White House Chief of Staff Says Election Will Be Held on November 3, Mail-in Ballots 'Not a Good Idea'

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said this year's elections will go forward as planned November 3 this year, but he defended President Donald Trump's suggestion of delaying it should there be a massive move toward mail-in ballots.

Meadows repeatedly warned during his appearance on CBS News' Face the Nation Sunday that there will be weeks of delays in getting election results should states move toward a "universal" mail-in ballot system. The White House chief of staff said the president did not specifically request members of the administration to look into delaying the election, which stems from a tweet last Thursday in which Trump floated the idea over fraud concerns.

"Did the president ask you or anyone in the administration to look into the idea of delaying the Election Day?" Face the Nation moderator John Dickerson asked Meadows.

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"Listen all of this we're talking about comes down to one thing: universal mail-in ballots. That is not a good idea for the country, we don't have to look any further than New York to see what a debacle mail-in ballots have been when we have weeks and weeks of delay about who the winner is. Can you image if that is with the president of the United States?" Meadows replied.

"He has not looked at delaying any election. But what we will do is if we try to transform this and start mailing in ballots across the country — all 50 states — what we will see is a delay because we're just not equipped to handle it," he continued.

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Dickerson asked Meadows if was "responsible" for the president to suggest delaying the election "without looking into it," to which the White House official said Trump had "put a question mark" on the suggestion.

"It is responsible for him to say that if we try to go to 100 percent universal mail-in ballots, will we have an election result on November 3? No, I would suggest we wouldn't even have a result on January 3. So we have to make sure we do this in the proper way and promote absentee ballots and make sure that a ballot goes from an individual to a ballot box without someone else having the ability to conduct a fraudulent effort."

The two addressed ongoing coronavirus stimulus relief package discussions in Congress, saying there's "a long ways to go" before any bipartisan solution is formed. "I'm not optimistic that there will be a solution in the very near term," Meadows added.

Meadows blamed Senator Chuck Schumer and Democrats for "standing in the way" of the $600-a-week added unemployment benefits that they are holding out on in favor of a longer term bill which continues to provide that money to working families.

"If we want to extend some of the enhanced unemployment benefits while we negotiate a broader package -- I know Secretary [of the Treasury Steven] Mnuchin and myself have communicated that to our Democrat colleagues." Meadows repeatedly urged Democrats to push for a standalone bill that extends enhanced unemployment benefits in the short term while Congress hashes out a longer term deal.

Newsweek reached out to the White House and Schumer's New York office for additional remarks Sunday afternoon.

Meadows Says Trump backs second stimulus check
President Donald Trump walks with Chief of Staff Mark Meadows after returning to the White House from an event at the WWII memorial in Washington, DC, on May 8. Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty
White House Chief of Staff Says Election Will Be Held on November 3, Mail-in Ballots 'Not a Good Idea' | Politics