Amid record early votes, a battle over ballots

Over ten million early votes may have already been cast for the November election -- and Dallas's American Airlines Center arena has been converted into the largest polling site the county has ever seen.

Toni Pippins-Poole is a Dallas County elections administrator.

"You know, they really don’t give you instructions on an elections during a pandemic."

The surge in early voting - both in-person and by mail - spurred by the fears of contracting the coronavirus has led to a record number of early ballots cast ahead of Election Day.

A study by the University of Florida's U.S. Elections Project estimates 10.4 million votes have already been cast... compare that with 1.4 million at this point in 2016.

Atlanta's State Farm Arena, home of the Hawks, opened on Monday (October 12) as the largest early polling site in the state.

And in battleground state Wisconsin, 20 percent of likely voters told a Reuters/Iposos poll they'd already cast ballots.

But the explosion in early voting comes as Republican President Donald Trump sows confusion and distrust of voting by mail and using ballot drop boxes, where voters can cast absentee ballots.

He's made repeated, unfounded allegations of widespread fraud ahead of his contest with Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

And Republicans and Democrats are battling over early ballots.

Texas's Republican governor won an Appeals Court victory Monday, when three Trump-appointed judges backed his order limiting ballot drop boxes to one per county - even in densely populated Democratic bastions such as Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio.

In California, the state Republican Party created it's own ballot drop boxes - with some falsely marked as "official"- prompting a cease-and-desist letter from the California Secretary of State and Attorney General.

"Unofficial, unauthorized, ballot drop-boxes are not permitted by state law."

The wave of early ballots and confusion over voting methods could slow counting. In make-or-break Florida, mailed ballots require extra verification... meaning results could take days, or even weeks.

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