How battleground states process mail ballots -- and why it may mean delayed results
More Americans are voting by mail this election than usual, due to the pandemic. But processing those ballots takes more time. Here's how it works in battleground states. Because of the pandemic, more voters are opting to cast their ballots by mail this year. While the expanded access and increased use of mail-in voting is good for voters, it does create hardships for already strained election officials in many states, including key battlegrounds.
President Donald Trump took advantage of early voting while in Florida Saturday morning before taking off for a trio of campaign rallies in North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Trump cast his ballot at the West Palm Beach library near his private Mar-a-Lago club. The president told reporters after leaving the library it was "an honor" to be voting and that he cast a "very secure vote."
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White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the president used a paper ballot and no one was inside voting at the same time as Trump.
The president, who changed his official residency from New York to Florida earlier this year, cast absentee ballots in the March presidential primary and in the Aug. 18 primary election.
Trump told supporters at a campaign rally on Friday that he liked voting in-person.
"I'm old fashioned, I guess," he said.
Trump is staging a campaign rally spree in the final 10-day stretch of the election with six rallies planned over the next three days. The president will travel to Lumberton, North Carolina, Circleville, Ohio, and Waukesha, Wisconsin, on Saturday to deliver remarks despite warnings from health officials that such mass events are likely to add to the surge in coronavirus cases across the country.
9 questions about 2020’s record-breaking early vote, answered
How many people have already voted? And what does that tell us about the election?The early vote in 2020 has already far surpassed the total early vote in 2016. The early vote surge indicates turnout in 2020 could be the highest in a century, at around 65 percent of the voting-eligible population, or about 150 million voters.
Several states set records this week for COVID-19 cases and the U.S. recorded more than 71,000 new cases on Thursday for the first time since the end of July when cases were surging, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, cast their ballots Friday in Indianapolis. They used the absentee ballots they had requested in early September.
President Donald Trump walks with Wendy Sartory Link, Supervisor of Elections Palm Beach County, after casting his ballot for the presidential election, Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, in West Palm Beach, Fla.
An election worker moves returned ballots from a sorting machine behind at the King County Elections office Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020, in Renton, Wash. Election officials there said that 280,000 county ballots had already been returned, nearly 20% of the total sent to voters. Washington state is one of five states, along with Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, and Utah, that conduct elections entirely by mail-in voting.
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A woman casts her ballot at Tippecanoe Library on the first day of in-person early voting for the November 3rd elections in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on October 20, 2020.
People wait in line to vote outside of an early voting site, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020, in Miami Beach, Fla. Florida begins in-person early voting in much of the state Monday. With its 29 electoral votes, Florida is crucial to both candidates in order to win the White House.
Poll workers receive Vote-by-Mail ballots in a drive thru system setup at the Election Headquarters polling station on Oct.19, 2020 in Doral, Florida. The poll workers placed the ballots into an official ballot drop box after receiving them. The early voting ends on Nov. 1. Voters are casting their ballots for presidential candidates President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
Cook County jail detainees check in before casting their votes after a polling place was opened in the facility for early voting on Oct. 17, 2020 in Chicago, Ill. It is the first time pretrial detainees in the jail will get the opportunity for early voting in a general election.
A Miami-Dade election worker feeds ballots into a voting machines during an accuracy test at the Miami-Dade Election Department headquarters on Oct. 14, 2020 in Doral, Florida. The test was done as the county prepares for the November 3rd election where President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden are facing off against each other.
People wait in line to fill out a ballot at the Southeast Library on Hickory Hollow Parkway on the first day of early voting on Wednesday, October 14, 2020, in Antioch, Tenn. Other states have reported big turnouts in early voting for the November presidential race.
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People vote at the Southeast Library on Hickory Hollow Parkway on the first day of early voting on Wednesday, October 14, 2020, in Antioch, Tenn.
Workers at the Miami-Dade County Election Department move racks of vote-by-mail ballots onto a U.S. Post Office truck to be delivered to voters on Oct. 1, 2020 in Doral, Fla. The Miami-Dade County Elections Department mailed out more than 530,000 vote-by-mail ballots to voters with a request on file for the November 3, 2020 General Election.
A Miami-Dade County Elections Department employee loads a cart of vote-by-mail ballots into a truck for transport to a local U.S. Postal Service office, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020, in Doral, Fla. The department mailed out more than 530,000 vote-by-mail ballots Thursday to voters that requested them for the Nov. 3 general election.
Election worker Nancy Wilcox looks through mail-in ballot requests Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, at the Johnson County election office in Olathe, Kan. The office has processed more than 100,000 mail-in ballot requests so far as more people than normal are expected to vote by mail due to concerns about the new coronavirus.
Election workers open and sort mail-in ballot requests Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, at the Johnson County election office in Olathe, Kan. The office has processed more than 100,000 mail-in ballot requests so far as more people than normal are expected to vote by mail due to concerns about the coronavirus.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump casts a 'very secure vote' for himself in Florida: 2020 election updates
Police, experts monitoring extremist groups to see if poll watchers try to disrupt voting .
The states with the highest risk for election-related violence by armed extremist groups are Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia and Oregon.President Donald Trump, who has falsely claimed voter fraud is widespread, has called for an army of poll watchers to ensure the election is fair. Right-wing extremist groups have signaled they plan to heed the call. Left-wing groups have vowed to confront people they believe are engaged in voter suppression.