A state election report reveals a few thousand Oklahoma ballots received by county election offices did not count in last month’s primary election.
According to the report, more than 3.5% of mail-in ballots didn’t count in Oklahoma’s June primary election, an issue that could worsen with many more ballots expected to flood the postal service in November.
The absentee rejection summary shows 3,614 ballots were thrown out. Of those, more than 2,300 were not received by 7 p.m. on election day.
National experts said ballot tardiness may be a growing problem as more and more Americans vote by mail amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“We're going to see somewhere between probably 80- and 100-million voters receiving their ballot that way,” said Tammy Patrick, senior adviser for elections with the organization Democracy Fund.
The U.S. Postal Service recommends voters mail their return ballots at least one week prior to the due date.
But nearly half of all states, including Oklahoma, still allow voters to request ballots less than a week before the election.
The state election board said turning a ballot in late is one of the most common reasons a mail in ballot doesn’t get counted.