Biden against delaying November election over coronavirus, says US has voted during Civil War and two world wars

Biden against delaying November election over coronavirus, says US has voted during Civil War and two world wars
Joe Biden (Getty Images)

Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden has ruled out the speculation that the general election of November 3 would have to be deferred because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that has claimed 452 lives in the US and over 14,687 worldwide.

Biden has had a magnificent show on all three Super Tuesdays in March against Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, the only other candidate in the fray and looks set to clinch the party’s presidential nomination to take on President Donald Trump. 

During his second virtual fundraiser aimed at Atlanta-area donors on Sunday, March 22, Biden said the US has voted in the middle of a Civil War and also in the middle of two world wars. “... so the idea of postponing the electoral process is just, seems to me, out of the question,” the former two-time vice president said. 

“I know there’s a lot of rumors and speculation as to, ‘is the other guy going to try to postpone the election in November’ and all that. There’s no need to do that,” he added.

Biden’s remarks came in response to a query from former Coca-Cola Company chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent, who hosted the fundraiser that many donors wanted to attend in person. It was made into a virtual affair later. Kent wanted to know from Biden how he planned to win against President Trump in the times of the pandemic that has almost put America in a wartime situation. 

The primary season has seen a major impact from the coronavirus outbreak as seven states have deferred their pollings keeping in mind people’s safety through social distancing. Ohio was the first state that deferred its primary that was scheduled on March 17.


White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr Deborah Birx holds up a chart about coronavirus testing options as U.S. President Donald Trump holds a news conference about the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic at the White House March 13, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Getty Images)

Both Biden and Sanders, who have refused to concede his candidature despite increasingly falling behind the former, were embarrassed by canvassing for votes ahead of the March 17 contests. However, they said it was the voters’ personal choice whether they wanted to cast a ballot physically and put themselves at risk. Over 35,000 people in the US have been affected by the deadly virus, the third most after China and Italy. 


Changing presidential election needs top-level consents

Deferring a national election is, however, a different ball game. According to the federal laws, the “Tuesday next after the first Monday in November” is set as the Election Day. Changing the law would need the approval of the Congress and president and it is unlikely to happen since the House is controlled by the Democratic Party as against a Republican president. 

Biden was set to host “shadow” coronavirus briefings to routinely examine the Trump administration’s response to the COVID-19. The 77-year-old former No.2 at the White House told donors that he’d installed “a new high-speed line into my home” and “they’ve converted a recreation room, basically into a television studio” for the productions, the Washington Examiner reported

Biden, who has 1,193 delegates at the moment as against Sanders’s 888, also told his supporters that his vice-presidential vetting process would begin in some weeks. He has not yet officially announced any name as his running mate although speculation is on that he could zero a woman. A candidate needs 1,991 delegates to clinch the nomination.

“And the most important thing, and I've actually talked to Barack about this — the most important thing is that there has to be someone who, the day after they’re picked, is prepared to be President of the United States of America if something happened,” Biden said, referring to his talks with former president Barack Obama. 


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