“The judiciary is now very sensitive to the reasons for the cancellation of absentee ballots,” Dr. Persily said. “When they’re dealing with very little of it, those reasons may be insignificant. But now that the leisurely enforcement of the rules has resulted in tens of thousands of votes being rejected, they are more likely to strictly and consistently apply those principles.
Indeed, many election officials are going even further to attract voters. In Nashville’s Nashville County, electoral officials used a pink marker to mark the often omitted signature lines on the approximately 37,000 absentee ballots they submitted to voters. As of last week, officials have flagged only 11 ballots lacking the proper signature, said Jeff Roberts, the county election director.
If the disqualification rate is no longer in any doubt in some jurisdictions, a leading expert in mail-based voting, Daniel A. Smith at the University of Florida, offers a completely different explanation. about the reason.
In Florida, where 1.3% of the mail ballot was thrown in 2018, the decline rate on Monday was 0.3%. But “it’s not that we have fewer rejected votes,” said Mr. Smith. “That is we have a higher rate of cured votes” – means corrected and eligible for the vote count.
That’s especially true in battlefield states like Florida and Georgia. In both states, armies of workers for political parties, candidates, and campaign groups are getting voters denied to vote with phone calls and emails urging them to correct mistakes. In Florida, where about 32,000 ballots had been rejected in 2018, only 14,072 had been thrown away as of Monday, two-thirds of which were for lack of signatures.
“In every county, we are making great efforts in the field” to correct ballot errors, Smith said. “And we have never seen anything like that in any election before.”