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Sat Oct 31, 2020, 02:18 AM

In Florida, voters of color and young voters have had ballots flagged for possible rejection at high

In Florida, voters of color and young voters have had ballots flagged for possible rejection at higher rates than others
Elise Viebeck and
Beth Reinhard
Oct. 30, 2020 at 5:55 p.m. CDT

As Floridians rush to vote in the presidential election, mail ballots from Black, Hispanic and younger voters are being flagged for problems at a higher rate than they are for other voters, potentially jeopardizing their participation in the race for the country’s largest battleground state.

The deficient ballots — which have been tagged for issues such as a missing signature — could be rejected if voters do not remedy the problems by 5 p.m. Nov. 5.

As of Friday, election officials had set aside ballots from Black and Hispanic voters at two times the rate of ballots from White voters, according to an analysis by University of Florida political science professor Daniel Smith. For people younger than 24, the rate was more than four times what it was for those 65 and older.

While the number of deficient mail ballots in Florida was relatively low one week before the election, at roughly 15,200 out of more than 4.3 million cast, that figure could rise sharply: Roughly 1.6 million Floridians still had outstanding mail ballots.

. . .

“The margins in Florida could definitely come down to the vote-by-mail ballots,” Smith said. “It’s obviously an area where there will be litigation if there is a close election.”


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