Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

If mail-in ballots are rejected in the 2020 election at the same level as this year's primaries, "up to three times as many voters in November could be disenfranchised" in battleground states compared to the 2016 election, AP reports.

Why it matters: Americans are expected to vote by mail in record numbers in November due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Details: Ballots can be rejected if voters forget to sign them, signatures don't match those held at local election offices, or ballots arrive too late through the mail, per AP.

  • Understaffed election offices could have a difficult time notifying voters of problems with their ballot in time to fix them — especially since officials in key states like Pennsylvania have to wait until Election Day to sort through ballots.
  • The U.S. Postal Service has seen declines in on-time delivery for priority mail in the last few months, after it warned 46 states that it cannot ensure ballots sent by mail in the general election will arrive in time to be counted.

For example, nearly 43,000 Pennsylvania voters could be disenfranchised in November if voter turnout stays unchanged from 2016 and ballot rejections are on course with the state's primary, AP reports — nearly the same number of votes Trump won over Hillary Clinton when he won the state in 2016.

What to watch: Vote-by-mail rejections could have an outsized effect in areas concentrated with Democratic votes, per AP, since Democratic applications for absentee ballots have surged.

Go deeper: How to prepare for an election facing unprecedented threats

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Sep 19, 2020 - Politics & Policy

The new politics of global warming

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Getty Images photos: Ethan Miller and Chip Somodevilla

The 2020 election is both very different and very familiar when it comes to the politics of global warming and the stakes of the outcome.

What's new: Democratic voters are more concerned than in prior presidential cycles, polling shows.

Trump says Republicans have an "obligation" to fill Ginsburg's seat

President Trump. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

President Trump wrote in a tweet Saturday morning that Republicans have an "obligation" to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat on the Supreme Court following her death Friday.

What he's saying: "We were put in this position of power and importance to make decisions for the people who so proudly elected us, the most important of which has long been considered to be the selection of United States Supreme Court Justices," the president said, tagging the Republican Party. "We have this obligation, without delay!"

Updated 17 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Where key GOP senators stand on replacing Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell talks to reporters on Capitol Hill last Thursday. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

With President Trump planning to nominate his third Supreme Court justice nominee this week, key Republican senators are indicating their stance on replacing the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with less than 50 days until Election Day.

The state of play: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) has vowed that "Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate." Two GOP senators — Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) — have said they oppose holding a vote before the election, meaning that two more defections would force McConnell to delay until at least the lame-duck session of Congress.