Republicans in at least three key battleground states are suing to disqualify thousands of mail-in ballots after urging their own supporters to cast ballots on Election Day.
GOP officials and candidates have moved to stop mail ballots, which are disproportionately used by Democrats, from being counted in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin while encouraging their own voters to show up in person at the polls, in what critics see as overt partisan voter suppression, reported the Washington Post.
“They’re looking for every advantage they can get, and they’ve calculated that this is a way that they can win more seats,” said Sylvia Albert, director of voting and elections for the nonpartisan Common Cause. “Research has shown that absentee ballots are more likely to be discarded if they are voted by young people and people of color, which are not generally seen as the Republican base.”
Kristina Karamo, the GOP nominee for Michigan secretary of state, sued Detroit's top election official seeking to disqualify absentee ballots not cast in person with an ID, although state law doesn't require it, and Wisconsin Republicans won a court ruling that would stop some mail-in ballots from being counted if a required witness address isn't complete.
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The Pennsylvania Supreme Court sided with the Republican National Committee and ordered election officials not to count ballots if a voter neglected to put a date on the outer envelope, even if it arrived before Election Day, which has already disqualified thousands of ballots.
“No voter should be disenfranchised simply because they made a minor error in filling out their ballot," said Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat.
“This was not a controversial concept in our country or our commonwealth until recently, with the rise of the Big Lie and the efforts to spread mis- and disinformation in the days leading up to the general election,” Wolf added. “I urge counties to continue to ensure that every vote counts.”
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