Cheney, Barrasso reject suggestion of election delay

CHEYENNE — After President Donald Trump tweeted the idea of delaying the November election, several Republicans in Congress quickly rejected the idea Thursday, and two of Wyoming's federal delegates were among them.

The president's tweet, which was met with widespread disapproval from federal leadership in both parties, was posted Thursday morning.

"With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history," Trump tweeted. "It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???"

The first public reaction among Wyoming's congressional delegation came from Sen. John Barrasso, who said there would be no delay of the November election in an interview later Thursday morning with Fox Business.

"We have been focused and working on making sure elections are secure, and we will get results," Barrasso said. "It's going to take a while. We may not know on election night the balance of the House of Representatives or the Senate or the presidency, but we will not delay the elections."

Congresswoman Liz Cheney, who has recently made headlines over tension with some conservative members of the House Freedom Caucus, also turned down the idea in a tweet Thursday afternoon.

"We are not moving the date of the election," Cheney wrote. "The resistance to this idea among Republicans is overwhelming."

Wyoming's other delegate, U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi, had not returned a request for comment by press time Thursday evening.

The president does not have the executive power to move the date of the election, which was set by federal law in 1845 and requires congressional action to be changed.

Election experts maintain there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud through mail-in voting, which is allowed in some form in every state.

In Wyoming, absentee voting has seen a record rise in demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As of last week, Laramie County had already broken its record for absentee ballots, with more than 10,000 sent to voters ahead of the Aug. 18 primary.

For local residents who have not yet returned their ballots by mail, Laramie County Clerk Debra Lee advises they mail them by Aug. 7 in order to ensure they arrive by the day of the election. Lee's office has also installed a secure absentee ballot drop box outside the Laramie County Governmental Complex, located on Carey Avenue between 19th and 20th streets.

Gov. Mark Gordon, in a press conference earlier this week, said the Wyoming Secretary of State's office has been reaching out to election judges to ensure in-person voting is held safely. Wyoming has had absentee voting for years, the governor said, and he's used it periodically during his life.

"It's never been too much of a challenge for me to go to the county clerk and register and get my absentee ballot, so I don't think it's an onerous process," Gordon said. "If the (state) Legislature wants to look at it a little bit differently, that's their prerogative.”