Source: Eric A. Blair
A local CBS affiliate in Augusta, Ga., decided to test out how voting by mail works.
“We’re less than 100 days until the November election, and many Americans are expecting to vote by mail for the first time because of the pandemic,” WRDW-TV wrote.
One thing is clear: You need to give it even more time than officials might recommend to get your ballot through the mail system.
How long might it take for that vote to actually arrive and be counted?
CBS News decided to test it, sending 100 mock ballots simulating a hundred voters in locations all across Philadelphia to a post office box. After some delays, 97 arrived. In a close election, 3% could be pivotal, especially in what’s expected to be a record year for mail-in-voting.
What’s more, there would be no way for someone to know if their ballot made it or went missing en route.
It’s not the first time voting by mail has faced scrutiny. Earlier this month, the Associated Press reported this:
More than 100,000 mail-in ballots were rejected by California election officials during the March presidential primary, according to data obtained by The Associated Press that highlights a glaring gap in the state’s effort to ensure every vote is counted.
With the coronavirus pandemic raging, California is part of a growing number of states increasing mail-in balloting to avoid crowds at polling places. President Donald Trump is among those questioning the integrity of vote-by-mail elections while supporters say they are just as reliable as polling places and offer greater flexibility for voters.
But while polling places include workers who can assist people who have questions about filling out ballots, a voter doesn’t have support at home and so problems can arise.
Two years ago, in the mid-term elections, the national average of rejected mail ballots was about 1.4%, and in the 2016 presidential election year the average was 1%, according to a U.S. Election Assistance Commission study.
California’s Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom last month signed a law that requires county election officials to mail a ballot to all the state’s nearly 21 million registered voters for the November election.
President Trump on Thursday said maybe the election needs to be delayed” With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???” he wrote on Twitter.