WSJ Supports Permitting Election Officials To Start Processing Absentees Before Election Day

The WSJ editorial page offers another strong endorsement of changing laws in states like PA, MI, and WI to permit election officials to begin processing absentees earlier than Election Day. I strongly agree on that point, without necessarily agreeing with everything else in the editorial. This is an easy change to make, it should be uncontroversial, and it would help ensure we know the winner of the vote in those states earlier than later.

In PA, the legislature appears willing to permit the process to start three days before Election Day. The Governor wants to make it three weeks. Of course, this issue is for now wrapped up with other political fights over voting in PA. If this critical issue were dealt with on its own, it seems clear a compromise of some sort would be reached.

Here is an excerpt from the WSJ on this issue:

The tragedy would be for Republicans to pass a bill, Mr. Wolf to veto it, and Pennsylvania to barrel toward a foreseeable crash. Maybe three days of pre-processing is too little, given the busyness of Nov. 1 and 2. Maybe three weeks is too much. Mr. Wolf’s office didn’t reply Thursday to a query on the potential for compromise. “We continue to be open to negotiations,” says a spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, “and hope that the Governor would meet with Republican legislative leaders.”

The same should be happening beyond Harrisburg. About a dozen states, including Wisconsin and Michigan, don’t process ballots until Election Day. …

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