Vote at Home | Weekly Roundup August 31, 2020
Absentee ballots dropped in North Carolina today, two days after President Trump encouraged voters to vote twice (once absentee and once in-person) to stress-test the security of their elections system. It’s illegal to vote twice in many states, including North Carolina. POTUS released a series of clean-up tweets in response, some of which Twitter censored for violating their rules about civic and election integrity.
AP writes election chiefs are “on edge:” at least 170 election lawsuits have been filed across the country, and many undecided cases have left key policy decisions in limbo. Among the most significant is when states can process the vote (for example, MI, PA, and WI can’t do so before Election Day — see RepUs’s map of when states count ballots for more info). “The laws ensure that the first publicly available numbers will be a count of in-person voters, who are more likely to be Republicans. The full number of Democratic votes — and the ultimate winner of each state — could come days later. That could leave Americans with a distorted impression of the results for days.” Adding to the chaos is Kanye West: lawsuits trying to remove or add West’s name to the ballot could delay ballot printing in states like AZ, OH, VA, and WI.
In the absence of additional federal funding for elections, Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg committed $250M to the Center for Tech and Civic Life. CTLC will re-grant funding to local election jurisdictions across the U.S to ensure states have the staffing, training, and equipment necessary to conduct the November election.
Confidence in the USPS has been rattled, but Michael Ravnitzky and Kevin Kosar write the Post Office has a secret weapon to keep mail-in ballots secure: the Postal Inspection Service (fun fact, it’s the same outfit that helped arrest Steve Bannon recently). “The inspectors will watch over postal operations to make sure election mail is being handled securely and expeditiously, and that none of it gets left behind.”
New polling, tracking, and resources out this week:
- NYT’s new interactive graph, “Will You Have Enough Time to Vote by Mail in Your State?” Yes, but it’s risky to procrastinate.
- NCSL’s September Elections Newsletter: Elections Go to Court
- A semi-terrifying story from Harvard Law Review’s Blog about three scenarios that could materialize to prevent the processing of mailed ballots.
Up Next: On Tuesday, September 8th, New Hampshire and Rhode Island have state primaries