

“We only order those ballots for actively registered voters,” Swensen said.

In 2017, the Brennan Center for Justice said the risk of voter fraud is 0.00004-0.0009%, according to the Associated Press

Swensen said when the ballot is returned in the envelope provided with the affidavit signature, the ballot ID is scanned in and that individual voter is given credit for casting a ballot. The signature is verified by comparing the signature on the ballot to the voter’s signature on file.

She said the idea that someone, even a foreign government, could send out ballots and have them returned as verified is “absolutely ridiculous.”

“Anyone who would say that has not seen our system,” Swensen said.

Debbie asked about the possibility of a scammer dropping off fake ballots to a number of different neighborhoods.  

“Then basically that person would think they had voted when they really hadn’t voted. Have you ever heard of that happening?” asked Debbie.

“No. They would have to replicate not only our ballot packet and the instructions,” Swensen said. “I mean it doesn’t make sense. No, I’ve never heard of anything like that. If we started seeing anything like that, we would immediately contact law enforcement. . . People would not be given credit for having returned that ballot because again it’s associated with that ballot ID.”

Congressional push back to postponing the election 

The president does not have the power to move the date of an election — only Congress does. Both Democrats, who control the House, and Republicans, who control the Senate, oppose delaying the Nov. 3 election.

 

A mid-19th century law sets the election for the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. And it has not changed since then, said presidential historian Michael Beschloss.

 

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, a.s well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play