Lawsuits, voting struggles as Americans cast their ballot under shadow of COVID-19 pandemic

Yoshita Singh
·2-min read

New York, Oct 28 (PTI) With Americans casting their ballot for the 2020 Presidential elections under the shadow of the coronavirus, lawsuits and voting struggles are being commonplace as Democrats try to make it easier for Americans to vote while Republicans making it harder, a media report has said.

The New York Times said in a report that lawyers have already filed more than 300 lawsuits across 44 states over issues related to voting in the pandemic.

As more than 71 million Americans have already voted early in the elections, the report said the most important cases over voting are in the battleground states on which the presidential election or Senate control could hinge.

In Pennsylvania, the state’s highest court has ruled that election officials should count mailed ballots that arrive up to three days after Election Day.

However Pennsylvania Republicans are trying to get the Supreme Court to reverse the order, so that only ballots received by Election Day will count, the NYT report said.

In North Carolina, Republicans and the Trump campaign have asked the Supreme Court to block the state’s board of elections from extending the deadline to receive mail ballots. The board has said ballots can arrive until November 12, as long as they were mailed by Election Day.

In Wisconsin, five Republican-appointed justices on the Supreme Court sided on Monday with Republican officials in Wisconsin, ruling that ballots must arrive by 8 p.m. on Election Day to count. Responding to this, the state’s Democratic Party is urging voters to return mail ballots in person rather than mailing them.

The NYT report said that in Nevada, the Trump campaign has sued to stop the counting of absentee ballots in the Las Vegas area, evidently hoping to challenge the signatures on many ballots.

In Texas, the state’s top court on Tuesday upheld a policy announced by Greg Abbott, the Republican governor, which limits each county to a single drop-off box for mailed ballots. The state’s largest county — Harris, which includes Houston — is home to 4.7 million people.

“In many of these cases, Republicans have made the baseless claim that changing voting rules because of the pandemic could lead to fraud and that allowing ballots to be counted after Election Day leads to confusion and chaos,” the report said. “Democrats have argued that protecting people’s right to vote, during a national crisis, should be the top priority. They have also pointed out that some Republicans have changed their position on the counting of mailed ballots: When late-arriving ballots seemed likely to help George W. Bush in Florida in 2000, Republicans argued that the state should count them,” it said. PTI YAS NSA