Mail-in balloting rejection rates from the 2016 presidential election to this one, particularly in battleground states, have dramatically shrunk to infinitesimal numbers, according to reports.
Despite massive warnings about mail-in ballot rejection rates being around 1% historically, 3% for first-time absentee ballot voters and as high as 6.5% in some states, the rejection rates in 2020 contested states like Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Nevada were "strikingly" low, according to U.S. data (2016 from a congressional report and 2020 from the U.S. Elections Project run by the University of Florida):
- Georgia: 6.5% rejections in 2016 to a mere 0.2%, more than 30 times lower.
- Pennsylvania: 1% in 2016 to 0.03% this year.
- Nevada: 1.6% in 2016 to around 0.75% this year.
- Michigan: 0.5% in 2016 to 0.1% this year.
- North Carolina: 2.7% in 2016 to 0.8% this year.
A number of irregularities can lead to the rejection of a mail-in ballot, including forgotten or significantly different signatures, misplaced addressed, or improper markings or completion.
"Every indication in the several states I've analyzed is that the initial rate of rejected mail ballots was not lower in the 2020 General Election, but that the cure rate was much higher," Florida political science professor Daniel Smith told Just the News.
"This was the result of litigation — which resulted in voters in several states[able] to have more opportunities and time to correct mistakes with their return envelopes or security sleeves — but also the work on the ground by the parties and voting rights organizations to directly notify voters who had problems with their ballots that they had an opportunity to cure them."
Michigan expects to reduce its rejection rate even further this year, according to Michigan Secretary of State office spokeswoman Tracy Wimmer to Just the News, because "the Michigan Legislature passed a law requiring clerks to notify voters if there was a signature issue (either missing or mismatched) with their absentee ballot and ensure they understood how to cure it."
"The curing window was available until 8 p.m. on Election Day," she added, "and since missing or mismatched signatures usually account for one of the largest percentages of rejections, we expect those will go down this year."
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