GOP chairman dismisses moving Election Day: 'No justification for changing the elections'

GOP chairman dismisses moving Election Day: 'No justification for changing the elections'
© Bonnie Cash

The Republican chairman of the Senate Rules Committee dismissed moving the general election set for Nov. 3 because of the coronavirus pandemic, CNN reported Thursday.

Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntSenate GOP hedges on attending Trump's convention amid coronavirus uptick State and local officials beg Congress to send more election funds ahead of November Clash looms over next coronavirus relief bill MORE (R-Mo.) said other disasters like wars have not disturbed past election dates. Election Day is supposed to occur “the Tuesday next after the 1st Monday in November,” according to an 1875 law.

“We've had elections in the middle of the Civil War and in the middle of World War II," he said. "I can think of no justification for changing the elections."

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Blunt’s comment comes after presumptive Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump says Biden has been 'brainwashed': 'He's been taken over by the radical left' Trump says he'll wear mask during upcoming trip to Walter Reed Latino group 'Mi Familia Vota' launches M voter turnout campaign targeting swing states MORE predicted that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump on Kanye West's presidential run: 'He is always going to be for us' Marie Yovanovitch on Vindman retirement: He 'deserved better than this. Our country deserved better than this' Trump says Biden has been 'brainwashed': 'He's been taken over by the radical left' MORE will attempt to postpone the general election.

"Mark my words: I think he is going to try to kick back the election some, come up with some rationale why it can't be held,” the former vice president told donors last month.

Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh denied Biden’s claims at the time, saying it was "the incoherent, conspiracy theory ramblings of a lost candidate who is out of touch with reality."

Ken Farnaso, another Trump campaign spokesman, told The Hill in a statement on Thursday that Trump "has been clear" that Election Day will continue as planned.

“It was Joe Biden who invented the baseless conspiracy theory of a delayed election," he said. "Reporters should ask Biden why he’s intent on fueling confusion among voters at a time when they’re looking for normalcy. Every time Joe Biden opens his mouth he tries to divide Americans and spread confusion and he should stop it for the good of the country.”

But Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerTrump on Kanye West's presidential run: 'He is always going to be for us' On The Money: Supreme Court upholds NY prosecutors' access to Trump's tax returns, rebuffs Congress | Trump complains of 'political prosecution' | Biden rebukes Trump, rolls out jobs plan Supreme Court upholds NY prosecutors' access to Trump's tax returns, rebuffs Congress MORE told Time magazine this week that he’s “not sure I can commit one way or the other” on whether the general election will go on as scheduled.

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“But right now, that’s the plan,” he said. 

Election experts have said the date cannot be postponed unless Congress adjusts the law.

The coronavirus pandemic has locked down much of the country, though businesses are now beginning to reopen.

There have been more than 1.3 million cases of the virus in the U.S. and 84,136 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

--Updated at 9:40 a.m.