Daily US Times: President Donald Trump has warned his fellow Republicans their opponents may “steal” the upcoming election, as his party anointed him as their candidate.
“They’re using Covid to defraud the American people,” Mr Trump told delegates on the first day of the Republican National Convention (RNC) in North Carolina.
He repeated his much-disputed claims that mail-in ballots could lead to voter fraud.
Opinion polls suggest he currently trails Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
Addressing delegates in person at a party conference that has been dramatically scaled back by Covid-19, Mr Trump accused Democrats of “using Covid to steal an election”.
He said: “The only way they can take this election away from us is if this is a rigged election. We’re going to win.”
Mr Trump also warned of a “rigged” election in 2016, as he trailed his then rival Hillary Clinton in the polls.
As a formality, the President was officially nominated to be the Republican nominee on Monday at his RNC in the city of Charlotte.
Supporters cheered his remarks, chanting: “Four more years!”
The president interjected: “Now if you really want to drive them crazy, you say 12 more years.”
The 22nd Amendment to the US Constitution which is ratified in 1951, says US presidents are only permitted to serve two terms, for a total of eight years in office.
Mr Trump is due to give a speech to the party jamboree on Thursday. It is unusual for candidates to address the convention before their formal acceptance speech.
Are mail-in ballots safe in the election?
Mr Trump has repeatedly asserted that expanded mail-in voting – which is expected to be more prevalent this year due to coronavirus pandemic – will lead to “the most corrupt election” in US history.
But there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud, and very few examples of any related criminal prosecutions.
Commissioner of the Federal Election Commission, Ellen Weintraub, has said: “There’s simply no basis for the conspiracy theory that voting by mail causes fraud. None.”
Mail-in voting is used by even Mr Trump himself and members of his family and the US military.
But a recent slowdown in mail deliveries due to cost-saving measures in the US postal system has led to concerns that ballots will not be returned to state officials by election day.
So far, several states have sought to change their election laws to allow ballots to be counted days after the voting days, which some analysts fear could lead to delays in determining the presidential winner.
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