Different states are set to comply with all through the month as election officers brace for historic ranges of voting by mail because the coronavirus pandemic continues to grip the nation.

Regardless of Trump’s efforts to color mail-in voting as vulnerable to fraud, it is “as safe or safer than conventional strategies of voting,” in line with the Nationwide Convention of State Legislatures. (Extra on that in a minute).

However the shift away from in-person voting will speed up the election timeline. Nearly each US state has a mail-in poll utility deadline in October:

  • October 18: Rhode Island. October 20: Maryland, Nevada, New Mexico. October 21: Missouri (by mail). October 22: Indiana. October 23: Arizona, Idaho, Nebraska (by mail), New Jersey, Virginia (by mail), Texas, Utah. October 24: Alaska (by mail), Florida (by mail), Iowa (by mail). October 26: Colorado. October 27: Arkansas, California, Washington, D.C., Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, New York(postmark deadline), North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee. October 28: Massachusetts, Washington, West Virginia. October 29: Alabama, Illinois (by mail), Maine, Oregon, Wisconsin (by mail). October 30: Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan (by mail), South Carolina. October 31: Ohio, Virginia (in individual). November 1: Wisconsin (in individual). November 2: Arkansas (in individual), Connecticut, Delaware (in individual), Illinois (in individual), Iowa (in individual), Michigan (in individual), Montana, Minnesota, New York, South Dakota, Vermont, Wyoming.
So what does this imply for Election Day? As CNN’s Joan Biskupic experiences: Some Democratic attorneys have begun arguing that states might take till late December to submit their Electoral School totals. Some Republican attorneys counter that earlier dates are onerous and quick. Election regulation specialists, in the meantime, be aware that Congress might change the archaic regulation at any level and set up new deadlines.

The underside line: The one date fastened by the US Structure is January 20, at midday, when the four-year time period of the president and vice chairman ends and the subsequent begins.

Getting ready for a protracted election

CNN spoke with Rick Hasen, a College of California, Irvine, professor and new CNN election regulation analyst, concerning the uncommon 2020 election course of enjoying out in actual time. The dialog, carried out over the telephone and flippantly edited for movement, is beneath.

CNN: Do you suppose as a rustic, we’re beginning this course of early sufficient, given the anticipated flood of absentee ballots?

RH: I believe the method is beginning early sufficient. That is not my essential concern when it comes to folks with the ability to vote by absentee poll. The primary concern is that folks do not request them quickly sufficient in locations the place they should make a request, as a result of what we have seen within the primaries is that many citizens waited till later within the course of after they’re extra more likely to be taking note of the election and {that a} mixture of inundated election officers, sluggish Postal Service supply and procrastination by voters left us with hundreds of voters who didn’t get their ballots returned on time and who had been then successfully disenfranchised.

As a result of any person who will get their poll in early September will simply be capable to return it in time, both by the US mail or, if allowed beneath state regulation, to an official web site or drop field. It is the individuals who wait the place there’s the issue.

CNN: Trump has repeatedly cited New York for example of issues with mail-in voting. How relevant do you suppose it’s to take a look at some native elections as indicators of how issues would possibly run on a nationwide degree?

RH: Effectively, New York was among the many worst states when it comes to with the ability to deal with a flood of mailed-in ballots.

To some extent, the extra expertise a state has with mail-in balloting, the faster they get it carried out. States that aren’t conversant in the method generally had issues. That mentioned, many states had been capable of deal with a big inflow of mailed-in ballots and report outcomes comparatively shortly.

I believe folks do not perceive that the rationale for the delay in reporting of absentee poll outcomes is that there are safety measures in place to be sure that the ballots are legitimate and had been despatched in by the voters who had been speculated to be sending them in. And so it takes time to course of them. And that is why we’d not have outcomes — definitive outcomes — of the election on election night time. However some states clearly do a greater job than others, and New York was one of many worst-performing states when it comes to competence in processing, accounting, absentee ballots.

CNN: Some folks would possibly affiliate a delay in counting ballots with one thing going mistaken or being problematic, however you are saying it is truly a results of the election integrity course of.

RH: Precisely proper. In truth, I used to be a part of an advert hoc committee that issued a report in April known as Honest Elections Throughout a Disaster. And within the report, we mentioned {that a} delay within the full processing of the absentee ballots is to be anticipated if you’re coping with states which might be going to face many of those ballots and do not have lengthy expertise counting them. The delay doesn’t imply that one thing nefarious is occurring, however as a substitute is the signal of a course of by which election officers are being cautious and ensuring they’re solely accepting validly accomplished ballots.

That mentioned, election officers should be clear about their means of dealing with absentee ballots and ought to be giving common updates to the general public as to what number of ballots have been counted, what stays to be counted and from the place.

CNN: Once we final spoke in Might, you mentioned that media corporations and other people with platforms want to arrange folks for the likelihood that we can’t know who received the election on Election Day. Do you suppose at this level a crucial mass of individuals perceive that?

RH: Effectively, simply to make clear what I mentioned: We could know the winner of the election. It depends upon the margin. So the rationale we’d not know the winner on election night time is whether it is shut sufficient in a state or states which might be essential to the Electoral School end result, the place there are a lot of excellent absentee ballots to be counted.

