Good-government groups are suing the New York Board of Elections to secure improvements to what they say is a "flawed" absentee ballot verification system.
New York has consistently had one of the highest absentee ballot rejection rates in the country, and voters aren't given the opportunity to address problems, such as a missing signature. In 2018, state election officials tossed out 34,000 ballots, or 14 percent of the total mail ballots cast.
With many more New Yorkers expected to vote by mail in November due to the Covid-19 pandemic, good-government groups argue the state's current ballot verification process is unconstitutional and could lead to thousands more disenfranchised voters this fall.
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Fisher is deputy director of Unite America, which works to enact and helps finance political reform efforts and candidates "who put people over party." (It is a donor to The Fulcrum.)
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A Montana judge has blocked new state restrictions on the collecting of others' ballots, a victory for Native American tribes that say their members rely on the help.
The law probably violates the tribal members' right to vote because it would make it especially difficult for them to make sure their own ballots got from reservations and other remote areas to election offices, District Judge Jessica Fehr of Yellowstone County said Tuesday in putting a hold on the requirements.
Her injunction, while not final, is nonetheless the latest voting rights victory for people in Indian Country, who say too many election rules disregard their special circumstances and amount to suppression. It's also the latest turn in the generally partisan battle over so-called ballot harvesting.
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When it comes to elections during the pandemic, Kentucky has stood apart in two ways. It instituted one of the nation's most restrictive voter identification laws just as the coronavirus was shutting government offices that issue ID cards, but its leaders also cut an unusual bipartisan deal resulting in one of the smoothest vote-by-mail primaries so far.
A civil rights group has now sued to make the state abandon that first move, but stick with the second, at least through the November election.
Filed Tuesday in state court, the lawsuit comes early in what's likely to become a flood of litigation to make voting for president easy and safe this fall. While most states have made accommodations for their primaries, they have not done so for the general election.
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