Vote at Home | Weekly Roundup June 29, 2020

Beth Hladick
Policy Manager
Unite America

A small but significant number of ballots were thrown out of recent races due to delayed returns, questions of crimes against voters, and signatures not matching.

  • In New Jersey, alleged voter fraud and several arrests followed an election in Paterson after 3,190 mail ballots (19%) were rejected. There is clear evidence of improper activity, and lingering questions about why hundreds of absentee ballots were returned in bundles (a sign of ballot harvesting) in mailboxes. During the state’s July 7 primary, election officials will notify voters if their ballot was rejected because of a signature mismatch. Administrators hope it will help warn voters if another person attempts to vote fraudulently in their name.
  • In one town clerk’s office in Massachusetts, 202 uncounted absentee ballots were found from a recent local election. In the election, a margin of 98 votes decided to raise municipal taxes by $4 million to improve schools and services. The town is looking to the state court to decide what’s next.
  • In Florida, more than 18,000 ballots (1.3%) were returned but not tabulated in the recent March primary. The two most likely reasons were that ballots were returned after the deadline, or the ballots were filled out incorrectly. Advocates call for public education around proper VAH-ballot execution. Researchers question why young, first-time, and Black voters were the most likely to not have their ballot count.  

Several voting rights lawsuits this week took center stage in PA, AZ, IA, and TX. In TX, the Supreme Court decided not to consider whether the state should allow all voters to cast ballots by mail. The state’s primary runoff is scheduled for July 14th. In PA, the Trump campaign filed a lawsuit Monday to change several of the ways the state collects and counts mail-in ballots before the primary, alleging the procedures were unconstitutional and against state law. Trump carried the state in 2016 by a margin of less than 1 percent of votes cast.

Next Tuesday (July 7) is Delaware’s presidential primary and New Jersey’s state and presidential primary. This week, Delaware Gov. John Carney signed a bill into law to support the option to VAH due to COVID-19 in the 2020 primary, general, and special elections.  

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