Some weak points of ballot security across America are the mail-in and absentee ballot votes. Voter ID laws don’t do any good because any registered voter can request a ballot via the mail and it will be supplied. No ID is required.
If you combine that soft spot with the problem we have with voter registration lists containing the names of dead people and other ineligible voters, you begin to grasp the outline of the problem. An organized effort could yield thousands of fraudulent votes.
Allegations of voter fraud in Tarrant County, Texas, involving absentee ballots are now under investigation, highlighting a problem that needs to be addressed.
“The Republicans have been looking for a blockbuster case to demonstrate that voter fraud isn’t just a series of small mistakes,” said Brandon Rottinghaus, a political science professor at the University of Houston. “If some of these allegations turn out to be true, they may finally have their white whale.
“Whether there is lawbreaking or not, the issue of voting is polarized and revelations this close to an election are bound to have an effect on Democratic Party and affiliated groups’ efforts to get out the vote. Voters may be hesitant to sign up for or vote through a mail-in ballot, let alone give it to someone else. This may reduce turnout in some heavily Democratic areas that utilize this process.”
Local officials say workers with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office have been in the reliably red Tarrant County gathering paperwork and interviewing potential witnesses.
The attorney general’s office declined to “confirm or deny investigations” or comment on the situation. When asked for the complaints that started the local investigation, attorney general’s workers declined to release them, expressing concern that doing so might hamper a criminal investigation.
The Tarrant County Elections Administration has declined to comment on the issue.
“There could be a problem,” Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley said. “I really believe our folks are very much on top of things.
“That’s the whole problem with mail-in ballots,” he said. “Someone requests a ballot and we don’t know if they got the ballot, filled it out and returned it. The voter fraud they are referring to can only be corrected by doing away with mail-in ballots.”
The mail-in ballots involved in the state investigation are from the primary elections, local officials say.
At issue is how often people may assist others — or physically help by witnessing — with filling out applications for mail-in ballots or the ballots themselves.
Texans may assist as many people as they like in requesting mail-in ballots. But each person is allowed to witness only one request for a mail-in ballot per year, unless it’s for more than one immediate family member.
In the primaries, about 20,000 applications for mail-in ballots were received at the Tarrant County elections office, Whitley said.
As much as liberals like to say voter fraud is not a problem, the truth is, no one knows how big a problem it really is. Any effort to investigate – as we see above – is met with charges of racism and suppressing the minority vote.
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. The way the system is set up makes it too easy to get away with. And since authorities do not make catching fraudsters a priority, we just can’t say how deep the problem goes.
There are no technological fixes to truing the mail-in ballot. And since we can’t disenfranchise our military or those who find it necessary to be away from home on election day, getting rid of absentee ballots is not the answer.
But a better job can be done in culling voter rolls to make sure that only those eligible to vote receive a mail ballot.