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I voted but it didn’t count – How Florida mail ballot issues could deprive thousands of voters

By: Sayo Aweomoni

Given the popularity of the COVID-19, it is certain that the 2020 presidential election will look very different from any other election the US has ever had. As more and more citizens are concerned about their health and safety, the states will experience an unprecedented number of voters mailing in ballots in the upcoming presidential election, but when Many people vote by mail, running the risk of a large number of ballots uncountable. These concerns are exacerbated in rotating states like Florida, which have a long history of high rejections for ballot mail.

According to electoral law experts, who vote for first by mail are more likely to make mistakes that lead to their voting. As the number of people who choose to vote by mail increases this year, two terms in particular – the 7pm election night deadline and the need for signature matching – could lead to the expropriation of thousands of Floridians, more specifically Black and Hispanic citizens, if the state refuses to adapt efforts to adapt to the current health crisis. Only in the primary, estimated elections 18,000 mail in ballots was rejected in Florida for lack of deadlines or for errors including a signature in the record that did not match. Despite the pandemic fear of going out into public gatherings, polling stations without poll workers and a number of other difficulties, the state still refuses to relax these requirements. In a battlefield state like Florida, where the outcome can be determined with just a few votes, consequences like these can make a huge difference in determining who is the winner. In the primary elections, experts also found that minority voters were twice as likely to vote by mail for the first time this year, and that they were twice as likely to be rejected as da voters. white. Similar results are expected for the general election.

In an effort to ensure that the pandemic does not take away the rights of minority citizens, civil rights organizations in Florida filed a lawsuit against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee, requiring adjustments to state election procedures in response to the pandemic. Some of the remedies are suggested in updated complaints including extending the deadline for mail ballot return, extending the use of drop-off boxes for mail ballot papers, extending the time frame for solving problems with mail ballots, and extending the date and time, and early voting locations in each county. The settlement achieved in that case would eventually “increase access to voter registration, require the state to notify citizens of their options in voting by mail, encourage Supervisors to vote. SOEs use funding options to provide upfront fees for mails- in ballots, and ask the Secretary of State to develop and execute a public relations campaign to notify voters. of their voting options, especially among colored communities, college voters and seniors. “

Although some progress has been made with this settlement, Florida still has a long way to go to defend the votes of thousands of Floridians for this upcoming general election. Another suggestion to protect this franchise for Floridian voters is extend window to receive mail in ballots by issuing extension times to receive and count messages in ballots, as this will go a long way in defending tens of thousands of votes.

To reduce the number of mail ballots that are likely to be rejected, everyone has to play their role. While some Florida voters may be lax about their responsibility to sign the ballot and mail it on time, government is ultimately responsible for protecting the integrity of the election and they have the right to regulate. and provide reasonable flexibility to promote fair elections and elections.



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