Wisconsin, North Carolina, Pennsylvania discussed on The Takeaway
I'm 10 Xena Vega and this is the takeaway and it's Election Day in the United States, nearly 100 million people have already submitted their ballots and early voting. That's more than 71%. Of the total number of votes that were cast in 2016 across the country. Voters were taken to the polls today in their last opportunity to cast a ballot. So we're checking in with public radio reporters around the country in key states to see how the voting process there is playing out. We start in the state of Wisconsin. My name is Rob Men, Sir. I am the rural communities reporter for Wisconsin Public Radio. I'm based in in central Wisconsin. So in Wisconsin, as in a lot of places, there was a huge wave of absentee voting. And so we have had something on the order of 1.5 million absentee ballots that were Turned ahead of Election Day and Wisconsin is also a state that does not permit tabulating of ballots before Election Day. So clerks across the state you are sitting on these large caches of absentee ballots that won't be tabulated and sort of counted until after voting closes tonight, which is why we expect that in Wisconsin. The results might take until you know well into Wednesday morning for us to know with the election looks like Wisconsin right now is one of the top hot spots for covert 19 in the nation and in some parts of the state infection rates have been climbing and hospitalization rates and and so on. And so this is one reason why so many people have chose to vote early, but it's like not distributed evenly across the state. The urban areas and suburban areas are much more likely to have requested and returned absentee ballots in Than in rural areas. Still, you know, less than half of expected voter turnout has been absentee in rural areas, so there's expectation that there will be a lot more people voting in person. And so as a result, there's more risk of exposure to the disease. Wisconsin has same day voter registration. Ah, And so there are a CE faras barriers to voting. Wisconsin has Ah voter ID requirement, which has been was, you know very controversial and fought over in courts but ultimately upheld since it was was passed, and some people see that as as a barrier to voting. However, there is same day voter registration, so People who have an I D and have you? No. Can consort approve their their residency and so on, have the option to show up at the polls and register and still have cast a vote that's gonna count in this election. Next, we move south to North Carolina. I'm Rusty Jacob's cover politics for North Carolina Public radio W. UNC. It's not an overstatement to say that the turnout during 17 days of early voting that's in person voting as well as absolutely by mail. Voting has been unprecedented. North Carolina heading into Election Day saw more than 61%. Of registered voters turn out with early in person. Voting in absentee by mail. North Carolina put itself in a really good position to deal with the flood of absentee ballots this year. North Carolina legislators passed a bill in June a bipartisan bill which is rare in these parts. That is a lot of Rules around absentee voting, including giving county boards the authority to start tabulating processing absentee ballots as much as five weeks away from Election day that will ease the counting in the home stretch or at the end of Election Day. That being said that doesn't mean there hasn't been a lot of partisan rancor and strife around, especially the issue of absentee ballot. Rules after the legislation was passed in June that did ease some absentee ballot rules. Advocacy groups started filing lawsuits against state agencies, including the elections board. The elections board tried to settle a lot of these lawsuits with a comprehensive agreement and what they proposed was extending. The deadline for counting absentee ballots postmarked by Wood received after Election Day. The state law had already said that ballots host marked by election Day but received up to three days afterwards could be counted. They that is the elections board extended that 29 days November 12th nine days after election Day. Republicans in the Legislature immediately sought to block that in courts. As you may know, the U. S. Supreme Court, a majority of 53 majority decided not to intervene. And not to grant Republicans request for an emergency stay so that extended deadline exists. And Pennsylvania could be a huge tipping point this year. Let's head there now. My name's Katie Myer, the political reporter for W. H Y y Public radio in Philadelphia. We've kind of seen our counties become overloaded and had Teo learn new systems and procedures on the fly. In a way that they didn't expect to before. On. One of the biggest things that's come out of that is it's just going to take us a really long time to count votes. Pennsylvania is allowing some votes to be counted between 8 P.m. on November 3rd with count is supposed to be cut off and by the PM on November 6th. And that was because you know the state Supreme Court allowed that extension because of male delays. The Trump Administration has been calling into question and Republicans in the state and Republicans elsewhere in Pennsylvania have been saying that they don't believe that those vote should be counted. Because they think it's not legal. So there have been lawsuits moving up and down the state and into the Supreme Court. The extension has been upheld for now, but we could see more lawsuits afterward. So that's part of this. The other issue is Trump Administration has also been saying, Oh, well, You know, if we don't have the count on election night, then there might be questions about how you know how legitimate the counters And you know, the answer here is just that we would never going to have results in Pennsylvania on election night. You know, it's just it's too many ballots to count. It's just going to take a long time. You won't see results from Pennsylvania on election that you're going to see some results, but they won't be complete. All of this logistical stuff has been tough for voters, and I think it makes it even tougher because we are sort of the consensus swim state. One of the big questions this year is will the lone Star State of Texas turned blue name is Joey. Goes on the local government reporter in San Antonio for Texas Public radio. We're seeing a surge of voting in Texas right now, At the end of early voting on Friday about 9.7 million people have already.