House Hearing on Elections Takes Place Amid Primary Elections Concerns

On Tuesday, June 3rd, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties held a hearing on elections just one day after primaries in 8 states and the District of Columbia were fraught with difficulties due to unrest over the death of George Floyd and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last week, both Indiana and New Mexico reported confusion over vote by mail deadlines that could result in thousands of ballots not being counted.

In the District of Columbia, only 20 voting centers were open on Tuesday when normal years have over 140 centers open. In-person voting had still not wrapped up at 7:30 p.m. when the city’s curfew went into effect due to rioting. Furthermore, there were reports that hundreds of voters failed to receive the mail-in ballots that they requested. Councilmember Elissa Silverman reported that over 380 constituents had contacted her about the issue. At the last minute on Election Day, some were told that they could vote by email.

Voters in Maryland and Rhode Island also reported that they never received their mail-in ballots.

Despite the widespread chaos on Election Day, Democratic lawmakers barely acknowledged the problems at Tuesday’s hearing. Republican lawmakers continue to advocate for giving states the authority to determine their election laws, while Democrats are supportive of a problematic one-size-fits-all approach that would be burdensome to states and cause concern for election integrity.



Georgia, Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina, and West Virginia are the next set of states to hold elections on Tuesday, June 9th.