Pandemic Spawns Voting Innovations
And a fair share of miscues.
The Washington Post:
Center For Voter Participation Absentee Ballot Applications Spark Panic In Virginia
A voter registration group with a history of sending error-ridden mailers has again sown confusion in Virginia, this time tapping into concerns about mail-in ballots sparked by President Trump’s repeated allegations — without evidence — of election fraud. The Washington-based Center for Voter Information, a nonprofit geared toward increasing voter participation among underrepresented groups, mailed 2.25 million applications for absentee ballots to voters across the state, with a quarter of them containing a return envelope addressed to the wrong election office, the group said Thursday. (Olivo, 8/6)
The Washington Post:
More States Are Using Ballot Drop Boxes For Absentee Voters, But The Boxes Are Already Drawing Skepticism
Elections officials across the country are accelerating their efforts to install ballot drop boxes, a move they hope will make absentee voting simple and safe for those wary of the mail or fear exposure to the novel coronavirus at polling places. The efforts come as voters voice concerns about timely delivery of mail ballots. Already, postal workers are reporting days-long backlogs of mail across the country, calling into question whether ballots will arrive at elections offices in time to be counted in November. President Trump has also ramped up attacks on the integrity of mail voting, in a year when more voters than ever are expected to choose that method because of the pandemic. (Ye Hee Lee, 8/6)
The World Has Shown It's Possible To Avert Covid-Caused Election Meltdowns. But The U.S. Is Unique.
With less than six weeks before early voting starts in the U.S. presidential election, the risk of an electoral meltdown is rising along with the country’s coronavirus caseload. As they scramble to avert disaster, American officials may want to look overseas for guidance. Since the pandemic shut down daily life around the globe in March, 17 countries have managed to pull off successful nationwide elections, albeit on a far smaller scale than the U.S. one scheduled for Nov. 3. (Heath, 8/6)
Montana Allows Counties To Hold All-Mail Voting In November
Montana will allow counties to hold all-mail voting in November to limit the spread of the coronavirus, said Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock, who is running for the U.S. Senate. The order was issued in a response to a request from the Montana Association of Clerks and Recorders and the Montana Association of Counties. Republicans say voters should have the right to go to polling places. (Samuels, 8/6)