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Politics Some election officials call for early ballot processing

15:02  01 september  2020
15:02  01 september  2020 Source:   cbsnews.com

Decommissioned Mail-Sorting Machines in Swing States Could Define the Election

  Decommissioned Mail-Sorting Machines in Swing States Could Define the Election Many of the 671 decommissioned machines have been removed from post offices in swing states. Added to the existing crisis of delayed deliveries plaguing the federal agency, voters could see their ballots disqualified for missing their states' deadlines.Many of the 671 decommissioned machines that sort through pieces of mail at lightning speed—including mail-in ballots—have been removed from post offices in swing states. Added to the existing crisis of delayed deliveries plaguing the federal agency, voters could see their ballots disqualified for missing their states' deadlines.

Election officials in three key battleground states are petitioning county commissioners to allow for early processing of mail-in ballots . Without it, election results from Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin might be heavily delayed. CBS News 2020 campaign reporters Adam Brewster and Zak

You can find your local election official 's website and contact information by using this database from the US Vote Foundation. Most states offer at least As for early in-person voting, it is available in four-fifths of the states. In these states, any qualified voter may cast a ballot in person during a designated

Election officials across the U.S. have been sounding the alarm that the country may need to wait longer than usual to know the winner of the presidential election. But in key battleground states, some officials are calling for a change to begin processing absentee ballots before Election Day, which they say could speed up the results in November, according to CBS News campaign reporters Adam Brewster and Zak Hudak.

a close up of a sign: trail-markers-newsletter-620x254-v2.jpg © Credit: CBSNews trail-markers-newsletter-620x254-v2.jpg

At least 18 states allow mail ballot processing before Election Day, beyond just signature matching, according to Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. But that doesn't mean they'll have a tabulated number ahead of the election. However, depending on the state, officials are able to open envelopes or even matching ballot numbers against poll books -- giving them a head start on Election Day. But Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin -- three states that could decide the presidency -- must wait. Each of these states were decided by razor-thin margins in 2016, and each has seen unprecedented increases in mail-in voting in primaries this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Local election officials say they're facing an overwhelming workload that could be eased by early processing, and some say they won't have conclusive results on November 3 unless they can begin opening ballots early.

Trump campaign has to work overtime to counter the President's message on mail-in voting

  Trump campaign has to work overtime to counter the President's message on mail-in voting While President Donald Trump continues to attack mail-in voting, the massive political machine trying to get him reelected is working hard to assure Republican voters that mail-in ballots are safe to use this fall. © JASON REDMOND/AFP/Getty Images An election worker opens envelopes containing vote-by-mail ballots for the August 4 Washington state primary at King County Elections in Renton, Washington on August 3, 2020.

Election officials : Election officials and poll workers must notify potential voters that they have a right to use a provisional ballot , provide the ballot , witness the affirmation, and receive the ballot for later processing . Additionally, election officials must provide information to the voter on how the process

Patrick, the former election official under Obama, estimates each mail-in voting application costs about Striking images out of the Wisconsin election earlier this month showed some voters wore Every state has different rules for registration and how to cast a ballot , while some voters who do end

FROM THE CANDIDATES

BIDEN-HARRIS CAMPAIGN

In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania this afternoon, Joe Biden likened President Trump to a poison that the country can dispose of in November, CBS News campaign reporter Bo Erickson reports. "Donald Trump has been a toxic presence in our nation for four years, poisoning how we talk to one another, poisoning how we treat one another, poisoning the values this nation has always held dear," Biden said. "Poisoning our very democracy. Now in just a little over 60 days, we have a decision to make: Will we rid ourselves of this toxin? Or will we make a permanent part -- we make it a permanent part of our nation's character?"

Trump's election fraud claims 'not feasible,' says top Kentucky elections official

  Trump's election fraud claims 'not feasible,' says top Kentucky elections official The top election official in Kentucky, who has also been Vice President Mike Pence’s election attorney for the past three years, said Friday that it is not possible to pull off the kind of widespread fraud that President Trump repeatedly says — without evidence — is a problem. “When I ran for this office last year, I cited 22 specific cases of recent election fraud convictions,” said Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams, a Republican. “It does happen, but it doesn’t happen on a widespread basis when it does happen. It typically happens in a small town.

This page is an overview of the 2020 Maine elections , including your sample ballot , the offices on the ballot covered by Ballotpedia, featured elections , election dates, and frequently asked questions. << Maine elections , 2019 | Maine elections , 2021 >>. What's on your ballot ?

