10/20 Daily Update: SCOTUS Rules on Pennsylvania Ballots

  • Tomorrow, Wednesday, October 21st in New Hampshire by mail (in-person registration at polling places available on November 3rd); and Friday, October 23rd in Utah.

Early Voting

For detailed information on voting-related deadlines, visit vote.org.

National Updates

Mail-in Voting Win: On Monday, by a tie vote of 4-4, the U.S. Supreme Court let stand a ruling by Pennsylvania’s highest court that allowed election officials to count mailed ballots received up to three days after Election Day. It also left in place a presumption that un-postmarked ballots were received on or before Election Day. The state is a key battleground in the presidential election. Read more here.

Poll Workers: The number of poll workers is on the rise, compared with diminished numbers earlier in the election season. A Washington Post editorial notes that in cities like Milwaukee, where the limited number of poll workers cut polling places from 180 to five during the primaries, a surge in new poll workers puts the city on track to have 173 open polling locations by November 3rd. Though many jurisdictions still need more poll workers, the editorial  attributes some of the improved responses among younger Americans to the national Power the Polls recruitment campaign.

State Updates

Colorado: Secretary of State Jena Griswold announced a new digital ad initiative in Colorado to help voters identify misinformation and foreign election advertisements. Read more about the initiative here.

Florida: Pre-election ballot data from Florida shows that people under 65 account for 48% of the early vote so far this year, up from 36% at this time in the 2016 election. Overall, the number of ballots returned early in Florida to date is double the number at this time in the 2016 election. CNN reports the uptick in younger voters could be attributed to nationwide voter mobilization efforts.

Georgia: Voters in communities of color face fewer polling locations and longer wait times in Georgia. ProPublica reports that since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2013 Shelby v. Holder decision, which eliminated key federal oversight of election decisions in states with histories of discrimination, Georgia’s voter rolls have increased by nearly two million people, while the number of polling locations has decreased 10%. The Atlanta metropolitan area has been hit hard. Its nine counties account for nearly half the state’s voting population but only have 38% of the polling places. The Center for Public Integrity also underscored the purging of polling places after Shelby vs. Holder, and examined voter suppression tactics in Georgia in a deep dive analysis. Read the analysis here.

Michigan: Attorney General Dana Nessel teamed up with former Detroit Lions star Calvin Johnson to encourage Michigan voters to drop off absentee ballots (not football passes)  as soon as possible! Catch the PSA here.

Minnesota: Today, Attorney General Keith Ellison and Governor Tim Walz issued a statement encouraging Minnesotans to “participate in democracy safely” and highlighting the state’s efforts to ensure that campaign events are held safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, AG Ellison launched an investigation into a Tennessee-based security company that was reportedly recruiting military veterans in Minnesota in connection with the November 3rd election. Read the press release here.

Pennsylvania: Attorney General Josh Shapiro appeared on CNN to discuss how the Supreme Court’s ruling last night is a win for Pennsylvania voters. In a separate interview on CNN with Wolf Blitzer, AG Shapiro discussed other recent court wins that protect Pennsylvania voters.

Wisconsin: Today, voters in Wisconsin lined up on the first day of early voting. Yesterday, Attorney General Josh Kaul issued a press release reminding voters that voter intimidation is against the law and, “if someone breaks the laws that protect against voter intimidation, they should be prepared to spend time behind bars.”