Election 2020

Will the 2020 Election Be Postponed Because of the Coronavirus?

Donald Trump arrives at a campaign rally at the University of North Carolina on Aug. 9, 2016, in Wilmington, N.C. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

In 2016, many people (liberal ones anyway) asked what would happen if Trump wouldn’t concede the election to Hillary Clinton. In 2019, the same people asked what would happen if Trump doesn’t concede the 2020 election if he loses. Again, a silly question, because the transfer of power isn’t dependent on the concession of the candidate, regardless of whether he or she is an incumbent.

After Louisiana postponed its primary on Friday, the big question of 2020 is whether the coronavirus outbreak might cause the 2020 election to be postponed. In fact, unhinged liberals on social media have been “predicting” this will happen for weeks.

With so many ignorant liberals asking the question, let’s put this issue to rest: President Trump cannot postpone the election. The New York Times‘s Alex Burns explains why not: “The date of the general election is set by federal law and has been fixed since 1845. It would take a change in federal law to move that date. That would mean legislation enacted by Congress, signed by the president and subject to challenge in the courts.”

Does anyone really think that will happen? Yeah, right. “And even if all of that happened,” Burns continued, “there would not be much flexibility in choosing an alternate election date: The Constitution mandates that the new Congress must be sworn in on Jan. 3, and that the new president’s term must begin on Jan. 20. Those dates cannot be changed just by the passage of normal legislation.”

Ahh, but what about an executive order? Nope. An executive order can’t postpone or change the election. I know liberals are used to the idea that a president can do anything via executive order because Obama did, but in reality, it just doesn’t work that way.

As for procedures for voting, those are handled at the state level. Any changes to the election system, to make it easier to vote absentee or by mail, for example, are up to each state.

This is hardly the first time there have been questions about a president being able to postpone an election. Many on the left were even calling for Barack Obama to do just that after Hurricane Sandy, so much so that Obama’s Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked if Obama could do that.

And the answer then was the same as today.

So, conspiracy theorists worried about Trump using the coronavirus to postpone the election can rest assured that if Barack Obama, who so grossly abused his executive power throughout his presidency couldn’t do it, neither can Trump.


Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis