More Vote by Mail Problems and Chaos

As Election Day approaches, the serious election administration problems associated with the rapid increase of voting by-mail continue. These issues have been predicted by election experts on the right and left for many months, including the Lawyers Democracy Fund, but liberal pundits have continued to push voting by mail as the only way to vote this fall:

The COVID-19 public health crisis has led to a dramatic increase in the demand for mail voting.  While Lawyers Democracy Fund (LDF) asserts that the best and most secure way to cast a ballot is in person at a polling location, LDF understands the necessity for certain voters to have the option to vote by mail.  However, when states and jurisdictions attempt to increase the volume of mail voting without proper election infrastructure or without maintaining important election integrity safeguards, LDF sees no greater threat to safe, honest, and secure elections. . . .

Voting in person at a polling location decreases the chances of a ballot getting thrown out for simple errors.  Nationwide, hundreds of thousands of mail ballots were rejected in 2018 because of mail delays, minor technical defects, and voter errors – issues that do not occur with in-person voting.  Mail ballots are three times as likely to be rejected for various reasons than ballots cast in person, making voting in person a far more effective method of voting to ensure one’s vote actually counts.

In Kentucky, a postal worker was terminated last week when he allegedly tossed 100+ absentee ballots meant for Jefferson County voters:

Federal agents from the Postal Service Office of Inspector General found the ballots on Thursday morning after receiving a tip, according to the Courier-Journal.

“The case has been accepted for federal prosecution by the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” Special Agent Scott Balfour wrote in a statement Friday. “They will determine what charges are appropriate after a review of all the facts in the case.”

In Pennsylvania, the guidelines for the administration of the upcoming election are very much unsettled. To add to the confusion, hundreds of thousands of applications for absentee ballots have been "rejected" — but that doesn't mean that those voters won't receive a ballot by-mail (though it may be delayed):

Pennsylvania has cast off hundreds of thousands of applications for mail-in ballots ahead of the 2020 election, because of confusion about the process.

About 372,000 requests were rejected, as reported by ProPublica on Friday, largely because many of them, about 90%, were duplicates. Overall, one out of every five requests for mail-in ballots are being rejected, according to the publication.

The main reason? Many people who voted during the June primaries may have already checked a box to request a mail-in ballot for the November election.

However, people who made more than one request should eventually receive their ballot, a spokesperson for the Pennsylvania State Department said. They can also head to the polls on Election Day.

In Nevada, federal authorities are recognizing the risks that universal vote-by-mail bring to the voting process. The U.S. Attorney for Nevada has announced that he is going to appoint a "district election officer" to handle increased concerns of vote fraud in the state which became a universal vote-by-mail state earlier this year. The Trump campaign has reported that they have received complaints from voters following the switch:

[T]he Trump team in Nevada said they’ve received dozens of complaints of ballots being sent to the wrong address, names misspelled and other issues. They’ve provided photos of ballots being delivered to the wrong mailbox, or no mailbox at all, and ballots strewn on the ground or resting atop piles of trash.

In Clark County, home to Las Vegas and 70 percent of the state’s electorate, Trump Victory spokesman Keith Schipper said he’s received reports of apartment complexes “being littered with ballots sent to folks that no longer live at the complex or ballots sent to the wrong place.”

What can voters do to make sure that their vote is counted in light of these problems? The Honest Election Project's Jason Snead has some advice for voters:

Regardless of the intent or cause for problems, Snead warned that the best way to ensure the integrity of the election is for people to vote in person if they are capable of doing so. He said that unless voters are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus, they should vote in person, either on Election Day or during early voting periods to avoid overwhelming their states' voting systems.