Most states allow voters to cast mail-in voting and isolated incidents of lost ballots are not indicative of a widespread problem.
After repeatedly refusing to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the election, President Donald Trump finally said he would ensure it happens during his townhall on Oct. 15. But Trump continued to cast doubts on the election process, which was in line with his earlier stance on mail-in voting, which he has called a “disaster” and “out of control.” According to Trump, Democrats are trying to steal the election by mailing unsolicited ballots and “dumping thousands of votes.” Trump’s allegations on absentee ballots are baseless since mail-in voting has been a long-standing practice in American elections and has only been amped up amid the Coronavirus pandemic. For this election, approximately two-thirds of the country will allow absentee votes as an option either because of coronavirus or without an excuse. In six states, voters will have to provide an acceptable excuse in order to vote by mail. These mail-in ballots, which make up part of the estimated 80 million total, are not unsolicited but can only be sent to registered voters. Nine states are accounting for approximately 43 million voters where every registered voter will receive a ballot, but five of them have typically sent their ballot by mail. Four remaining states switched this year. These numbers are half of the 80 million unsolicited ballots figure Trump has previously quoted. He is possibly referring to isolated incidents such as 50,000 flawed absentee ballots sent out in one county in Ohio and later reprinted or reports of misdirected 100 blank ballots found in a dumpster in Kentucky — but these are not indicative of a widespread problem. Only verified and registered voters can cast a mail ballot. Of 2,068 alleged election-fraud cases in 50 states found that while some fraud had occurred since 2000, the rate was infinitesimal compared with the 146 million registered voters in those 12 years, a News21 analysis found. We previously checked another claim by Trump, where he said that 51,000,000 ballots are being sent to citizens who haven’t requested one, many of whom don’t even exist. We found the claim to be false as several measures are built into the process to ensure that ballots are only sent to voters who are registered and require voter signature.