Washington, US | XINHUA | An unprecedented number of voters are expected to cast their vote through mail due to the still spreading COVID-19 pandemic. Despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s strong oppositions to mail-in voting, several U.S. observers said he will probably benefit from the measure pushed by Democrats.
According to an analysis by U.S. National Public Radio late August, more than 550,000 mail ballots have been rejected during primaries across nearly 30 states this year. Studies also found that younger voters and voters of color are more likely than others to have their ballots not counted.
As both groups are supporters of Joe Biden, the situation means some of the Democratic nominee’s votes will be disqualified because of missed delivery deadlines or inadvertent mistakes, analysts said.
Christopher Galdieri, assistant professor at Saint Anselm College, said that how many ballots are disqualified in battleground states matters more.
“New York is so (Democratic) that it’s impossible to imagine this changing the outcome. But swing states with little experience with large numbers of mail ballots could be overwhelmed, and that could hurt Democrats there,” Galdieri said.
As the Nov. 3 presidential election is approaching, U.S. states have not much time to decide their voting rules. For Democrats, they have been calling on residents to send a postal vote, in a bid to avoid the virus’ spreading during the election.
While Trump, the Republican nominee, has claimed several times that expanded mail-in voting would cause “tremendous fraud involved” and lead to “the most corrupt election” in U.S. history.
If Biden’s support among older voters slips, the youth vote — considering the possibility that many of their votes could be disqualified — could make a real difference, observers said.
The voting process in the United States inadvertently favors older voters as opposed to younger voters.
“States don’t maintain voter-friendly systems. Their systems are built to privilege older people who don’t change their residence,” said Clay Ramsay, a senior research associate at the Center for International and Security Studies at the University of Maryland.
Young people in the United States often move from one state to another for school or work, and every state organizes voting differently, Ramsay noted.
Due to the slow mail delivery times in some regions, several U.S. states have clarified their rules for counting ballots that are postmarked before the election, but arrive after the election.
On Thursday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court extended the deadline for receiving absentee ballot to Nov. 6, or three days after the Election Day.