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            by Andrew Trunsky  As many as 100,000 Pennsylvania voters could have their ballots discarded in November due to a state law that requires absentee ballots to be returned inside a secrecy sleeve, according to a Democratic official on the Philadelphia city commission. Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court ordered election officials to discard “naked ballots” in a decision issued last week, a move that could result in tens of thousands of ballots disqualified in a critical battleground state, City Commissioner Lisa Deeley wrote in a letter to Republican state legislators. In a year where an unprecedented amount of voters are opting to vote absentee, the decision could ultimately decide who wins the state’s 20 electoral votes and possibly the entire election, Deeley argued. Pennsylvania, like 16 other states, uses a two-envelope system for absentee voters: after a ballot is filled, it is placed inside a secrecy sleeve designed to...
    North Carolina mail-in absentee ballots returned without all needed information can be amended without forcing the voter to fill out a new blank ballot, election officials agreed Tuesday, according to a report. Issues with deficient witness information on mail-in ballots have disproportionately affected Black voters. Ballots cast by African Americans account for about 43 percent of those classified as having incomplete witness information, according to State Board of Elections data. Yet Black residents account for 16 percent of overall ballots returned. “Voters deserve certainty. Our board, both Democrats and Republicans, agreed unanimously to make these commonsense changes to our process amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Damon Circosta, State Board chair. “We have ensured that our election process is secure and accessible.” THE LATEST FROM FOX NEWS ON THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL RACE The new process would likely yield an upward tick in the number of counted ballots in this presidential battleground...
    RALEIGH, N.C. – North Carolina election officials agreed Tuesday that mail-in absentee ballots returned this fall with deficient information can be fixed without forcing the voter to fill out a new blank ballot. The change, if it stands, would likely yield an upward tick in the number of counted ballots in this presidential battleground state. The State Board of Elections issued the new guidance to county boards explaining residents won't be forced to start over from scratch in casting votes if a witness fails to sign or provide an address on the envelope containing their absentee ballot. The guidance means that the ballot now won't be considered “spoiled,” and the voter will be sent an affidavit to sign to rectify the problem. Issues with deficient witness information on mail-in ballots have disproportionately affected Black voters. Ballots cast by African Americans account for about 43 percent of those classified as...
    North Carolina election officials said Tuesday that absentee ballots received up to 9 days after the general election will be counted if they are postmarked by Nov. 3. The agreement, which comes a day after a judge extended the Wisconsin absentee ballot counting timeline by 6 days, could settle a lawsuit with Democrats pending judicial approval, according to Reuters. Current state law requires absentee ballots to be submitted by 5 pm on Nov. 6. (RELATED: Wisconsin To Count Absentee Ballots Up To Six Days After Election, Judge Rules) ????When @DemocracyDocket wins, voting laws change! And we’re WINNING every single day. That’s why we created #VoterDashboards to help you understand the voting rules in YOUR state. CHECK IT OUT AND SHARE????https://t.co/vT0NzNAebX — Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) September 22, 2020 The agreement, per WRAL, aims to settle a lawsuit by N.C. Alliance for Retired Americans, which argued that “North Carolina’s vote...
    By GARY D. ROBERTSON, Associated Press RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina election officials agreed Tuesday that mail-in absentee ballots returned this fall with deficient information can be fixed without forcing the voter to fill out a new blank ballot. The change is likely to yield an upward tick in the number of counted ballots in this presidential battleground state. The State Board of Elections issued the new guidance to county boards explaining residents won't be forced to start over from scratch in casting votes if a witness fails to sign or provide an address on the envelope containing their absentee ballot. The guidance means that the ballot now won't be considered “spoiled,” and the voter will be sent an affidavit to sign to rectify the problem. Issues with deficient witness information on mail-in ballots have disproportionately affected Black voters. Ballots cast by African Americans account for about 43 percent...
    This past weekend saw Donald Trump ratcheting the authoritarianism up to 11, with the assertion that he may not accept vote results. The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the promise from Mitch McConnell that he will force through her replacement ratcheted the danger even higher. Trump wants to secure the Supreme Court now because he knows he'll be fighting the election results. It will be the people and the House of Representatives fighting Trump, the Senate, and likely the court. We need another ally. We need the fourth estate. That means the media needs to do something for the good of the country, for the preservation of everything and be prepared to completely upend their election night tradition. That would mean no reporting on exit polling on election night. No big boards. No presidential calls until all the ballots are counted. Donald Trump cannot be given the opportunity...
    Democrats won major concessions on Tuesday from state election authorities in North Carolina, who agreed to their demands to relax the rules on mail-in ballots. In an agreement filed with the courts in North Carolina, the plaintiffs — a coalition of Democrat-aligned interest groups — agreed to settle their lawsuit against the state in return for allowing ballots to be counted up to nine days after Election Day; allowing voters to “cure” problems with submitted ballots; and creating ballot “drop-off” stations. The motion for a consent decree states (citations included): As set forth in the Consent Judgment and in the exhibits thereto, (Numbered Memos 2020-19, 2020-22, and 2020-23), all ballots postmarked by Election Day shall be counted if otherwise eligible and received up to nine days after Election Day, pursuant to Numbered Memo 2020-22. Numbered Memo 2020-19 implements a procedure to cure certain deficiencies with absentee ballots, including missing voter,...
    By JULIE CARR SMYTH, Associated Press COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A group of leading cybersecurity experts told an Ohio court that absentee ballot applications can be safely transmitted using email, countering the secretary of state's assertions that the practice would open up voting in the presidential battleground to outside interference. In a filing late Monday, eight experts in computer information and engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Georgetown, Princeton and other universities joined the American Civil Liberties Union and the Brennan Center for Justice in asking a state appellate court to allow the ballot applications to be accepted by electronic means. "Election officials can easily facilitate electronic submission of applications at little cost while minimizing associated security risks,” their filing said. “Ideally this should be done by a secure online portal, but it is also feasible to do so using email.” That argument contrasts with the position expressed by...
    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A group of leading cybersecurity experts told an Ohio court that absentee ballot applications can be safely transmitted using email, countering the secretary of state’s assertions that the practice would open up voting in the presidential battleground to outside interference. In a filing late Monday, eight experts in computer information and engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Georgetown, Princeton and other universities joined the American Civil Liberties Union and the Brennan Center for Justice in asking a state appellate court to allow the ballot applications to be accepted by electronic means. “Election officials can easily facilitate electronic submission of applications at little cost while minimizing associated security risks,” their filing said. “Ideally this should be done by a secure online portal, but it is also feasible to do so using email.” That argument contrasts with the position expressed by Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose,...
    A Michigan prosecutor will not pursue felony charges over a homeowner who displayed a toilet with a sign reading “Place mail in ballots here.” Ingham County election clerk Barb Byrum (D) reported the Lansing-area display to police, saying taking illegal possession of absentee ballots is a felony, according to The Associated Press. However, county prosecutor Carol Siemon (D) said the display appeared to be “an effort to make a humorous political statement” rather than any intention to violate the law. A prosecutor in Michigan has flushed a complaint about a toilet that was promoted as a place to drop absentee ballots.MORE: https://t.co/U2G0Ots1Xw pic.twitter.com/DM5vhpy6yy— ABC 13 News - WSET (@ABC13News) September 22, 2020 Byrum said that while she accepted Siemon’s decision, “elections are never a laughing matter.” “The safety and secure administration of elections is of utmost importance,” Byrum said. She added that her commute to work takes her past...
    (CNN)We're now less than 45 days until the election, so it shouldn't surprise you that we're talking about the state of Florida. The Sunshine State has arguably been the swingiest of the swing states over the last 25 years. This year, however, Florida looks to take on added importance. The outcome in Florida could help determine whether Election Night turns into Election Week or even potentially Election Month. A record number of voters are expected to vote by absentee or mail this year. About half of Democratic voters nationwide say they'll be voting by mail, up from about a quarter in 2016. Less than 25% of Republicans say they'll cast a ballot by mail. This wide gap is no doubt driven in part by President Donald Trump's largely false rhetoric about voting by mail.Visit CNN's Election Center for full coverage of the 2020 raceRead MoreIn Florida, this gap in voting...
