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    ATLANTA (AP) — Republicans controlling a Georgia House committee approved legislation Wednesday that would prevent election officials from proactively sending mail ballot request forms to voters ahead of an election. If it makes it through both chambers and gets Gov. Brian Kemp’s signature, it could take effect ahead of November’s general elections. To protect voting rights during the coronavirus pandemic, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, sent absentee ballot applications to nearly 7 million active registered voters for the state’s June 9 primary elections, enabling huge numbers to avoid having to vote in person. That contributed to increased turnout, with turnout particularly high among Democrats. The election was marred by problems after poll workers dropped out in fear of getting infected and their replacements had trouble with new voting equipment, contributing to hours-long lines at the consolidated polling sites. Senate Bill 463 proposes several changes...
    More than three-quarters of a million New York City voters requested an absentee ballot for Tuesday’s Democratic presidential and congressional and state legislative primary elections taking place during the coronavirus pandemic. Even though early declared winner Joe Biden is the only Democrat still actively running for president, an unprecedented 765,031 Democrats requested a mail-in ballot to vote in their party’s presidential primary. Other candidates who dropped out of the race but whose names appear on the ballot include Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Michael Bloomberg and Andrew Yang, among others. Meanwhile 707,630 Democrats requested mail-in ballots to vote in congressional and state legislative races. For example, in the 12th congressional district encompassing the East Side of Manhattan as well as the waterfront neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Queens, 109,357 Democrats requested a mail-in ballot. Of that total, 78,919 Democrats were filed by Manhattan East Siders — many of whom fled the...
    NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Many New Yorkers say voting in the primary Tuesday was a nightmare. Some people never got their absentee ballots, and others were waiting in line for hours. The line to vote at Bronx Regional High School snaked around the block for most of the day Tuesday. “How long do you think you waited in line to vote?” CBS2’s Ali Bauman asked Shameeka France. “Oh, two hours, easy. I came here four times,” France said. CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST ELECTION RESULTS. “I waited inside because it was so hot out here and it’s been a long time. It’s been a long time to wait,” Renee Alford, of Morrisania, said. “I went walking in to find out and they told me there was only five people they were letting in at the time,” Kolaco Acquindo, of Morrisania, said. Acquindo called the Board of Elections to...
    ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota still plans to waive the witness requirement for absentee ballots in the August primary, despite a federal judge’s opinion, the secretary of state's office said Tuesday. The office of Secretary of State Steve Simon said that Simon will follow a state court decision last week that approved an agreement removing the witness requirement. That move was sought in a lawsuit filed by the Minnesota Alliance for Retired Americans Educational Fund. But in a separate case brought by the League of Women Voters of Minnesota, the Star Tribune reported a federal judge said Tuesday that a similar agreement went “well beyond” the concerns raised by a voter. That voter said her health could be jeopardized by having to meet the witness requirement to vote during the coronavirus pandemic. U.S. District Court Judge Eric Tostrud suggested a more narrowly tailored agreement to remedy specific harms cited...
    More than three-quarters of a million New York City voters requested an absentee ballot for Tuesday’s Democratic presidential and congressional and state legislative primary elections taking place during the coronavirus pandemic. Even though early declared winner Joe Biden is the only Democrat still actively running for president, an unprecedented 765,031 Democrats requested a mail-in ballot to vote in their party’s presidential primary. Other candidates who dropped out of the race but whose names appear on the ballot include Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Michael Bloomberg and Andrew Yang, among others. Meanwhile 707,630 Democrats requested mail-in ballots to vote in congressional and state legislative races. see also NYC Board of Elections hopes polling sites will be up and running today This primary rides on ‘hope’! A top official with the... For example, in the 12th congressional district encompassing the East Side of Manhattan as well as the waterfront neighborhoods of...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on a handful of primary elections across the United States (all times local): 4:20 p.m. A voter in New York says she applied for an absentee ballot in roughly April, but it never arrived. Thirty-two-year-old illustrator Dena Cooper says she went to her polling place in Brooklyn’s Bay Ridge neighborhood on Tuesday to vote in person since she never received her absentee ballot. When she explained the situation to a poll worker, she was told to go home and wait for the absentee ballot to arrive. But in fact, New York voters who have applied for but not cast absentee ballots can legally vote in person. After getting advice from Common Cause’s voter-information hotline, Cooper planned to try again to vote Tuesday evening. Cooper was keen to vote for Bernie Sanders for president, even though Joe Biden has enough delegate support to be the Democratic...
    Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York City BY ROBERT POZARYCKI AND MARK HALLUM One of the most unusual elections in New York City history reaches its climax Tuesday as residents head to the polls for the final day of primary voting amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Tuesday’s contest includes the long-delayed New York presidential primary; regardless of who wins it, former Vice President Joe Biden had clinched the Democratic nomination for president weeks ago. There’s also a host of big legislative races for Congressional, state Senate and Assembly seats. Queens residents are also voting in a primary for Queens borough president. But in the backdrop of it all has been the coronavirus pandemic that gripped the city back in March. Voters were encouraged to participate in this election by absentee ballot to avoid coming into contact with crowds at...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence and a half-dozen other senior advisers to President Donald Trump have repeatedly voted by mail, according to election records obtained by The Associated Press. That undercuts the president’s argument that the practice will lead to widespread fraud this November. More than three years after leaving the Indiana governor’s residence, Pence still lists that as his official residence and votes absentee accordingly. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has permanent absentee voting status in her home state of Michigan. Brad Parscale, Trump’s campaign manager, voted absentee in Texas in 2018 and didn’t vote in the general election two years earlier when Trump’s name was on the ballot. Two other senior Trump campaign officials — chief operating officer Michael Glassner and deputy campaign manager Bill Stepien — have repeatedly voted by mail in New Jersey. And Nick Ayers, a senior campaign adviser who was previously chief of...
    Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen voted in the Indiana primary by mail-in ballot in April using the governors mansion as their legal address, Business Insider reported. The Pences, who used the Indianapolis street address of the governors mansion where they last lived in 2016 before moving to Washington, according to the website, are still registered in Indiana and permitted to vote in the state using their last address. The report comes as many Democratic-controlled states have used the outbreak of the novel coronavirus as justification to expand mail-in, or what previously was known as absentee, balloting. Republicans, the Trump administration, and critics have said mail-in ballots significantly increase the risk of fraud. The Hill claimed, in its story quoting Business Insider, Pence also voted in the primary and general election in 2018. It added President Donald Trump voted in Floridas March primary, White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany...
    WASHINGTON – A half-dozen senior advisers to President Donald Trump have repeatedly voted by mail, according to election records obtained by The Associated Press, undercutting the president’s argument that the practice will lead to widespread fraud this November. The aides include Betsy DeVos, the education secretary who has permanent absentee voting status in her home state of Michigan. Brad Parscale, Trump's campaign manager, voted absentee in Texas in 2018 and didn't vote in the general election two years earlier when Trump's name was on the ballot. Two other senior Trump campaign officials — chief operating officer Michael Glassner and deputy campaign manager Bill Stepien — have repeatedly voted by mail in New Jersey. And Nick Ayers, a senior campaign adviser who was previously chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, has voted by mail in Georgia since 2014. In most election years, voting by mail is an...
    Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) Leading Off ● Iowa: With no advance notice, Republican legislators in Iowa passed a budget bill just before adjourning that included an expansion of the state's voter ID requirement, violating a compromise that the GOP had reached with Democrats to remove proposed voting restrictions from the final bill. The new bill adds an ID requirement for voters who go to their county government offices to vote early in-person. The bill also requires absentee ballot applications to include the voter's "voter ID PIN," a state-issued four-digit number that few voters are aware of. Under current law, county officials can verify voter identities using other information on their applications or the state's registration database, but this bill would disallow that. Instead, officials would have to contact the voter individually to confirm their identity, which could cause significant delays in processing absentee requests and lead to voters not...
    Voting in the primary election is well underway. Early voting wraps up this weekend and then more polling sites open citywide on the actual Primary Day, June 23rd. Meanwhile, city and state election officials are awash in absentee ballots as voters who were urged to stay home during the coronavirus crisis opted to mail in their choices for elected office.  With all that’s going on, including several hotly contested races for the state legislature and U.S. Congress on the ticket, we’ve been fielding questions. Among them, many voters are asking why they haven’t received their absentee ballot.  Here are some quick tips to help make sure your vote is counted, pandemic be damned! I applied for an absentee ballot ages ago and it still hasn’t arrived. What do I do?We’re not going to tell you these options are ideal, but here’s what you can do. First, the most responsive contacts...
    Washington (CNN)As Washington, DC's June 2 primary approached, Matthew Miller and Nima Sheth, married professors who live in the District, decided to vote absentee. With elderly, immunocompromised parents at home, plus a 1-year-old baby, it felt like the safest choice in the age of coronavirus. So, they submitted requests for absentee ballots on the last day of eligibility, a week before the primary. They got a confirmation email from the DC Board of Elections. But Miller's ballot never arrived, and Sheth's ballot was sent to the wrong address. Neither ended up voting. "It wasn't a risk we were willing to take, at least for the primary," Miller said, "Though November might be a different story. You just don't think something like this could happen in a country like America, where, if you follow the rules, you should be able to vote."Miller and Sheth are among tens of thousands of voters...
