Absentee / Mail-in Voting

All states have some form of absentee or mail-in voting due to federal requirements. These voters normally include military and overseas citizens, voters with disabilities and students who reside in a different state. For example, absentee or mail-in ballots are sent to these military and overseas voters 45 days prior to federal elections. However, absentee or mail-in voting is often limited by states to a number of valid excuses based on age, absentee status or an inability to vote on Election Day.

Some states have a greater number of reasons and valid excuses to vote absentee ballots by mail or in-person in an election office. A number of states have no-excuse absentee or mail voting. Lastly, a number of states have implemented an entire method of mail-in balloting that includes return of ballots to secure boxes or by postal mail. Oregon instituted an all-mail-in balloting system in 1998 and other states like Washington and Colorado have instituted similar all mail ballot methods of voting.

Mail-in and absentee balloting provides certain vulnerabilities to the electoral system:

  • One stated general purpose for no-excuse absentee or mail ballot voting is to increase convenience and reduce long lines on Election Day. However, “Election Day” has become “Election Month,” which has increased the overall costs of election administration. County election offices that must process a large number of mailed ballots will experience significant delays in releasing official election results. A month or more of voting dramatically increases the overall costs to political campaigns for poll watching and get-out-the-vote efforts prior to Election Day.
  • Mail-in ballots are not cast in the secure polling place where precinct poll workers can confirm addresses and verify identification. A great deal of voter fraud and abuse of absentee and mail-in ballots has been documented across the country. Absentee or mail-in balloting may spur a short-term increase in turnout in local elections; however, there is no evidence that voting by mail increases overall turnout for the long term in general elections.
  • Absentee or mail-in balloting requires the use of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to transmit and return the ballot. This often causes delays to the election office. Citizens in states that use mail-in ballots often authorize the return of ballots to secure mail boxes that voters can use if they distrust the postal service.

A number of states authorize or require in-person absentee voting with verification by voter ID, and some states require a voter ID at the time of absentee or mail-in ballot request or return.

Alternatively, many states that allow absentee or mail-in voting use signature comparison to verify the identity of the voter. Many believe that signature verification is error-prone and not uniformly implemented by election officials across the country. While signature verification does catch a small percentage of invalid ballots or voter fraud, the system often fails to identify a great many irregularities associated with absentee or mail-in voting. Alternatively, many argue that signature verification routinely disenfranchises thousands of voters when it is used to ferret out an invalid signature.

ACRU Commentary

American Constitutional Rights Union Celebrates SCOTUS Decision Protecting Election Integrity

The American Constitutional Rights Union (ACRU) applauds a 6-3 ruling of the Supreme Court re-affirming states’ authority to manage their own elections and protect the integrity of their residents’ most fundamental right — voting.  ACRU submitted an amicus brief in support of Arizona’s voting integrity measures. “Free and fair elections is a fundamental principle we must protect,” notes ACRU President Lori Roman. “Why does the left continue to oppose the basic election integrity tenet of ‘Easy to vote, hard to cheat?’ We’re pleased the Supreme Court has taken a stand to preserve one of our most fundamental rights.”

ACRU’s Blackwell: How low will Democrats go on pushing Jim Crow narrative?

Many on the left claim that voting integrity measures, such as voter ID, are throwbacks to the Jim Crow era. Since Jim Crow laws were enacted by Southern Democrats to force racial segregation and block economic and political power among Black Americans, Democrats should know their current claims are preposterous. As the old saying goes, “they have a lot of nerve.”

ACRU’s Blackwell: Goodbye, Election Day. Hello Corrupt Politicians Act

A notorious bill moving through Congress – H.R. 1 – contains a swarm of bad ideas. But little noticed is a provision that makes Election Day obsolete. We’ve lost so many unifying cultural events that bring Americans together, it is no surprise that H.R.1 not only would start the election weeks earlier, but also prolong the election well after Election Day.

Is postal incompetence or deliberate malfeasance responsible for missing votes?

Sometimes ballots magically appear, and sometimes they magically disappear. According to hundreds of GOP voters in the Keystone State, they requested and returned mail ballots, but their votes are not registered on state databases. This was discovered by a small sampling by a vote integrity task force, leading us to wonder how many other missing votes remain missing.

News

American Constitutional Rights Union Celebrates SCOTUS Decision Protecting Election Integrity

The American Constitutional Rights Union (ACRU) applauds a 6-3 ruling of the Supreme Court re-affirming states’ authority to manage their own elections and protect the integrity of their residents’ most fundamental right — voting.  ACRU submitted an amicus brief in support of Arizona’s voting integrity measures. “Free and fair elections is a fundamental principle we must protect,” notes ACRU President Lori Roman. “Why does the left continue to oppose the basic election integrity tenet of ‘Easy to vote, hard to cheat?’ We’re pleased the Supreme Court has taken a stand to preserve one of our most fundamental rights.”