Thune, Johnson weigh in on Trump’s push to delay election

Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 6:46 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - We are just over three months away from the presidential election, and the Coronavirus pandemic continues to raise questions around the event.

President Trump tweeted his stance on the growing interest of mail in voting Thursday morning, saying the 2020 election with be inaccurate and fraudulent, and asking for a delay in the election.

However, South Dakota Representative Dusty Johnson believes the election must go on as planned.

Johnson said, “For 175 years this country has had elections on the first Tuesday after the first Monday, that’s a time honor tradition. That’s the kind of thing that we’ve done during world wars, during pandemics, during depressions and having that kind of stability really provides a lot of legitimacy around election day.”

Senator John Thune shared his similar thoughts on the November 3rd election with CNN saying, “I think we’ve had elections every November since about 1788, and I expect that will be the case again this year.”

Even with the president pushing to delay the election, the constitution doesn’t give the executive branch that power.

Johnson added, “Federal election day is set by federal law which would take an act of congress to change that.”

And Johnson expands by highlighting that South Dakota has already had a successful election during this pandemic.

“Clearly COVID-19 complicates things, but the good news is we already have the tools needed to ensure that we can vote in a safe way during a pandemic,” Johnson said.

According to Johnson, over half of South Dakota voters in the primary voted remotely.

“Well 58% of primary voters voted early, they didn’t wait for the election day. I’m sure a lot of that was driven by COVID-19 concerns, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if we see also a lot of early voting in the lead up to November,” said Johnson.

The Minnehaha County Auditor’s office says there are already 100,000 requests for early voting ballots across the state of South Dakota for the upcoming presidential election in November.

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