Skip to comments.FLASHBACK (NBC, 2021 Story): The real vote-fraud opportunity has arrived: casting your ballot by mail
Posted on 12/06/2022 7:05:30 AM PST by TigerClaws
In the partisan controversies over changes in voter eligibility and voter ID requirements, the growth of mail voting and no-excuse absentee voting have received little attention. While voter-impersonation fraud at the polls is nearly unheard of, both sides in the voter fraud debate acknowledge that absentee ballots are susceptible to fraud.
Early voting has begun, and more Americans than ever are expected to vote by mail this fall in the presidential, state and local elections. A gradual loosening of absentee voting laws in many states, especially in the West, and universal mail voting in Oregon and Washington have contributed to a significant shift in how Americans vote.
In 1972, less than 5 percent of American voters used absentee ballots, according to census data. By 2010, almost 16 percent of votes cast in the 2010 general election were absentee ballots, and nearly 5 percent more were mail ballots, according to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission's Election Administration and Voting Survey. If in-person early voters are counted, nearly 30 percent of the voters in 2010 did not go to the polls on Election Day.
"By 2016, casting a ballot in a traditional polling place will be a choice rather than a requirement," said Doug Chapin, a University of Minnesota researcher and director of the Program for Excellence in Election Administration. "There will still be people who go to the polling place because it's familiar, it's convenient, it's traditional. I think there will be fewer of those places."
More susceptible to fraud Election fraud is rare, but it usually involves absentee or mail ballots, said Paul Gronke, a Reed College political scientist, who directs the Early Voting Information Center in Oregon. He cites what he calls a classic example of election fraud, a local official stealing votes by filling out absentee ballots. That was the case in Lincoln County, W.Va., where the sheriff and clerk pleaded guilty to distributing absentee ballots to unqualified voters and helping mark them during a 2010 Democratic primary.
Curtis Gans, director of the Center for the Study of the American Electorate, said vote-buying and bribery could occur more easily with mail voting and absentee voting. At a polling place, someone who bribed voters would have no way to verify that the bribe worked. A person who bribes mail voters could watch as they mark ballots or even mark ballots for them.
Gans also points to the potential to influence voters in gatherings that some call ballot-signing parties. A caregiver could mark a dependent's ballot.
"All the other types of fraud are essentially hard to do and easy to defend against," Gans said. "This isn't."
Putting a ballot inside an envelope and sealing it inside another envelope for mailing stirs skepticism, though. Election officials, political scientists and voters have concerns. They doubt that mailed ballots can be secure. They question whether forces beyond voters' control — smudges that disqualify ballots and breakdowns in keeping track of ballots, for example — will disallow votes. And some want to preserve Election Day traditions.
Gronke said that he hasn't seen evidence that bribes and coercion increase when voters use the mail. And ballot parties can allow people to discuss and make informed choices, he said, without pressuring their vote.
Those who have argued for stronger election security also say the mail could allow coercion by an abusive spouse; Gronke said he sees little evidence of that.
A Western phenomenon Changes have occurred gradually to absentee voting, which began as a service to Union and Confederate soldiers during the Civil War and spread to civilians state by state.
Few paid attention when California extended absentee voting to anyone on request in 1978. The Los Angeles Times referred to a "little-noticed law" that eliminated the need to list a reason to get an absentee ballot. In the 2010 election, 40.3 percent of Californians voted absentee, according to Election Assistance Commission data.
Now, 27 states and the District of Columbia offer no-excuse absentee voting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Many states have dropped notary and witness requirements for all absentee voters. Some have permanent absentee lists to automatically send ballots to voters in every election, a de facto vote-by-mail system.
Most states have opted for a mixture, offering some combination of no-excuse absentee voting, early voting, mail voting and Election Day voting. These categories often blur and overlap. A voter might drop off a ballot in person instead of mailing it, for example.
"It has to do almost entirely with voter convenience," said Jennifer Drage Bowser, a senior fellow at the National Conference of State Legislatures. "The more options there are outside the traditional polling place, the more voters like it."
The Obama campaign in 2008 received 59 percent of the early votes nationwide, according to a Washington Post-ABC News tracking poll. The Post reported, "For years, the profile of the early voter closely conformed to the characteristics of Republicans: older, white, more ideological and better informed about politics. ... But Obama turned the conventional wisdom on its head in 2008, drawing out vast numbers of African Americans to vote early in person, especially in southeastern states such as Florida. Many were organized by church to vote on the final Sunday before Election Day."
Western states have the highest levels of absentee voting, according to the Election Administration and Voting Survey. Those levels reached almost 70 percent in Colorado and 61 percent in Arizona, according to the survey. In 13 states, more than 20 percent of voters used absentee ballots.
All Washington and Oregon elections are conducted statewide by mail. In Washington, each county still maintains at least one voting center. In Oregon, each County Elections Office provides privacy booths for those who want to vote in person or need assistance.
(Posted as VANITY as it is a FLASHBACK story from 2012.)
It has to do almost entirely with democrat convenience.
If you are not checking IDs how can this claim be even made?
2012, but typoed.
RINO-controlled legislatures chose to do nothing in 2020 because they knew cheat-by-mail-ins was the only way Trump could be beaten. They did nothing from 2020 to 2022 because they were being primaried by infuriated MAGA voters, and they were again happy to allow cheating against MAGA in the Mid-Terms and then blame the defeats on "bad, far right-wing candidates."
France doesn’t allow anything but in-person voting, 1 day only.
“Otherwise it’s too easy to cheat.’
“While voter-impersonation fraud at the polls is nearly unheard of,
If you are not checking IDs how can this claim be even made?”
It’s actually easy to have in-person voting with ID check, and it goes very fast. GA does it, and Fed courts have upheld it.
They scanned the bar code on the back of my driver’s license with one of those handheld scanners, a page popped out of the printer with name, address, etc and I signed it. I then got the computer card to unlock the voting machine in the next room.
Now, the state legislatures have to do their job and make an effort to pass laws to require ID, but it’s not a problem legally if they do it right. ‘
Libs will moan and groan, Big Mama Abrams and lib groups filed a lawsuit in GA about voter ID, mail-in ballot procedures etc, which quickly got rejected by the courts.
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