The number of rejected ballots is likely to be around 1 Million, and that can perhaps be the deciding factor in the fight between Trump and Joe Biden. Having said that, it is also likely to be the prime concern of focus even after the polls – no matter who wins. The latest investigation from USA Today has indicated this possibility.
In fact, in any election, hundreds or thousands of ballots are rejected for one or the other reason. A few of the scenarios where the ballots are rejected include the open envelopes, invalid entries and improper postmarks. A few other reasons for the absentee ballots to get rejected would consist of the ballots that arrive with no voter signature, no match in the signature and even posting the ballots in an unofficial envelope.
The Amherst College law professor Lawrence Douglas puts it in straight words,
The six states that would vote by mail would be largely affecting the final outcome, and a wide range of these effects would be based on how many votes will be rejected in this election. The six states in question would be Florida, North Carolina, and Arizona in the Sun Belt and Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin in the Rust Belt.
The states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania had recorded a huge rejection of over 60000 votes during the primaries held previously this year. Given the pandemic situation, a considerably huge number of voters will vote absentee this time and given the example of these three stats alone can have a huge impact on the final outcome of the presidential election.
And yes, this has nothing to do with the intentional rejection of votes and any such actions. Absentee Ballot is a very complicated process, and not every voter is likely to have a good understanding of the concept. It would just take simple and inadvertent mistakes on the part of the voter to make the ballots go ineligible. Maybe even the well-educated voter may make the mistakes and render his or her vote ineligible.
Finally, the local rejections are likely to be the deciding factor when it comes to the next presidency. The impact is expected to be high among the minorities and low-income groups.
You can find more about the investigation from USA today here.