July 31, 2020

The Execution Branch Has No Power or Jurisdiction over Federal Elections

Trump does not have the authority to establish or postpone the dates of elections at either the federal or state level even in an emergency.

By Kenneth R. Thomas, J.D.
Legislative Attorney
Congressional Research Service

NOTE: This article was published after the 9/11 attacks when questions surrounding election security and possible delays in the event of an attack were being discussed. It is republished here after President Trump’s suggestions to postpone the election this year as the questions – and conclusion – are still relevant.


Originally published by the Congressional Research Service, 07.14.2004, to the public domain.