Axios' co-founder Mike Allen and DNC chair Tom Perez. Photo: Axios

The results of the 2020 presidential contest might be delayed beyond the day after Election Day, depending on how quickly each state counts absentee ballots, Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez said Wednesday at an Axios virtual event.

What he's saying: Perez stressed that delays are "a small price to pay for ensuring that everybody can participate." Americans should have more time to vote as they juggle a pandemic on top of responsibilities at work and at home, he said.

Driving the news: The U.S. Postal Service alerted 46 states and Washington, D.C., at the end of July that it could not ensure general election ballots sent by mail would arrive in time to be counted.

  • Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said on Tuesday that he would halt operational changes and cost-cutting to the USPS until after the 2020 election to "avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail."
  • However, Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday that DeJoy revealed the USPS has no intention of replacing the sorting machines, mailboxes and other mail infrastructure that has already been removed.

The big picture: Perez said the DNC is litigating and organizing "to make sure the mail system is able to do its job."

  • "Voter protection is a staple in what we're doing here in the run-up to November. We've never had a more robust voter protection operation than we do now. And the 'we' in that sentence is the Biden campaign, the DNC, our partners in the Democratic ecosystem."
  • "And the reason for this is that Donald Trump has been very, very clear. 'I'm gonna try to make it harder for eligible people to vote.' They don't want everyone to vote. They want less people to vote. That's their only formula for success, is suppressing the vote."

On the potential for voter fraud, Perez pointed to his work as a Justice Department assistant attorney general in a case involving Texas voter ID laws: "You have a better chance of getting struck by lightning than you do to find a case of voter fraud in the record that we were looking at."

Go deeper: When and how to vote in all 50 states

Go deeper

New interactive tool shows Biden's mail voting danger

Data: SurveyMonkey; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Voters who disapprove of President Trump most strongly are by far the most likely to vote by mail in the presidential election, according to an Axios analysis of exclusive data from SurveyMonkey and Tableau.

Why it matters: The new data shows just how strongly the mail-in vote is likely to favor Joe Biden — with potentially enormous implications in the swing states due to the greater risk of rejection with mail ballots.

FBI: Foreign actors likely to sow disinformation about delays in election results

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The FBI and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency released a public service announcement on Tuesday warning that mail-in ballots "could leave officials with incomplete results on election night," and that foreign actors are likely to spread disinformation about the delays.

The bottom line: The agencies called on the public to "critically evaluate the sources of the information they consume and to seek out reliable and verified information from trusted sources," including state and local election officials.

Michelle Obama: "Don't listen to people" who say voting is "rigged"

Photo: Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Glamour

Former first lady Michelle Obama on Tuesday urged people to vote in spite of conspiracy theories and disinformation "about the validity of our election process," per CNN.

Between the lines: Officials are sounding the alarm about the heightened potential for disinformation in an unusual election year. That comes as President Trump has stoked fears of election fraud, telling "Axios on HBO" in August that "lots of things can happen" with voting by mail if the presidential race isn't decided on election night.

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