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Republicans are targeting late-arriving mail ballots ahead of the 2024 election

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  hallux  •  one week ago  •  35 comments

By:   Ashley Lopez - NPR

Republicans are targeting late-arriving mail ballots ahead of the 2024 election

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


The fight over which mail ballots should be counted during this year’s general election is already well underway.

Many states allow ballots that are postmarked on or before Election Day to be counted — even if they arrive after in-person voting has ended.

But the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee argue this practice violates federal law, and they’ve filed multiple lawsuits aiming to disqualify ballots that arrive after Election Day.

One key state where Republicans are challenging these return windows is Nevada, whose state lawmakers created a universal mail voting program in 2021.

The numbers of ballots at issue are substantial.

During the 2020 election, Joe Biden beat Donald Trump in Nevada by about   33,500 votes .

In the 2022 midterms, in Clark County alone — the county where Las Vegas is — state officials say about 40,000 valid ballots came in after Election Day.

Nevada’s mail ballot program


Kerry Durmick — the Nevada state director of All Voting is Local, a group that advocates for expanding voting access — said the state’s absentee program has increased voter participation nearly across the board.




“If you're an active Nevada registered voter, you automatically receive a vote-by-mail ballot,” Durmick said. “So it's completely changed how our elections work and run.”

Durmick said every county in Nevada now runs a typical in-person election and automatically sends out mail ballots to all of its active voters.

Per   state law , election officials can count mail ballots that are postmarked on or before Election Day and are received by 5 p.m. on the fourth day after Election Day.

Durmick says Nevada lawmakers created this window for turning in a ballot in case there are issues with the Postal Service.

The other reason, they said, is to give voters some wiggle room. Durmick says a lot of voters don’t remember to turn in their ballot until Election Day.

“It could happen to any single eligible Nevada voter,” they said. “It really isn't centered around one community or one age group in any way.”

Republican pushback


The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee, however, say this practice violates federal law. In   a lawsuit filed against Nevada elections officials , they argue ballots that arrive after Election Day should be invalid.

“Congress has established a uniform, national day to elect members of Congress and to appoint presidential electors,” the plaintiffs wrote. “Nevada effectively extends Nevada’s federal election past the Election Day established by Congress.”


Christina Bobb, senior counsel with the RNC, said accepting late-arriving ballots is also an election security issue.

“The way to make the election the most secure is that everybody has the same finish line,” she told NPR. “And if the finish line gets extended for one party over another, effectively by who's controlling the election, that creates a threat.”

Bobb is a former Trump attorney who was   indicted earlier this year in Arizona   in connection to the campaign’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. She pleaded   not guilty .

Roughly  20 states plus Washington, D.C. , accept and count mail-in ballots they receive after Election Day if they are postmarked on or before Election Day. And there’s no evidence that those states are more likely to have fraudulent elections because of their return window.

"Fringe lawsuit"


Kevin Munoz, a senior spokesperson with the Biden campaign, said these legal challenges are political.

“What we know is that Donald Trump and Republicans are starting earlier than ever to sow distrust in our democracy and attack the right to vote,” he said. “And so when we look at Nevada specifically, this is a fringe lawsuit led by the election denier in chief, Donald Trump, who did the same thing in 2020.”

Munoz said the practice of counting postmarked ballots that arrive after Election Day is common sense and has a long history in the U.S.

“States have permitted the counting of ballots received after Election Day for over a century in Pennsylvania and New Jersey,” he said. “That practice, for example, it dates back to 1813 and 1815. So, no, this is not new.”

But these legal challenges are new.

Bobb said the reason the RNC is newly focused on late-arriving ballots is because laws around mail ballots have changed a lot in the last few years — including in Nevada.


“I can't speak to what prior RNC leadership has done before I got here or why they did or didn't do something," she said. "But I would say when it comes to mail-in ballots and dates received and dates processed, all of that, I would say COVID was a game changer.”

So far the RNC and others have filed ballot return challenges in states including   Illinois ,   Mississippi   and   North Dakota . The case in North Dakota was thrown out by a court, but others continue to move through the courts.

Part of a nationwide GOP effort


Sam Paisley, national press secretary with the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, said this is part of a larger effort to shorten the windows that voters can return their mail ballots.

She said her group has tracked at least 47 bills across 18 states in the 2023 and 2024 legislative sessions that would shorten ballot return windows.

“At the end of the day, it stifles democratic participation,” Paisley said. “The deadlines seem to be ever changing and Republicans are intentionally causing that kind of confusion for voters.”

Paisley said Republicans have an absentee ballot problem they’ve created. She said their voters are wary of voting by mail and it could be a political liability for them — which is why they're trying to shorten the window in which people can return their ballot.

“They obviously have made the calculation that it's for their political benefit,” she said. “But I think it is just part of a very long history of voter suppression.”

