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Mail-in ballot battle continues in key states, no doubt count slows down

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – Former President Donald Trump and his allies used delayed ballot processing and tallying in Pennsylvania during the 2020 election to agitate President Trump false claims That fraud cost him victory in battleground states — and election officials worry a repeat may be on the horizon in November’s pivotal Senate and gubernatorial elections.

and it is Not just PennsylvaniaMichigan and Wisconsin are other key battleground states that allow unjustified mail-in ballots but don’t give local elections offices time to process them before Election Day.

Election officials’ inability to do that work in advance means that many mailed ballots may not count on Election Day, leading to close races delaying results and the spread of misinformation and lies. A big hole in the public space will be flooded.

A member of the Philadelphia Election Commission in the 2020 presidential election, he is currently president and chief executive of the philanthropic Committee of Seventies.

The first step in processing mailed ballots, or pre-inspection, is a routine but routine step for election officials to verify a voter’s signature and address, as well as to spot problems that voters may be able to fix. is an important administrative task. Once the ballot is deemed valid, it is removed from the envelope (which is also time consuming). It will now count towards Election Day.

But not Michigan, Pennsylvania, or Wisconsin. According to the National Congress of States, 38 states, including Republican-dominated states such as Florida, Georgia and Texas, are allowed to process ballots mailed in before Election Day. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis even boasted about delivering results on election night — a sharp criticism he made during a recent stop in Pennsylvania.

For the three key battleground states, such objections do not hold. Efforts to give local election officials more time before Election Day to process mailed ballots after 2020 have failed in Republican-controlled Congresses.

Instead, Republicans in these states tighten the limits About mail-in ballots — a provision rejected by Democratic governors.

Wisconsin Rep. Janelle Brunchen, a Republican, said earlier this year when lawmakers considered legislation on the issue, “Vote counting should be driven by safety, not speed.” rice field. He asked, “Why would you want to give a villain a chance to see the ballot before Election Day?”

Republicans helped repeal bipartisan bills That would have given us more time to process ballots mailed in Wisconsin. baseless conspiracy theory promoted as a way to Explain Trump’s losses.

As in Pennsylvania, election officials in Michigan and Wisconsin will have to wait until Election Day to begin pre-scrutinizing mailed-in ballots.

So far, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania have had fewer requests for absentee ballots than they did in 2020, easing some of the burden on local elections offices.

Still, Milwaukee Electoral Commission executive director Claire Woodall-Vog said it was “complete speculation” when the tally would end in Wisconsin’s most populous county, saying Election Night. I hope to finish by 11:00 pm. She said no votes were expected this year, as happened in 2020. The court banned the use of drop-boxes.

In 2020, in Michigan, lawmakers agreed to give clerks in populous cities and towns 10 hours the day before Election Day to process mailed ballots. The Clerk asked for a similar provision this year, but to no avail. The Michigan Secretary of State’s office said it was too early to estimate the number of absentee ballots or how long it would take to process them.

Republicans, who control the Pennsylvania legislature, have refused unless they allow early processing of mailed ballots. Contains clauses that Democrats opposeFor example, putting restrictions on drop-boxes or expanding voter ID requirements.

The county elections official said it appreciates the state’s approval of a $45 million election administration grant to help purchase ballot processing equipment and pay the workers it supports. increase. But they still face the task of processing well over a million mail-in ballots just as he holds the November elections. Many of them don’t expect to finish processing their mailed-in ballots until at least the day after the election — even after working through the night.

The Pennsylvania House Republican election law chief said enabling counties to process ballots before Election Day must be combined with “election integrity” measures.

Republican Rep. Seth Grove said, “Once the ballot is opened, we remove the outer envelope from the ballot, removing the ability to question anything in that election system.” should be better guarded.”

Proponents of early processing say observers can see a preliminary review of mailed ballots for greater transparency, noting that many other states also allow it.

“If you want to watch the process, you’re more likely to watch it at 3:00 p.m. instead of 3:00 a.m.,” said Lee Saltisiak, chief operating officer for Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.

All three states flipped to endorse Democrat Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election still devastated Conspiracy theories about Trump’s defeat.

Among them are Election officials tampered with ballots in the middle of the night Philadelphia, Detroit, Milwaukee, and other Democratic-leaning cities in battleground states lost to Trump despite no such evidence emerging nearly two years after the election.

Death threats to election officials followed the debate, as did a string of lawsuits designed to keep Trump in office. Two Men Inspired by Trump’s Election Lies Armed with a gun, I drove from Virginia to where the votes were being counted in Philadelphia.

Trump continued to sell conspiracy theories, repeating at a rally in Wilkes Barre this month that the 2020 Pennsylvania vote was a “rigged election.”

Democrats in the Pennsylvania Legislature continued to pressure Republicans to introduce a pre-investigation bill that did not include poison pills, fearing it would repeat false allegations from two years ago.

Democratic Rep. Scott Conklin said, “That bill won’t pass.” “Why not run? Because when it’s done, it removes the conspiracy theory. It removes the fact that what they’re saying is nonsense and untrue.”


Follow Marc Levy on Twitter: twitter.com/timelywriter.


The story was revised to show that Pennsylvania law should have imposed restrictions rather than bans on drop boxes.


Joey Cappelletti, Corps Member of the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative, contributed to this report from Lansing, Michigan. Follow AP for full coverage of the midterm elections on https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections and on his Twitter (https://twitter.com/ap_politics).

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

https://www.ksat.com/news/politics/2022/09/20/mail-ballot-fight-persists-in-key-states-sure-to-slow-count/ Mail-in ballot battle continues in key states, no doubt count slows down

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