Early voting setting records, sparking confusion

Elections 2022

FILE – A county worker collects mail-in ballots in a drive-thru mail-in ballot drop off area at the Clark County Election Department, Nov. 2, 2020, in Las Vegas. Voting could feel different in this year’s midterms, as the election falsehoods told by former President Donald Trump and many of his supporters have created a ripple effect across the country. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

(NewsNation) — The historic levels of early voting ahead of November midterm elections, as early ballots come in by the millions across the country, comes with some controversy and confusion.

Courts are stepping in state by state to try to work it out.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court made two big decisions Friday. One ruled counties can send ballots with errors, like a missing signature, back to the voter to correct it, rather than throwing the ballot away.

The other ruling said the state’s highest court will accept a case to decide if ballots returned with a signature but without the date should be disqualified or counted. Republicans are pushing for disqualification; Democrats want them to count.

In Virginia, Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin used his executive power to restore the right to vote of 800 convicted felons. That’s in stark contrast to Florida, where some felons in Florida were shocked to learn in August they were being arrested for having voted, after being allowed to register with no problem, a result of Florida’s voting law championed by Gov. Ron DeSantis. This week a judge dismissed one of those cases, but DeSantis’ office said they’ll appeal.

Meanwhile, there’s confusion in New York after a state judge ruled “COVID fears” are no longer a justifiable reason to request an absentee ballot. She ordered election officials to immediately stop counting all absentee ballots given out for that reason, until an appeal is heard.

In Delaware, the state Supreme Court ruled the new law allowing universal vote by mail, and same-day registration, violate the state’s constitution.

In the southwest, there’s trouble in Arizona after an error in registering voters caused around 1,000 people to receive ballots without local elections on them.

Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who’s running for governor, said the problem is being corrected, and only affects a quarter of 1% of voters.

Hobbs’ office is also dealing with allegations that some “vote fraud hunters” have been harassing voters who show up at ballot drop boxes, falsely accusing innocent people of being “ballot mules,” taking pictures of the victims and their license plates.

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