More than 2.5 million ballots were left uncounted on election day across California, a process that could take several days or longer and leave close races in limbo. Secretary of State Alex Padilla posted a report late Thursday on unprocessed ballots. Most of that total -- about 1.8 million -- were mailed to voters but returned only on Tuesday. Six million ballots have already been counted from the statewide primary. The uncounted tally would push total voter turnout to about 8.5 million, or around 47% of all registered voters.
Pennsylvania voters have been returning mail ballots to county boards of elections since mid-September, where, by law, they have had to sit uncounted. On Tuesday morning, just after 7 a.m., officials finally began tabulating Allegheny County's approximately 341,000 already returned ballots. Envelopes from voters in Pittsburgh and surrounding communities had been kept inside a chain-link cage. Now, as the whir of an envelope-opening machine cut through masked chatter, workers in florescent shirts shuttled them around the brick-and-cinderblock warehouse to be processed and counted. The county has lined up 600 workers, split across three shifts, to tackle the challenge.
As the United States prepares to hold a presidential election in the midst of a deadly pandemic, many states are relying on voting by mail to reduce in-person contact at the polls, including Hawaii. Hawaii passed a bill to hold universal mail-in elections, meaning all voters are sent mail ballots whether they request one or not, in mid-2019. The aim at the time was to increase voter turnout in Hawaii, which then was among the lowest in the United States. "You don't have to skip work to do it, you don't have to take time off, you don't have to go out of your way. I think the net result will be a small bump in voter turnout," State Sen. Karl Rhoads said at the time.
DETROIT – At least 31 people could face criminal charges after voting twice in Michigan in the fall election, an official said Thursday. Separately, the state Bureau of Elections said human error, not fraud or equipment failure, caused mismatches between the number of ballots cast in some Detroit precincts and the number of voters. The agency's investigation followed a partial statewide recount of the presidential race, which raised questions about the safeguarding of ballots in Detroit. A judge stopped the recount after three days, although officials said it would not have changed President Donald Trump's slim victory in Michigan over Hillary Clinton. Before the recount was halted, there was an attempt to recount ballots in 263 Detroit precincts.
Byron York, chief political correspondent for the Washington Examiner, weighs in on'America's Newsroom.' Gov. Tony Evers urged Wisconsin voters to come to the polls on Election Day, discouraging them from mailing in their ballots with just four days remaining in the presidential campaign. "We need everyone to make their vote count," Evers said at a press conference on Friday. He reminded voters that they can also return their absentee ballots at a county clerk's office or at an early voting location. "Make sure you can vote safely," he added.