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Tue Sep 1, 2020, 10:01 AM

Many Voters Who Cast Primary Balllots By Mail Must Reapply For Gen. Election: *GOP Attacks Dropboxes

Last edited Tue Sep 1, 2020, 10:45 AM - Edit history (2)

'Huge numbers of voters who cast primary ballots by mail may not know that they must reapply for the general election.' By Steven Rosenfeld August 31, 2020, Alternet. - This article was produced by Voting Booth, a project of the Independent Media Institute. -Excerpts, Ed:

On Aug. 20, the Wisc. Elections Commission announced that they would send letters to 2.6 million voters who have not yet signed up to receive an absentee ballot for the fall election, reminding them about their voting options & urging them to apply for a mailed-out ballot online or use an enclosed form. What the announcement did not say was that a half-million of the voters getting the mailing had applied, received, & voted with an absentee ballot in April 2020’s presidential primary. Unlike 800,000 other voters who this spring checked a box on an application to receive an absentee ballot for the rest of 2020’s elections, those half-million voters only applied for a mailed-out ballot in the primary.

“If a registered voter requested an absentee ballot for April but not for the rest of the year, he or she will receive a letter from the Wisconsin Elections Commission in early September explaining the options for voting this fall,” Reid Magney, WEC public information officer said.. “For April, there were 1.3 million absentee ballots requested. For November, we have about 800,000 requests. So approximately half a million… [voters] only requested a ballot for April.”
The commission’s effort to contact millions of voters who never or rarely voted by mail before COVID-19 raises a big question for absentee voters in battleground states. Are individuals who voted by mail earlier this year unaware that they may be required to reapply for an absentee ballot in the presidential election?

“It’s an example of little things that can matter a lot,” said Phil Keisling, Oregon’s former secretary of state and board chair of the National Vote at Home Institute, referring to how voters filled out unfamiliar application forms months ago.

East of the Rockies, most states require voters to reapply for each election. But that is not the case in some presidential swing states where voters can choose to receive an absentee ballot for the next election or for the rest of the year.
>That choice can hinge on checking a box or signing a section on the state’s application, which many voters did in haste this spring as the pandemic postponed presidential primaries. In August, Mich. also sent a letter to millions of voters who have not yet applied to receive an absentee ballot for the fall, or only applied for an absentee ballot for an election earlier this year. Its mailing, too, reiterated the options to vote this fall, encouraged recipients to vote absentee and told them how to apply. (Both Mich. & Wisc. have new online portals & downloadable forms.)..

Voting by mailed-out ballots is not the only way to vote in the presidential election. In most states, voters can cast absentee ballots or vote in person at a polling place, either early or on Election Day. But many states, including 2020 swing states, are making historic shifts to voting from home in response to the pandemic..Before the pandemic, most states east of the Rockies saw less than 10% of their voters cast mailed-out ballots. Previously, these states envisioned mailing ballots to registered voters if they were in the military, overseas, disabled, ill or elderly, traveling for work, or on vacation..The pandemic led many states to suspend or update these rules. This fall, D.C. & 9 states will directly send registered voters an absentee ballot, skipping the application process altogether. (The 9 states: CA, OR, WA, NV, UT, CO, HI, NJ, & VT.) That development has been sharply attacked by Trump. But most states still require voters to apply to vote absentee. In 2/3rds of the states, voters can do so without citing an excuse...What Should Voters Do?...

Read Full Article,
* People who have moved to new states or districts need to make sure that their Voter Registration is up to date.
- 'Rise of the Suburbs, July Homes Sales Shoot to 14 Yr High: US Cities Seeing Their Fortunes Change' Aug. 21
- 'Now Atacking Dropboxes, Republicans' Newest Plan To Derail Voting Rights.' By Eric Cortellessa, Aug. 28, 2020.

There’s good and bad news for states and municipalities fighting the Trump administration’s efforts to slow the Postal Service and stymie the election. The good news is that there’s an alternative way for voters to deliver their ballots without mailing them back or going to a polling place. They can place them in a so-called drop box, secure receptacles where ballots are collected by election officials. Think of a return box at your local library.

The bad news is that Trump and the Republicans are going after those, too. Last weekend, the president tweeted that drop boxes were a “voter security disaster” that are “not Covid sanitized. A big fraud!” (Twitter flagged the post for spreading misinformation that could dissuade people from voting.) Trump’s tweet reflects yet another Republican tactic to make it harder for people to vote this November. In numerous states under GOP control, officials are restricting the use of drop boxes....

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