Both sides of the United States’ political spectrum have their reasons for the disparaging remarks they make against mail-in ballots. Should you ask a Republican, they’ll tell you that undocumented immigrants and even some citizens use them to cheat the voting system. In the case of the immigrant, their lack of citizenship means they wouldn’t usually be allowed to vote, while mail-in ballots would enable them to override this rule due to a lack of verification. In the latter’s case, it would be the forging of votes for individuals that are already deceased. The Democrats, on the other hand, worry that the current state of the postal service and its inefficiency will lead to millions of ballots being left uncounted for not arriving on time. Let’s look at both allegations.
Firstly, voter fraud accusations have been echoed since as early as 2008 when Barack Obama was first elected. However, it has been a rare occurrence as there have been few successful attempts at it, given each state’s rigorous investigations. The New York Times reports, “After the 2016 election, that system flagged 74 questionable votes in Washington State: 59 people who may have voted in multiple states, 14 people who may have voted multiple times within the state and one deceased voter. Those ballots were sent to county elections managers and prosecutors for further scrutiny,” later adding that Kings County had the most Fraud; however, “After scrutinizing cases, investigators in King County did not see any significant fraud in 2016, but they sent letters to 10 people who appeared to have voted twice. The message was clear: We saw your two votes — even if they were in separate states — and that is a crime.”
That settles one half of the bipartisan controversy. As for the postal delays, there might be a genuine threat. For one, according to Vox.com. a total of 60 percent of Americans support the post office as an essential service, which may hurt the Trump campaign due to their negative views toward it. This reality has not stopped the defunding of the service that has led to it becoming more inefficient than ever. The Times recently reported a failure to update 1.8 million addresses that were recently changed; this is only compounded by the New York Times report of officials saying that the post office will not meet deadlines. Should anything worry voters, it should be their votes not being counted at all.