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USA Today: Efforts to speed up ballot-counting stalled in key states

Days of election uncertainty may be a train wreck that everyone sees coming, but officials in the battleground states of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania in Michigan don't seem any closer in making the changes needed to avert catastrophe. USA Today lays out the impasses.

The steps that could be taken to get a truer count on Election Night are well known. To deal with the millions of expected mail-in ballots, states could process and start counting votes-by-mail as soon they come in, or at least a couple of weeks before Nov. 3. Election officials can't do that in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania or Michigan. Those three were all won by President Trump in 2016, they're all potential tipping point states this time — and they all have Democratic governors but Republican legislatures.

In Wisconsin, a judge blocked an effort to count absentee ballots before Election Day. Instead, officials are being given days after the election to process votes postmarked by Nov. 3. In Pennsylvania, Democrats wanted to start the processing 15 days ahead of time. Republicans offered three days and a removal of all the drop boxes in the state. Michigan's secretary of state, a Democrat, asked for seven days for processing. It looks like she's going to get 10 hours.

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Election Dissection contributor Amber McReynolds of the National Vote at Home Institute told the paper that extended processing periods not only lead to timely results, they enable voters to check on the status of their ballots. That would build confidence in the system.

"This would be like telling the IRS and telling the public, 'you have to have your taxes in by April 15. The IRS can't touch it until the day of the 15, and it has to be done by the next day.' That's basically what we're saying to our election officials in these states," McReynolds said.

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