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Trump campaign wants to intervene in absentee ballot lawsuit

September 2, 2020 GMT

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee want to intervene in a lawsuit by the American Federation of Teachers challenging New Hampshire’s voting procedures during the coronavirus pandemic.

New Hampshire Public Radio reports the union sued to force New Hampshire to extend its deadline for accepting absentee ballots by mail; to cover absentee ballot postage costs; to allow wider use of absentee ballot dropboxes; and to permit third-party groups to return absentee ballots on voters’ behalf. Similar lawsuits have been filed in other states.

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The lawsuit is focused on the November election. The AFT says the changes are necessary to ensure as many people as possible can safely participate.

State officials say changing the rules now would only create more problems.

“What the plaintiffs want in this case is judicial rewriting of most or a substantial portion of our absentee ballot laws,” Assistant Attorney General Anthony Galdieri told a judge during a virtual hearing Tuesday. “And the state has exceptional concerns that that’s going to create voter confusion, it’s going to create election official confusion and it has the potential to result in the disenfranchisement of voters.”

In New Hampshire, absentee ballots sent by mail must arrive by 5 p.m. on Election Day to be counted.

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THE NUMBERS

As of Wednesday, 7,309 people had tested positive for the virus in New Hampshire, an increase of 15 from the previous day. The number of deaths remained at 432. The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in New Hampshire decreased over the past two weeks, going from 22 new cases per day on Aug. 18 to 21 new cases per day on Sept. 1.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia or death.