While Republicans led by Trump have disparaged mail voting, they are now trying to change their tune. On Tuesday, the Trump campaign and the RNC launched a “Swamp The Vote” initiative “to promote the use of absentee and mail ballots and early in-person voting.”

Some veterans groups   filed a legal brief in Nevada   arguing that not counting ballots that arrive after Election Day could have a disproportionate impact on military voters.

“If Plaintiffs are successful, the voters most likely to be disenfranchised are active and former members of the Armed Services and their families, as well as older and disabled voters, all of whom rely heavily on mail ballots to exercise their right to vote,” the groups told the court.

But the RNC said cutting off mail ballot returns at Election Day won’t necessarily affect military voters.

“I have voted overseas as a military member stationed overseas and it was all done via email,” Bobb said. “So, it depends on the state and it depends on the location of how they're handling … but certainly we want to make sure that every military member and overseas civilian has the right to vote and can do so effectively.”

Experts have expressed   concern about the security of voting over the internet .

In Nevada, Durmick said not allowing late-arriving mail ballots could impact all kinds of voters.

“If we have somebody that's working multiple jobs and has multiple children and, you know, this is just not something that is 100% top of their mind and they forget about their vote-by-mail ballot and they are able to put it in a mail on Election Day,” they said. “That really does increase their access. But really, I really do feel that it could happen to anybody.”


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Hallux
PhD Principal
1  seeder  Hallux    one week ago

You want more?

The most detailed look yet at the 'exodus' of local voting officials

Conservatives are warning about noncitizens voting. It's a myth with a long history

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
1.1  Tessylo  replied to  Hallux @1    one week ago

A myth?  I'd say it's an outright lie.

 
 
 
evilone
Professor Guide
2  evilone    one week ago

They know the margins are razor thin and anywhere they can shave even partial percentages in their favor they will run with it. They have no principles and no morals - only the push for control.

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Professor Principal
2.1  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  evilone @2    one week ago
only the push for control.

Like the Dems did in 2020 with all the law sidestepping and revisions to law to make sure that mail in voting was available to everyone and their gardener? Drop boxes and all. Like that push using the Covid bullshit lines?

 
 
 
evilone
Professor Guide
2.1.1  evilone  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @2.1    one week ago

What exactly is your issue with making voting more convenient? Mail in voting was a Republican idea.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
2.1.2  Tessylo  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @2.1    one week ago

Heaven forbid it should be EASY for EVERY ELIGIBLE VOTER TO CAST THEIR VOTE.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
2.1.3  Tessylo  replied to  evilone @2.1.1    one week ago

I wonder that as well.

Some majorly CONservative states have ALL mail in voting.

 
 
 
evilone
Professor Guide
2.1.4  evilone  replied to  Tessylo @2.1.3    one week ago
Some majorly CONservative states have ALL mail in voting.

It doesn't work well in states where the inmates are running they asylum. 

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
2.1.5  Trout Giggles  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @2.1    one week ago

Didn't you tell us you had long covid? Now what does that question have to with your comment?

Would you wanted to stand in a long line with others coughing, sneezing and spreading their germs? Even masks don't prevent infections when someone is actively infected.

Thus the need for mail-in ballots

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
2.1.6  Trout Giggles  replied to  evilone @2.1.1    one week ago

Because then more people might vote

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Professor Principal
2.1.7  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  evilone @2.1.1    one week ago

There are reasons why France and others have banned it except for their citizens that may be abroad. 

Enjoy..............

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Professor Principal
2.1.8  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  Trout Giggles @2.1.5    one week ago

Still voted in person. What's your point?

And I didn't get Colvid until  April '21 brought to work by a co-worker.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
2.1.9  Trout Giggles  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @2.1.8    one week ago

So what? That's probably where ya got sick. Or maybe not

The issue is getting to the polls. Not everyone lives in a city with transportation or neighbors that will drive them to the polls.

 
 
 
evilone
Professor Guide
2.1.10  evilone  replied to  Trout Giggles @2.1.6    one week ago
Because then more people might vote

Then, I would think the better idea would be to get their voters to embrace it. 

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
2.1.11  Trout Giggles  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @2.1.7    one week ago

Um....some of those countries are half the size of some of our states....

And it's not the US's fault they can't control fraud in their voting system. That's them. We are not them.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
2.1.12  Trout Giggles  replied to  evilone @2.1.10    one week ago

Yes. Do Republicans not want more people voting for them?

 
 
 
evilone
Professor Guide
2.1.13  evilone  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @2.1.7    one week ago
There are reasons why France and others have banned

I don't care what France and others do. It irrelevant to our discussion on US voting. There hasn't been more than an antidotal amount of fraud found in US voting. Certainly not enough to sway an election. 

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Professor Principal
2.1.14  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  Trout Giggles @2.1.9    one week ago

Got no problem with that as long as transportation MAY be a problem or if they are handicapped or have other underlying health problems. You can't tell me that, with the record number of votes cast in '20, that many people fit the above criteria.

