“One Neat Trick that Could Save America from Vote-Counting Chaos”

The Rolling Stone covered the PA event that Michael Morley, Ned Foley, and I did on why PA is ground zero for potential ballot-counting issues and what the state can still do to minimize these issues.

The sub-heading to the piece is: “There’s an easy solution to dealing with the flood of mail-in ballots. Will Pennsylvania do it?” From the story:

Right now, Pennsylvania law only allows election clerks to begin sorting ballots at 8 a.m. on Election Day. Such a policy makes sense in a state where absentee voting typically makes up a small percentage of all ballots cast. But with Covid-19 raging, more than 2 million Pennsylvanian voters have requested absentee ballots for this year’s elections, which would smash previous state records for mail-in voting.

“If I could just have a magic wand to wave over one issue, it would be this issue [pre-canvassing] that sounds somewhat arcane,” Rick Pildes, an NYU law professor and election law expert, said at a recent panel hosted by Penn State University.

“The goal here is to think about ways a state can reduce risk,” Ned Foley, an Ohio State University law professor and election-law expert, said at the same panel. Foley said adding precanvassing in Pennsylvania was “the one single most important thing to do to mitigate risk and avoid a problem” come Election Day.

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