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Hundreds Of Election Lawsuits Have Been Filed. Here Are The Issues That Could Affect The Outcome

More than 320 lawsuits have been filed since the primaries across 45 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico as of Friday, according to Election Law Blog.

“Almost all of them have been filed by the progressive left and their allies in the Democratic Party,” Hans von Spakovsky, manager of Heritage Foundation’s Election Law Reform Initiative, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

A record 76% of Americans have been able to vote by mail in the general election, according to The New York Times, making the issue particularly contentious as election day approaches.

The 2020 election season has seen an unprecedented number of lawsuits as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and changing voting laws, which could ultimately sway the election’s outcome, according to experts.

More than 325 lawsuits have been filed since the primaries across 45 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico as of Friday, according to Election Law Blog, which has tracked election litigation. As coronavirus spread rapidly through the country in March amid the ongoing 2020 primaries, states were forced to delay primaries and reevaluate existing voting laws, The New York Times reported.

“The amount of litigation is almost certainly going to be a record,” a law professor at the University of California, Irvine School of Law who runs Election Law Blog, Rick Hasen, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“We had a record in 2018, and things are even more litigious this year, in large part thanks to COVID,” Hasen said. (RELATED: Election Experts Warn Voters To Stop Sending In Ballots, Vote In Person Amidst USPS Delays)

An election observer cleans voting booths in Kenosha, Wisconsin on April 7. (Kamil Krzaczynski/AFP via Getty Images)
An election observer cleans voting booths in Kenosha, Wisconsin on April 7. (Kamil Krzaczynski/AFP via Getty Images)

Broadly, much of the litigation has concerned states who opted against altering certain laws, which voting rights groups and Democrats demanded, Hasen added. Other lawsuits have come about as a result of states making changes that Republicans opposed.

“Almost all of them have been filed by the progressive left and their allies in the Democratic Party,” Hans von Spakovsky, manager of Heritage Foundation’s Election Law Reform Initiative, told the DCNF.

In September, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign formally assembled a legal war room comprised of lawyers who are fighting cases nationwide, according to The Associated Press. Marc Elias, who was general counsel to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, is leading the war room.

Elias and his team have been involved in more than 60 cases, 18 of which are active, according to Democracy Docket, a website Elias created to “spotlight” voter suppression.

An employee at the Utah County Election office puts mail-in ballots into a container. (George Frey/Getty Images)
An employee at the Utah County Election office puts mail-in ballots into a container. (George Frey/Getty Images)

“They are trying to force states to push absentee or mail-in voting as much as possible,” von Spakovsky continued. “The second big thing is they’re trying to void any and all of the security protocols that states have in place for absentee ballots.”

The litigation has shined a light on the process of counting and rejecting absentee ballots. The most common causes of mailed ballots getting rejected are lateness, mismatching signatures and missing signature, all issues which have been central to ongoing lawsuits, according to FiveThirtyEight.

Many states have changed their voting policies for the Nov. 3 election, allowing more people to vote by mail, according to Vote.org. A record 76% of Americans have been able to vote by mail in the general election, according to The Times, making the issue extremely contentious as the election quickly nears.

Further, a whopping 75.7 million Americans have already voted, according to The U.S. Elections Project. More than 50 million of those early voters have done so by mail.

Here are the important issues that could significantly affect the election outcome.

Voter Fraud

Late Ballots

Mismatched Signatures

Drop Boxes And Curbside Voting

Post-Election Litigation

 

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