Democrats dismiss fraud concerns with mailing ballots to every voter automatically in November

Requiring all states to automatically mail ballots to every voter for the first time in history 'shouldn't be a partisan issue,' says Democratic lawmaker

Published: May 20, 2020 3:22pm

Updated: May 26, 2020 2:04pm

House Democrats dismissed fraud concerns related to a provision in their $3 trillion HEROES Act bill that if signed into law would federally mandate ballots be mailed to all registered voters for the November election. 

The HEREOS Act that the Democratic-led House passed last week includes a provision that would require states to automatically mail out absentee ballots to every registered voter during public emergencies. The legislation explicitly states that the mandate would apply to the November 2020 election. 

Assistant House Speaker Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.) and other Democrats were asked for their response to concerns about logistical problems and fraud with, potentially, the first all-mail election in history such as states sending ballots to voters at the wrong addresses or ballots addressed to the same voter in two different states.

“I think it's critically important for our Democratic colleagues and Republican colleagues in the House and in the Senate to come together to protect access to everyone’s right to vote in the United States of America,” Lujan said on Tuesday during a conference call about the economic impact of the coronavirus on states and localities.

Lujan and others spoke amid Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell saying the bill will not pass in the GOP-led chamber and President Trump vowing to veto it. 

Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.) said the evidence of fraud in states with universal vote by mail is lacking.

“I would just point out that there are several states in the United States that already conduct all elections entirely by mail, including Utah, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii," he said. "And there's no evidence that the use of vote-by-mail in those states has created any of the problems that critics are now alleging. There is, in fact, I think, strong evidence that vote-by-mail is in some respects more secure, because it guarantees a paper trail for every single ballot that is cast.”

Rep. Andy Levin (D-Mich.) agreed with Malinowski support for universal vote-by-mail nationally.

“It's a matter of basic safety and protecting the sacred right to vote of all Americans, as Rep. Malinowski said completely, without regard to party or no party,” Levin said. “It’s just what we need to do to keep our democracy healthy during this pandemic.”

Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Colo.) said the nation should follow Colorado, which automatically mails every registered voter a ballot ahead of an election.

“If we emulate these reforms nationwide, it shouldn't be a partisan issue at the federal level either,” he said.

Critics of the automatic mailing of ballots have raised fraud concerns. According to Federal Election Assistance Commission data, 28.3 million mail-in ballots are still unaccounted for covering years 2012 to 2018.

On Wednesday, President Trump tweeted, “State of Nevada 'thinks' that they can send out illegal vote by mail ballots, creating a great Voter Fraud scenario for the State and the U.S. They can’t! If they do, 'I think' I can hold up funds to the State. Sorry, but you must not cheat in elections.”

Nevada is conducting an all-mail election for its June primary and Michigan is sending every registered voter applications for absentee ballots in the November election. California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom recently issued an executive order declaring that every voter will receive a ballot in the mail automatically for the November election.

House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told Just the News on Tuesday that he is against imposing federal mandates on states for the November election.


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