Facts & Research
ACCESSIBLE ABSENTEE BALLOTS WILL MAKE OUR ELECTIONS SAFER.
Even before the public health crisis, millions of voters took the opportunity to vote absentee with no evidence of serious fraud. That’s because voter fraud is already punishable with serious criminal and civil penalties.
Voters’ ability to mail-in their ballots (in addition to safe, in-person voting locations) is a critical component of protecting voters and safeguarding democracy.
We need a system that keeps us safe in a pandemic.
- Expanding absentee ballot options ensures everyone can vote safely without making a choice between risking their health and exercising a fundamental right to vote.
- The risk to our health could last for months. Experts are warning of a second, potentially even larger, wave of infections this fall. This makes expanded voting options essential.
- In Wisconsin, 52 people tested COVID-19 positive after voting at the polls. At many polling places across the country, voters wait in long lines to vote. During this health crisis, long lines would force citizens to choose between their health and exercising their right to vote.
- Election officials are citing risks for their personnel, who would be at increased risk of exposure to the virus. In Florida, county election officials issued a red alert citing the need for increased voting options this November.
Absentee voting is already a huge part of American elections.
- Every state already has some process for absentee voting, but many of them need to be expanded to accommodate safe and secure voting during the pandemic.
- One in four Americans already votes by mail. That’s 31 million voters who cast ballots by mail in 2018. All states allow some form of absentee voting.
- Five states already conduct their elections completely by mail.
Voting by mail is secure.
- Studies show fraud is extremely rare and detectable.
- The National Review writes, “A study by the National Vote At Home Coalition found that out of 100 million votes cast in Oregon since mail-in voting was adopted in 2000, there were only twelve cases of fraud.”
- Secretary of State Kim Wyman (R – Washington) underscores the safety measures in this op-ed.
- States can and should make sure they have up-to-date addresses, tracking systems, and verification methods.
Voting by mail does not favor either party.
- A Stanford University study found Vote by Mail does not impact either party’s share of turnout or share of votes.
- Analysis shows that there is no evidence to suggest that voting by mail gives one party an advantage.
- Utah, a reliably red state, is one of five states with universal Vote by Mail.
- Swing states, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, Florida, and North Carolina allow vote by mail options for all registered voters.
Absentee ballots are used by the U.S. military.
- Service members have voted by mail since the Civil War.
Polls show Americans support expanding absentee voting by a wide margin.
72% of Americans Support a vote by mail option (Reuters/Ipsos Poll)
“A well-designed Vote By Mail system is secure and safe from fraud.” (Sightline Institute)
“Vote-by-mail has no partisan impact.” (Stanford University study)
“Both federal and state laws include stiff fines and imprisonment for voter fraud.” (Washington Post analysis)