State Laws Will Cause Delays for Mail Ballots
September 1, 2020
Election officials across the nation have been telling voters to be on the look out for major delays in counting mail ballot votes for the Trump-Biden race this fall. Since the number of mail ballots in this 2020 Presidential Election will be significantly higher than any election in the past, each state must revisit their rules on validating and counting these ballots.
Any ballot sent by mail must first be verified against that voter's registration record. This includes checking the name and signature against the government's database. If any issues arise at this step, most states will allow the voter to resolve the discrepancy. After all is said and done, the ballot is set aside until the counting can officially begin.
Some states, depending on their experience, may begin counting these ballots around 20 days before Election Day. In roughly 35 of the 50 states, ballots may be counted as soon as they are received. Unfortunately, in about 11 states (including some important battleground states), states cannot begin the counting of mail ballots until Election Day. Surprisingly, there are still 3 states that are not allowed to begin counting until after polls close on Election Day.
The potential issues do not stop here. Large amounts of mail ballots are often delayed in the count due to voters completing their ballots incorrectly. Again, voters are usually able to respond to the issue, but all of this takes valuable time that is just not available to spare.
In the end, election officials agree that the best plan of action is to either vote in person or turn in your mail ballot at the very earliest possible.