We have real data (from a federal agency, no less) that proves the 2020 election was a mess.
Based on data from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, an analysis by the Public Interest Legal Foundation shows almost 15 million mail ballots effectively disappeared after election officials gave them to the U.S. Postal Service to deliver to voters.
Some ballots were lost. Some may have ended up on the floors of apartment complexes, never to be claimed. Some went to addresses where the registrant no longer lives. Some may have gone to vacant lots and businesses. Some, having never been requested by the voter, were never returned. Others were rejected by election officials when they were returned.
To put that 15 million figure in perspective, consider this: President Joe Biden carried Arizona by 10,457 votes, yet Maricopa County alone reportedly sent 110,092 ballots to outdated or wrong addresses. The same scenario happened in Nevada, which Biden carried by 33,596 votes; Clark County sent 93,279 ballots that, for all intents and purposes, disappeared into the ether and are “unaccounted” for, meaning election officials have no idea what happened to them.
The data also shows that an additional 1.1 million ballots were sent to the wrong addresses in 2020 — the U.S. Postal Service saying they were “undeliverable.” Think on that. One million ballots went to the wrong house or apartment. Given the inaccuracy of voter rolls, automatic voter registration, and the automatic mailing of absentee ballots in some states have only made this problem worse.
Some voters are mistakenly registered more than once in the same state; automatically mailing ballots means that, in all likelihood, those voters will get more than one ballot delivered to them. The same problem exists with deceased registrants still on the voter rolls; their mailed ballots are delivered to whoever is now living at that address.
The Public Interest Legal Foundation’s 2020 analysis of voter rolls in 42 states found nearly 38,000 people registered twice and nearly 350,000 deceased voters who were still registered — thousands of whom were credited by states with voting after they were dead. All of these voter roll mistakes represent an opportunity for fraud. And if you think there isn’t fraud related to mail ballots, you should visit the Heritage Foundation’s Election Fraud database, where you can find many cases involving mail ballot fraud.
Mass mail balloting with inaccurate voter rolls creates a shaky election system that we cannot trust. We shouldn’t encourage even more mail ballots when state voter registration lists are so full of errors. Only after effective list maintenance should we even consider increasing the role that mail ballots play in our elections. That might require changes to the federal Motor Voter Act passed in 1993.
Mail balloting should also be accompanied with security measures such as voter ID requirements and laws that ban candidates, campaign staffers, political consultants, and others with a stake in the outcome from picking up, collecting, and handling ballots.
The new PILF report also shows an alarming number of mail ballot rejections. Sometimes the error is the lack of a signature or other mistakes made by legitimate voters; other times, it is something less innocent. Regardless, in 2020, over 560,000 mail ballots were rejected, many, no doubt, cast by legitimate voters who were effectively disenfranchised.
If a voter makes an error while casting his or her ballot in person at a polling place, election officials can help the voter cure the mistake and cast a new ballot. But mail voting disenfranchises legitimate voters who make mistakes that could have been corrected.
This report reveals the potential for errors and fraud is extremely high with mail ballots and automatic voter registration. Of course, some in Congress are trying to mandate both automatic vote by mail and automatic voter registration.
To make matters worse, too many local prosecutors do not seem interested in investigating and prosecuting election fraud cases. Other local jurisdictions do not have the time or resources to investigate these cases.
And rather than investigating and prosecuting potential cases of election fraud, the bureaucrats at the Biden Justice Department appear to be wasting their time attacking common-sense election integrity measures such as voter ID requirements or audits.
It is critical that we work to clean the voter rolls before the next election, implement much-needed reforms to fix existing vulnerabilities, and do not let mass mail balloting become the new norm for our elections.
J. Christian Adams is the president and general counsel for the Public Interest Legal Foundation and a former Justice Department lawyer. Hans A. von Spakovsky is a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation and the co-author of the upcoming Our Broken Elections: How the Left Changed the Way You Vote . Both served on the Presidential Advisory Commission for Election Integrity.
Source: Washington Examiner: The latest government report: 15 million mail ballots in 2020 that are unaccounted for