More than 500,000 mail ballots were rejected in the primaries. That could make the difference in battleground states this fall.
August 24, 2020
More than 540,000 mail ballots were rejected during primaries across 23 states this year - nearly a quarter in key battlegrounds for the fall - illustrating how missed delivery deadlines, inadvertent mistakes and uneven enforcement of the rules could disenfranchise voters and affect the outcome of the presidential election.
The rates of rejection, which in some states exceeded those of other recent elections, could make a difference in the fall if the White House contest is decided by a close margin, as it was in 2016, when Donald Trump won Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin by roughly 80,000 votes.
This year, according to a tally by the Washington Post, election officials in those three states tossed out more than 60,480 ballots just during primaries, which saw significantly lower voter turnout than what is expected in the general election. The rejection figures include ballots that arrived too late to be counted or were invalidated for another reason, including voter error.