U.S. President Donald Trump alleged again Friday that the November election could be rigged because of mail-in votes.
“It’ll be fixed, it’ll be rigged,” Trump told reporters on the South Lawn of the White House before traveling to Tampa, Florida.
Without providing any evidence, the president said Russia and China could forge U.S. paper ballots and said, “This is going to be the greatest election disaster in history.”
The comments come one day after Trump suggested delaying this year’s presidential election, alleging on Twitter that mailed ballots, which take longer to count, would make the 2020 presidential balloting the “most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history.”
The president added, “It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”
Trump told reporters at the White House later Thursday that he does not want to delay the vote but also does not want to wait “weeks, months or even years” for the results of the election because of problems he predicts will occur with mailed-in ballots.
The president does not have the power to delay the election, which lies solely with Congress. Lawmakers, including both Republicans and Democrats, were quick Thursday to reject any suggestion that the election would be delayed.
Trump has criticized voting by mail since April. However, representatives for the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) and the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED) told VOA in July that if there is any evidence to support Trump’s claims of potential mail-in ballot fraud, the administration has yet to share it with them.
Most states offer some form of mail-in voting, so-called absentee ballots, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, some states have moved to expand the use of mail-in ballots for the November election. Five states conduct all of their elections completely by mail: Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington and Utah.
Steve Herman contributed to this report.