Glad to see the Washington Post weighing in the need for states like PA to permit processing of absentee ballots sooner than Election Day. How long have some of us been urging states to make this change? Since March, when the very first shutdown was imposed –as in my early warning cry on Reducing One Source of a Potential Election Meltdown. PA now has just three days of legislative sessions left to make this change.
Here is an excerpt from the WP editorial:
Yet there are still two politically pivotal states — Wisconsin (10 electoral votes) and Pennsylvania (20) — that permit no pre-Election Day ballot processing, even though both expect far higher than normal volumes of absentee voting. In Wisconsin, where county clerks have already received more than 785,000 absentee ballots — almost as many as in all of 2016 — the Republican legislature has not acted and has no plans to reconvene before Nov. 3, despite an appeal by the state’s GOP senator, Ron Johnson, to address the issue. In Pennsylvania, which is expecting 10 times more absentee ballots than in 2016, GOP legislators are commendably willing to allow ballot processing three days prior to the election. But they are attempting to trade their agreement for supposed election security measures, such as eliminating ballot drop boxes, that Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, rightly opposes.
I’m less concerned about WI than PA. That’s because WI requires a witness signature on absentee ballots, instead of doing signature verification of the voter’s signature. That means the absentees can be processed more quickly in WI than states that have to go through the signature verification process.