What Indiana’s Congressional delegates said about Trump’s suggestion to delay the election

President Donald Trump this week tossed around the idea of delaying the November election, though the president does not wield that power.

In a tweet Thursday, Trump railed against no-excuse mail-in voting, an alternative to in-person voting during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Trump said it would make the 2020 Election “the most INACCURATE and FRAUDULENT Election in history.”

Critics of mail-in voting say it can lead to fraudulent ballots, though there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud related to mail-in ballots, according to a USA Today report. 

Trump then posed: “Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”

The tweet drew bipartisan criticism, and election experts noted that delaying the election would be up to Congress, not the president. During a press conference later in the day, Trump said he doesn’t want to delay Election Day, but that he also doesn’t want to deal with potential complications caused by mail-in voting.

“Do I want to see a date change? No,” Trump said. “But I don’t want to see a crooked election…” 

Many states, including Indiana, expanded mail-in voting for the primary during the height of the pandemic. Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has said he doesn’t see the need to do the same thing for the General Election, noting that all voters can cast early ballots beginning Oct. 6 and avoid Election Day crowds on Nov. 3. 

IndyStar asked Indiana’s Congressional delegation their thoughts on delaying the election and Trump’s concerns over universal mail-in voting. Here’s what they said. 

Rep. Peter Visclosky

Democrat, 1st Congressional District  

Did not respond to IndyStar’s request for comment. 

Rep. Jackie Walorski

Republican, 2nd Congressional District 

A spokesperson said Walorski believes the election should take place as scheduled.

“She’s confident it will, and that the state of Indiana will ensure it is free, fair, and safe,” the spokesperson wrote in an email.

Rep. Jim Banks

Republican, 3rd Congressional District

Did not respond to IndyStar’s request for comment. 

Rep. James Baird 

Republican, 4th Congressional District 

Baird said he’s confident in Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson’s ability “to provide a safe and secure environment for people to exercise their right to vote on November 3rd.

“I don’t see any reason for the election to be delayed at this time.”

Rep. Susan Brooks

Republican, 5th Congressional District 

Brooks noted in an emailed statement that Election Day has never been changed, “and this year will not be different.

“I do not support delaying the election.”

Brooks said she does not support mandating an “all mail voting” system.

“However, I am in favor of expanded absentee ballots, as was put in place by the Indiana Election Commission for the June primary.”

Rep. Greg Pence 

Republican, 6th Congressional District 

Did not respond to IndyStar’s request for comment. 

Rep. André Carson

Democrat, 7th Congressional District

A Carson spokesperson pointed IndyStar to a previous statement. Carson said in a tweet that “We can, and we will, hold an election” this year. He also signaled support of universal mail-in voting. 

“If President Trump can vote by mail, then so can the rest of us,” he said. 

Rep. Larry Bucshon 

Republican, 8th Congressional District 

Did not respond to IndyStar’s request for comment. 

Rep. Trey Hollingsworth 

Republican, 9th Congressional District

A Hollingsworth spokesperson said the representative “does not support moving the election.”

Sen. Todd Young

Republican 

Did not respond to IndyStar’s request for comment. 

Sen. Mike Braun 

Republican 

A Braun spokesperson pointed to previous statements Braun gave media about mail-in voting. 

Braun told Fox Business host Cheryl Casone that he “definitely” wants Election Day in November, but that he agrees “100%” with Trump’s concerns over mail-in voting. 

“If you try to replace a system based upon technology and machines and [with] early voting and all the different ways you can vote now, trying to do it through the mail?” he sad. “He’s (Trump) exactly right.”

Contact IndyStar reporter Elizabeth DePompei at 317-444-6196 or edepompei@indystar.com. Follow her on Twitter: @edepompei.