New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) defended his decision to send ballots to all active registered voters, telling "Fox News Sunday" that mail-in voting during the state's July primary was "overwhelmingly successful."

Why it matters: President Trump and his campaign have sought to undermine universal mail-in voting, claiming it will lead to a "rigged election" and a delay in results.

  • The president has repeatedly pointed to a local election in Paterson, N.J., where four men were charged with voter fraud for tampering with mail-in ballots, as evidence of widespread issues with the system.
  • But Murphy argued that the Paterson case should be viewed as a "positive data point," saying: "People tried to screw with the system and failed. The primary in July — I'm not suggesting you always bat a thousand, you don't do that in in-person elections either. ... Our hope is to expand democracy and we believe this is the right way to do it."

The state of play: New Jersey is now one of four states, plus the District of Columbia, that have moved to universal mail-in voting due to the pandemic.

  • Five states already proactively mail ballots to registered voters: Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Washington.

What he's saying: "We've actually had a pretty deep history with vote by mail and we just had a primary which was a little bit different, only because it was a primary, but we learned a lot from it and we liked what we saw," Murphy said.

  • "Ensuring voter security is completely understandable. I've spoken to the president about it. ... But we've got enough experience to believe between the option of vote-by-mail, to drop your ballot into secure boxes that we will have all around the state, to show up actually on Election Day and hand your ballot over — or failing all that, to actually vote in person. It's a hybrid model, actually."
  • "Again, folks including the president who have concerns about voter security, we all want to make sure that every vote counts, that every person gets to vote once. We've got checks and balances for all of that, Chris. Again, this is an iterative reality."

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Sep 18, 2020 - Politics & Policy

In photos: Virginians line up for hours on first day of early voting

A long line of voters wait to cast their ballots at the Fairfax County Government Center in Fairfax, Virginia, for the November presidential election on Friday, the first day of early voting in the state. Photo: John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images

In some parts of Virginia, people waited in line up to four hours to cast their ballots on the first day of early voting, according to the Washington Post.

The big picture: The COVID-19 pandemic seems to already have an impact on how people cast their votes this election season. As many as 80 million Americans are expected to vote early, by mail or in person, Tom Bonier, CEO of TargetSmart, a Democratic political data firm, told Axios in August.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court extends mail-in ballot deadline

An election worker opens envelopes containing vote-by-mail ballots in the Washington state primary. Photo: Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court Thursday extended the deadlines for mail ballots to several days after the election, a decision that could see thousands more ballots counted, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

The state of play: Current law says that mail-in ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day to be counted. The court decision moves that deadline to 5 p.m. the following Friday, Nov. 6.

Senate Republicans reject Trump claim that election results may "never" be known

Sen. Marco Rubio speaking with reporters in July. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Multiple Senate Republicans on Thursday disavowed President Trump's claim that the results of the 2020 election may remain unknown indefinitely, Politico reports.

Why it matters: Twitter flagged a tweet of the president's on Thursday as a potentially misleading statement after he said without evidence that because of mail-in ballots: "the Nov 3rd Election result may NEVER BE ACCURATELY DETERMINED, which is what some want."