States Should Look to Those Who Have Implemented Absentee Ballot Systems with Safety and Security in Mind

As November quickly approaches, Democrats are using every tactic they can to alter how elections are administered, including pushing for a radical departure from the status quo when it comes to absentee voting. 

As Justin Clark, Deputy Campaign Manager for Trump 2020, explains, Nevada is one of the worst offenders:

President Trump is gaining ground in Nevada. Democrats know it, so they cut a midnight backroom deal in a brazen attempt to rig November’s election. Governor Sisolak ensured mass chaos and an election nightmare with the stroke of a pen. . .

Nevada Democrats implemented the exact universal vote-by-mail system President Trump has warned against for months. The state will mail every voter — living or dead, at home or moved — a ballot. This is the same system that led to the “train wreck” primary in New York. We still don’t know the results of key races six weeks after that election. Even Andrew Cuomo has been forced to admit the system is flawed. And this is the same system that left 100,000 votes uncounted in California’s primary. . .

Nevada also now claims the ignominious first in the nation status for being the first place harvesters can openly harvest ballots after Election Day. The state will accept mailed ballots without postmarks up to three days after the election. So ballots cast after November 3 — invalid ballots — will be included in the state’s results. For example, if a Nevada voter wakes up on November 4 and finds President Trump is winning the state, he can make house calls to his neighbors, family, friends and even strangers who hadn’t submitted their ballots. He can get paid to harvest those ballots, drop only the Biden ballots in the mailbox and have those invalid votes counted. This is fraud. It defies the principle of election integrity. And the Democrats’ policy openly allows it.

Instead of blindly following Nevada's poor lead, states should look to those who have implemented absentee ballot systems with safety and security in mind:

Many states, like Florida, provide a safe and secure absentee system and allow for robust early voting to avoid crowded polling locations and lines. In the traditional absentee framework, the voter request of a ballot is a key safeguard that protects Florida’s system, as it prevents election offices from blindly mailing live ballots to every name on their likely outdated and inaccurate voter rolls. Florida also requires signature matching and voter verification, crucial election integrity safeguards remarkably absent from Nevada’s new system.

There's also concern that rogue local election officials will defy state laws to make changes to mail-in voting.  This week, the Republican National Committee, Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee, and the Republican Party of Iowa announced that they are suing two Iowa County Auditors who are pre-populating voter information into absentee ballot applications in direct violation of state law.  On the situation in Iowa, RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel said:

By willfully and unilaterally disobeying Iowa election law, these County Auditors have destroyed a key mechanism designed to ensure the integrity of absentee voting. The responsibility of filling out personal information on absentee ballot applications is a key safeguard to confirm the applicant’s identity and should rest squarely with the voter. The rogue County Auditors must immediately stop their harmful actions that threaten the validity of and confidence in the upcoming election.

What can you do as a voter to make sure that your mail-in ballot counts when you aren't given a choice or if you are unable to vote in person?  Former RNLA President Elliot Berke explains:

First, request your ballot early and return it promptly. The USPS says it requires a minimum of 15 days to transmit and return a ballot, and voters would be wise to allow even more time to ensure their ballots are returned by the deadline in their states.

Second, follow all ballot instructions carefully. Is there an inner envelope your ballot must be sealed within before placing in an outer envelope for mailing? Do you need to sign the inner and/or outer envelope? Does your signature need to be witnessed or notarized? Do you need to provide some other form of identification?

Third, check if your state or county has a system that allows you to track your ballots throughout the process – as it is received, processed, and counted. Check if your state or county has a means to “cure” your ballot if it is rejected and what the deadline is for doing so. 

According to U.S. Elections Assistance Commissioner Donald Palmer: "This election year, voters need to take more time and effort to navigate the challenges of a pandemic."  To find out more about the mail-in voting rules in your state, click here.