Pollak: The Key Question Is Why Vote-by-Mail Rejection Rate Dropped Dramatically

Pollak: The Key Question Is Why Vote-by-Mail Rejection Rate Dropped Dramatically


The key empirical question that must be asked about the 2020 election results is why the rejection rate for vote-by-mail ballots dropped dramatically from the primary season, when mass vote-by-mail began in some states, to the general election.

Absentee ballots, which are traditionally a very small proportion of the vote in most states, are typically rejected at a rate of 1% to 2%. However, the rate of faulty absentee ballots rose to 25% after mass vote-by-mail was adopted earlier this year.

The Washington Post reported in August:

More than 534,000 mail ballots were rejected during primaries across 23 states this year — nearly a quarter in key battlegrounds for the fall — illustrating how missed delivery deadlines, inadvertent mistakes and uneven enforcement of the rules could disenfranchise voters and affect the outcome of the presidential election.

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Nevada’s Clark County saw 17 percent of vote-by-mail ballots returned as undeliverable. Though

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