“100 days out, parties fear chaotic election”

Reid Wilson for The Hill:

A little more than three months before November’s election, partisans who back both President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are growing anxious over what they see as the mounting potential for a chaotic contest marred by disenfranchised voters, administration errors and mountains of litigation.

The new anxiety comes on top of the typical nerves that plague campaign operatives. Republicans are increasingly concerned that Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the attending economic crisis has put off so many voters that his path to reelection is narrowing precipitously. Democrats are almost universally convinced that Biden’s polling lead is a mirage, a potential repeat of the 2016 calamity they did not see coming.

But a series of quieter developments have people on both sides nervous that Election Day may bring a host of its own unpredictable disasters.

As the pandemic swept across the nation in recent months, states have encouraged, and voters have embraced, casting ballots by mail. In some states that already run their elections almost entirely by mail, the added volume has been simple enough to handle.

For other states with less experience operating mail-in ballots, the influx has led to maddening delays. More than a month after New York held its primary elections, at least one Democratic race — between Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D) and Suraj Patel, a former Obama administration staffer — is still not finalized. New York’s Board of Elections has yet to count 65,000 ballots in the contest.

Election contests in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Wisconsin and California have been marred by delays, long lines and slow counts. And those were primary elections, where voter turnout is lower than it will be in November’s general election.

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