    MASON, Mich. (AP) — A prosecutor in Michigan has flushed a complaint about a toilet that was promoted as a place to drop absentee ballots. The election clerk in Ingham County informed police about a toilet on the front lawn of a home in Mason, near Lansing. A sign said, “Place mail in ballots here.” Barb Byrum, a Democrat, said it’s a felony to take illegal possession of absentee ballots. But there was no evidence of an intent to violate Michigan law, said the office of county prosecutor Carol Siemon, a Democrat. “Instead, this seemed to be an effort to make a humorous political statement,” the statement said. Byrum, who drives by the home on her way to work, said she didn’t see the toilet Tuesday. She said she respects the decision by the prosecutor but added that “elections are never a laughing matter.” “The safety and secure administration of...
    MASON, Mich. (AP) — A prosecutor in Michigan has flushed a complaint about a toilet that was promoted as a place to drop absentee ballots. The election clerk in Ingham County informed police about a toilet on the front lawn of a home in Mason, near Lansing. A sign said, "Place mail in ballots here.” Barb Byrum, a Democrat, said it's a felony to take illegal possession of absentee ballots. But there was no evidence of an intent to violate Michigan law, said the office of county prosecutor Carol Siemon, a Democrat. "Instead, this seemed to be an effort to make a humorous political statement,” the statement said. Byrum, who drives by the home on her way to work, said she didn't see the toilet Tuesday. She said she respects the decision by the prosecutor but added that “elections are never a laughing matter.” “The safety and secure administration of...
    Now that the college and NFL seasons are finally underway (for most), football analogies are back in vogue. Imagine the start of the fourth quarter, when suddenly one team convinces the official to add a fifth down and make field goals worth as much as touchdowns. After three quarters of play, does this seem reasonable? Whereas in 2016, Hillary Clinton thought that total yardage would win her the game, this time around, Democrats are flat-out changing the rules of how we count votes. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling on Sept. 17 all but guaranteed that we will not know the results of the 2020 presidential election the night of November 3. In response to challenges from the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, the Supreme Court has extended the deadline for acceptance of absentee ballots to three days after election day. If this year’s primaries — in which more than half a million...
    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska Division of Elections listed the wrong Democratic candidate on 135 absentee ballots emailed to Alaska residents who are overseas, officials said. The ballots incorrectly listed Adam Lees as the Democratic candidate for House District 28 in Anchorage, The Anchorage Daily News reported Monday. Lees was replaced on the ballot by Anchorage Assembly member Suzanne LaFrance, a registered nonpartisan voter who was named the Democratic nominee after Lees won the Democratic primary and withdrew in her favor Aug. 31. LaFrance was notified by a voter who shared a photo of an incorrect ballot and LaFrance informed the elections division, she said. Division of Elections Director Gail Fenumiai confirmed the error. “Although staff updated the templates for the mailed ballots, the ballots sent through email to be printed out and mailed in were not properly updated with candidate LaFrance’s name,” Fenumiai said in a written statement....
    A federal judge ruled Monday that absentee ballots in Wisconsin postmarked on or before Nov. 3 can be counted an additional six days after the election. The ruling was a result of a lawsuit stemming from the April presidential primary that saw poll staffing issues and thousands of mail-in ballots submitted  after the election, the Associated Press reported. The previous law required that absentee ballots be cast by 8pm on election night. U.S. District Judge William Conley, an appointee of former President Barack Obama who also extended the ballot return time by a week in April, placed a hold a ruling to give time for an appeal, the report added. A judge rules that absentee ballots in Wisconsin can be counted up to six days after the Nov. 3 presidential election. Unless it’s overturned, the ruling means results in the battleground state might not be known for days after the...
    A federal judge in Wisconsin on Monday extended the deadline for absentee ballots to be received during the general election by six days, raising the possibility that the winner of the presidential race in Wisconsin may not be known for several days. U.S. District Judge William Conley ordered that ballots that arrive by November 9, the Monday after Election Day, will count as long as they are postmarked by Election Day. Normally, absentee ballots in Wisconsin are due when the polls close at 8 p.m. CT. "Given the sheer volume expected this November, there remains little doubt that tens of thousands of seemingly prudent, if unwary, would-be voters will not request an absentee ballot far enough in advance to allow them to receive it, vote, and return it for receipt by mail before the election day deadline despite acting well in advance of the deadline for requiring a ballot," Conley...
    MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A federal judge ruled Monday that absentee ballots in battleground Wisconsin can be counted up to six days after the Nov. 3 presidential election as long as they are postmarked by Election Day. The highly anticipated ruling, unless overturned, means that the outcome of the presidential race in Wisconsin might not be known for days after polls close. Under current law, the deadline for returning an absentee ballot to have it counted is 8 p.m. on Election Day. READ MORE: Wisconsin Election Clerks Rush To Mail Absentee Ballots After Delay Democrats and their allies sued to extend the deadline in the key swing state after the April presidential primary saw long lines, fewer polling places, a shortage of workers and thousands of ballots mailed days after the election. U.S. District Judge William Conley granted a large portion of their requests, issuing a preliminary injunction that was...
    A federal judge ruled Monday that absentee ballots in battleground Wisconsin can be counted up to six days after the Nov. 3 presidential election as long as they are postmarked by Election Day. The highly anticipated ruling, unless overturned, means that the outcome of the presidential race in Wisconsin might not be known for days after polls close. Under current law, the deadline for returning an absentee ballot to have it counted is 8 p.m. on Election Day. Democrats and their allies sued to extend the deadline in the key swing state after the April presidential primary saw long lines, fewer polling places, a shortage of workers and thousands of ballots mailed days after the election. U.S. District Judge William Conley granted a large portion of their requests, issuing a preliminary injunction that was expected to be appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. He put the ruling...
    A Michigan homeowner might be in hot water over a front yard display that takes a swipe at absentee ballots. The display in Ingham County features wooden fold-out sign that says, “Place Mail In Ballots Here,” and has an arrow that points directly at a toilet. Photos of the setup were captured by Lansing State Journal, the local news outlet that caught wind that Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum filed a police report against the unidentified resident’s yard decor. County police did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment. However, Byrum was able to confirm that she indeed put in a report. This political yard display was recently set up on West Columbia Street in Mason, Mich. (Matthew Dae Smith/Lansing State Journal via AP) “As Ingham County’s Clerk, I take election security very seriously. Thanks to the passage of Proposal 3 in 2018, Michigan’s voters have the right to...
    A federal judge in Wisconsin has extended the deadline to submit an absentee ballot for the upcoming 2020 election to Nov. 9, so long as the ballot is mailed and postmarked on or before Nov. 3. Election volunteer Tyler Jentoft-Johnson holds an absentee ballot as they're counted at the City Hall during the presidential primary election held amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Beloit, Wisconsin, U.S. April 7, 2020. REUTERS/Daniel Acker The order also extends the voter registration deadline to Oct. 21 and allows those who make absentee ballot requests on time but who don't receive them in time for Election Day to get replacement ballots via email or through the state's website between Oct 21-29. In addition, poll workers in the state will be allowed to work in any county rather than just where they reside. In this photo provided by Wisconsin Watch, election workers Jeff and Lori Lutzka,...
    MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A federal judge ruled Monday absentee ballots in battleground Wisconsin can be counted up to six days after the Nov. 3 presidential election as long as they are postmarked by Election Day. The highly anticipated ruling, unless overturned, means that the outcome of the presidential race in Wisconsin likely will not be known for days after polls close. Under current law, the deadline for returning an absentee ballot in order to have it counted is 8 p.m. on Election Day. Democrats and their allies sued to extend the deadline in the key swing state. U.S. District Judge William Conley granted a large portion of their requests, issuing a preliminary injunction that was expected to be appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. President Donald Trump won Wisconsin by fewer than 23,000 votes in 2016. The Republican National Committee, the Wisconsin GOP and Wisconsin’s Republican...
    MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A federal judge ruled Monday that absentee ballots in battleground Wisconsin can be counted up to six days after the Nov. 3 presidential election as long as they are postmarked by Election Day. The highly anticipated ruling, unless overturned, means that the outcome of the presidential race in Wisconsin might not be known for days after polls close. Under current law, the deadline for returning an absentee ballot to have it counted is 8 p.m. on Election Day. Democrats and their allies sued to extend the deadline in the key swing state after the April presidential primary saw long lines, fewer polling places, a shortage of workers and thousands of ballots mailed days after the election. U.S. District Judge William Conley granted a large portion of their requests, issuing a preliminary injunction that was expected to be appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court....
