While the debate continues over whether to allow postal voting in the November presidential election, in the New York primary one out of four mail ballots was annulled.
According to an NYPost memo, the New York Election Board reported that more than 84,000 mail ballots (25 percent of the total) cast in the city’s primary elections were annulled, meaning that 84,000 people were denied their right to vote.
The New York Election Board received 403,103 mail ballots for the June 23, Democratic presidential primary. But the results posted on the official site were only 318,995. That means 84,108 votes were either not counted or invalidated. Nearly one in four mail ballot envelopes was disqualified. The leading causes for disqualification were late arrival of envelopes, absence of the voter’s signature, or lack of security seals.
Vote by mail was encouraged by the state government as a measure to prevent voters from going to the polls and coming into contact with people during the CCP virus pandemic. Governor Andrew Cuomo even signed an executive order to facilitate absentee voting.
The state also funded the initiative by providing prepaid envelopes for voters to mail in their ballots.
The high rate of invalidation provides further evidence that election officials and the Postal Service were unable to manage the flood of mail ballots received by voters who had been encouraged to do so.
“An override rate of 26 percent is staggering. It’s very troubling,” said Arthur Schwartz. He represented several candidates in a federal lawsuit alleging that voters were disenfranchised from the handling of ballots by the Election Board and the Postal Service, according to Fox News.
This situation reignited the debate about the November presidential election. Democrats are generally advocates of the postal vote, understanding that in times of pandemic, it means a very high risk to cause people to crowd into tight spaces because they have to go out to vote.
The Trump administration is vehemently opposed. Even the president himself hinted at the possibility of extending the election if necessary, arguing how weak the U.S. postal system is, which would result in vast amounts of votes being lost and even fraudulent elections.
10 days ago, on his Twitter account, President Trump said about the New York primary elections: “New York Mail-In voting is in a disastrous state of condition. Votes from many weeks ago are missing—a total mess. They have no idea what is going on. Rigged Election. I told you so. Same thing would happen, but on massive scale, with USA. Fake News refuses to report!”
New York Mail-In voting is in a disastrous state of condition. Votes from many weeks ago are missing – a total mess. They have no idea what is going on. Rigged Election. I told you so. Same thing would happen, but on massive scale, with USA. Fake News refuses to report!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2020