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Professor Principal
2.1.15  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  evilone @2.1.13    one week ago

Key word, FOUND. Why tempt fate?

 
 
 
evilone
Professor Guide
2.1.16  evilone  replied to  Trout Giggles @2.1.12    one week ago
Do Republicans not want more people voting for them?

Well... considering the party platform these days, I'm left to assume they can't attract new voters and this is an simpler approach to winning.

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Professor Principal
2.1.17  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  evilone @2.1.16    one week ago

If it's not fucked up, why is this a simpler approach? You're implying that there is something wrong that they will find, that increases their odds of it having an effect

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
2.1.18  Tessylo  replied to  Trout Giggles @2.1.6    one week ago

BINGO!

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Professor Principal
2.1.19  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  Trout Giggles @2.1.11    one week ago
Um....some of those countries are half the size of some of our states....

And if they found it necessary with a smaller population, what could a country 100 or so times their population, seems the problem could possibly be magnified.

I guess we all just need to agree to disagree.

Thanks for the back and forth you and evilone

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
2.1.20  Trout Giggles  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @2.1.14    one week ago

How many of those voters were city dwellers with public transportation?

I have lived in rural areas nearly all my life. I've driven all thru Arkansas and seen so many remote areas....where people actually lived (like a house every mile or so). It was like that in PA, too where I grew up. I guess if you have the luxury of living in an urban or suburban area these things don't matter to you.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
2.1.21  Trout Giggles  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @2.1.19    one week ago
I guess we all just need to agree to disagree. Thanks for the back and forth you and evilone

Thank-you, too. Sorry I got snarky

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
2.1.22  Tessylo  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @2.1.15    one week ago

Negligible amount, happens, KEY WORD FOUND.  Which means the process works and they weeded out the FRAUDULENT BALLOTS.   

Tempting fate?  Huh?

 
 
 
evilone
Professor Guide
2.1.23  evilone  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @2.1.15    one week ago
Key word, FOUND. Why tempt fate?

Because a foundational tenant of our democracy doesn't treat our citizenry as criminals without cause. I find those who rail about lawfare are often the same people who think everyone is cheating. Its interesting and leads me to wonder how much of that is projection on their part?

In reality the people behind these causes to make it more difficult to vote have only done so with the understanding it shaves as much as 4 percentage points off Democrats vote tallies. Vote margins are at an all time razor thin margin. I expect them to do, but it doesn't make it right. Making it right would be to convince more people to switch parties.

Another foundational tenant of our democracy is the right to vote. The right to privacy and bodily autonomy is being strangled by the same party trampling on the right to vote - If you want only in person voting then it should be a 3 day federal holiday weekend. Where the nation as a whole celebrates participation. 

 
 
 
evilone
Professor Guide
2.1.24  evilone  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @2.1.17    one week ago
If it's not fucked up, why is this a simpler approach? You're implying that there is something wrong that they will find, that increases their odds of it having an effect

I don't understand your post. Please elaborate.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
2.1.25  Tessylo  replied to  evilone @2.1.24    one week ago

Ditto.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
2.1.26  Tessylo  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @2.1.7    one week ago

France has nothing to do with the US

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
2.1.27  Tessylo  replied to  Trout Giggles @2.1.6    one week ago

Liberals and Democrats, the ones gqp CONservatives don't want to vote 

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Professor Principal
2.1.28  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  evilone @2.1.24    one week ago

I thought it was plain what I meant.........

"You're implying that there is something wrong that they will find, that increases their odds of it having an effect"

by saying this........

"can't attract new voters and this is an simpler approach to winning."

 
 
 
evilone
Professor Guide
2.1.29  evilone  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @2.1.28    one week ago
"You're implying that there is something wrong that they will find, that increases their odds of it having an effect"

I'm not implying anything. I'm flat out saying the same thing I've said for years. Populists, in this particular case right wing populists, can't govern a country this large and diverse. All populists have a "my way or the highway" mentality and think only they know what's best for everyone else even though they are always in the minority. 

History has shown governing works best from the middle where most of the people live - it's give and take moderation. No one truly wins or loses, so the fringes are always pissed. The Republican Party has to move back to moderation and conversely the Democratic Party is on a similar downward trajectory, but not quite there yet.

 
 
 
evilone
Professor Guide
2.1.30  evilone  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @2.1.19    one week ago
Thanks for the back and forth you and evilone

Thank you too. I enjoy the discussions you and I often have, even when we disagree. You and I and many others here would agree, far more often than disagree if we we had honest discussions and not simple obstinate partisan opposition. 

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Professor Participates
3  Greg Jones    one week ago

46 states plus DC, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands have early voting, this includes states with mail only ballots. Our system here in Colorado is pretty much foolproof. There is an option to vote in person at designated voting centers

There is no legitimate reason to have a late ballot for the vast majority of Americans. They have had adequate time and opportunity to get their ballots cast on time.

Early In-Person Voting (ncsl.org)

 
 

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