US election problems are heating up with the November 3 presidential election just around the corner.
A North Carolina woman was ready to cast her vote but got the surprise of her life when she was told that she could not vote in the 2020 US election. The reason, she was already dead, at least, on the voter's list.
As she had done countless times before in previous elections, Maryann Leonard, from High Point, headed to the Deep River Recreation Center to place her vote.
She was surprised this year when the polling station workers said she was "ineligible" to participate.
"I said, 'I can't imagine why.' [The ballot assistant] said, 'Let me find out.' Then she told me, 'It says you're dead."
Leonard and her husband Pat had been casting their votes in the facility every two years.
However, this 2020 US election, the spouses got concerned. The Leonards were "flabbergasted," according to Pat, her husband, who found "voter fraud," a potential cause as to why the ballot for his wife had gone haywire.
"Oh, my goodness. This is a year when so much is going on. So much has happened and so many people have died," Maryann Leonard stated.
To sort out the problem, the Leonard couple went directly to the state and county electoral boards. It was a clear issue of a clerical mistake, a name mixed up with another woman with an identical name and birthday, they were assured.
"It's just a warning to people to be cautious," Pat had said. "If you're mailing in your vote, you would never know this," Maryann added.
"You don't want to go on Election Day and find out that you're not eligible for election," Pat continued.
As the 2020 US election draws near, photos of long queues of registered voters were praised and questioned as proof of a rusting election system.
In 44 states, there have been reportedly over 300 lawsuits on how absentee ballots are tallied, who is eligible to vote earlier, and also how mail-in ballots are received.
Republican-run governments argue that to keep tabs on vote-rigging, measures are needed, whereas Democrats say these are efforts to prevent citizens from exercising their civil rights.
The pandemic that has contributed to a national shortage of election staff and less in-person voting booths has heightened some of those challenges.
"People are having to jump through an extra series of hoops just to participate," Andrea Hailey, CEO of vote.org, cautioned.
As per a survey conducted by the Democracy Fund & UCLA Nationscape project, 37 percent of voters are contemplating postal voting this year during the coronavirus outbreak. Postal votes enable people to maintain social distance.
Trump has previously stated via Twitter that bribery may be facilitated by postal voting. In August, the president tweeted, "So now the Democrats are using mail drop boxes, which are a voter-security disaster."