Uncalled Races in CA & NY Illustrate Issues With Mail-In Voting

More than 2 weeks after Election Day, seven congressional races are still uncalled in New York and California. These issues are a result of the dramatic expansion of mail voting in these states. Committee on House Administration Ranking Member Rodney Davis released a statement about the current state of the races:

"It is ridiculous that California and New York are still counting more than two weeks after an election,” said Davis. “We’ve had election observers in many of these districts and what they’re witnessing is the state’s failure to run efficient elections. In California’s case, it’s the Secretary of State’s decision to mail live ballots to decades-old voter rolls. In New York, it’s the state increasing mail-in voting without making the other changes needed to ensure election officials can count these votes in a timely manner. I understand that this year was unprecedented, but the people of California and New York deserve a better process."

As reported by CNN:

New York remains home to some of the country's most byzantine voting laws and procedures. Its painfully slow and, in some localities, oddly staggered approach to counting votes means the results of a number of US House and key state Senate and Assembly races remain unknown.

"It's embarrassing," said state Sen. Michael Gianaris, the Democratic deputy majority leader. "And if we were a swing state in this presidential election, this would be a national scandal."

Ranking Member Davis' press release  further explained:

New York does not start processing any absentee ballots until at least 7 days after Election Day, which is a major issue when you have five times the number of absentee ballot requests than in past years.

Concerning California, the press release explained:

California mailed a live ballot to every registered voter in the state despite voter rolls that have not been meaningfully updated for at least 20 years. This, coupled with ballot harvesting, makes it difficult to know the number of outstanding ballots and to confirm the chain of custody. As late as September 2020, California’s Secretary of State Alex Padilla could not confirm whether they had updated their voter rolls as required by law and again by the courts. 

The problems with certifying congressional races in New York and California are just the latest in a long line of election administration issues that took place during the 2020 election cycle.

The House Administration Committee Republicans led by Ranking Member Davis should be applauded for their efforts to ensure the integrity of the 2020 election cycle. Their recommendations are crucial moving forward to make changes to the election system that will make it more efficient and secure, which in turn increases public confidence in the process.