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Florida Republican Sen. Rick Scott proposed a bill that would require all eligible ballots to be counted within 24 hours of the election.
The Verifiable, Orderly, & Timely Election Results (VOTER) Act is intended to create strict federal standards to prior to the 2020 election, as many states are expanding their mail-in voting operations due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The bill would also create specific deadlines for reporting vote tallies after the election.
“As states pursue the expanded use of mail-in ballots, the VOTER Act will ensure the security, reliability and orderly conduct of federal elections,” a news release about the bill reads. “The bill also creates a deadline for state election officials to tally and report the election results to avoid prolonged uncertainty in the outcome of a federal election.”
Scott’s bill would amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002, which created the Election Assistance Commission and added new restrictions for federal elections. It was intended to be a response to the issues encountered in the Bush vs. Gore election in 2000.
If the VOTER Act becomes law, it may provide peace of mind to many Americans who have concerns about mail-in voting.
President Donald Trump and his allies have sounded the alarm over potential voter fraud this November.
Small examples are beginning to arise, such as seven military ballots cast for Trump being discarded last week in Pennsylvania.
“At this point we can confirm that a small number of military ballots were discarded. Some of those ballots can be attributed to specific voters and some cannot,” the Department of Justice said in a news release.
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Heavily populated areas tend to be a bigger concern when it comes to voter fraud and mail-in ballots.
On Tuesday, the New York City elections board announced nearly 100,000 absentee ballots in Brooklyn were sent to the wrong address and may have had the wrong name.
Those who received the erroneous ballots will be sent new ones prior to the election, the board said.
I received someone else’s return envelope in my #AbsenteeBallot. I just got off the phone with an operator at .@BOENYC and they said this has happened to a lot of people. Double check your ballots. .@NYCMayor .@NYGovCuomo @Gothamist @nytimes @NY1 @NYDailyNews @nypost pic.twitter.com/88Qlwi9VBK
— rama (@ramagu4ever) September 28, 2020
Absentee ballots are common in most elections, but universal vote-by-mail, meaning every voter gets a ballot mailed to them regardless of whether they request one, is a fairly new concept.
People will have to option to vote by mail in most cases, but mail-in ballots will be a popular alternative for those who are unsure about going to vote in person.
As many Americans worry about mail-in voting, Scott’s proposed standards would be an added layer of security to the process on the federal level.
For anyone who has concerns about how their ballot will be counted, they should get in touch with their local registrar of voters.
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