Trump Claims Authority to Issue Executive Order on Mail-In Votes

President Trump claimed Monday he has the executive power to limit mail-in voting over concerns about voter fraud.

“I have the right to do it. We haven’t gotten there yet, but we’ll see what happens.”

USNews reports President Donald Trump claimed Monday that he has the authority to issue an executive order on mail-in ballots, whose increasing use, he argues, could increase election fraud and uncertainty, though it is is unclear what he could do to curtail the practice.

“I have the right to do it,” Trump told reporters at a White House press conference. “We haven’t gotten there yet, we’ll see what happens.”

Trump added that Republicans are planning to file suit as soon as Tuesday to try to block Nevada’s expansion of mail-in voting.

Nearly all election procedures are governed on a state-by-state basis, with the remainder set by Congress or enshrined in the Constitution. There is no precedent or apparent authority for Trump to try to curtail the use of mail-in ballots by executive order, though he could use a document to formalize his opposition to the practice.

Trump’s claimed authority comes days after he publicly floated a delay to the Nov. 3 presidential election, a notion was met with swift bipartisan blowback.

Trump has increasingly sought to cast doubt on November’s election and the expected pandemic-induced surge in mail-in and absentee voting — particularly as he has found himself trailing in public and private polling. Trump has called remote voting options the “biggest risk” to his reelection. His campaign and the Republican Party have sued to combat the practice, which was once a significant advantage for the GOP.

Many Democrats were horrified with Trump’s claim.

Jon Favreau wrote:

Trump just said he “has the right” to unilaterally disenfranchise Americans citizens through an executive order that prevents voting by mail in the middle of a pandemic.

That’s every bit as terrifying as his tweet about delaying the election, and should be treated as such.

“He can try and do it, it’s going to get shot down in court.”

@vanitaguptaCR on Trump claiming he can use an executive order to prohibit mail-in voting. #TheReidOut