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Election Integrity News Blog


Mail ballot security is under nationwide assault

No story about mail in ballots can be complete without mention of Michigan’s Secretary of State.

by Chad Ennis | November 11

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Michigan Fair Elections. Artificial intelligence may have been used in the creation of this message or in the links referenced herein.

The Left loves to tout universal mail voting. Liberal enclaves like California, Hawaii, and Oregon have implemented it, while activists push aggressively to impose mail-in voting on Americans. But even as they push it, despite repeated instances of fraud, the Left simultaneously attacks any efforts to make vulnerable mail voting more secure. Indeed, the Left holds outright disdain for even minimal safeguards for mail ballots.

Right now, the Left’s nationwide assault on election security is playing out primarily in the courts. Any obligation to provide proof that the person returning the ballot is the correct person will be challenged. They are fighting common sense laws in Texas, Georgia, Wisconsin, Arizona, Michigan, and countless other states. On Friday, the most recent battle played out in the Kansas Supreme Court.

There, Marc Elias, the Left’s primary litigator/tweeter, and his team fought to eliminate two utterly routine mail ballot security measures passed by the Kansas Legislature.

First, Elias sought to eliminate the only way Kansas ensures that a ballot came from the voter who was supposed to cast it: by verifying that voter’s signature. If the Left gets its way and bans signature matching, once Kansas sends out a ballot, officials will have no way to verify who returned it. They would be barred from comparing the signature on the ballot with the signatures in the voter’s file – including even the signature that the voter gave when the ballot was requested mere weeks prior.

Kansas’ generous cure process if the signature match fails was not enough to satisfy the Left. According to Kansas law, if a ballot is rejected, an election official must call the voter three times, leave a detailed message, and send a letter. This procedure – well beyond what most states require – ensures that valid ballots are not mistakenly rejected. But no cure procedure is good enough for the Left. For them, signature matching must be eliminated.

Second, Elias argued against any limits on ballot trafficking. Kansas allows a person to collect and return another person’s mail ballot. Rather than bar organized third-party collection entirely, a best practice adopted in other states, Kansas limits the collector to returning a maximum of ten ballots. This measure does not go so far as to outlaw ballot trafficking, but it prevents egregious scenarios where union, activist, and partisan ballot collectors can each return hundreds of ballots.

Lest you believe that Kansas is an outlier, this case comes on the heels of efforts to weaken signature matching rules by liberal Secretaries of State in Arizona and Michigan. In Arizona, the weakening was defeated, but in Michigan Secretary Benson has been successful maintaining very lax standards for determining if signatures match.

And in Texas, the Left is attacking signature matching on the front end by suing to allow a voter’s file to be populated with electronic signatures made by the voter’s finger on an iPad. Of course, comparing finger signatures to ink signatures will be unreliable.

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It doesn’t end there. You might think that if signature matching is bad, maybe more concrete comparisons, like identification numbers, would be better. But the Left hates that even more. They are challenging minimal identification requirements for mail ballots in Texas – arguing against asking the voter to provide their driver’s license number or last four of their social – and in Georgia – demanding that voters cannot be required to provide their birthdate.

Finally, in Wisconsin, Elias is challenging the requirement that there be a witness that can verify that the ballot was cast appropriately and without influence.

Elias’ attacks weaken mail ballot security. The Left will ignore it, “But fraud involving absentee ballots is a real thing.” Scandals have hit Kentucky, Connecticut, and North Carolina to name a few, leaving discredited elections and disenfranchised voters in their wake.

The Left unabashedly pushes for universal mail in balloting, but at every turn fights all efforts to ensure that the ballot returned is from the voter who requested it. They want to eliminate any form of voter identification, and no system—whether it be signature matching, voter ID, or a basic witness requirement—will escape their wrath. Ultimately, they want partisans to be able to collect unlimited mail ballots and states to have no means to verify that these were the votes of actual voters rather than the traffickers. The result is that campaigns will not be about ideas, but instead will be decided by which candidate can develop the better ballot trafficking machine.

Chad Ennis is vice president of the Honest Elections Project.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.


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