In the face of the national health crisis that's killed over 80 thousand Americans and unemployed millions more, times have never been more uncertain.
Americans are widely following the advice of health experts and staying inside or otherwise socially distant in an effort to curb the spread of the virus, but it's unclear how long these measures will have to remain in place.
As a result, speculation on the fate of the 2020 presidential election has seen a massive uptick.
Democrats are calling for expanded voting measures—such as automatically sending absentee ballots to every voter instead of having them request one—that would allow voters to cast their ballots safely.
Expanded voting access is a nonstarter for most Republicans.
People are beginning to worry that President Donald Trump's administration will take advantage of the national uncertainty to delay the United States election.
Trump's son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner exacerbated these fears when he wouldn't commit to a November 3 election in an interview with Time Magazine.
When asked if there was a chance the presidential election could be postponed past November 3 due to the pandemic,… https://t.co/1Vbid9omby— TIME (@TIME)1589325430.0
"I'm not sure I can commit one way or the other, but right now that's the plan. Hopefully by the time we get to September, October, November, we've done enough work with testing and with all the different things we're trying to do to prevent a future outbreak of the magnitude that would make us shut down again."
Kushner's refusal to commit to holding the constitutionally mandated election on its scheduled date drew immediate backlash, and he leapt to clarify his previous statement:
"I have not been involved in, nor am I aware of, any discussions about trying to change the date of the presidential election."
It wasn't long before 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton made a crucial point: It doesn't matter what Jared thinks about the election.
I can’t believe I have to write this sentence, but the president's son-in-law doesn't get to decide when the electi… https://t.co/wBr4y3Oxkb— Hillary Clinton (@Hillary Clinton)1589378916.0
Others soon echoed her.
Jared Kushner is not in charge of when U.S. Elections are held.— Carolyn B. Maloney (@Carolyn B. Maloney)1589375946.0
Somebody tell Jared he doesn’t decide when we hold the presidential election. FFS. This mediocre son of a crook wil… https://t.co/HhWw1ZLvJ5— Barbara Malmet (@Barbara Malmet)1589328259.0
Let's be clear here: Jared doesn't decide whether we vote. Elections are run by the states. If the administration w… https://t.co/2mMGWHlkRn— Walter Shaub (@Walter Shaub)1589326521.0
Constitutional scholars and other experts began pointing out the rampant wrongs in the idea of postponing the election.
I’m sorry. So we’re setting aside Art II section 1 of the Constitution and the federal statute 3 U.S.C. section 1 t… https://t.co/JEB1OYFQU8— Sherrilyn Ifill (@Sherrilyn Ifill)1589327233.0
Kushner’s statement reveals amazing ignorance of the Constitution and law. It reveals startling arrogance in taking… https://t.co/sZo3Tr0I0z— Bill Kristol (@Bill Kristol)1589329905.0
Jared may not be able to commit but our Constitution & laws have. https://t.co/peST5IT418— Joyce Alene (@Joyce Alene)1589373165.0
It's not a "plan." It's a FEDERAL LAW: 3 U.S. Code § 1. It does not matter what you think, Jared. It's THE LAW. https://t.co/oPgKM8UqGF— Ronald Klain (@Ronald Klain)1589332958.0
So election schedules are now up to Jared Kushner? I don’t remember the “Jared” clause in the Constitution. https://t.co/wfy9xDdl4Y— Garrett M. Graff (@Garrett M. Graff)1589325567.0
For a deeper look into Trump's and Kushner's power over democracy in the United States, check out American Oligarchs, available here.