10/21 Daily Update: Tension Reported at Some Early Voting Sites; Mail Slowdowns in Key States

Key Dates & Deadlines

Voter Registration Deadlines

  • TODAY, October 21st, in New Hampshire by mail (in-person registration at polling places available on November 3rd).
  • Friday, October 23rd in Utah; and Saturday, October 24th in Iowa and Massachusetts.

Early Voting

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

National Updates

Early Voting and Voter Intimidation: With early voting underway in multiple states, scattered reports of disruption are surfacing from polling locations and ballot drop boxes, along with cases of online voter intimidation emails from an organization using a fake “Proud Boys” email address. Reported disturbances range from loud groups supporting one of the candidates around ballot boxes and polling locations, to arguments over COVID-19 restrictions like mask-wearing at polling stations.

Mail-in Voting: A study of USPS delivery times in key battleground states found the highest number of delays in Michigan, with some in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Florida. The study supports a Washington Post report, based on USPS agency data, that mail slowdowns are hitting swing states especially hard.

State Updates

California: Attorney General Xavier Becerra is pursuing a court order to obtain more information from the California Republican Party about the unofficial ballot boxes it placed earlier this month around the state. Read more from POLITICO here.

Minnesota: Yesterday, Attorney General Keith Ellison joined attorneys general from Michigan, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Virginia in making it clear that voter intimidation is illegal under state and federal law. AG Ellison retweeted the VPP video!

Nevada: Yesterday, Attorney General Aaron Ford appeared on MSNBC to address voter intimidation at the polls. AG Ford noted Nevada’s coordinated preparation between state officials and law enforcement to respond to the possibility of intimidation and violence. Regarding poll watchers, AG Ford stated: “We don’t have an issue with legitimate poll watchers: we have an issue with illegal and illegitimate voter intimidators.” For more on the distinction between legitimate poll watchers and illegal voter intimidation, check out the VPP’s Voter Intimidation Toolkit.

North Carolina: In a ruling Tuesday night, the federal Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals voted 12-3 to reject an emergency stay from North Carolina GOP leaders that would have blocked an agreement allowing absentee ballots in next month’s election to be counted if they are postmarked by Election Day and received up to nine days later. Read more from POLITICO here about North Carolina’s voting rights victory.

Pennsylvania: Yesterday, Attorney General Josh Shapiro appeared on MSNBC and CNN with Don Lemon to discuss Pennsylvania’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling, allowing ballots to be counted if they are received within three days of Election Day, even if they do not have a legible postmark.

Washington, DC: Yesterday, Attorney General Karl Racine led a coalition of 13 state attorneys general in filing an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in Carson v. Simon, defending Minnesota’s deadline extension for receiving and counting mail-in ballots that were properly cast on or before Election Day.