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Potential loophole in the law may have people thinking twice about voting by mail

Even in a normal year, mail-in ballots take more time to count. This year, there will be millions more.

News 12 Staff

Sep 25, 2020, 2:56 AM

Updated 1,395 days ago

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There is a potential loophole in the law that may have Americans thinking twice about voting by mail.
That loophole preys on the anticipation that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more Americans will be voting by mail on a scale like never before.
Even in a normal year, mail-in ballots take more time to count. This year, there will be millions more.
The Constitution provides that each state must have electors as part of the electoral college.
Since the late 1800s, every state has ceded the decision to its voters. This election year, President Donald Trump could upend that tradition.
Sources in the Republican Party say the president's campaign is talking about contingency plans to bypass election results. They are allegedly looking to appoint loyal electors in battleground states like Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Ohio.
Those Republican legislators could certify the election for Trump under the Constitution, and ultimately give him the electoral college win. The president has made multiple claims of rigged results with mail-in votes.
If official results are delayed because of the large mail-in vote, it's within the power of state legislators to cast that deciding vote to judge what they believe voters intended.
A legal adviser for Trump's campaign says appointing electors can protect the people's will.
News 12 spoke with Pace Law professor Bennett Gershman, who questions whether our democracy can survive this election.
"It's theoretically possible that corrupt electors in the particular states say we're upholding democracy, and the way we see democracy is Democrats cheated, the Republicans won, mail-in votes are fraudulent and so if these electors want to say that — what's to stop them?" asks Bennett.
The pandemic is exacerbating this issue, leaving voters having to choose between protecting their health by mailing in a ballot or risking their health by going to the polls on Election Day.
"I'll be voting in person because that's the only way I trust my vote to get in," said Tom Sabol of Yonkers.
Abdul Seck, also of Yonkers, said the same.
"I'd rather vote in person honestly because that way my ballot is more secure," he said.


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