Voters in Georgia, where President Donald Trump leads by around 19,000 votes, may seek to “cure” their mailed ballots if initially rejected, a process that affords voters the opportunity to resolve an issue with a problem ballot and get it counted.
Ballot “curing,” or remediation, is allowed in over a dozen states and it can fix such problems as a forgotten signature or one that does not match the voter registration on file. Georgia law requires the state to notify voters if their ballots have been rejected, according to Georgia’s state website.
Ballot curing in Georgia requires providing documents to the county registrar by email or fax, or presenting originals in person, typically a valid photo identification and, possibly, a signed form indicating voter eligibility. Voters in the state have a three-day window in which to fix problem ballots.
The issue of ballot remediation has come into the spotlight amid a bitter race for the White House that is still too close to call. Trump has repeatedly claimed mail-in ballots, in contrast to votes cast in person, are more prone to fraud.
Republicans have filed several lawsuits to block ballot curing in Pennsylvania, while Democrats have called for volunteers to help with ballot curing efforts in Georgia and other states.
In Pennsylvania’s Montgomery County, election officials contacted voters directly about problem ballots, with WPVI reporting that 49 ballots were consequently fixed.
“That’s absolutely prohibited under Pennsylvania law, there’s no way to do that. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania recognized that in the case, that’s the leading case in Pennsylvania, that’s now up in the U.S. Supreme Court,” said attorney Tom King, who is suing Pennsylvania’s Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar on behalf of Republican candidates.
“The Pennsylvania Supreme Court stated that, ‘mail-in or absentee voters are not provided any opportunity to cure perceived defects in a timely manner'” and ballot remediation “creates a high risk of jeopardizing the integrity of the Nov. 3, 2020 general election,” the lawsuit states, according to the outlet.
Boockvar would not comment on active litigation, but told WPVI: “We will make sure every vote is counted. Every eligible voter has the right to cast their vote.”
Ben Hovland, the chair of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and a Trump-appointed Democrat, told Propublica that, “the cure process is simply part of counting, as it always has been, and we need to allow the professionals to finalize the count and certify the results.”