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Bogus fraud claims cloud real obstacles to expanded mail voting

On the surface, the idea of conducting elections mainly by mail appears deceptively simple. It evokes images of a serious-minded citizen at the kitchen table, poring over information about candidates before thoughtfully marking a ballot, slipping it in an envelope and dropping it in the corner mailbox.

But the history of recent elections show that, even though such absentee ballots have accounted for only a quarter or so of the total vote, the system has faced serious obstacles. Suddenly doubling or even tripling the mail-in volume, which looks very plausible this November because of the coronavirus, will only magnify those challenges.

Compounding the problems is how the issue has become yet another partisan fight — with Democrats all in favor and President Trump pushing Republicans to oppose efforts to make voting by mail more available and reliable. The president's vastly overblown claims about a looming explosion of voter fraud, in particular, are overshadowing genuine worries about the abilities of election officials and the Postal Service to handle the coming surge of ballot envelopes.

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Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In search of Eric Holder's help in combating a Democratic gerrymander

Gorrell, a retired advocate for the deaf and former Republican Party statistician, filed the first lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Maryland congressional district map drawn in 2011.
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Maryland primary

Maryland holds its presidential and state primary elections (postponed from April 28).

Justin Merriman/Getty Images

The office of Attorney General Dave Yost defended the latest plan for Ohio's primary voting, saying it "ends the chaos and offers Ohio voters and boards a certain path forward for completing Ohio's 2020 primary."

Voting during coronavirus eased in three more states. Ohio's still a fight.

The fast-spreading national overhaul of this year's electoral process has started to slow down — because most places that could delay their primaries or ease remote voting at the peak of the coronavirus outbreak have done so.

West Virginia has become the 15th state to postpone its Democratic presidential primary and Idaho joined more than a dozen other states in deciding almost all primary voting will be done with absentee ballots. Maryland decided to allow some in-person voting in what was to have been a totally vote-at-home primary, while the pitched battle over Ohio's primary accelerated.

These are the latest developments:

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