    Hali Fisher, 24, waits in line to vote at Riverside High School, 1615 E. Locust St. in Milwaukee on Tuesday, April 7, 2020. The Wisconsin primary is moving forward in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic after Gov. Tony Evers sought to shut down Tuesday's election in a historic move Monday that was swiftly rejected by the conservative majority of the Wisconsin Supreme Court by the end of the day.Mike De Sisti | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | USA Today | Reuters A federal judge in Wisconsin on Monday sided with Democrats in a wide ranging ruling that will allow an extra week for absentee ballots to be counted. The ruling will also extend the deadline for online and mail-in registration and ease the rules for hiring election workers.  District Judge William Conley wrote that the deadline extensions were necessary, given the Covid-19 pandemic, to protect the right of Wisconsin citizens...
    AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Election advocates in Maine want a state judge to rule on the constitutionality of some of the state's elections systems, including whether absentee ballots must be counted if postmarked by Election Day. The lawsuit was filed against Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap and Attorney General Aaron Frey to address election challenges related to the coronavirus pandemic. The case was the subject of a Monday hearing at Kennebec County Superior Court that was scheduled to resume on Tuesday. The lawsuit contends voters' ability to cast ballots could be in jeopardy because of the pandemic and Maine's election systems. The plaintiffs wrote that a rapid shift to absentee voting in the wake of COVID-19 represents a significant change for Maine and that voters could be disenfranchised unless several absentee ballot and voter registration procedures are changed. The American Civil Liberties Union of Maine filed a brief in...
    MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A federal judge ruled Monday that absentee ballots in battleground Wisconsin can be counted up to six days after the Nov. 3 presidential election as long as they are postmarked by Election Day. The highly anticipated ruling, unless overturned, means that the outcome of the presidential race in Wisconsin likely will not be known for days after polls close. Under current law, the deadline for returning an absentee ballot in order to have it counted is 8 p.m. on Election Day. Democrats and their allies sued to extend the deadline in the key swing state. U.S. District Judge William Conley granted a large portion of their requests, issuing a preliminary injunction that was expected to be appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. President Donald Trump won Wisconsin by fewer than 23,000 votes in 2016. The Republican National Committee, the Wisconsin GOP and Wisconsin’s...
    MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A federal judge ruled Monday that absentee ballots in battleground Wisconsin can be counted up to six days after the Nov. 3 presidential election as long as they are postmarked by Election Day. The highly anticipated ruling, unless overturned, means that the outcome of the presidential race in Wisconsin likely will not be known for days after polls close. Under current law, the deadline for returning an absentee ballot in order to have it counted is 8 p.m. on Election Day. Democrats and their allies sued to extend the deadline in the key swing state. U.S. District Judge William Conley granted a large portion of their requests, issuing a preliminary injunction that was expected to be appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. President Donald Trump won Wisconsin by fewer than 23,000 votes in 2016. The Republican National Committee, the Wisconsin GOP and...
    MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Federal judge in battleground Wisconsin extends deadline for receiving absentee ballots for 6 days beyond election. Copyright © 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A federal judge in South Carolina has struck down a rule requiring mail-in absentee ballots to be signed by witnesses for the upcoming November election, citing the severity of the coronavirus pandemic. In a ruling Friday, U.S. District Court Judge J. Michelle Childs ordered the state Election Commission to immediately inform voters about the removal of the requirement. Childs said South Carolina voters would risk exposing themselves to COVID-19 if they voted in person, and that they could also expose the witnesses required to sign their ballots. “The evidence in the record points to the conclusion that adherence to the Witness Requirement in November would only increase the risk of contracting COVID-19 for members of the public with underlying medical conditions, the disabled, and racial and ethnic minorities,” Childs wrote. President Donald Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in the conservative state by about 14 percentage points...
    MASON, Mich.  — A Michigan resident’s apparent joke showing disdain for voting by mail is no laughing matter for one election official. The resident put a toilet on their lawn with a sign that says, “Place mail in ballots here.” Barb Byrum, the Democratic clerk of Ingham County, filed a complaint with police over the display, saying it could mislead people who aren’t familiar with the voting system. “It is a felony to take illegal possession of an absentee ballot,” Byrum said Friday. “Elections in this country are to be taken seriously and there are many people who are voting by mail for the first time this election,” she said. Police told the AP that the complaint is being investigated. President Donald Trump has repeatedly warned that voting by mail could lead to fraud and spoil the election, making distorted claims that elections officials fear could cause anxiety and confusion...
    Police are investigating a Michigan resident who placed a toilet on their front lawn with a sign saying, “Place Mail In Ballots Here." “It's solicitation of absentee ballots into a container," Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum said. "Our election integrity is not a game. I expect everyone to act appropriately, and this is unacceptable.” Byrum, a Democrat, said she filed a police report about the display Monday. Police promised to follow up with her after they have spoken to the owner of the home. The lawn also included a sign in support of recalling Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, and another sign in support of Republican Senate candidate John James. President Trump has been critical of the push to expand mail-in balloting, something Byrum says is “encouraging people to lose faith in the absentee voting process.” “This kind of behavior needs to be quashed immediately," she said....
    A HOMEOWNER was reported to police by an election official for urging voters to drop their mail-in ballots in a toilet on their front lawn. The resident in Mason, Michigan, had placed a toilet on their property next to a large sign with an arrow that read: “Place mail in ballots here!” ⚠️ Follow our US election 2020 live blog for the latest news & updates 5A homeowner in Michigan has displayed a toilet on their front lawn alongside a sign that reads: 'Place mail in ballots here!'Credit: AP:Associated Press But last Monday, Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum said she filed a police report because she believes the display could confuse or mislead people who aren’t familiar with the voting system. "It's solicitation of absentee ballots into a container," Byrum told the Lansing State Journal on Friday. “Our election integrity is not a game. I expect everyone to act...
    Steven Rosenfeld September 20, 2020 12:29PM (UTC) This article originally appeared on Independent Media Institute. As half or more of the 2020 presidential election's votes will be cast on mailed-out ballots, a new study on why absentee ballots were rejected in three urban California counties in 2018 reveals why young voters' ballots were rejected at triple the rate of all voters. Nationally, it is well known that absentee ballots arriving after state deadlines, problems with a voter's signature on the return envelope not matching their voter registration, or a missing signature account for more than half of all rejected ballots, as the latest federal statistics affirm. But a new California Voter Foundation (CVF) study reveals the most likely causes behind those errors, especially for young voters. : In short, the study notes that young (ages 18-34) voters' signatures can change between registering to vote and voting, causing mismatches on return envelopes. (The envelopes don't remind...
    Mississippi voters more vulnerable to the coronavirus because of preexisting conditions don't necessarily qualify to cast an absentee ballot, the state's Supreme Court ruled Friday. The ruling overturned Hinds County Chancery Judge Denise Owens’ decision earlier this month in which she said state law “permits any voter with preexisting conditions that cause COVID-19 to present a greater risk of severe illness or death to vote by absentee ballot during the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to Mississippi Today. The state Supreme Court said Hinds too broadly interpreted changes made to the law earlier this year. "Having a preexisting condition that puts a voter at a higher risk does not automatically create a temporary disability for absentee-voting purposes," Justice Dawn Beam wrote in the majority opinion, according to Mississippi Today. TRUMP CALLS MAIL-IN VOTING A SCAM, SAYS DEMOCRATS ARE SETTING UP ELECTION 'MESS' The current state law allows absentee voting for anyone over 65, with...
              A Michigan state judge ruled on Friday that absentee ballots that arrive after Election Day can still be counted. Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens ruled that absentee ballots that are postmarked for November 2 can still be counted even if they arrive up to two weeks after polls close on Election Day, according to reporting from CNN and ABC News. Absentee ballots were previously only allowed to be counted if they arrived before 8 p.m. on Election Day. The ruling says that the pandemic and related delays in mail delivery justified the extension. “Even for those voters who are fortunate enough to receive their absent voter ballots in advance of the election, mail delays and the COVID-19 pandemic stack the deck against successfully casting an absent voter ballot by mail in a timely manner,” the ruling said. “For those with underlying...