Election system vendors and state and local election officials should incorporate these best practices into their operations. Statistical auditing techniques available now (and some in development) are more efficient and effective than earlier techniques wherein a predetermined percentage of precincts

The Democratic presidential nominee also rebutted claims Republicans made all last week during their convention that the country would not be safe under President Biden. "Ask yourself, do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters. Really?!" Biden said while condemning the ongoing violence and looting in some American cities amid protests over racial justice. "I want to be clear about this: Rioting is not protesting. Looting is not protesting. Setting fires is not protesting," Biden said. He asked, "Does anyone believe there will be less violence in America if Donald Trump is re-elected?" He then followed with his own answer, saying, "This president long ago forfeited any moral leadership in this country. He can't stop the violence because for years he has fomented hate. You know, he may believe mouthing the words 'law and order' makes him strong, but his failure to call on his own supporters to stop acting as an armed militia in this country shows how weak he is."

Biden's stop in Pittsburgh comes 490 days after he held his first campaign stop in the same city, announcing his "battle for the soul of America." The Biden team in the past few days said voters will start to see more of the candidate in battleground states and promised any campaign events will be done following local public health guidelines related to COVID-19.

I Work to Stop Election Violence in Africa. Now I Am Worried for the U.S. | Opinion

  I Work to Stop Election Violence in Africa. Now I Am Worried for the U.S. | Opinion There are clear warnings that the U.S. election may see disruptions in November, including possible violence. The good news is that we can use the same pro-democracy methods that have worked elsewhere. In the short term, we can encourage international election observers, a common election violence prevention strategy that decreases the likelihood of voter intimidation and suppression. However, this will not decrease the chance of post-election violence if there are accusations or attempts at fraud.

In some states, elections officials or party leaders select candidates to appear on the ballot ; candidates selected in this manner are not usually required to file additional paperwork. In other states, a candidate may have to pay a filing fee (to the state, to the party, or both)

Some states have made changes to election dates and procedures in response to the coronavirus pandemic. For the latest, visit: Changes to election dates, procedures , and administration in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020.

TRUMP-PENCE CAMPAIGN

Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien outlined his plan Thursday for getting President Trump across the 270-electoral vote finish line come November: Defend the 2016 map and win either Pennsylvania, Wisconsin or Michigan, reports CBS News campaign reporter Nicole Sganga. "Not two of three. Not three of three. Just one of three," Stepien told CBS News on a call with reporters.

"The president didn't win with 270 electoral votes on the floor. He won with over 300," Stepien said of the 2016 map. The president's new campaign manager also pointed to opportunities to flip Minnesota, New Hampshire and Maine. "We talk about defending territory, but those states that were near misses in 2016 provide optionality and additional pathways to 270," he added. President Trump lost the Granite State by just over 2,700 votes. Trump campaign senior advisor Jason Miller announced the president's reelection bid will launch an ad buy in Minnesota this week. The Trump campaign has reserved more than $200 million worth of TV ads between Labor Day and Election Day, though aides can cancel or adjust spending any time. The Trump campaign announced a rally Thursday at an airport hangar in Letrobe, Pennsylvania. Campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh says the campaign event will be "partially inside, but largely an outdoor event," and will adhere to local and state guidelines. Last week's Trump rally drew over a thousand attendees in New Hampshire, but outdoor gatherings of more than 250 people are prohibited in Pennsylvania under state law, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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  2020 Daily Trail Markers: All eyes on Melania Trump as she headlines RNC Night 2 The first lady's GOP convention keynote will not only feature new renovations in the White House Rose Garden, but President Trump himself.The first lady's GOP convention keynote will not only feature new renovations in the White House Rose Garden, but President Trump himself, who will join his wife for her most high-profile remarks since the 2016 Republican Nation Convention. Four years ago, Melania Trump was accused of plagiarizing Michelle Obama's 2008 Democratic National Convention speech.

Election officials need support to maintain and improve election systems. Today's election work force participates not only in Election Day precincts, but vote centers, early voting Montgomery County, Maryland has created a formalized review procedure called the Precinct Performance

Election officials and politicians at the local, state, and federal levels have a critical role to play. This issue brief details nine recommendations to address A paper ballot offers a record of voter intent, which will exist even if voting machines are attacked and data are altered. Paper ballots or records

STATE-BY-STATE

OHIO

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced a statewide initiative aimed at registering voters and recruiting poll workers ahead of the November election, reports CBS News campaign reporter Jack Turman. The secretary of state is partnering with Ohio barbershops and salons. LaRose said that barbershops and beauty salons are the centers of communities across the state. "It is important that Ohio's poll workers reflect the diversity of the state," LaRose said. Pastor John T. Coats II, who was at the announcement, noted that this initiative presents people with a way to engage in the democratic process and to ensure that fair voting occurs.

