Editor’s note: We endeavor to bring you the top voices on current events representing a range of perspectives. Below is a column arguing that mail-in voting is far too open for fraud and abuse to be a reliable method of conducting the November election. You can find a counterpoint here, where Charles Kolb, former Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy from 1990-1992, argues that the U.S. should make every effort to create an efficient mail-in voting system by November 3.
Democrat spokesmen, including Fox News analyst Juan Williams, like to confuse viewers about mail-in ballots.
They want us to believe that the efforts by California, Nevada and other states to mail ballots to all registered voters are no different from the absentee ballots used almost universally across the country for decades.
As Williams said recently, “They are the same thing!”
Virtually every commentator on CNN, MSNBC and the major networks has made similar comments, as have many Democrat members of Congress.
But there is a huge difference, and that is what prompted President Trump to reassure voters in Florida, which has a tried and true absentee ballot system in place, to feel comfortable this year voting by mail, and to sue Nevada to stop its plan to mail ballots to all voters.
Absentee ballot systems require voters to personally request that their supervisor of elections send them a ballot. Voters put the completed ballot into a blank envelope that they enclose in a second envelope, which they must sign. Voting officials then compare the signature on the outside of the ballot to the signature on record and often reject ballots when they do not match.
In addition, when a voter requests an absentee ballot, it will often trigger an alert in the state’s voter database if that voter shows up to vote in person during early voting or on election day. That is a protection against double-voting.
In the universal mail-in ballot system proposed by California and Nevada, and which Democrats want to impose nationwide in an election less than three months away, actual ballots – not ballot applications – are mailed to everyone on the voter rolls.
That is an open invitation to fraud, especially in states and counties with “dirty” voter rolls. Imagine mailing driver’s licenses to every resident over the age of 18 regardless of whether they had applied for one or their criminal status.
A January 2020 report by Judicial Watch found 378 counties across America had more registered voters than citizens of voting age. Judicial Watch successfully sued Los Angeles County in 2019, requiring them to remove 1.5 million people from the voter rolls because they had either moved out of the jurisdiction or were deceased.
That’s the scale of the fraud the president is worried about.
Under the Democrats’ mail-in ballot scheme, all registered voters would receive a ballot, whether they are dead or alive or still live in the jurisdiction. Who will actually cast those ballots? The answer is, we don’t know.
It’s easy to imagine all kinds of scenarios where Democrat activists “harvest” ballots sent to deceased persons in nursing homes, thanks to unionized health care workers, and where election workers provide them with signature pages from the poll books.
In my new book, The Election Heist, I warn about ballot harvesting, as well as the risk of “snow birds” double-voting in Florida and other states.
Double registration has been a constant problem in many states and prompted the federal government starting in 2014 to encourage states to join the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), a non-profit that allows supervisors of elections to check their poll books against other states to identify duplicate voters.
But not all states have joined, and in some that have – including Florida – Democrat legislators have blocked appropriations to counties to pay the substantial membership fee.
Just as with Democrat party efforts to block voter ID laws across the country, there is only one reason why Democrat legislators would block funding for ERIC, and that is to strip away safeguards preventing voter fraud.
Because for Democrats, voter fraud is a myth. As Juan Williams proclaimed just this week in relation to mail-in ballots, “there’s been no evidence of any kind of fraud anywhere.” Ever.
Thankfully, the Heritage Foundation has compiled an online database of 1,088 recent cases of voter fraud, leading to 949 criminal convictions and several overturned elections the courts attributed to a variety of voter fraud schemes.
For example, in 2004, the Supreme Court of Alabama “overturned the mayoral election results for the City of Guntersville, Alabama after finding that absentee ballots cast without proper identification should have been excluded,” Heritage found.
Since then, Alabama courts have convicted another dozen people for absentee ballot fraud and overturned the results of a second election, this time in a 2017 city council race, because of fraudulent absentee ballots.
Often, the fraud occurs in contested Democrat party primaries, such as the one in East Chicago, Indiana in 2003. “Fraud in this 2003 mayoral primary was widespread, and the Indiana Supreme Court ultimately overturned the election results and ordered a special election that resulted in a different winner,” Heritage found.
In 2020 alone, U.S. courts have successfully prosecuted nine people in five states on various voter fraud charges, according to the Heritage database. In 2019, courts prosecuted 31 people in 13 states.
And in case you are thinking that’s a pretty small number of cases given the size of country, remember this: each one of these cases involves a grand jury, a federal prosecutor, government investigators, witnesses, and evidence, and all of this in a federal criminal justice system that does not view voter fraud as “sexy” or worthy of prosecution.
The president is absolutely right to be concerned about election fraud.
NY Times best-selling author Kenneth R. Timmerman is the author of The Election Heist and other books. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace prize in 2006.