              Minnesota’s Secretary of State Steve Simon is sending letters telling those who haven’t requested an absentee ballot to vote from home. An estimated 2.3 million voters will receive the letter and an absentee ballot application. The letter asserts that staying safe and keeping other citizens healthy “means voting from home.” “During a pandemic, we have to view this election as a public health challenge. In a normal year, the appeal of voting from home is a comfort and a convenience,” Simon stated in the press release. “But this year, it’s also a public service – because every person who votes from home is making the polling place a little bit safer for voters who need or prefer to vote in person. This mailing is all about making sure Minnesota voters know that voting from home is easy, safe, and secure.” The United States Postal Service...
    A Michigan election official thinks a homeowner’s mail-in ballot joke is crap. Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum saw no humor in the display on a lawn in the town of Mason, Michigan, featuring a toilet with a sign next to it that said, “Place mail in ballots here!” The homeowner, who was not identified by the Lansing State Journal, also has a sign nearby reading, “Recall Whitmer Now.com,” a reference to an effort to oust the Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, along with another sign supporting John James, a Republican running for the U.S. Senate. But Byrum didn’t interpret the toilet display as political commentary. Noting many people are voting absentee for the first time this year because of the pandemic, she filed a police report about it. Michigan law says illegally taking possession of an absentee ballot is a felony which could result in a $1,000 fine and up...
    A Michigan election official thinks a homeowner’s mail-in ballot joke is crap. Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum saw no humor in the display on a lawn in the town of Mason, Michigan, featuring a toilet with a sign next to it that said, “Place mail in ballots here!” The homeowner, who was not identified by the Lansing State Journal, also has a sign nearby reading, “Recall Whitmer Now.com,” a reference to an effort to oust the Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, along with another sign supporting John James, a Republican running for the U.S. Senate. But Byrum didn’t interpret the toilet display as political commentary. Noting many people are voting absentee for the first time this year because of the pandemic, she filed a police report about it. Michigan law says illegally taking possession of an absentee ballot is a felony which could result in a $1,000 fine and up to...
    MASON, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan resident's apparent joke showing disdain for voting by mail is no laughing matter for one local elections official. The resident put a toilet on their lawn with a sign that says, “Place mail in ballots here.” Barb Byrum, the Democratic clerk of Ingham County, filed a complaint with police over the display, saying it could mislead people who aren't familiar with the voting system. “It is a felony to take illegal possession of an absentee ballot,” Byrum said Friday. “Elections in this country are to be taken seriously and there are many people who are voting by mail for the first time this election,” she said. President Donald Trump has repeatedly warned that voting by mail could lead to fraud and spoil the election, making distorted claims that elections officials fear could cause anxiety and confusion among voters. It's the “safest way to vote...
    (CNN)When Keith Silverang went to request his absentee ballot from the local election office in the county where he was last a permanent resident in the US, he followed the same procedure he's followed when voting abroad in every general presidential election since the early 1990s. He emailed his local election official in Bergen County, New Jersey, with the forms requesting an absentee ballot in May -- earlier than he normally would, but given the coronavirus pandemic, he wanted to be prepared. He didn't hear back for months. More on Voting CNN's Election 101 2020 presidential polls, explained Having trouble voting? Tell us Mail-in vs. absentee voting How to stay safe when voting in person Your questions about voting, answered Silverang lives in Espoo, a town in Finland. He's lived abroad for 33 years. But this is the first time it's taken his local election office months to respond...
    The Mississippi Supreme Court ruled Friday that state law does not qualify all people with pre-existing health conditions for absentee voting, the Associated Press reported.  The ruling reversed a decision earlier this month by Hinds County Chancery Judge Denise Owens, with the majority of the state's Supreme Court justices arguing that Owens interpreted earlier changes to state law too broadly.  “Having a preexisting condition that puts a voter at a higher risk does not automatically create a temporary disability for absentee-voting purposes,” the justices wrote in the majority opinion. This decision diverges from a ruling from a federal judge in neighboring Louisiana on Wednesday, who said that Louisiana must allow mail-in voting for people with conditions that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has listed as making people more vulnerable to COVID-19, their caretakers and three other groups. Under current state law, Mississippi only allows absentee voting...
    Big mail-in vote this year. The Star Tribune’s Liz Navratil reports: “Minneapolis received a record number of requests for mail-in ballots, as people prepare for a contentious presidential election during a pandemic. … About 114,000 of the city’s 260,000 registered voters requested mail-in ballots, said Grace Wachlarowicz, the city’s director of Election & Voter Services. … On Friday, the city will begin sending the ballots to people who requested them. Because of mail processing times, people should expect to receive ballots about seven to 10 days later, Wachlarowicz said.” New York Times report on suburban women voters checks in on Minnesota. Emily Badger writes: “President Trump’s effort to court suburban women by promising to protect their neighborhoods is encountering one sizable hitch: Most suburban women say their neighborhoods aren’t particularly under threat. … Their communities feel safe to them, and they’re not too concerned about poorer neighbors moving in, according...
    A Michigan judge ruled Friday that absentee ballots which arrive after Nov. 3 but were postmarked by the eve of Election Day are eligible and must be counted. Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens ruled an absentee ballot can be counted if postmarked by Nov. 2 and received within two weeks after the election, since it can take two weeks to certify Michigan election results, according to the Associated Press (AP). The ruling comes as more than 2 million Michigan residents have requested an absentee ballot. Current law requires ballots to be received by the time polls close on Election Day, according to ABC News. “The evidence in this case stands uncontroverted and establishes that the mail system is currently fraught with delays and uncertainty in light of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Stephens said, according to the AP. “Mail delivery has become significantly compromised, and the risk for disenfranchisement when a...
    By DAVID EGGERT and ED WHITE, Associated Press LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A judge on Friday cleared the way for more absentee ballots to be counted in Michigan, saying envelopes postmarked by the eve of the Nov. 3 election are eligible, even if they show up days later. The decision is significant in a state that is anticipating waves of absentee ballots this fall; about 2.3 million have already been requested. For absentee ballots to be counted, Michigan law requires them to be received by the time polls close on Election Day. Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens said there's a crucial need for flexibility in 2020. “The evidence in this case stands uncontroverted and establishes that the mail system is currently fraught with delays and uncertainty in light of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Stephens said. An absentee ballot can be counted if postmarked by Nov. 2 and received within 14...
    (CNN)A Michigan state judge on Friday dramatically expanded the window for when absentee ballots can arrive and get counted after Election Day. Judge Cynthia Stephens ruled that absentee ballots postmarked before Election Day can be counted if they arrive two weeks after the polls close. Previously, only ballots received by 8 p.m. on Election Day could be counted -- a policy that led to thousands of ballots getting rejected in the state's August primary.View Trump and Biden head-to-head pollingThe ruling was a victory for Democratic groups that brought the lawsuit, who have been arguing in Michigan and other battleground states that many late-arriving ballots should still be counted. But it could also inject uncertainty into the post-election process because ballots arriving long after Election Day could still get counted and shift the outcome.Election 101"This is a HUGE win for all Michigan voters who plan to vote by mail in November,"...
    By STEVE KARNOWSKI, Associated Press MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The battleground state of Minnesota began voting in the presidential election on Friday as polling stations opened in every county and local elections officials began mailing out absentee ballots. Dozens of voters lined up early in the morning outside the early voting center in Minneapolis, where officials said 44 people had voted in the first half hour after the polls opened. Officials put coronavirus protections in place, including plexiglass dividers and plenty of hand sanitizer. Poll workers kept voting booths wiped down with disinfectant. Minnesotans are also expected to vote by mail in record numbers. Secretary of State Steve Simon said nearly 99,000 residents have already requested absentee ballots. He said he expects around 1.2 million absentee ballots will be cast by election day with a total turnout of around 3 million to 3.1 million. Under special pandemic rules, absentee ballots can...
    WASHINGTON — President Trump on Thursday encouraged voters to sign up for absentee ballots amid his months-long assault on mail-in voting which he claims will lead to rampant fraud. “Want to register to vote? Request an Absentee Ballot or vote early – simply click the below link. My campaign has made it incredibly easy!” the tweet read, including a link to his campaign website. With millions more Americans expected to cast their vote by mail amid the coronavirus pandemic, Trump has repeatedly cast doubt on the integrity of the mail-in ballot system. There are also concerns the cash-strapped US Postal Service will be overwhelmed by the unprecedented demand. Absentee and mail-in voting are essentially the same, describing the process of a ballot being sent by mail to a US voter who may be too unwell to visit a polling station or is living in another voting jurisdiction at the...