"When you volunteer to work the polls, you will never forget that experience of helping men and women participate in the democratic process," Coats said. LaRose told reporters that it is not too late to implement reforms for voting this fall, including when it pertains to postage paid on absentee return envelopes. LaRose noted that is one reform he is pushing the state legislature to pass. In addition, LaRose, who faces criticism for limiting mail ballot drop boxes to one per county, said he would "love" to see more ballot drop boxes, but added that he does not believe he has the legal authority to add more. "The best program for returning your absentee ballot is to put a stamp on it or even better, if we can provide that postage paid, then it is really easy," LaRose said.

PENNSYLVANIA

Pennsylvania counties received nearly 100,000 mail-in ballots after election day in the state's primary, according to a tally from the secretary of state presented in a court case over counting late ballots in Pennsylvania today. CBS News campaign reporter Zak Hudak reports that's over double the number of votes President Trump won the state by in 2016. All but about 9,000 of those ballots were counted in this year's primary due to an executive order from the governor that allowed a half dozen counties facing civil unrest at the time to count ballots they received a week after election day.

2020 Daily Trail Markers: All eyes on Melania Trump as she headlines RNC Night 2

  2020 Daily Trail Markers: All eyes on Melania Trump as she headlines RNC Night 2 The first lady's GOP convention keynote will not only feature new renovations in the White House Rose Garden, but President Trump himself.The first lady's GOP convention keynote will not only feature new renovations in the White House Rose Garden, but President Trump himself, who will join his wife for her most high-profile remarks since the 2016 Republican Nation Convention. Four years ago, Melania Trump was accused of plagiarizing Michelle Obama's 2008 Democratic National Convention speech.

For now, any ballots that arrive after 8 p.m. on Election Day in November won't be counted. The Pennsylvania secretary of state originally opposed a lawsuit asking that counties count ballots received a week after Election Day so long as they're postmarked by Election Day. But after a warning from the Postal Service in July that its "delivery standards" and the mail-in ballot return timeline in the state are inconsistent, Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar requested that the state Supreme Court let counties count ballots received three days after the election if postmarked by Election Day.

Before a Commonwealth Court judge acting as special master for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Monday, she said her position changed because the USPS letter showed that all counties will be affected by mail delays. "This is not six counties," she said. "This is an even distribution with the fact that people's ballots are delivered late." A lawyer for the state Senate's Republican leaders questioned whether the timeline issues outlined in the July letter were new changes, but Boockvar was adamant the agency was making changes. "It may not use the word delays, but it means delays," she said. Top Republicans in the state House are intervening in the case; they strongly oppose the request for third parties to return ballots. They plan to bring to the stand Bruce Marks, who won a term as a state senator after a judge found his opponent had engaged in ballot harvesting and voter fraud in a 1993 election. Senate Republican leaders have introduced a bill to move the ballot request deadline a week earlier rather than moving the return date back, and plan to argue against the plaintiffs as well. The special master is slated to turn over her findings to the state Supreme Court Friday.

VOTING INTEGRITY

PAPERWORK

The House Oversight Committee is not done with Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. A week ago, DeJoy testified before the committee where he was repeatedly asked to provide documentation and data used to justify recent changes to USPS policy. Today, Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney notified committee members of her intent to subpoena DeJoy for those documents, reports CBS News campaign reporter Cara Korte. According to a statement today, DeJoy "has not produced a single additional document since the House and Senate hearings were held."

Iowa Democrats Sue After 64,000 Absentee Ballot Requests Are Ruled Invalid By Judges

  Iowa Democrats Sue After 64,000 Absentee Ballot Requests Are Ruled Invalid By Judges Democrats are asking a judge to deem pre-filled ballot requests valid after a judge said county auditors violated a directive from the secretary of state by not leaving them blank.Questions over what constitutes a proper absentee ballot request form came after county auditors in Linn, Johnson and Woodbury counties mailed out more than 200,000 absentee ballot requests pre-filled with voter identification information. The ballots violated Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate's order that forms be left blank, rendering them invalid, according to two district judges.

