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The task force encourages news outlets to be transparent about their plans for election 2020 coverage.

Election experts press news media for transparency on calling races

With half or more of all ballots coming by mail this fall, it will take days if not weeks for the counting to be completed — likely delaying not only the climax of a close presidential race but also the final word about control of the Senate and dozens of other narrow contests.

Because at least this aspect of an unprecedented election has become easy to predict, the National Task Force on Election Crises, a recently formed group of election experts and academics, is urging the news media to be more transparent about its reporting process in order to give the public more confidence in the integrity of the results.

The task force on Wednesday asked the Associated Press, CNN, Fox News and the three broadcast networks for their detailed plans for reporting returns and calling races. Many other news organizations, including local TV stations and major newspapers, rely on these outlets (the AP most of all) before projecting a winner.

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South Carolina is the 11th state allowing everyone to vote by mail in November because of the pandemic.

Just 5 states requiring a non-Covid reason to vote by mail after S.C. leaves the list

South Carolina is poised to become the latest state to permit all voters to use an absentee ballot this fall because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Republican Gov. Henry McMaster's office says he will sign a measure, cleared during a special session of the General Assembly on Tuesday, that will suspend for the November election the state's normally strict excuse requirements for mail-in voting.

That leaves just five states still demanding a reason beyond fear of Covid-19 exposure for voting away from a polling place this fall: Texas, which has developed into the biggest presidential battleground, along with reliably Republican Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.

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Ohio will not provide envelopes with prepaid postage to voters for the 2020 general election.

Ohio won't join states covering postage for absentee voters

Ohio voters will have to provide their own postage if they opt to return their ballots by mail this fall.

Secretary of State Frank LaRose wanted to purchase $3 million worth of stamps with federal Covid-19 relief funding to put on envelopes for the record number of absentee ballots expected this fall. But a budgetary oversight board run by his fellow Republicans rejected that proposal Monday.

Voters in most states have to put their own 55-cent stamp on their mail ballots. But 17 states have permanent policies to provide postage-paid envelopes to absentee voters, and another three have decided to do the same for the November presidential election.

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