    WASHINGTON — President Trump on Thursday encouraged voters to sign up for absentee ballots amid his months-long assault on mail-in voting which he claims will lead to rampant fraud. “Want to register to vote? Request an Absentee Ballot or vote early – simply click the below link. My campaign has made it incredibly easy!” the tweet read, including a link to his campaign website. With millions more Americans expected to cast their vote by mail amid the coronavirus pandemic, Trump has repeatedly cast doubt on the integrity of the mail-in ballot system. There are also concerns the cash-strapped US Postal Service will be overwhelmed by the unprecedented demand. Absentee and mail-in voting are essentially the same, describing the process of a ballot being sent by mail to a US voter who may be too unwell to visit a polling station or is living in another voting jurisdiction at the time...
    A woman wearing a mask to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) casts her ballot in the primary election in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 2, 2020.Joshua Roberts | Reuters The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Thursday extended the state's absentee ballot deadline and approved of the use of mail-in ballot drop boxes, giving Democrats a win in the battleground state.  The case, which was brought by the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, is similar to another one being litigated in federal court, which was put on pause while the state's supreme court considered the matter. The federal case, essentially a reverse of the state case, was brought by President Donald Trump's reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee.  Battles over voting rules have taken on a heightened significance amid the Covid-19 pandemic, which has forced states to adjust to millions more voters casting ballots by mail. The legal fight in Pennsylvania is...
    All South Carolina voters will be allowed to cast absentee ballots in November because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Gov. Henry McMaster signed legislation into law Wednesday permitting South Carolinians to vote by mail, provided a witness signs each absentee ballot and each ballot be mailed or hand delivered to county Boards of Elections. The House of Representatives approved the bill Tuesday. The bill designates a timeline for absentee ballot applications and permits in-office absentee voting beginning Oct. 5. The bill also outlines a timeline for county Boards of Election to begin preparing ballots for counting and tabulation of completed ballots on Election Day. States News South Carolina Henry McMaster Voting
    With absentee voting set to start Friday in Virginia, the state’s elections department launched an awareness campaign called “Free to be Absentee,” meant to help voters understand the process of casting a ballot early. “We are excited about our new campaign and committed to ensuring that all eligible Virginia voters are able to make their voices heard,” said Christopher Piper, commissioner of the elections department. The department’s campaign includes a website with individual tabs that voters can click on, showing them exactly what they need to do to register to vote, request an absentee ballot or track their ballot. There will also be a series of digital ads and social media content highlighting the early voting process. MORE ELECTION NEWS Sign up for WTOP’s elections newsletter DC voter guide  Maryland voter guide Virginia voter guide Presidential Election News Congressional Election News Local Politics and Elections News “We want...
    COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster signed into law Wednesday changes in South Carolina voting rules allowing anyone to cast an absentee ballot without a reason in November's general election to help fight the spread of COVID-19. But the changes passed by the Republican dominated General Assembly did not include proposals pushed by Democrats including eliminating the requirement that a second person witness and sign the ballot and placing multiple drop boxes for ballots in counties. State law still requires absentee ballots be mailed in or dropped off at county election commission offices in person. Voters can also cast absentee ballots in person at those offices for several weeks before Election Day. The rules are only for the 2020 election and are similar to ones put in place for the statewide primaries in June. The November election should have four to five times as many voters. so...
    Confusion with a set of absentee ballots in a North Carolina county caused some voters to receive two identical ballots ahead of November’s general election, local election officials told the Associated Press on Wednesday.  Mecklenburg County election officials said that ballots for some voters in Matthews, N.C., were improperly labeled with the incorrect names and were shredded before being sent. According to the Associated Press, some voters eventually received two ballots when officials printed new ones to address the initial mistake.  Michael Dickerson, the director of elections for Mecklenburg County, told reporters that fewer than 500 voters were impacted by the mixup, adding that it is unlikely that voters could have cast two ballots, as each mailing label contains an individual code that cannot be recorded twice. North Carolina State Board of Elections Executive Director Karen Brinson Bell earlier this month issued a press release reminding people that it is...
    MATTHEWS, N.C. (AP) — A mixup with the first absentee ballots sent in North Carolina caused some voters to receive two identical ballots for the November general election, according to election officials. Some ballots intended for voters in Matthews were mislabeled with the wrong names and were shredded before they could be sent this week, Mecklenburg County election officials told news outlets. When officials printed new mailing labels to correct the mistake, some voters ended up getting two duplicate ballots. Fewer than 500 voters were affected, Election Director Michael Dickerson said. The official added that it was unlikely that voters could have cast two ballots, a felony, because each mailing label includes an individual code making it impossible to vote twice. About 813,000 absentee ballots have been requested in North Carolina as of Monday as millions of Americans prepare to vote by mail to avoid polling places during the coronavirus...
    Some absentee ballots in Wisconsin are likely already in the mail, and the head of the state’s election commission is telling voters to fill them out and return them as quickly as possible. Wisconsin Election Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe on Tuesday said it is important that voters don’t wait given the flood of absentee ballots this fall. “We have more absentee ballot requests than in any previous election,” Wolfe said. “ There are over a million absentee ballot requests on file.” Thursday is the deadline for local election managers to get absentee ballots in the mail to voters. Wolfe said many of the ballots are already in the mail, and some voters may get theirs by the end of the week. “The best advice I can give to voters is that if you choose to vote by absentee ballot, make that request as soon as you’re...
    A measure that would allow all voters to cast absentee ballots in the November election was approved Tuesday by the South Carolina House. The legislation, approved in a 115-1 vote, now heads to Gov. Henry McMaster, who is expected to sign the bill. “The bill strikes a good balance between protecting South Carolinians and the integrity of the voting process,” said Brian Symmes, McMaster's communications director. Absentee voting usually is limited to voters who meet specific qualifications to be able to cast mail-in ballots, but H . 5305 allows all voters to cast absentee ballots because of the COVID-19 pandemic in the November election. The bill designates a timeline for absentee ballot applications and permits in-office absentee voting beginning Oct. 5. Absentee ballots are required to be returned by mail or by delivering the ballot in a sealed envelope by hand to the County Board...
    MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — On Friday, Minnesotans will be able to begin voting early. That could be in-person at a city or county election office. For many, it will mean voting by mail. While the vast majority of Minnesotans have historically had no problems with casting their ballots through the mail, 2% of the absentee ballots in the August primary were rejected at first. (Some were later replaced, which would bring down that percentage, but the State doesn’t track that data.) “The whole system is designed to talk people through it,” said Andy Lokken, director of elections for Dakota County. The number one reason absentee ballots were rejected in August was they came in too late. According to election officials, that shouldn’t be a major issue for this upcoming general election. That’s because the deadline has been changed by the courts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mailed-in absentee ballots must be...
    By MICHELLE LIU, Associated Press/Report for America COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The first day of the South Carolina legislature's two-week special session to wrap up ends left loose by the COVID-19 pandemic was marked by two groups advocating for constitutional rights at the capitol building: One urging legislators to expand protections for voters this fall, and one demanding state leaders take the pandemic less seriously. At the end of its own debate Tuesday, The House of Representatives made some acknowledgement of the pandemic's severity, passing a bill that would allow all voters to cast absentee ballots due because of the outbreak. The bill is now headed to Gov. Henry McMaster, who intends to sign it into law once ratified, according to his office. “The bill strikes a good balance between protecting South Carolinians and the integrity of the voting process,” said McMaster spokesman Brian Symmes. Amendments that would have removed...
    Lawmakers in South Carolina voted Tuesday to allow all voters in the state to cast absentee ballots in November's election due to ongoing concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. The Post and Courier reported that the changes come under a new provision allowing voters to opt for mail-in ballots if they live in an area under an emergency declaration, which currently includes the entire state. The bill passed with bipartisan support and is headed to Gov. Henry McMaster's (R) desk for a likely signature, though Democrats urged their Republican colleagues to go further in enacting changes recommended by state election officials. Among other changes being considered were a proposed elimination of the witness signature requirement and a proposal to set up drop-off boxes for absentee ballots across the state at election offices. Both plans failed on mostly party-line amendment votes, according to the Post and Courier. A spokesman for McMaster's office praised...
    MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Election clerks across the presidential battleground state of Wisconsin rushed to mail absentee ballots Tuesday, less than 24 hours after the state Supreme Court lifted a temporary freeze on sending them while it considered a legal challenge. “Oh, we’re busy,” said Wendy Helgeson, the Town of Greenville clerk who also serves as president of the Wisconsin Municipal Clerks Association. More than 1,850 clerks in municipalities big and small were working to meet a Thursday deadline in state law to mail ballots to the more than 1 million voters who had requested them so far. Absentee ballots can be requested until Oct. 29, but election officials have urged voters to act more quickly given the expected large numbers and delays with the mail. The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Sept. 10 ordered a stop to all mailing of absentee ballots while it considered whether the Green Party presidential...
    Loading the player... Data collected from a collegiate study finds that Black and brown voters are more likely to have their absentee ballots rejected than their White peers. Read More: In battlegrounds, absentee ballot rejections could triple Research conducted by a University of Florida professor Daniel Smith found Black and Hispanic voters in the state were twice as likely to have their ballots rejected as White voters. The data, gathered from the Florida Division of Elections, also found that young voters are also likely to have rejected ballots, CNN reported Monday. PROVO, UT – November 6: A employee at the Utah County Election office puts mail in ballots into a container to register the vote in the midterm elections. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images) Florida is not the only state where these statistics hold true. According to CNN, in North Carolina, early voting has already begun and approximately...
    Russia is once again interfering in the 2020 election to try to hurt Joe Biden and help Trump, intelligence officials say. Donald Trump on Monday night claimed that an increase in mail-in voting is more dangerous than Russia's continued interference in the 2020 election, despite the fact that there's no evidence showing absentee voting is plagued with fraud. "I think the massive mail-in ballot is much more dangerous, absolutely," Trump said in an interview with Phoenix, Arizona, Fox affiliate NewsNOW, when asked whether he felt Russian interference or an increase in absentee voting worried him more. "Who's getting the ballots? Who's sending the ballots?" he said. "... It's ridiculous." Loading...
    The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Monday that Green Party candidate, Howie Hawkins, will not appear on the presidential ballot, ending a legal dispute that caused the state to temporarily stop sending absentee ballots to voters. The court temporarily suspended local election officials from sending out ballots, which did not include Hawkins name, last week until they could decide whether the Green Party should be added to the ticket, according to CNN. Green Party candidate for NY Governor, Howie Hawkins, has a hat placed on his head by a campaign worker October 27, 2010 at the Bowling Green Bull in New York. At his “Wall Street Rodeo” Hawkins said that stock transfer tax money should be going into jobs not back into Wall Street coffers. AFP PHOTO/DON EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP via Getty Images) However, the court ruled Monday that adding Hawkins would cause more issues. “We would...
    LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Larger Michigan municipalities could begin processing an expected surge of absentee ballots sooner in the November presidential election under a bill approved Tuesday by the state Senate. The 34-2 vote followed a monthslong delay in the Republican-led chamber amid lobbying from clerks in both parties who warned of significant delays in counting the votes. The GOP-controlled House will consider the measure next. Absentee voting, already on the rise in recent election cycles, is an increasingly popular option during the coronavirus pandemic and following the passage of a 2018 ballot initiative that lets people cast one for any reason. The legislation would let clerks in bigger communities start processing ballots the day before Election Day. They still could not be counted until Election Day. © 2020 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.   Related
    (CNN)Lawsuits being fought across the country are colliding with state deadlines to mail absentee ballots to voters, creating delays and stirring up new uncertainty over the ability of major swing states to handle the anticipated major surge of mail-in ballots this fall.In Pennsylvania, ongoing lawsuits over the Green Party candidate appearing on the ballot have prevented counties from sending mail-in ballots to voters. Wisconsin narrowly avoided absentee ballot chaos on Monday in a 4-3 state Supreme Court decision preventing the need for counties to reprint hundreds of thousands of ballots set to be mailed this week. There also are several states fighting over absentee ballot applications that were mailed to voters, in some cases forcing voters to reapply to receive an absentee ballot.How to vote How to make sure your 2020 mail-in vote is counted Who can vote? US elections, explained The Electoral College, explained The sprawling election litigation...
    Republicans on Ohio’s Controlling Board rejected Secretary of State Frank LaRose’s request to attach prepaid postage on every mail-in ballot in the state of Ohio. In a Monday meeting, the Republican-majority board voted 4-2 along party lines to turn down LaRose’s $3 million ask, making it nearly impossible for Ohio absentee ballots to go out with prepaid postage. “Ohio has a sound elections system, but today was another missed opportunity by the legislature to make a small change, without an impact on our state budget, that would yield a big improvement,” LaRose said in a statement following the vote. LaRose, who used CARES Act funding to mail an absentee ballot request form to every registered voter in Ohio, initially asked lawmakers in May to pay the postage return. He first went to the controlling board Aug. 24. According to a news release, LaRose said logistical deadlines...
    By SCOTT BAUER, Associated Press MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Election clerks across the presidential battleground of Wisconsin rushed to mail absentee ballots Tuesday, less than 24 hours after the state Supreme Court lifted a temporary freeze on sending them while it considered a legal challenge. “Oh, we're busy,” said Wendy Helgeson, the Town of Greenville clerk who also serves as president of the Wisconsin Municipal Clerks Association. More than 1,850 clerks in municipalities big and small were working to meet a Thursday deadline in state law to mail ballots to the more than 1 million voters who had requested them so far. Absentee ballots can be requested until Oct. 29, but election officials have urged voters to act more quickly given the expected large numbers and delays with the mail. The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Sept. 10 ordered a stop to all mailing of absentee ballots while it considered whether...
    By DAVID EGGERT, Associated Press LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Larger Michigan municipalities could begin processing an expected surge of absentee ballots sooner in the November presidential election under a bill approved Tuesday by the state Senate. The 34-2 vote followed a monthslong delay in the Republican-led chamber amid lobbying from clerks in both parties who warned of significant delays in counting the votes. The GOP-controlled House will consider the measure next. Absentee voting, already on the rise in recent election cycles, is an increasingly popular option during the coronavirus pandemic and following the passage of a 2018 ballot initiative that lets people cast one for any reason. The legislation would let clerks in bigger communities start processing ballots the day before Election Day. They still could not be counted until Election Day. Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Tags:...
    MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Election clerks across the presidential battleground of Wisconsin rushed to mail absentee ballots Tuesday, less than 24 hours after the state Supreme Court lifted a temporary freeze on sending them while it considered a legal challenge. “Oh, we’re busy,” said Wendy Helgeson, the Town of Greenville clerk who also serves as president of the Wisconsin Municipal Clerks Association. More than 1,850 clerks in municipalities big and small were working to meet a Thursday deadline in state law to mail ballots to the more than 1 million voters who had requested them so far. Absentee ballots can be requested until Oct. 29, but election officials have urged voters to act more quickly given the expected large numbers and delays with the mail. The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Sept. 10 ordered a stop to all mailing of absentee ballots while it considered whether the Green Party presidential candidate...
    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Many Alaska voters are mailing absentee ballots later than a one-week deadline recommended by the U.S. Postal Service, based on an analysis of recent primary voting. A comparison of the past three statewide primaries by The Anchorage Daily News found that the state's Aug. 18 primary ballots did not arrive unusually late at the Alaska Division of Elections, the newspaper reported Monday. But late ballot mailing by Alaska voters could affect the result of voting in November, when an even higher number of absentee votes are expected to be cast than the record number submitted in last month's primary. The Postal Service recommends a deadline of a week because ballots typically travel by first-class mail and the majority arrives between two and five days after being sent, Postal Service documents said. More ballots arrive at the Alaska Division of Elections after the primary election day than...
    By MORGAN LEE, Associated Press SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico is prepared to spend millions of dollars in federal recovery funds to install drop boxes for absentee ballots as election regulators encourage voters to participate in the general election in ways that minimize human contact and reduce the risks of COVID-19 transmission. Secretary of state's office spokesman Alex Curtas on Monday said the agency is encouraging the state's 33 counties to install ballot drop boxes — indoors and outside — while offering reimbursement for expenses from a $6 million allotment of federal funds that also pays for personal protective equipment and publicity about voting. “We will reimburse all of those expenses,” said Curtas regarding drop boxes. “We are definitely seeing that many but not all counties are interested in that.” The administration of Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has urged voters through an emergency public health order to...
    Ohio's Controlling Board ruled against a push by Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose to attach free postage to every mail-in ballot sent out within the state on Monday, by a party-line vote of 4-2. LaRose’s fellow Republicans on the panel said the move should require approval from the GOP-led state legislature, according to Fox 19. LaRose had already reportedly tried to push through a package of reforms in time for Election Day but was having trouble gaining any political traction for his agenda. HONEST ELECTIONS PROJECT CRITICIZES DC GROUP FOR MAILING UNSOLICITED BALLOT APPLICATIONS Video“Ohio has a sound elections system, but today was another missed opportunity by the legislature to make a small change, without an impact on our state budget, that would yield a big improvement,” he said. The secretary of state added he would have tapped his office budget to cover any postage costs for the absentee ballots, Fox...
    (CNN)You've heard of Kanye West. You've probably never heard of Howie Hawkins. And you might not have realized he's also running for president.But efforts to keep the rapper and the Green Party candidate off ballots in certain states are starting to gum up the mechanics of a massive shift toward mail-in voting.More on voting Understanding mail-in voting in the US Mail-in vs. absentee voting: What's the difference? How to make sure your 2020 mail-in vote is counted 2020 presidential polls, explained US elections, explained Today's the day Pennsylvania counties could have started sending mail-in ballots to voters. Could have. But they can't send anything because the state's ballot has not been finalized as Democrats try to keep the Green Party candidate off the ballot there. Republicans would love for him to be featured and have been helping to bankroll some of the Green Party's legal efforts. Read MoreA similar...
    Wisconsin’s Supreme Court on Monday voted 4-3 to keep the Green Party off the state's ballot in a ruling that avoids further election delays and allows absentee ballots to resume being mailed to voters. The decision comes after the conservative-majority court last Thursday ordered that the mailing of absentee ballots be paused until the court determined whether Green Party presidential candidate Howie Hawkins could appear on the battleground state’s ticket, where polling shows Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenCrowd aims 'lock him up' chant at Obama during Trump rally Biden campaign plans to run ad during every NFL game until Election Day LA mayor condemns protesters shouting 'death to police' outside hospital treating ambushed officers MORE holding a narrow lead over President TrumpDonald John TrumpCrowd aims 'lock him up' chant at Obama during Trump rally Nevada governor: Trump 'taking reckless and selfish actions' in holding rally Michigan lieutenant governor blasts...
    By SCOTT BAUER, Associated Press MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Green Party's candidates for president and vice president are demanding that that Wisconsin Supreme Court rule Monday that they be placed on the state's ballot. The state's highest court on Thursday ordered a halt to the mailing of all absentee ballots while it considers a legal challenge brought by Green presidential candidate Howie Hawkins and his running mate Angela Walker. The Wisconsin Elections Commission deadlocked twice on whether they should be placed on the ballot, resulting in them not getting added. Three Republican election commission members said Hawkins should be on the ballot while three Democratic members said Walker listed an incorrect address on thousands of nominating signatures and therefore didn't qualify. In a separate case, rapper Kanye West is also suing to be put on the Wisconsin ballot. A Brown County judge late Friday rejected the lawsuit, agreeing with...
    MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Green Party’s candidates for president and vice president are demanding that that Wisconsin Supreme Court rule Monday that they be placed on the state’s ballot. The state’s highest court on Thursday ordered a halt to the mailing of all absentee ballots while it considers a legal challenge brought by Green presidential candidate Howie Hawkins and his running mate Angela Walker. The Wisconsin Elections Commission deadlocked twice on whether they should be placed on the ballot, resulting in them not getting added. Three Republican election commission members said Hawkins should be on the ballot while three Democratic members said Walker listed an incorrect address on thousands of nominating signatures and therefore didn’t qualify. In a separate case, rapper Kanye West is also suing to be put on the Wisconsin ballot. A Brown County judge late Friday rejected the lawsuit, agreeing with the elections commission that...
    President Trump has repeatedly criticized mail-in voting in recent days, insisting it leads to voter fraud. On Tuesday, Twitter included a fact check along with one of the president's tweets for the first time, including a link where readers could "get the facts about mail-in ballots" after the president tweeted there is "NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-in Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent."  But this is far from the first time the president has criticized mail-in voting. Last week, Mr. Trump tweeted that he might withhold funding from a small number of states if they moved forward with the vote-by-mail process. "State of Nevada 'thinks' that they can send out illegal vote by mail ballots, creating a great Voter Fraud scenario for the State and the U.S. They can't! If they do, 'I think' I can hold up funds to the State. Sorry, but you must not cheat...
    (CNN)Remember hanging chads, Florida's 2000 election nightmare? The 2020 equivalent could wind up being mismatched signatures.With voting already underway in two states, Democrats and Republicans are drawing battle lines across the country over voter signatures for mail-in ballots, with lawsuits over how signatures are evaluated and whether voters can fix ballots that get tossed. President Donald Trump and Republicans are arguing for strict matches, while Democrats are pushing for easier rules letting people prove they are who they say they are, even if their John Hancocks have changed a bit. How to vote How to make sure your 2020 mail-in vote is counted Who can vote? US elections, explained The Electoral College, explained Legal fights over absentee votes aren't a new phenomenon, but they've taken on a newfound importance thanks to the surge in requests for mail-in ballots and states expanding access to vote-by-mail and, in some cases, conducting...
    (CNN)The most important thing most voters need to know for this fall's election can be expressed in three words: Vote in person. That includes early in-person voting, as well as Election Day voting. That should be the message to voters who are not in unusually high-risk health categories. No doubt that will sound surprising, after all the fights to expand mail-in and absentee ballot options. Yet no action is more critical to avoiding an election nightmare. JUST WATCHEDTrump team grilling local election officials about mail-in ballotsReplayMore Videos ...MUST WATCHTrump team grilling local election officials about mail-in ballots 02:46 Like every aspect of this year's election, the way people plan to vote has become politicized and polarized. Once President Donald Trump turned his Twitter account to inflaming opposition to mail-in voting, the way one votes became an expression of political identity. Voters sorted themselves accordingly. In an August Monmouth...
    (CNN) — In the latest sign of the chaos overshadowing the 2020 election, none of Pennsylvania’s counties will be able to send out ballots to voters Monday, the first day the critical battleground state allows counties to do so. Due to a slew of lawsuits and other issues, the commonwealth, which has drawn intense interest from Democrats and Republicans after June’s disastrous primary, has not finalized its ballot less than eight weeks before Election Day. The state’s Democratic Party remains in court battling to keep the Green Party off the ballot. The pending legal dispute has led to a delay in certification of the November ballot, and as a result, all Pennsylvania county election officials who this year could have started offering absentee or mail-in ballots, as well as in-person early absentee voting, starting September 14 are in a holding pattern. Pennsylvania, which President Donald Trump won by less than...
    Recounts are underway in several close races after Tuesday’s state primary. The secretary of state’s office says 304,671 ballots were cast in the primaries in which voters selected nominees for governor, Congress and the state Legislature. The total easily surpassed the previous record for a state primary, which was 228,432 ballots cast in 2018. On Tuesday, there were 156,976 Democratic ballots and 147,695 Republican ballots. More than 40% of the Democratic ballots were absentee, while only 16% of Republicans voted by absentee ballot. Under temporary changes to state law, anyone concerned about the coronavirus pandemic was allowed to vote absentee. Recounts were being held Saturday for Republicans competing in a state House district that includes Gilford and Meredith, as well as the town of Derry. There also was a recount for Democrats competing in Manchester’s Ward 1. Other recounts are set for Monday and Tuesday. Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All...
    A video featuring an outraged young woman complaining about a Trump campaign-branded absentee ballot request form has gone viral. Here’s the story with those forms. The video features a young woman explaining to camera that she received a ballot request form in the mail that was wrapped inside “Trump propaganda.” “What the fuck is this?” she exclaims. “How is this allowed?” The video has racked up more than a million-and-a-half views on Twitter. This is outrageous. Jb pic.twitter.com/bA0YCKP7yg — John Barrowman MBE (@JohnBarrowman) September 11, 2020 The state is not identified in the video, but mailers like these have been reported in states like Georgia, Arizona, and North Carolina, and appear to have been sent by the states’ respective Republican Parties. CNN reported on the North Carolina mailers in August: The mailer was sent out by the North Carolina Republican Party, press secretary Tim Wigginton told CNN. The...
