- The Washington Times - Friday, March 27, 2020

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden on Thursday said President Trump doesn’t have the power to postpone the November election amid health concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.

“No, he doesn’t have the authority to do that,” Mr. Biden said on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” “Now, it’s possible [he] may start a drumbeat saying it should be postponed.”

Mr. Biden pointed out that elections were held during events such as the Civil War.

“I think you’re going to see more of what Amy Klobuchar has been proposing, and that is being able to vote early in your areas and by mail,” he said.

Asked if Ms. Klobuchar, a former 2020 Democratic presidential rival and senator from Minnesota, is on his short list for a running mate, Mr. Biden said: “She is fully qualified to be a president.”

Democrats have slammed Mr. Trump for his handling of the coronavirus outbreak, but he has enjoyed some of the best approval ratings of his presidency recently, and polling has shown majorities approving of the president’s response to COVID-19, the disease cause by the new coronavirus.

SEE ALSO: Joe Biden hunkers down in Delaware as Donald Trump takes center stage

Earlier this month, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine invoked a health emergency to postpone in-person voting in his state’s presidential primary.

A number of other states have also moved to postpone their primaries, effectively freezing the 2020 Democratic presidential race in place for the time being.

Mr. Biden has built an almost insurmountable lead in delegates over Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont, his lone remaining major Democratic rival.

Legal experts agree that Mr. Trump can’t unilaterally cancel the election, but they say he could try to use some of his discretion to set rules on where people are able to vote.

“People are already talking about Trump canceling the election in November, which is something that he can’t do,” said Rick Hasen, a law professor at University of California Irvine. “Although I am concerned that he could issue orders that would close polling places.”

Mr. Hasen said potential solutions include expanding the availability of no-excuse absentee and vote-by-mail options, which some states are already instituting.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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