Media Contact: Heather Wong, 202.225.3072
Washington, D.C.- Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) today offered the following statement in response to canceling or rescheduling the upcoming November elections:
“Once again the Bush Administration is raising red flags. Recently, the Supreme Court rejected the Bush Administration’s attempt to unilaterally withdraw certain habeas corpus cases from the jurisdiction of the federal courts. Now, there are reports that the Department of Homeland Security is looking into whether the Administration can unilaterally postpone the upcoming Presidential and Congressional elections.
“Under Article I, section 4 and Article II, section 1 of the U.S. Constitution, the power to set the time and manner of elections is left to Congress and the States, not the Executive Branch. The Department of Homeland Security’s failure to understand that simple fact should concern every American.
“But there is even more cause for concern. An Administration that would even consider postponing national elections raises the specter of a group that would manipulate the electoral process for political advantage.
“America has always held timely national elections, even during the Civil War. Elections should only be postponed if a natural or man-made disaster physically prevents people from getting to the polls (for example, in New York City on September 11, 2001 or in San Francisco a week after the Loma Prieta earthquake). And even in those cases, elections only should be postponed in affected regions and only until it is physically possible to conduct the election.
“The Bush Administration should not create fear and concern among potential voters; it should re-read the U.S. Constitution and affirm its commitment to the Democratic process.”