Bill Theobald is senior writer at The Fulcrum, where he focuses on everything to do with voting. This December marks his 40th anniversary in the business, and he still believes -- now more than ever -- that the glow from great journalism can truly light the world.
Michigan's top court has decided not to weigh in on one of the emerging big issues of the November election: whether absentee ballots delayed in the mail should still count.
The state Supreme Court decision means that Michigan, like most of the presidential battlegrounds and 33 states altogether, will only open and tabulate envelopes that have landed at election offices by the time polls close on Election Day. As a result, the franchise may be denied to millions nationwide unless the beleaguered Postal Service is able to keep up with the coming torrent of mailed-in ballots.
Friday's decision was part of the latest flurry of legal developments over voting rights — including a lawsuit, similar to the one in Michigan, to make Indiana count late-arriving ballots, along with two fresh suits to relax absentee voting rules in Ohio and a bid to force South Carolina to make elections safer for people vulnerable to the coronavirus.
These are the details:
- Veto in N.H. for permanent switch to no-excuse voting by mail - The ... ›
- Mail-in voting benefits neither party, is nearly fraud-free - The Fulcrum ›
- Lessons from Oregon, the top-ranked vote-by-mail state - The Fulcrum ›
- Biden backs vote-at-home, says Trump out to undermine election ... ›
Televising every moment of the Senate's proceedings is a wonderful monument to government transparency, one that brings corruption-scrubbing sunshine to the self-proclaimed world's greatest deliberative body. Right?
Perhaps, but it's more complicated than that. Newly published research concludes gavel-to-gavel coverage of Congress has reduced substantive debate, heightened partisanship and increased the amount of time members spend on posturing and self-promotion.
The report is the second in recent days detailing what's underpinning the dysfunction of the Capitol, at a time when legislative branch weakness is widely viewed among the main threats to democracy. In the other, former members of Congress painted a dire picture of their former workplace, saying it is ill-equipped to rally even in emergencies such as the current coronavirus pandemic and economic collapse.
- Cameras as cash machines worrying Capitol Hill's reformers - The ... ›
- Can we all just get along? Now it is a question for Congress. - The ... ›
- Bipartisan town halls offer hope public can agree on facts - The ... ›
- Transparency is a weapon that is ruining Congress - The Fulcrum ›
With the presidential election now fewer than 100 days away, courthouses across the country are continuing to process a record flood of litigation hoping to improve access to voting during the coronavirus pandemic.
This week legal actions were filed in New York to extend the deadline for registration, and in both Virginia and North Carolina to improve the ability of blind citizens to vote from home.
Success for any of those lawsuits would likely increase turnout, but the only place where the extra voters might prove dispositive is North Carolina, where both the presidential and Senate contests look to be tossups. The other two states seem solidly blue.
These are the details of the cases: