November Election Results May Be Delayed: Campaign Update

Final results for the November election could be delayed, an elections expert predicted Wednesday, citing the glitches that have marred recent primary votes with record numbers of absentee ballots.

An expected surge in absentee voting in November due to the coronavirus pandemic will cause delays in certifying races up and down the ballot, former New York State Board of Elections deputy director Joe Burns said in a conference call organized by the Lawyers Democracy Fund, a conservative group that works on elections issues.

In close races, that could mean a long wait to determine who won.

“Instead of these elections being called in a week or two, you could certainly see these going a month or longer potentially,” Burns said. “I think you’re going to see a lot of unhappy candidates, a lot of unhappy party leaders on both sides.”

He argued that increased use of vote-by-mail will also give election lawyers from both parties more of an opportunity to go through and challenge individual absentee ballots to try to get them thrown out.

Biden Edges Trump by 1 Point in Ohio Poll (2:38 p.m.)

Ohio remains one of the closest states on the 2020 Electoral College map as a new poll shows Joe Biden in a virtual tie with President Donald Trump in the state, leading 46% to 45%.

The 1-point edge is within the Quinnipiac University poll’s 2.9-point margin of error.

Trump continues to have the advantage on the economy, with Ohio voters saying he’d do a better job than Biden by a 10-point margin. But Ohioans favored Biden by 4 points on crisis management, 5 points on coronavirus response, 8 points on health care and 16 points on race relations.

In another indication of how close the state is, 42% of Ohio registered voters view Biden favorably, compared with 43% for Trump.

The poll of 1,139 registered voters was conducted June 18-22. -- Gregory Korte

Biden Names Team for Battleground Wisconsin (1:28 p.m.)

Joe Biden’s campaign rolled out its senior team in the battleground state of Wisconsin on Wednesday, announcing a roster of veterans of recent winning campaigns in the state.

Danielle Melfi, a former official in Governor Tony Evers’s administration and the director of political engagement for Senator Tammy Baldwin’s 2018 campaign, will lead operations as Wisconsin state director. Baldwin’s 2018 campaign manager, Scott Spector, will be a senior adviser.

The Biden campaign began announcing the leaders of its battleground state staff with the hiring of an Arizona state director and senior adviser last week. That was later than Democratic nominees have done their hiring in recent cycles, to the frustration of some party leaders in those states. Some Democrats said that while the delay isn’t catastrophic, they’re concerned by the campaign’s protracted hiring process and its effect on building a robust operation heading into the general election. Former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe made his own announcement of the state director at a party event last week.

Biden has also hired Garren Randolph, the Wisconsin Democratic Party’s political director, to be deputy state director in the state and Shirley Ellis, currently an adviser to the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee, will join Biden’s team after the convention as a strategic adviser.

State directors oversee the day-to-day running of the campaign and are key to executing its broader strategy. Even though Biden is leading President Donald Trump in national polls, vacancies at that level could make organizing difficult in competitive states. The campaign has promised to fill out its leadership ranks in battleground states by July 1. -- Jennifer Epstein

Coming Up:

The Democratic National Convention is scheduled for the week beginning Aug. 17 in Milwaukee, while the Republicans are slated to meet a week later with events in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Jacksonville, Florida.

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