20-Year-Old Woman's Early Vote Will Not Count After Dying From Cancer

A 20-Year-Old Woman’s Early Vote Will Not Count After Dying From Cancer, State Will Throw Out Ballot

A 20-year old fighting bone cancer excitedly filled out her ballot last month, voting for the first time. Sadly, her vote won’t count on Election Day.

A few days after Amber Pflughoeft mailed her ballot, her condition deteriorated. She went back into the hospital and passed away in late September. 

Under Wisconsin law, her ballot will not be counted. According to the state Elections Commission data provided to CNN, Pflughoeft’s vote is one of several dozen that will be thrown away because the person died after voting early.

Amber’s mother, Tiffany Pflughoeft, says they had no idea her daughter’s vote wouldn’t be counted.

“She was so excited about it,” her mother said. “She died on a Monday, but on Saturday, when she could still talk, she was telling all the nurses and doctors, ‘I voted.'”

States differ on whether or not an early vote from a person who passes away before the election will be counted come Election Day. According to CNN, more than a dozen states do not count those votes, and at least a dozen states allow it, and other state’s policies are unclear.

For example, states that don’t count early ballots cast by voters who pass away before the election include Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures and state elections officials, states that do include Arizona, Florida, Georgia, and Ohio. A lot of these states are considered key swing states.

“One view is Election Day is Election Day, and if you aren’t with us on Election Day, your vote doesn’t count,” said Wendy Underhill, the director of elections and redistricting at the National Conference of State Legislatures. “The other is that if you’re in the early voting window, then your vote does count. States are going in both directions on that.”

This year, among the coronavirus pandemic, a record number of voters are voting early by ballot. With the country seeing a spike in coronavirus cases and deaths from the virus, voters in some states who pass away won’t have their vote counted. 

Donald Trump has falsely claimed that voter fraud will run rampant this election, especially concerning mail-in ballots. Trump has claimed there will be “fraud like you’ve never seen.”

However, many states that don’t count ballots cast by voters who pass away before the election regularly check death records to update their voter files and remove deceased voters. 

Courtesy Children’s Wisconsin

About ErinBoogie

Erin Boogie is a blogger for BallerAlert.com and producer/co-host of the weekly radio show In the Field Radio.

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