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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 BluntWorking together to effectively address patient identification during COVID-19 Trump announces intention to nominate two individuals to serve as FEC members Power players play chess match on COVID-19 aid 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 BidenBiden leads Trump by 8 points nationally: poll Ivanka Trump raises million in a week for father's campaign On The Money: McConnell says Congress will take up stimulus package at start of 2021 | Lawmakers see better prospects for COVID deal after election MORE predicted that President TrumpDonald John TrumpStephen Miller: Trump to further crackdown on illegal immigration if he wins US records 97,000 new COVID-19 cases, shattering daily record Biden leads Trump by 8 points nationally: poll 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 says ex-staffer who penned 'Anonymous' op-ed should be 'prosecuted' Kushner told Woodward in April Trump was 'getting the country back from the doctors' What a Biden administration should look like 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.