    Brad Parscale, Donald Trump's campaign manager, did not vote for President Trump in 2016. In fact, he didn't vote in the general election at all, according to election records obtained by CBS News. Bexar County, Texas Election Department documents show Parscale, then a San Antonio resident, voted in the 2016 primary but not in the general election. He did cast a ballot in the 2012 and 2018 federal elections. And his 2018 vote was submitted by mail. "In 2016, I was in New York working to elect Donald Trump and encountered a series of problems receiving my absentee ballot from Texas and missed the deadline," Parscale said in a statement to CBS News. "Just further proof that vote-by-mail is not the flawless solution Democrats and the media pretend it is." Get Breaking News Delivered to Your Inbox President Trump, who voted by mail in the 2020 Florida primary, has complained...
    MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Elections Commission gave final approval to a mailing that will put absentee ballot application forms in the hands of 2.7 million registered voters ahead of the November presidential election. The commission, split evenly among Republicans and Democrats, previously voted unanimously in favor of sending the mailing to about 80% of registered voters. But it didn’t give final approval to the letter that will accompany it until Wednesday. The mailing is in anticipation of a surge of absentee voting in the fall due to the coronavirus pandemic. Commissioner Bob Spindell, a Republican, said mailing the absentee ballot applications was “good for both the Republicans and the Democrats.” The commission voted unanimously to approve the letter after making several technical changes to the wording. The Wisconsin mailing, to be sent by Sept. 1, will include the absentee ballot application form, not actual ballots. To receive a...
    Every voter in D.C. will get their ballot for the general election in the mail. It’s one of the changes the Board of Elections plans to make after “lessons learned” in what Mayor Muriel Bowser called its failed execution of the primary. Instead of pulling back from the mail-in ballots that had overwhelmed the system, the Board of Elections plans to go all in, with a plan to increase its IT staff and resources to be able to process an influx in absentee ballots in November. In a five-page after-action report detailing what went wrong in the June 2 primary, the board outlined next steps to prevent a repeat experience for more than 34,000 in-person voters who were met with long lines at the polls. Many reported that they were forced to vote in person after they did not receive the absentee ballot they had requested. “The technology systems we...
    By STEVE KARNOWSKI MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota will waive its witness requirements for absentee ballots for the statewide primary election in August under the settlement of two lawsuits sparked by the health threat from the coronavirus pandemic. The lawsuits were filed by political arms of the League of Women Voters of Minnesota and the Minnesota Alliance for Retired Americans. A Ramsey County judge signed off on the consent decree with the retirees Wednesday while a federal judge scheduled a hearing for Thursday on the league’s case. Republican lawmakers complained that Democratic Secretary of State Steve Simon overstepped his authority by settling. “The lawsuits and agreements are a flagrant abuse of the courts and complete runaround of the Legislature,” they said in a statement. Under the settlements, Simon agreed that mailed-in absentee ballots for the primary will be accepted even if they don’t have witness signatures, and that ballots received within...
    By Sharon Bernstein | Reuters Ohio has taken the first step toward sending every registered voter in the state an application for an absentee ballot for November’s presidential and gubernatorial election, Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose said Monday. The decision by a budgetary board to use federal funds to send the applications comes as mail-in voting has drawn criticism from incumbent Republican President Donald Trump, who has said universal vote by mail will lead to fraud. The state’s April primary election was delayed and moved to mostly absentee voting amid concerns about the raging coronavirus pandemic. But so many Ohioans – about 1.9 million – requested the absentee ballots that some were delayed in arriving, leading to frustration and forcing some voters to cast their ballots in person despite potential health risks. For the general election in November, the applications will be sent to all 7.8 million registered Ohio...
    COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - Civil rights groups on Monday asked the Missouri Supreme Court to allow all Missourians to vote absentee without a notary because of the coronavirus. An attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri, the Missouri NAACP and other advocacy groups made their case about the safety of in-person voting before the Supreme Court, which held arguments remotely over concerns about spreading COVID-19. A circuit court judge dismissed the groups’ lawsuit last month. Lawyer Sophia Lin Lakin told Supreme Court judges that people who vote in person now must choose between voting and going against public health guidance to social distance. She said that’s a severe burden on the right to vote. TOP STORIES Trump team should get a lot of credit for fast coronavirus stimulus: CBO Four St. Louis police officers charged with beating undercover colleague Coronavirus hype biggest political hoax in history ...
    I have to admit, this is a strategy that never occurred to me: burning your own absentee ballot application to protest too much voting by the other side. This should become a national movement. Show them what you’re made of, Trump fans. You’re no fools! So, yeah, Grand Rapids, Michigan, MAGAs were apparently sent into a rage over steps to ensure ease of voting in their state, and so they TOOK TO THE STREETS. (This is what conservatives deem worthy of protesting: their inability to eat at Applebee’s and their ability to avoid dying two weeks after exercising their right to vote.) The Detroit News:  The applications were burned Friday during an event called Operation Incinerator outside the DeltaPlex Arena in Walker. Many people had flags, shirts and signs showing support for President Donald Trump and Republicans. “For them just to issue them without merit, without request to absolutely everybody — that is...
