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The Saratoga Falcon

Mail-in ballots don’t lead to more fraud

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Over 33 million people voted by mail in the 2016 presidential election, accounting for approximately 24 percent of the total votes according to Pew Research Center. That number nearly doubled in the 2020 election, with about 65 million mail-in ballots out of over 156 million total votes.  

President Trump and his defenders say mail-in ballots are rife with fraud. But a long history of mail-in voting and clear deadlines for voting, there has been little room for fraud. 

According to Time, voting by mail in America first happened in large numbers during the Civil War when Union soldiers voted from camps and field hospitals. With over 150 years of voting by mail, ballots have since increased security and left little possibility for fraud. 

In fact, the level of voting fraud in the U.S. is less than 0.0009% according to BBC, and apart from standalone cases where candidates have attempted to tamper with local governments, fraud has never decided a national election. 

During the 2020 election, the nation took specific measures to ensure that the large number of mail in votes didn’t result in false results. According to BBC, safeguards on each ballot  ensured that no one voted twice. Each ballot also had provisions that prevented impersonation or stolen ballots. 

And although there were a few cases of ballots being found in dumpsters or other places, these cases were resolved and only pertained to few ballots or, more often, empty envelopes. 

It is pertinent to remember that misinformation was rampant in the 2020 election, and most claims about election fraud are false or misrepresented. The Washington Post reported that rumors regarding 50,000 ballots being discarded were false. Viral social media videos of Trump ballots being burned were also false, with only sample ballots being burned. 

And despite claims that Democrats were allowed to vote past Nov. 3 until they won, all citizens were only allowed to vote up to Nov. 3 and not after; complete ballots received after the deadline were discounted. 

These measures and widely refuted rumors leave little room for denying that Biden clearly won by over 70 electoral votes and 6 million popular votes, not by fraud. 

Voting is the constitutional right of every American citizen, and whether that is in-person or by mail, it is a right that every citizen deserves to have, regardless of their circumstances. If a worldwide pandemic means that that nation has turned toward mail-in voting, that only means a safer, more trustworthy means of voting. 

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