A record number of Americans are expected to vote by mail this November due to the COVID- 19 pandemic. As states mail out ballots in bulk, President Trump has raised concerns about the potential for mass voter fraud.
Both state and local leaders are encouraging voters to cast their ballot by mail. It will help reduce crowds at polling places and help prevent the spread of COVID-19. But some feel this creates a new opportunity to commit fraud.
Each state offers mail-in absentee voting, though one-third requires an excuse for voting by mail. In some states, a ballot is automatically mailed to every eligible voter, which the President is warning against.
"The biggest threat to this election is these unsolicited ballots sent out by the millions," Trump said.
Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, and Utah conduct elections entirely by mail, though voters can still vote in person if they choose, and according to polling, 46 percent of registered voters prefer it.
Right now, five states conduct elections entirely by mail prior to the pandemic with no major cases of fraud. Does that success not give the president confidence in mail-in voting?," CBN News asked during a press briefing with White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Sept. 24.
"So those states have had time. A history of having a workable system and one that has been done for many years for many election cycles," McEnany answered. "To move the entire country to mass mail-in voting all at once and have an entirely new system and do that in just a few short months is an untenable and unworkable proposition and one that is shown to not work well at all."
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Not all mail-in ballots will be counted by Election Day. For some states, it could take days, a week, or even longer to tally the final results. Massachusetts, Mississippi, and Maryland do not permit the processing of mailed ballots until after the polls close on Election Day.
This has prompted many to call for voting to be done in person.
"Line spacing, wearing masks, sanitation stations inside and out," said the Heritage Foundation's Hans Von Spakovsky. If they do that you can vote safely in person. So I think this rush to vote by mail is unwise and not a good idea."
According to data from the Election Assistance Commission, some 28 million mail-in ballots went missing in the four elections held between 2012 and 2018.
During a recent interview with Donald Palmer, vice-chair of the US Election Assistance Commission, CBN News asked if that a cause for concern.
"Well, it could be a cause for concern for voters because they want to know if they send their ballot or request their ballot where is it?" Palmer replied. "So there are many states and counties that provide ballot tracking for the voters."
Investigations show voter fraud does exist with recent cases in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, California, Illinois, and at least six other states as well.
"They can make forgeries of these ballots. They can do things that will blow your mind. And the Democrats know it's wrong. They know it's going to end up being a disaster," Trump said.
Security measures to protect mail-in voting include hand-marked paper ballots. Thirty-one states conduct signature verification and eight states require a witness signature in addition to the voter's signature
"We want to have clean and fair elections," Palmer said. "The bigger issue is that ballots may not be counted because of some error on the part of voters or the Postal Service doesn't get the ballot back in time."
Palmer recommends people start voting by mail or absentee early. You can also call your local election office to make sure they received their ballot.