Earlier today, the President displayed his lack of constitutional and election administration knowledge by, yet again spreading misinformation about the counting of ballots and the timeline of a presidential election. His remarks do nothing more than sow doubt in our strong elections system and confuse voters on what they should expect November 3 and beyond.
In regard to the President’s remarks, Amber McReynolds, CEO of the National Vote At Home Institute, released the following statement:
“Our Constitution outlines the steps of our election system, as well as the timeline, with each state interpreting the details. Counting ballots after Election Day is a completely normal process that happens every election year; it is nothing new. Whether it takes two days or two weeks, every ballot must be counted and every voter must be heard.
Free and fair elections require that every eligible voter has access to a ballot, and that every ballot cast by those voters must be counted. While no system is perfect, Americans can trust that the systems in place are working to do just that, no matter how long it takes.
Election officials commit themselves to state and local laws to tabulate the will of the people. They are facing unprecedented challenges to meet the need for safe and secure elections in this resurging pandemic. Right now, as the president makes inaccurate claims, election officials are preparing round the clock to make sure that every American who casts their ballot this year is heard and represented in their vote, whether a ballot is cast by mail or in-person.
It is undeniable that where we see the most dysfunction in elections across our country, it is due to infighting among partisan actors seeking to bend the process to their aims. Election officials are committed to the non-partisan administration of our elections, not to arbitrary timelines. While unofficial results might take longer to report in a small handful of states due to the restrictive state laws that slow mail ballot processing steps, the work of election officials should not be subject to timeline crunching due to partisan interests.”
The National Vote At Home Institute published a series of Medium posts detailing the task of ballot processing and why various states might report their results differently on and after Election Day. Part one of that series can be found here.