TRUMP SAYS ABSENTEE VOTING SAFER THAN UNIVERSAL MAIL-IN DUE TO ‘PROCESS’ INVOLVED, FOLLOWING NJ ARRESTS IN FRAUD SCANDAL
“At the very least, mailing ballots to every registration on file – knowing that a significant number of registrations are erroneous or outdated – is a significant waste of scarce resources,” the report says, noting a recent estimate from Clark County, Nevada predicted it might cost at the least $323,000 to mail ballots to inactive registrants.
When ballots were sent to inactive voters in Nevada’s May primary, ballots were found piled up in post office trays, outside apartment complexes, and on community bulletin boards in and around Las Vegas. One report said ballots were even within a trash can.
“Taxpayers’ dollars are literally being thrown away because of ill-conceived vote-by-mail schemes,” the Honest Elections Project report says.
In addition to the waste of money, the group warns that fraud is a real concern, citing past examples of how mailed ballots have been used improperly, such as for example voting on behalf of dead people or submitting votes in multiple states in exactly the same election.
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Earlier this year around 800 ballots were disqualified in Paterson, N.J., after hundreds of ballots were within the mail bundled together, despite a situation law forbidding anyone from handling or sending significantly more than three mail-in ballots together. Several individuals – including a councilman-elect – are now facing criminal prices for alleged election fraud.
This was the first time New Jersey had done an all mail-in election, and the Honest Election Project warns that any state attempting an all new system with November’s presidential election is putting itself in danger for complications, fraudulent or else. While some states have mail-in voting, Washington State Secretary of State Kim Wyman told The New York Times in April that while her state has security measures in place to stop and punish voter fraud, hers is really a system that is developed within the course of a years-long process.
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Wyman said it absolutely was unlikely that national mail-in voting will be feasible this November.
“You can’t just flip a switch and go from real low absentee ballots to 100 percent vote-by-mail,” she told the Times.
Democrats are accusing Republicans of wanting to suppress votes by requiring in-person voting during a pandemic, claiming that such a move would force voters to decide on between exercising their rights and protecting their health.
The Honest Elections Project shows that this won’t have to be an either/or situation if proper measures are taken. This would include expanding absentee voting for susceptible populations, sending applications for mail-in ballots which would at the least require individuals to provide information that is personal to confirm their identities just before receiving ballots, and social distancing measures for in-person voting.
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The Project’s director Jason Snead said that recent incidents support the findings of a commission from 15 years back that warned of the issues posed by mail-in voting.
“In 2005 former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker co-chaired a commission on election reform that found serious problems and risks with mail-in voting. Today in 2020, four people – including a sitting city councilman and a councilman-elect – face criminal prices for trying to rig an all-mail election in Paterson, New Jersey,” Snead said in a statement.
He added: “Automatically mailing ballots, weakening election safeguards, and trying to impose a national mail-in election on an entire country in four months is a recipe for disaster. We need to ensure it is easy and safe to vote this November, but not at the expense of the credibility of our democracy.”