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

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.

The “furthest from my polling station” voting award

In the coolest story of the week, NASA astronaut Kate Rubins voted from space. She is currently stationed on the International Space Station. In 1997, Congress passed a bill allowing voting from space. Who knew? We assume she had no “interference” from her Russian colleagues, Sergey 1 and Sergey 2 as they are affectionately referred to at NASA. A great story to share with your kids.

Liberal vote activist foundation, funds liberal vote activist foundation advisor

The Center for Tech and Civic Life is a leftist group claiming to use technology to “modernize” voting. Funded by liberal companies and run by self-identified progressive and Obama-affiliated staff, it is insinuating itself into elections. CTCL just gave Dallas County election administrator Toni Pippins-Poole $15 million for “voting operations” after Gov. Abbott wisely halted the liberal push for unsolicited mail-only ballots. Coincidentally, Ms. Pippins-Poole is also a CTCL advisor.

County Commissioner accused of using disability protections to cheat

All fraud stories are awful, but some are absolutely disgraceful. An elected Democrat official in Texas and his buddies have been charged with illegal ballot harvesting — getting “voters’ to pretend they were disabled and entitled to ADA guidelines. Let’s hope being charged with 130+ felonies is a warning to other fraudsters thinking about using important disability community protections as a scheme to steal votes.

“People who already sent their ballots in will be destroyed”

With above referenced Freudian slip, the Newyago county clerk notified local voters that, whoops, a (Republican appointed) judge was “left off” absentee ballots already mailed. However this oversight occurred, it will surely cause — at best — confusion for voters. “Didn’t I vote once already?” Just another example that mistakes can cause as much vote disruption as fraud. Vote In Person!

News

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.

Taking advantage of the homeless

Carlos Antonio De Bourbon Montenegro and Marcos Raul Arevalo of Los Angeles have been accused of requesting 8,000 ballots in the names of homeless people and setting up postal boxes to receive those ballots before completing and submitting them. This is what happens when a governor demands un-solicited ballots to be delivered wherever.