Vote at Home | Weekly Roundup June 22, 2020

Beth Hladick
Policy Manager
Unite America

November Election (Week): In case there was uncertainty about Election Day turning into “Election Week,” recent evidence all but guarantees delayed results in November. This week, California Gov. Newsom signed a bill into law to allow mail-in ballots to be counted up to 17 days after the election. Ballots must still be postmarked on Election Day, but the new law expands the return window, from three days to 17 days (the longest time frame of all 50 states). For more info, see:

Kentucky, New York, and Virginia state primaries, albeit imperfect, went off relatively smoothly. Turnout reached a record high in Kentucky, where 85% of the vote was cast by mail. In New York, some of the races still haven’t been called, given the state can receive absentee ballots for up to seven days (as long as they’re postmarked on Election Day). Read the blog for the details by UA’s Emily Baller.

Arkansas Dems file suit to reconsider VAH, 35 years after the state's top court ruled in favor of absentee voting. GOP SOS John Thurston said he would fight against the suit, claiming the current voting system will be “adequate” in November given “where we are at with the Covid-19 pandemic.” The suit also seeks to make the state spend $4.7 million in federal election funding to send absentee, postage paid applications to all registered voters.

A broad range of voices spoke out against President Trump this week, who continues to attack voting by mail, stating (without evidence) that ballots could be stolen from carriers and/or forged by forces inside or outside the US. Ohio’s R SOS Frank LaRose called on Trump and Biden to end attacks on election integrity without evidence.

New Brennan Center study finds turnout in Milwaukee depressed nearly 9% as a result of consolidating polling places, an effect that especially impacted Black voters. A new report from Demos provides policy recommendations at each step of the VAH process to promote equitable VAH solutions.  

The National Vote at Home Institute launched a new data visual depicting vote at home rates in 2018 vs. 2020 primaries. (Hover over states at the bottom of the page to view the 2020 VAH rate or forecast, and the % change from 2018). In most states without full VAH systems, and in primaries that occurred amidst the pandemic, the change is significant. Another data visual of our friends in Virgina (h/t MS) depicts VAH rates in June 2020 Congressional primaries.

Next week, we’ll be watching primary elections Tuesday in CO, UT, (HOORAY FOR TWO FULL VAH STATES) and OK.

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