Confusion over mail-in ballots caused voting in the Washington, D.C., primary to stretch late into Tuesday night, according to DCist.
D.C.’s primary election comes amid debate over the security and efficiency of voting by mail.
Many D.C. voters complained they never received mail-in ballots, according to at-large member of the D.C. City Council Elissa Silverman.
Silverman tweeted Tuesday that she was “averaging an email a minute” from voters who never received a mail-in ballot. More than 90 thousand absentee ballots were supposed to be sent out, according to the D.C. Board of Elections.
A request: I am averaging an email a minute from DC voters who requested an absentee ballot & never received one. So if you have another request for me, like for example checking on your UI or PUA status, kindly email me tomorrow because my email is a flood of ballot requests.
— Elissa Silverman (@tweetelissa) June 2, 2020
Voters who didn’t receive their ballots were forced to go to a physical polling place to cast their votes.
This is the line right now at Ida Wells Middle School in Ward 4 pic.twitter.com/IQ1fXHhypa
— Myles G Smith (@myles_g_smith) June 3, 2020
At 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, hours after polls were supposed to close, council member Silverman tweeted that there were more than 60 voters in line at one local polling place.
“I am thankful for these voters and livid at the Board of Elections,” Silverman wrote.
I am at Emery Rec in Ward 4, where there are more than 60 voters in line at 12:30 am during a pandemic supposedly under a curfew. I am going to ask how many voters requested absentee ballots. I am thankful for these voters and livid at the Board of Elections. pic.twitter.com/Rs8LsZugcU
— Elissa Silverman (@tweetelissa) June 3, 2020
D.C. officials had encouraged voting by mail to avoid having people congregate, DCist reported.
President Donald Trump has been at the center of the debate over nationwide mail-in ballots. Trump tweeted last week that mail-in ballots will be “substantially fraudulent.” He also attacked governors who are in favor of mail-in voting.
There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent. Mail boxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged & even illegally printed out & fraudulently signed. The Governor of California is sending Ballots to millions of people, anyone…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 26, 2020
Some Republican officials have worried that Trump’s crusade against mail-in voting could end up hurting the party come November, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
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