Many states in the U.S. have made changes or are making them in the counting procedures of votes to avoid the pitfalls of the 2020 elections where misinformation thrived due to the slow counting and declaration of results. Popular outlet POLITICO has outlined the measures taken by some states to quicken counting procedures. In 2020, the ballot count was slow and it took several days to name the winner of the presidential race.
According to the outlet, a surge in voting by mail, state laws that remain outdated and inadequate resources in the elections system were the major factors that led to the slow calling of the presidential race, several days after voting was held.
Some states are changing the preprocessing time of votes from less than a day to a week. Michigan will allow preprocessing of votes to start over a week ahead while Wisconsin will allow it to take place one day in advance. Pennsylvania has not allowed preprocessing of votes to date, reportedly due to partisan clashes.
Georgia and Pennsylvania are removing some uncertainty as they require counties to report how many votes are left to be counted at midnight on Election Day.
POLITICO also reported that there was an increase in the number of states in the nation that will allow some level of preprocessing of mail ballots. Rachel Orey, who is a senior associate director at the Bipartisan Policy Center’s elections project, has reported that 40 states and Washington D.C. are allowing some amount of preprocessing and this number is higher than in 2020 when only 27 states allowed some level of preprocessing of mail ballots.
The outlet also said that voting by mail was high due to the situation in 2020, and that many states are expecting more votes on Election Day or early in-person voting in 2024 that will also expedite the counting process.
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