Washington AG Ferguson: ‘We will see President Trump in court’ if he delays November election
After President Trump floated the idea of a possible delay for the November presidential election, Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson hastily issued a statement saying that his office would challenge any such action in court.
“President Trump’s statement that he may unlawfully delay the November election is undemocratic, un-American, and, sadly, entirely predictable,” Ferguson said. “For months, my legal team has been preparing for the possibility that the president might attempt to unlawfully delay the election. If that happens, we will see President Trump in court — and we will win.”
Trump echoed a sentiment he’s expressed frequently in recent months, claiming that mail-in voting would make 2020 “the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history.”
“It will be a great embarrassment to the USA,” he tweeted. “Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”
There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud through mail-in voting, even in states with all-mail votes. Five states, including Washington, already rely exclusively on mail-in ballots, and say they have necessary safeguards in place to ensure that a hostile foreign actor doesn’t disrupt the vote. Several others are enacting partial mail-in systems in November to mitigate the risk of in-person voting brought on by the ongoing pandemic. Election security experts say that all forms of voter fraud are rare, including absentee balloting.
Addressing the possibility of Trump attempting to delay the November election months ago, Ferguson had sent out an email to supporters in April, warning that “whether or not the president has the legal authority to delay an election, he may try.”
“Washingtonians have a right to expect the presidential election in November,” the email read. “If the President tries to use emergency powers to unlawfully delay the election, we’ll be prepared.”
Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman — who’s in charge of the state’s election process — spoke out Thursday as well, promising that “the 2020 General Election will take place on Nov. 3 as required by law.”
“Only an act of Congress can change that, and comments from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have assured the American people that the election will take place as planned,” Wyman said.
Also responding was Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal.
“First, [expletive] no,” she said. “Second, you can’t. Third, my state has proven year after year that vote-by-mail is safe and secure.”
The date of federal elections — the Tuesday after the first Monday in November — are enshrined in federal law and would require an act of Congress to change. The Constitution makes no provisions for a delay to the Jan. 20, 2021, presidential inauguration.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.