    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) Leading Off ● Florida: On Friday, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court ruling that had struck down the Florida GOP's modern-day poll tax, making it all but certain that the law will remain in effect for November. Republicans passed their law last year after voters amended Florida's constitution in 2018 to end lifetime voter disenfranchisement for up to 1.4 million people who had served out sentences for all but the most serious crimes. An expert witness for the plaintiffs estimated that 775,000 citizens would be unable to pay the poll tax, in large part because Florida levies onerous fines to fund its court system. The court noted, for instance, that one county charges a minimum of $668 for a public defender—and $548 even for defendants who forgo one. Furthermore, 43% of the disenfranchised are Black, roughly three times the African American...
    Nearly 10,000 North Carolinians had their mail-in ballots accepted in the first week of voting, according to data released Friday by the State Board of Elections. Of the 10,380 absentee ballots returned since counties sent them out last Friday, 9,966 have been accepted. North Carolina was the first state in the country to send absentee ballots to voters who requested them. The accepted ballots represent about 1% of the number requested and an even smaller fraction of the state's 7.1 million registered voters, meaning limited conclusions can be drawn so far. But the data does offer insight on how people are casting ballots and what challenges may lie ahead. Get Breaking News Delivered to Your Inbox Of the ballots returned so far, 6,155 are from Democrats, compared to 1,248 from Republicans and nearly 3,000 from unaffiliated voters. The multi-step process that leads to ballots being scanned and eventually counted...
    Republican-led legislatures in Michigan and Pennsylvania may soon pass bills to allow local election officials to start processing what is expected to be a historic volume of absentee ballots cast in their states before 2020’s Election Day on November 3. The legislation could reduce a lengthy vote-counting process in the two presidential battleground states, which some political observers have described as one possible nightmare scenario. But the GOP-authored bills fall short of what Democrats have sought. In Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, has threatened to veto the changes unless they give more time for voters to apply for absentee ballots, more options for voters to return them, and more time for officials to process them. “The governor plans to veto [the bill] in its current form for a multitude of reasons, including the fact that the bill makes it harder, not easier, for citizens to vote,” Lyndsay Kensinger, Wolf’s press secretary, told the Morning Call...
    Nearly 10,000 North Carolinians had their mail-in ballots accepted in the first week of voting, according to data released Friday by the State Board of Elections. Of the 10,380 absentee ballots returned since counties sent them out last Friday, 9,966 have been accepted. North Carolina was the first state in the country to send absentee ballots to voters who requested them. The accepted ballots represent about 1% of the number requested and an even smaller fraction of the state's 7.1 million registered voters, meaning limited conclusions can be drawn so far. But the data does offer insight on how people are casting ballots and what challenges may lie ahead. Get Breaking News Delivered to Your Inbox Of the ballots returned so far, 6,155 are from Democrats, compared to 1,248 from Republicans and nearly 3,000 from unaffiliated voters. The multi-step process that leads to ballots being scanned and eventually counted...
    By BRYAN ANDERSON, Associated Press/Report for America RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Nearly 10,000 North Carolinians had their mail-in ballots accepted in the first week of voting, according to data released Friday by the State Board of Elections. Of the 10,380 absentee ballots returned since counties sent them out last Friday, 9,966 have been accepted. North Carolina was the first state in the country to send absentee ballots to voters who requested them. The accepted ballots represent about 1% of the number requested and an even smaller fraction of the state’s 7.1 million registered voters, meaning limited conclusions can be drawn so far. But the data does offer insight on how people are casting ballots and what challenges may lie ahead. Of the ballots returned so far, 6,155 are from Democrats, compared to 1,248 from Republicans and nearly 3,000 from unaffiliated voters. The multi-step process that leads to ballots being scanned...
    The United States Postal Service is mailing postcards that encourage voters to make a plan on how they will vote by mail if they plan to use that method to cast ballots. "If you plan to vote by mail, plan ahead," the 5.5-by-8.5-inch postcard says on one side, noting that the information is for "U.S. citizens." On the reverse is a checklist for voters on how to prepare to vote by mail, which encourages voters to "start today" and give "ample time to complete the process," to verify the rules in each state, to request a ballot at least 15 days before Election Day, to follow the instructions thoroughly and to return the ballot at least seven days before Election Day. (Emily Larsen/Washington Examiner) The mailer is part of a USPS campaign "to educate the public on the Postal Service's role in the mail-in...
    By SCOTT BAUER, Associated Press MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision to halt the mailing of absentee ballots raised concerns that it could cause delays and confusion in the presidential battleground state. The decision Thursday, 54 days before the Nov. 3 election, was only temporary. However, it's unclear when the court will make a final ruling that will restart the process of sending ballots to voters. Here's a look at what's known so far: Q: WHAT DID THE COURT DO? A: The state Supreme Court ordered an immediate halt to the mailing of absentee ballots to the nearly 1 million voters who had a request on file. The court also asked for details from the Wisconsin Elections Commission about how many ballots had been requested and mailed already. As of 5 p.m. Thursday, clerks indicated that 380,000 ballots had been sent but that information was incomplete. And...
    Wisconsin is among the key battleground states that could ultimately decide whether President Donald Trump is reelected or Vice President Joe Biden takes over in January 2021. But unfortunately for those hoping for a swift and orderly resolution to the contest, the voting situation is becoming increasingly chaotic in that Rust Belt state. The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled this week that election officials cannot mail out absentee ballots until the court decides whether or not to add the Green Party’s presidential nominee, Howie Hawkins, to the general election ballot — and Wisconsin’s deadline for mailing out absentee ballots is next week: Thursday, September 17. CNN’s Caroline Kenney explains, “The September 17 deadline for when the 1850 municipal clerks need to mail out absentee ballots to Wisconsin voters who asked for one is set in state law…. The possible inclusion of Green Party presidential candidate Howie Hawkins on the general election ballot...
    MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision to halt the mailing of absentee ballots raised concerns that it could cause delays and confusion in the presidential battleground state. The decision Thursday, 54 days before the Nov. 3 election, was only temporary. However, it’s unclear when the court will make a final ruling that will restart the process of sending ballots to voters. Here’s a look at what’s known so far: Q: WHAT DID THE COURT DO? A: The state Supreme Court ordered an immediate halt to the mailing of absentee ballots to the nearly 1 million voters who had a request on file. The court also asked for details from the Wisconsin Elections Commission about how many ballots had been requested and mailed already. As of 5 p.m. Thursday, clerks indicated that 380,000 ballots had been sent but that information was incomplete. And clerks indicating...
    Washington (CNN)With eight weeks until the November presidential election, Democrats in two key battleground states are leading Republicans in absentee ballot requests, according to a CNN analysis.In Florida, over 480,000 more Democrats have requested absentee ballots than Republicans, while in North Carolina, over 260,000 more Democrats have requested absentee ballots than Republicans.The Democrats' lead in absentee ballot requests in those two states doesn't necessarily indicate Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has a significant advantage over President Donald Trump, however. CNN currently rates both of these states as battlegrounds with neither candidate having a clear advantage. Visit CNN's Election Center for full coverage of the 2020 raceOver 3.2 million active registered voters in Trump's home state of Florida have requested absentee ballots as of Friday morning, despite the President's unsubstantiated claims that mail-in voting is rife with voter fraud. About 46% of those active voters requesting ballots so far are Democrats,...
    Local election clerks said the ruling is 'deeply irresponsible and jeopardizes the integrity of our election.' The conservative-controlled Wisconsin Supreme Court on Thursday ordered a halt in the mailing of absentee ballots until it gives the go-ahead or makes any future ruling about who should be on the ballot in the critical battleground state. The order injects confusion into voting in Wisconsin a week before the state's deadline for absentee ballots to be mailed to those with requests on file and less than two months before the Nov. 3 presidential election. Polls show a tight race in the state between Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden. Local election clerks sounded the alarm about what even a temporary delay in the process would mean. Loading...
    (CNN)The Wisconsin Supreme Court told election officials across the state on Thursday -- a week before the deadline to mail ballots -- that they can't mail out absentee ballots until the court decides whether to add the Green Party's presidential ticket to the ballot.The September 17 deadline for when the 1,850 municipal clerks need to mail out absentee ballots to Wisconsin voters who asked for one is set in state law. The 4-3 decision by the Wisconsin Supreme Court was split among partisan lines, with all four conservative justices agreeing that the process of mailing out ballots must be paused, while the three liberal justices dissented. The possible inclusion of Green Party presidential candidate Howie Hawkins on the general election ballot could tip the scales of a razor-thin contest between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden. Related: Understanding mail-in voting in the USVoting during the pandemic in Wisconsin...