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Electionland 2020: Nursing Home Voting, Election Guides, Creative Enfranchisement and More

This week’s headlines on the latest USPS scrutiny, mail voting news and election lawsuits.

This article is part of Electionland, ProPublica’s collaborative reporting project covering problems that prevent eligible voters from casting their ballots during the 2020 elections. Sign up to receive updates about our voting coverage and more each week.

The Latest From ProPublica

Hundreds of Thousands of Nursing Home Residents May Not Be Able to Vote in November Because of the Pandemic

Renowned inventor Walter Hutchins has voted in every presidential election since 1952. This year, as many states stopped sending teams to help seniors vote, his nursing home was on coronavirus lockdown and his streak was in jeopardy. Read the story.

What to Know About Voting in 2020

Vote by Mail News

  • More than 550,000 mail ballots were rejected in this year’s presidential primaries, per a new analysis. (NPR)
  • University of Florida professor Michael McDonald is tracking mail ballot requests by party in several states. (Michael McDonald)
  • North Carolina is the first state to begin voting for president and has seen 10 times the number of absentee ballot requests as in the same period in 2016. (ABC News)
  • Democratic super PACs plan to spend more than $7 million on ads encouraging mail voting. (CNN)
  • Some Black and Latino voters are distrustful of mail voting, surveys show. (Politico)
  • Missouri spent tens of thousands of dollars on ballot drop boxes that won’t be used the fall. (KSN)

Trump’s Attacks on Voting

  • On Friday, Trump raised the possibility of sending law enforcement to polling places. (The Washington Post, Election Law Blog, CNN)
  • Over the weekend, he made false claims about mail ballot drop boxes. (BuzzFeed News)
  • Trump continued attacks on mail voting while speaking at the RNC, and on Twitter. (Rev, Twitter)
  • Politico obtained audio from a conversation Trump had in 2017 in which he said that low Black voter turnout benefited him. (Politico)

The Latest on USPS

  • Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testified before Congress on Friday and Monday, and said postal workers would prioritize election mail ahead of other first-class mail. He said he was not trying to sabotage the election. (The Washington Post, News Hour, The New York Times)
  • Democrats claim DeJoy was chosen to run the Postal Service in a “highly irregular” process. (Politico)
  • The House of Representatives passed a bill that would provide $25 billion to the Postal Service and reverse the agency’s recent cost-cutting measures. (NPR)
  • On Tuesday, New York’s attorney general filed a lawsuit against the president and DeJoy over changes to the Postal Service, joined by New Jersey, Hawaii, New York City and San Francisco. (Reuters)

Enfranchisement Innovations

  • Pro sports teams are offering up their arenas as election super centers for fall voting. (Politico)
  • A new group called Black Coaches United aims to convince colleges to use their stadiums for voting centers on Election Day. (ESPN)
  • A Florida professor developed an app that uses a ticketing system to help reduce lines at polling places and allow voters to social distance. (4News)
  • A Rhode Island doctor founded an organization to help people vote who are hospitalized before the election in November. (Boston Globe)
  • A Missouri organization teamed up with coffee shops and restaurants to give voters easier access to notaries to sign-off on mail ballots. (KCUR)
  • A physicist in Maryland developed an air filtration device that he hopes can be used to make in-person voting safer at polling places in the fall. (Baltimore Sun)
  • A nonprofit initiative called Drag Out the Vote is recruiting drag stars to work as poll workers and election observers, and to get out the vote among the LGBTQ community. (SFist)
  • An athletes’ collective headed by LeBron James is planning a multimillion dollar project to ensure there are enough poll workers in Black electoral districts. (The New York Times)
  • Carnegie Mellon professors compiled and mapped data in swing states to identify where in-person voting bottlenecks could occur. (WESA)
  • The cast of “West Wing” is reuniting for an HBO special to encourage people to vote. (Reuters)

Election Lawsuits

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Portrait of Rachel Glickhouse

Rachel Glickhouse

Rachel Glickhouse is a journalist and the partner manager for the Electionland project.

About Electionland

ProPublica’s Electionland project covers problems that prevent eligible voters from casting their ballots during the 2020 elections. Our coalition of newsrooms around the country are investigating issues related to voter registration, pandemic-related changes to voting, the shift to vote-by-mail, cybersecurity, voter education, misinformation, and more.

Questions? Read our FAQ.

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