Washington: The presidential debates ahead of the US elections on November 3 maintain the scheduled dates today, after the campaign of President Donald Trump was denied a request for modification, Prensa Latina publishes.
The White House chief’s team wants the first debate between the Republican president and his Democratic rival, who should be former Vice President Joe Biden, to take place before the start of early voting in the states.
To that end, the Trump campaign pushed to add a discussion to those scheduled or for the last of those scheduled to be moved to early September.
However, in a letter to Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, the Presidential Debates Commission stated that it will stick to its agenda of three 90-minute debates starting September 29.
In its response, that bipartisan body rejected the president’s team’s argument that the current schedule would deprive voters of seeing candidates discuss their ideas with each other before casting the first ballots.
According to Trump’s campaign, the change is necessary because some territories of the country begin to send the ballots for voting by mail before the first scheduled debate.
But the commission explained that there is a difference between the time that the states send the ballots to the voters, and the time that the latter issue them, since they are not obliged to send them before the discussions between the candidates take place.
The three officials of that body recalled that in 2016, when the schedule was similar to now, only 0.0069 percent of the electorate had voted at the time of the first debate.
While more people are likely to vote by mail in 2020 (due to the Covid-19 pandemic), the calendar was and will be highly publicized. Any voter who wants to see one or more debates before voting will be aware of that opportunity, the letter said.
The commission also said it would consider a request for additional debate if both Trump and Biden agreed to want it.
The debates will begin on September 29 in Cleveland, Ohio, to move on October 15 to Miami, Florida, and culminate on the 22 of that same month in Nashville, Tennessee; meanwhile, the candidates for the vice president will meet on October 7 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
In recent weeks, while most polls continue to show him behind Biden at the national level, Trump has insisted on his calls for the former vice president to increase the number of debates ahead of the elections.