House Dems Launch Probe Into Voting Preparedness In Four Battleground States

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., speaks during a House Judiciary Committee markup of the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, Pool)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 11: Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) (Photo by Jose Luis Magana-Pool/Getty Images)

House committee chairs sent out a letter Friday requesting information from four battleground states about their preparedness for November’s elections.

Committee on House Administration Chair Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis Chairman James Clyburn (D-SC) requested the information from elections officials in Florida, Georgia, Texas and Wisconsin.

“No voter should be forced to wait for hours in line or risk their health to exercise their constitutionally protected right to vote,” they wrote wrote. “Election administrators can prevent these unacceptable outcomes by following [CDC] recommendations and offering adequate early voting, sufficient polling locations and hours, and mail-in or absentee voting options. Officials must plan now to avoid the last-minute consolidation or closure of polling sites, long lines, and shortages of poll workers.”

They said that they selected the states due to their poor performance in the primaries when it came to extremely long lines or a scarcity of polling places.

The Wisconsin primaries in particular became emblematic of an election day spun into chaos by the pandemic. A last minute state Supreme Court decision kept the in-person voting going ahead as planned, despite the COVID-19 outbreak. An eleventh hour Supreme Court decision also cast doubt on which postmarks could be counted on absentee ballots, adding more confusion to a primary that was already under-staffed with too few polls. Dozens of voters were infected from their election day activities.

The chairs are requesting the information by August 26 to ensure that polling places are sufficiently staffed and that enough polls are open across the states.

The four letters are similar; read the Wisconsin one here:

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest News
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: