Republican Lawmakers Remind President Trump That the Election Date Is Mandated by the U.S. Constitution

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The first page of the constitution

In response to a recent tweet from President Donald Trump, several prominent Republican lawmakers reminded the President that the U.S. Constitution clearly mandates when the election for President must be held.

Many of these lawmakers made reference to Article II of the U.S. Constitution, which gives Congress the authority to determine the timing of the election. Ever since 1845, Congress has fixed the day of the General Election to be the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

A number of Republican officials from across the country have publicly proclaimed their commitment to the constitutional principles that govern when we conduct our election, which includes but is not limited to:

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky
  • Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas
  • Sen. John Cornyn of Texas
  • Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina
  • Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida
  • Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming
  • Sen. John Thune of South Dakota
  • Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina
  • Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa
  • Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah
  • Sen. Susan Collins of Maine
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
  • House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy
  • Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin
  • Rep. Don Bacon of Kansas
  • Rep. Dusty Johnson of South Dakota
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois
  • Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming
  • Gov. Chris Sununu of New Hampshire
  • Gov. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts
  • Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland
  • Secretary of State Frank LaRose of Ohio
  • Secretary of State Kim Wyman of Washington
  • State Sen. Jim Oberweis of Illinois

Given the coronavirus pandemic, the way that our country votes in November 2020 may look different from past election cycles. However, the country has voted in general elections in the middle of a Civil War, two World Wars, the Great Depression, and the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918. We can and should hold the election as planned on Nov. 3, 2020.

Congress has the responsibility to make sure that the election takes place safely and smoothly. It should provide funding to states to handle a surge of mail-in ballots during the November election and make other necessary adjustments to allow every eligible voter to vote.

In May, the House approved a COVID-19 aid package with $3.6 billion to help local governments cover the cost of administering elections. Currently, the Senate is considering another stimulus package. Lawmakers in the Senate should use this opportunity to ensure that Americans can exercise their right to vote.

Voters should not need to choose between protecting their health and participating in our democracy.

Georgia is the 2020 CLC Communications Fellow