    The following statement from Secretary of State John H. Merrill is in response to a recent opinion piece published by Joey Kennedy of the Alabama Political Reporter. Once again, Joey Kennedy has wrongly inserted himself into a conversation he knows very little about. This week, Kennedy claimed, “There is no valid reason we [in Alabama] cannot follow other progressive and conservative states that use mail-in ballots.” Recently, the world witnessed the issues that erupted with Georgia’s rapid expansion of voting by mail. Those problems could easily occur in any other state that adopted similar standards with such limited time for implementation. Subscribe to APR's daily newsletter I am also curious if Kennedy has considered the thousands of missing absentee ballots that went undelivered or unreceived this past April in Wisconsin? The logistical, technological, and infrastructural issues associated with voting by mail could cost millions of people their opportunity to cast...
    The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is suing the Arizona secretary of state and a gaggle of county officials over a rule in the state that automatically rejects mail-in ballots without signatures, whereas voters whose mail-in ballot signatures do not match their voter registration are given five days to remedy the situation. The Democrats' suit, which raises alarm over not all absentee ballots being "treated equally," is just the latest move in a larger effort to expand and protect absentee voting ahead of the November general election. That campaign has rankled Republicans, who say that allowing more absentee voting than necessary sets up potential voter fraud. The Arizona suit is backed by the Arizona Democratic Party, the DNC and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC). "Voters who are in fact registered to vote, and who did in fact timely submit their mail ballots, will have their votes disregarded without due process," the Democrats' suit...
    The voting issues arose as South Carolina, like the rest of the world, faces a health crisis. South Carolina is one of 11 states that has experienced a record-high level of coronavirus cases since the beginning of June. On June 1, the state had 12,148 confirmed cases and at least 500 people had died; as of Wednesday morning, it had 15,228 confirmed cases and at least 568 people had died. "They did not have enough people brave enough to work the polls for the voters," Alice Leeper, a poll worker in a community slightly north of Columbia, told WISTV. "Most of our people are retired. They are over 60 already, like myself … some said, 'I'm not going to vote in this one because of COVID-19," she added. Richmond County's interim elections commissioner, Terry Graham, scrambled Tuesday morning to recruit additional poll workers, according to WISTV. Members of the State...
    RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A second North Carolina General Assembly chamber is pushing ahead with legislation designed to help voters access absentee balloting should COVID-19 make in-person voting risky for them. The Senate elections committee scheduled debate on Tuesday for legislation prompted by the expectation of increased demand for mail-in ballots this fall due to the new coronavirus. The House version of the measure approved last week expands options for registered voters to receive absentee ballot request forms. People who ultimately fill out mail-in ballots also would only need one witness to sign the ballot envelope this fall, not two. TOP STORIES Univ. of Alabama professor instructs rioters on how to tear down monuments George Soros, 89, is still on a quest to destroy America Security, not anarchy: Trump mobilizes military to end looting, destruction The measure locates money for state and county election boards to pay...
    The Wisconsin Elections Commission is taking the first step toward sending absentee ballot applications to most registered voters in the crucial general election battleground state amid concerns about in-person voting during the coronavirus pandemic. The members of the bipartisan commission voted 6-0 on Wednesday to advance the plan to send applications to roughly 2.7 million of the state’s nearly 3.4 million registered voters. The unanimous vote came a week after the panel failed to reach agreement on who should receive the ballot applications. BIDEN WITH SLIGHT EDGE OVER TRUMP IN WISCONSIN: POLL The forms would be sent to all voters except those who already have requested an absentee ballot or have moved and haven't confirmed their address -- or roughly 2.7 million voters. Voters would be able to use the forms to request an absentee ballot for November’s general election. By filling out the form and providing a copy of...
    Washington (CNN)The Wisconsin Election Commission has unanimously approved a measure to send absentee ballot applications to about 2.7 million voters ahead of the November general election, an official with the commission tells CNN.Ballot applications will go to all registered voters in the state, except those who have already requested an absentee ballot or have moved and haven't confirmed their address. The mailing is expected to go out in mid- to late August. The commission also approved a grant for each municipality of $200 dollars plus $1.10 for each registered voter to cover the costs.Visit CNN's Election Center for full coverage of the 2020 raceThe coronavirus pandemic has prompted several states to broaden access to voting by mail, though President Donald Trump has claimed without evidence that the practice is susceptible to fraud and he has alleged widespread abuses in the US. Officials in several states, including Michigan and Nevada, have...