Mandatory voting by mail threatens election integrity and voter security by increasing the potential for fraud, according to a report from the Honest Elections Project.
Mail-in voting would increase the potential for ballot fraud and likely cause a delay in election results, the report found. The Honest Elections Project is a nonpartisan organization that supports lawful voter rights and free and honest elections.
Switching to voting by mail would also call for new rules such as automatically mailing ballots to all registered voters and new procedures for processing registrations and ballots, the report said. If ballots are mailed automatically, ballots could go to wrong addresses, or to ineligible and deceased voters, while new procedures could overwhelm poll workers, causing delays and long wait times.
“If vote-by-mail were rushed into place this year by federal mandate or judicial intervention, the most likely outcome would be confusion, chaos, and disenfranchisement: millions of ballots sent to the wrong address, with some voters receiving multiple ballots and others perhaps receiving no ballot at all,” the report said.
The report cites four main problems with mail-in voting: changing the rules, the automatic mailing of ballots, voter verification laws and vote harvesting.
Voters in Michigan faced long waits after individuals were allowed to register to vote at the polls on election day, the report found. The delays were caused by unprepared poll workers who could not efficiently process registrations, absentee ballots along with the regular traffic from registered voters.
Automatically mailing ballots could result in fraud because states don’t always maintain accurate registration records, the report found. Illinois’ automatic voter registration system registered hundreds of noncitizens, some of who voted in 2018, according to the report.
Since mail-in voting doesn’t happen in a monitored environment like a polling place, ballots may be lost, tampered with or destroyed with little accountability, the report found.
Democratic legislators have argued that voting by mail is safer than traditional methods amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to the report.
Republicans and Democrats are split on the issue, the Daily Caller News Foundation previously reported. Republicans claim the initiative would increase fraud, though the method has not been proven to boost Democratic votes.
“The prospect of millions of unclaimed ballots in circulation–some of them going to entirely fictitious registrants–with few provisions in place to facilitate the detection and rejection of falsely cast ballots, would create significant new opportunities for fraud,” the report said.
Democratic California Sen. Nancy Pelosi proposed a $3.6 billion “Vote at Home” bill to allow voters to vote from home since in-person voting poses health risks, the Daily Caller reported.
“This becomes a health issue, as we saw in Wisconsin, standing in those lines for that amount of time, going to places that are enclosed, is dangerous to your health. And again, vote by mail is more democratic. It gives people more options. It removes obstacles and barriers to voting, which is what we want to do,” Pelosi said, the Daily Caller reported.