A Loud 'No' to Delaying the Election; Disruption by Terrorists Feared

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), July 13, 2004 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

A Loud 'No' to Delaying the Election; Disruption by Terrorists Feared


Byline: Jerry Seper, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

A suggestion that terrorism might delay the November election raised loud cries of "no" yesterday from both Republicans and Democrats.

The chairman of the House committee that oversees federal election law said devising a plan to postpone the Nov. 2 presidential election in case of a terrorist attack creates "serious and complex" constitutional problems.

"In the aftermath of September 11, we need to prepare for contingency plans for various situations," said Rep. Bob Ney, Ohio Republican and chairman of the Committee on House Administration, "but I have very serious concerns about giving one federal official or even a particular federal body the power to postpone or cancel a national election.

"Such a proposal would involve very serious and complex issues, many of which I do not think are even yet known. I would, however, be extremely hesitant to endorse such a proposal, especially at this early juncture."

Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said last week that contingency plans were in the works at Homeland Security to deal with any disruption at the Republican or Democratic party conventions this summer in New York and Boston, or before the Nov. 2 election.

Newsweek magazine reported yesterday that the Justice Department had been asked to define the legal authority necessary for a postponement, if an attack occurred the day before or the day of the election. A Justice Department spokesman denied that any request for a "legal review" had been made.

Mr. Ridge's remarks were included in a warning that al Qaeda terrorists, who killed nearly 3,000 people in the September 11 attacks, had plans for another major attack against targets in the United States, although he had no information on the time, place or method of any such attack.

Homeland Security's review of contingency plans were prompted by a letter by the Rev. DeForest B. Soaries Jr., chairman of the newly named U.S. Election Assistance Commission, in which he told Mr. Ridge that the department should seek legal advice on how to delay the election in the event of a terrorist attack.

In the letter, Mr. Soaries, elected chairman in March after President Bush named him to the commission, said a review was necessary because the government lacked statutory authority to cancel or reschedule a federal election.

He proposed that Congress consider legislation giving the government such power, noting that New York's Board of Elections suspended primary elections in New York on the day of the September 11 attacks. National elections have been held on several occasions during wartime, including the election of 1864 when the nation was divided by civil war.

No one was available yesterday at the commission, and Mr.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

A Loud 'No' to Delaying the Election; Disruption by Terrorists Feared
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?