Some States Still Have Days to Count Absentee Military Ballots

Posted: Nov 04, 2020 2:17 PM
Some States Still Have Days to Count Absentee Military Ballots

Source: AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Apart from some swampy generals, President Trump enjoys widespread support among the U.S. military. And in the battleground states of Pennsylvania and North Carolina, absentee military ballots are continuing to pour in.  

In 2016, just over 7,000 absentee ballots came in from U.S. servicemembers. In Pennsylvania, the number was over 8,000. And in Arizona, more than 4,600 servicemembers voted absentee in 2016. 

As reporter Tara Copp notes, the number will likely be significantly higher in 2020 as more voters requested absentee ballots and voter turnout is way up overall. 

Granted the numbers aren't huge, but in an extremely tight race with razor-thin margins, thousands of late military votes breaking for Trump could help push the president into a second term. 

(Via the Sacramento Bee

As of noon Wednesday, the state was reporting that 34,491 military and civilian absentee ballots had been requested for the 2020 race, and 24,013 had already been returned. That compares to a total of 30,184 military and civilian ballots being requested in 2016, and 22,908 being returned.

Both types of ballots, for military personnel and civilians living overseas, are protected under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act to give their ballots time to arrive. While Pennsylvania allows those ballots to arrive through Nov. 10, other states set different deadlines.

A breakdown was not immediately available for how many of Pennsylvania’s absentee votes were military or civilian.


In North Carolina, 14,550 service members requested military absentee ballots, and as of Wednesday morning, 9,750 had been returned, North Carolina’s elections division data analyst Caroline Myrick said in a statement.

In Wisconsin and Michigan, the ballots must be received by Election Day to be counted. The ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 2 or earlier to be counted in Wisconsin. But in Pennsylvania, military ballots can be received until Nov. 10. And in North Carolina, servicemembers have until Nov. 12 to get them in. Georgia's deadline is Nov. 6.

One thing is certain: the presidential race will be hotly contested and legal challenges will likely drag the results out for a period of time. The Trump team has already announced their intention of asking for a recount in the state of Wisconsin and more legal challenges are expected. 

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