In order that’s not essentially the scenario we’ll face in November. It may very well be, for instance, that Pennsylvania is extraordinarily shut and we’ll take per week or two to determine who has received that state’s Electoral School votes.

But when Trump or Joe Biden might win with out taking Pennsylvania under consideration, then I believe we might properly see an election the place the media has appropriately known as that race even when we do not know the complete Electoral School rely.

And so do I believe that this message has been getting by? I actually suppose it has been getting by to the media. There’s been plenty of reporting by journalists about this problem. And I believe the media is now way more educated about the truth that with new states dealing with a possible flood of mail-in ballots, that there may very well be a delay within the outcomes.

By way of the general public, I did see that an Axios Ipsos ballot discovered that 36% of Individuals suppose we’ll know who received on election night time; 60% anticipate the winner to be introduced inside a few days. I imply, the truth that there are important percentages of people that do not anticipate that I believe is an efficient signal. It means the message has gotten by that the race may very well be too early to name if it is shut.

CNN: Do you could have issues concerning the long-term results of the unfounded claims about voter fraud coming from Trump as we head into the ultimate months till Election Day?

RH: Effectively, at the beginning, I am fearful about his supporters accepting the legitimacy of the election within the occasion that he loses. I am additionally fearful concerning the statements he is making inflicting Biden supporters to be much less prepared to simply accept the outcomes of the election if Biden loses.

So at the beginning, I am fearful concerning the integrity and the accepted legitimacy of the 2020 election. However I do suppose that these have far-reaching implications, as a result of when you’ve got a big proportion of the inhabitants that believes that our elections are routinely rigged or stolen, then it is onerous to see how one can have a functioning democracy.

Democracy relies upon upon the losers believing that the election was run in a good means and agreeing to struggle one other day. And but that isn’t one thing that we must always take without any consideration any longer, given the sorts of unsupported statements of widespread fraud that the President has made.

He usually will level to comparatively small cases of fraud or level to cases of election issues that do not contain any proof of fraud and generalize statements concerning the lack of integrity of your complete course of. I believe that is harmful for democracy, when you could have a political chief constantly casting doubts on the legitimacy of the electoral course of with out proof to again it up.

CNN: Trump already mentioned final month, “The one means we will lose this election is that if this election is rigged.”

RH: That is proper. He did make that assertion. However keep in mind, this is identical President who mentioned, with none proof in anyway, that three to five million noncitizens voted within the 2016 election, all for his opponent, Hillary Clinton.

CNN: Which was an election he received.

RH: Proper. So he forged doubt on the legitimacy of an election he received. Think about what he would possibly do for an election he has misplaced.

Coronavirus and Voting by Mail-In Absentee BallotStates are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Every state's election rules are different. And each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Many are still in the process of deciding how they will handle voting during the pandemic. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail. Can I Vote takes you right to your state's absentee voting page. Every State Offers Mail-In Absentee VotingEach state has mail-in voting, but some allow you to take part only in certain circumstances.Some states require an excuse for voting by mail. Due to the coronavirus, some states are giving all voters an excuse to vote by mail for certain elections. Because of the coronavirus, your state may automatically send you an absentee ballot or a form to fill out to request one.Your state election office has specific rules for your state.Request an Absentee BallotIf your state doesn't automatically send you an absentee…  MoreAbsentee Voting or Voting by MailAbsentee voting allows you to vote by mail. Though every state has absentee voting, rules on who can take part vary.Please note: Your state's rules may change in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Voters Who Reside in the U.S.Get your absentee ballot from your state or territory. Visit Can I Vote and choose your state from the dropdown menu. It will take you right to your state's absentee voting page.Your state may require you to have a valid excuse to vote absentee. Acceptable excuses vary by state. Most include:Being unable to get to your polling place due to illness, injury, or disability.Being on business travel or vacation outside of your county or city of residence on Election DayBeing a student at an out-of-state college or universityThis table shows which states require an excuse and the excuses each state will accept.Follow your state's instructions for requesting an absentee or vote-by-mail ballot.Military and Overseas VotersWho Can and Can't Vote AbsenteeMilitary…  MoreEarly VotingSometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period.Please note: Your state's rules and voting dates may change in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.Most states have early voting. This lets registered voters vote on specified dates before Election Day.You don't need an excuse to vote early.In some states, you may cast an absentee ballot in person before Election Day. To do this, you must request an absentee ballot from your state. Your state may require you to submit a valid excuse too. Time Frames for Early VotingThis early voting chart lists time frames for states that offer early voting. The rules change from state to state. Make sure you know yours if you plan to vote early or in-person absentee.The best place to check is your state/territorial election office website. Check under “absentee voting” if you don't see information listed under “voting in person” or…  More,States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Every state's election rules are different. And each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Many are still in the process of deciding how they will handle voting during the pandemic. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail. Can I Vote takes you right to your state's absentee voting page. 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This lets registered voters vote on specified dates before Election Day.You don't need an excuse to vote early.In some states, you may cast an absentee ballot in person before Election Day. To do this, you must request an absentee ballot from your state. Your state may require you to submit a valid excuse too. Time Frames for Early VotingThis early voting chart lists time frames for states that offer early voting. The rules change from state to state. Make sure you know yours if you plan to vote early or in-person absentee.The best place to check is your state/territorial election office website. 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