New report finds string of ballot mishaps confirms fears of large-scale mail-in voting
The Honest Elections Project is warning that recent events unfolding in states throughout the country have confirmed their fears that November’s election will be mired in controversy because states changed their voting procedures without adequate time to develop a workable system.
The group had warned in a July report that large-scale voting by mail would waste resources, create a risk of complications, such as fraud.
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“Almost everything we warned of, happened in multiple states throughout the primaries,” a new addendum to the report says. “Rather than learn from these mistakes, many states are repeating them.”
The addendum points to lawsuits filed by liberal groups to force states into changing ballot deadlines that could result in late ballots being counted, and counting others that could otherwise be invalid. One such case is awaiting a decision by the Supreme Court.
Groups are also challenging election security laws such as witness requirements and prohibitions on ballot harvesting, which the Honest Elections Project claims could result in confusion and a lack of confidence in the election results.
“Uncertainty and last-minute rules changes amplify the risk of delay and post-election litigation that could drag on for weeks, cast doubt on the election’s outcome, and possibly force states to miss the deadline to participate in the Electoral College, disenfranchising millions,” the group said.
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The organization also expressed concern that the sheer number of absentee ballots now being cast is more than some states can handle if they did not already have the proper infrastructure in place. They cited an NPR report that revealed 550,000 absentee ballots were rejected during this year’s primary elections.
Looking at November’s election, the Honest Elections Project pointed to ballot errors, such as thousands in New York City that included envelopes made out to the wrong people, and thousands of others sent to Los Angeles County residents that did not include the ability to vote for president.
Honest Elections Project executive director Jason Snead told Fox News that the problems he has seen are “mostly system-level problems” as opposed to fraud, but the report does refer to several incidents, including the arrest of a New Jersey postal worker who allegedly dumped more than 1,800 pieces of mail, including 99 general election ballots.
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Regardless of the intent or cause for problems, Snead warned that the best way to ensure the integrity of the election is for people to vote in person if they are capable of doing so. He said that unless voters are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus, they should vote in person, either on Election Day or during early voting periods to avoid overwhelming their states’ voting systems.
“We need to have absentee voting for vulnerable voters,” Snead said, saying that others should vote in person or the strain on the system will be tremendous. “Anyone who can vote in person,” he said, “will free up an absentee ballot effectively for those who need it.”