CONGRESSIONAL COVERAGE

IN THE SENATE

MASSACHUSETTS

A year ago, Senator Ed Markey faced two challengers and was behind in polling by double digits to Congressman Joe Kennedy, who hadn't entered the race yet, but in the past year, Markey has put on a fight to make Tuesday a more competitive race than many expected, reports CBS News political unit associate producer Eleanor Watson. Markey is facing off Tuesday against Congressman Joe Kennedy III, the 39-year-old grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, in the Democratic Senate primary for a seat that will likely remain Democratic no matter who wins.

Recent public polling has Markey up, but the Kennedy campaign hopes a coalition of voters will show up on Election Day to put the legacy into the Senate. "We are feeling the higher this turnout goes, the better the turnout for Joe Kennedy is," Kennedy's campaign manager Nick Clemons told CBS News. "We know our voters are more likely to vote on Election Day. They're not early voters, they're not vote-by-mail folks, so we're pushing our coalition out the door, phone banking, texting, everything we can do to get them out to vote." If Kennedy loses, he would be the first Kennedy to ever lose an election in Massachusetts since John F. Kennedy entered Congress in 1947.

IN THE HOUSE

MASSACHUSETTS

Monday was the last day for incumbent Congressman Richard Neal and challenger Alex Morse to make their pitches to voters. The two are running in a competitive Democratic primary for the 1st District, the state's largest Congressional seat. Morse has established himself as the progressive candidate, backed by New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Justice Democrats group, who is trying to continue their streak of upsets.

Neal has been in office since 1988 and holds a powerful role as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. He's been backed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and has received multiple campaign contributions from pharmaceutical and medical companies, a central criticism from Morse's campaign.

Like other progressive challengers, Morse has tried to frame the race as a referendum on the future of the party. Stevie O'Hanlon runs communications for the Sunrise Movement, a group focused on climate change that has helped with ground operations for prior progressive challengers. He told CBS News political unit broadcast associate Aaron Navarro that hundreds of Sunrise Movement volunteers are working to help Morse's campaign.

5 mistakes that can disqualify your November mail ballot and how to avoid them

  5 mistakes that can disqualify your November mail ballot and how to avoid them In many states, you get only one chance to make sure your mail-in vote counts. Here are the common errors to be aware of when voting this fall.While voting by mail allows voters to safely fill out their ballots in the comfort of their homes and avoid long lines at polling place, it can be more prone to human error than voting in person, especially for those unfamiliar with the process, leading to mail ballots getting rejected at higher rates than in-person votes.

"2020 has been a big year for progressives. After the Bernie Sanders campaign, there were so many headlines saying the progressive movement is over. And the last six months have shown there's a lot of energy and momentum," O'Hanlon told Navarro.

Morse's campaign was sidetracked earlier this summer, after allegations of inappropriate behavior with students during his tenure as a lecturer at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. But reporting by The Intercept showed the allegations were part of a larger plan by members of the college's Democratic party to get a position working in Neal's office. Neal has denied any involvement, while Morse called the situation a "backroom coordinated political smear."

During debates, Congressman Neal has gone after Morse's record as mayor of Holyoke, Massachusetts. Neal, who helped write the CARES Act coronavirus relief package, attacked Morse for saying he would vote against it, calling it "the most irresponsible statement during the course of this campaign" and pointing to support Holyoke has received from the act. Neal has easily led Morse in fundraising, with $3.85 million raised and $2.7 million cash on hand. Morse's campaign announced over the weekend it had reached the $2 million mark, and received recent donations from Ocasio-Cortez's Courage to Change PAC and from actress Susan Sarandon. As of Monday morning, at least 22,000 Democrats in the district have been mailed a ballot, with 17,476 returned. The district has just over 91,961 registered voters.

IOWA

On Tuesday, freshman Democrat Abby Finkenauer is releasing her fifth campaign ad this cycle. Navarro obtained an early release of the ad, which will run on broadcast and cable and features Finkenauer's grandfather, who served in the Dubuque Fire Department. "I think of him when I'm working to lower drug prices and fighting to help family farms survive. For me - like my Grandfather - serving others is personal," she says in the ad. Finkenauer flipped Iowa's 1st District in 2018 by about 5 points, after Trump won it by 3 points in 2016. Finkenauer is facing Republican Ashley Hinson, a former journalist turned state representative, in the general election this November.

5 mistakes that can disqualify your November mail ballot and how to avoid them .
In many states, you get only one chance to make sure your mail-in vote counts. Here are the common errors to be aware of when voting this fall.While voting by mail allows voters to safely fill out their ballots in the comfort of their homes and avoid long lines at polling place, it can be more prone to human error than voting in person, especially for those unfamiliar with the process, leading to mail ballots getting rejected at higher rates than in-person votes.

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