Loyola Law Schools, Professor Levinson, Professor Of Law discussed on PM Tampa Bay with Ryan Gorman
I'm Ryan Gorman with me this evening, James Berland er on the board and joining me on the hotline right now. Jessica Levinson, professor of law at Loyola Law School and the founding director of Loyola Law Schools, Public Service Institute to talk about all things election law and voting and we have A lot to cover Professor Levinson. Thanks so much for the time. We appreciate it. Let me start with some of the terminology. People have been hearing a lot this year mail in voting, an absentee voting specifically confusion here. Are they pretty much the same or there's some differences that we should know about. They really are the same thing. So we tend to say absentee, if when we started to vote. In our state. It was called absentee, and we tend to say vote by mail. Frankly, if maybe we're a little bit younger and a foreign state that called it both by mail, But there really is not a distinction. What Talking about is voting not in a polling place. We're talking about getting your ballot in the mail and then returning. It may be in a drop box, maybe in a polling place or maybe sending it back. But voters should be aware that absentee vote by mail at this point, they're really interchangeable. Now there are some differences between states and how one has to go about voting by mail. Whether or not you have to request a ballot, or it's automatically sent to you whether or not you need an excuse to vote by mail, or if you could do it for any reason. Talk a little bit about that. I think he just laid it out perfectly. So what we're seeing now and of course, that this is a really influx as a result of the pandemic, So I'm talking to you from California. Pretty quickly after the pandemic began, our governor said, You know what? We're sending every eligible voter a vote by mail ballot really important for people to know eligible voters who received balance. It's not Everybody who could potentially both who receives a ballot. And in other states, they've done the same thing If you're registered to vote. If you're an eligible voter, you're going to get your ballot. Now there is, as he said, It's different flavors of this. Some states have said Okay, actually, you have to request your ballot but will automatically send you an application to request that about other states have said. You have to request your ballot and we're not sending the application so you have to take the affirmative step. I know it sounds minor, but of asking for that vote by mail about application. I know these things sound Maybe not that sexy. But in a tight election in a swing district, you actually can potentially determine the outcome based on something like Did you get your vote by mail ballot automatically or did you have to act for an application? And then, of course, if you mention there's certain circumstances where You can just say once you're if you have to apply. I want a vote by mail about it, and you don't have to give an excuse. Other state they're saying you need to give an excuse, But covert is OK and then even more restrictive state. Typically, those in the South are saying You need to give an excuse, and it can't be Cove it and currently there is very active litigation surrounding all of these issues, so I'm not going to necessarily take off state accepted. They please go to your secretary of State website. Go to your county register. Figure out what the current law is. It could at this point change, but that's Kind of very broadly play of black. There were a select few states not very many, but about a handful of them where they've been automatically sending out ballots to eligible voters. For a while. It's kind of how they conduct their elections, and this was before the pandemic and all the complications that we've seen this year. Correct. Exactly Think about Colorado. Think about Utah. Think about Washington. So there are safe where they have been conducting Opie male elections for a long time now, and that's how we know that vote by mail is fake. Because there have been states that have used these processes for awhile, and there has not been rampant voter fraud. There has not been corruption in the system. Now those states are in a better position than others tape because they already have the infrastructure in place. Most other states had to ramp up really, really quickly and, frankly, some safety really still struggling to create ah, whole other type of election infrastructure framework. I mean, you need everything from doesn't sound that exciting. But the paper, the printers, the machines that read the ballot, right drop boxes. All of that stuff is really important We've seen, you know, video term. I think Ohio where there's only one drop block. County, and there are just a line around the block of people in their cars. Desperately trying Tio have the time to drop off the balance. And, you know, we talk about mail in voting, and we automatically think about literally putting the ballot in the mail. But depending on where people are and what the state and local rules are, there are other options for voting by mail, dropping your ballot off at certain locations. Taking your ballot with you. And either voting earlier voting on Election Day explain some of those potential options for people. Absolutely so it varies a little bit by state. Now I know it's frustrating to hear me keep saying it varies by face our system at the Constitution said. Dates get to determine the time place and manner of election And that means elections are a patchwork. It means they're messy, and that's why we have this. Situation where I could keep saying well in the states, but the states and so yes, it is absolutely the case that typically speaking you don't have to mail back in about that. You get in the mail you, Khun bring it to a polling place. In some states, you can have somebody else bring it to a polling place. You can bring it to a ballot draw bark, or you can put it back in the mail. And of course, we've heard a lot that has made people nervous about putting their ballot back now. I think that's why they dropped. These official drop boxes have become more popular. I'm joined by Jessica Levinson, professor of law at Loyola Law School in the founding director of Loyola Law Schools, Public Service Institute. We're talking about all things election law and voting and just kind of following up on what?.