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The Latest Vote-Counting Challenges on Election Day

Wooden judge gavel, legal book, letters vote and numbers 2020. Concept of election in year 2020.
By Ashley Ravid on November 03, 2020 9:42 AM

The outcome of this year's presidential election may take a longer time to determine than usual, partly because of the increase in voters utilizing mail-in ballots in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Those expanded absentee voting options have sparked a rash of lawsuits, many of which are still unanswered. Here are some of the latest updates on these cases surrounding early voting.

Expedited Voting

For months, people voting by mail have been cautioned to send their ballots at least 10 days before the election to ensure they arrived in time. With the U.S. Postal Service under strain amid restrictions on the service and the high volume of ballots they must deliver, many worry that a large portion of absentee ballots will arrive too late to count.

Luckily, the USPS is mandated to undertake "extraordinary measures" to ensure that all ballots are shipped as quickly as possible. This means that all absentee votes will be sent using the Express Mail Network, decreasing the amount of time it will take for them to be counted.

No Fraud in Nevada

In Clark County, Nevada, a judge decided against a Republican-led suit that alleged that ballot-counting measures in the county had been conducted illegally. Despite the claims of observers being blocked and the ballots being mishandled, the votes will be counted.

The judge also added that there was no existing evidence that any votes had been cast or handled unlawfully. Clark County absentee voters can rest assured that this challenge to their votes has been settled.

Democracy Drive-Thru

Another Republican-led lawsuit to discount votes, this time in Texas, also seems unlikely to triumph, after a federal judge rejected it. Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins permitted voters to use a drive-through voting system due to the pandemic — a system that the state GOP alleges is illegal.

Over 127,000 ballots would be discounted if the drive-through system were found invalid. The State Supreme Court also rejected another bid to suspend future drive-in voting.

As the election approaches, more legal challenges and questions will likely be raised. Over 100 million ballots have already been cast, with more to be counted in the next few days. Regardless of the outcome of the election, the current discussion about voting right sand systems may shape how we vote for decades to come.

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