About mail-in ballots

ISTM, that if a state has x number of registered voters, and that’s that number of ballots you get back, you should be pretty safe. I don’t understand how trump’s scenario of some evil doer flooding the country with millions of fake ballots would work.

Registered voters, by the millions, not voting for Trump, is by definition ‘voter fraud’.

The idea is that the empty ballots are stolen from mailboxes, (or from post offices en bulk) and then filled in with the candidate of choice and mailed in or dropped off.
Another scenario has operatives going to places like nursing homes and having all the residents fill out the ballots uniformly together.
Or encouraging (bribing) undecideds or non voters to turn over their ballots.

Another is “dumpster diving” and taking out ballots thrown away.

Mind you, the signature has to match, and then the person whose ballot was stolen cant show up and vote in person.

Now sure, you could likely take your aged grandmothers ballot, fill it out for her, and since you know how she signs her name do a passable forgery. Meh

Look, the GOP commits voter fraud on a mass scale, and what could happen with mail in ballots is on a individual scale.

The real problem with mail ballots is that GOP voter suppression tricks dont work well. Jim Crow cant block mail ballots so well.

You’re right. It wouldn’t. The whole scenario is complete BS.

Most (all?) ballots are printed on paper that is specially prepared to be difficult to duplicate.

In most counties, signature comparison is done for absentee ballots. How would an evil doer know how to fake someone’s signature, let alone enough to make a statistical difference in an election?

For argument’s sake, let’s assume the evil doer manages to fake signatures well enough to submit fake ballots for those of legitimate registered voters. What happens when the legitimate voters submit their own ballots and they are rejected? In my state (wholly vote by mail), the Board of Elections will contact you to discuss the discrepancy.

Now let’s replicate this fraud by the millions. I’m sure no one will notice.

Let’s examine @mikecurtis’s scenarios.

Ballots are stolen from mailboxes or post offices. Voters who want badly to vote in this election will notice they haven’t received their ballot. They will contact their Board of Elections. If hundreds of people are contacting Elections, again, they’re going to notice something is going on and it will be investigated.

Ballot harvesting is illegal in many places. Here, you must designate to the Board of Elections the one person whom you have authorized to transport your ballot on your behalf. I’m sure Oregon isn’t the only state that has thought of this.

Studies done on ballot fraud with mail-in voting reflect a result of 0.0025% over 20 years. It’s a non-thing. The scenario Trump posits is ridiculous.

The problem here is that you have to be able to forge their signature and also make sure they wont vote in person, so really, that doesnt work.

‘Flooding the country with millions of fake ballots’

Isn’t it blindingly clear? He’s gonna make that happen, probably printing the ballots now.

Then say, ‘What did I tell you? Just as I said!’

He’s probably having Putin do it.

FTR I also believe it’s a non-thing, I was just reporting the methods I’ve heard talked about.

Interesting. Because I am not a resident of the U.S., I haven’t seen an actual ballot for more than 20 years. I sent an email, plus printed out some papers from the county website, some months ago to the county clerk, to register my interest in voting this year. I then received an email with the files to print out and sign, if I wanted to vote for the primary.

Same procedure for the actual voting. I never actually get a printed ballot. It would 1) probably cost too much and 2) take too long.

Brazilians are required to vote, or pay a fine. Every time there is an election, my friends have to go to the embassy in Bern to vote. I’m glad I don’t have to go to the embassy. It’s time-consuming, and rather annoying, especially with all the security arrangements.

Well the fact they’re printed with
[ X ] Trump

[__] Who?

will be a big giveaway.

I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to imply you believed any of the methods you’ve heard talked about. You’re much smarter than that. That you were simply reporting the methods you’ve heard discussed was obvious to me, but I didn’t make that obvious to you.

Yes, voting from abroad is always a challenge, I imagine. My late husband was originally a Kiwi, then migrated to Aus. Voting was compulsory in both those countries as well, and he was frankly shocked at how few Americans avail themselves of the privilege of voting.

I hope more people will appreciate it this year and make it a top priority.

Yep, I also live in a 100% vote by mail state and they mail us our voting packets several weeks prior to the election and we fill out the ballot and drop it in the included evelope and sign the envelope and then we can either drop it off at one of dozens of drop points around the county (I think you have to use a drop point in the right county) or stick it in the mail for the USPS to take care off. There is no work or hassel and its a pretty wonderful way to vote.

Even Trump’s butt puppet Cory Gardner said "I don’t think anything has proven wrong, … I think [mail in voting] actually turned out very well for Colorado.”.

No worries. I really didn’t think you (or anyone else) were implying that. I just felt a need to set the record straight. Just feeling a little more self conscious today than usual.

As folks have said, Trump is just sowing FUD as he always does.

But as to the above bit there IS a real issue.

In those states where mail-in voting is not already commonplace, what percentage of registered voters actually vote in person on Election Day? I’m going to bet it’s in the 80s. Back in the day (or in those old fashioned places) when/where you needed to provide one of a small number of statutory excuses to get a mail in ballot folks often failed to vote in person. Car broke down, it was snowing, the kid chose that morning to get sick, etc.

Anyhow, if 20% of registered voters who could show up at the polls don’t actually show up at the polls, that leaves an awful lot of uncast ballots that could be stuffed without breaking your equation that “X voters registered = x ballots received means no shenanigans.”

I’ve voted in 6 different US states across 40 years now. No two have ever done the voter verification steps the same. Some are (or at least were) very lax. Others had lots of signature checks, etc.

Is actual individual fraud a problem? Not historically, and would tend to net to zero. Might the forces of wannabe totalitarianism do an industrial scale job this time while loudly pointing the finger at the other guys? IMO it’s somewhere between possible and probable.

How would you know which of the 20% weren’t going to show up, though? How would you know whose ballots to stuff? Who is doing the stuffing? Wouldn’t it have to be someone on the inside (in which case, doesn’t that county already have a bigger problem with election integrity)?

Am I missing something obvious here?

Ballots are identical and anonymous. You can stuff any of them. Looking at tin-pot dictatorships and corrupt ward heelers in the US past, ballot stuffing was only caught when e.g. districts with only 5K people produced a vote of 6,000 to 2,000. That’s how stuffers got caught.

Significant stuffing is always an inside job. For varying definitions of “inside.” You can’t have two party loyalists, one from each party, observing and everything video-ed constantly at every step of every single ballot’s lifetime from printing through counting.

The ballot itself may be identical (although different precincts may have different races), but in the SoW the outer envelope which one signs is not anonymous: it’s barcoded. When the ballot package is received, the barcode is scanned and the signature compared against the signature on file; the ballot itself — still in its secrecy envelope — is only removed and set aside for counting when everything checks out. This does not eliminate “inside job” stuffing, but if the number of ballots counted exceeds the number of validated envelopes received I imagine rather loud alarms will sound.

You don’t have to use a drop box in your own county in Oregon. Pretty much all elections offices get a small number of ballots from other counties (virtually of them adjacent counties) and have an exchange system to get the ballots to the right office. It’s nothing more elaborate than couriers from county X taking ballots to county Y and returning with those for county X. I expect other all-VbM states do something similar.

I hope you’re not suggesting that people could use this approach (signing up for absentee voting as an overseas US citizen, and then sending in ballots on plain paper) to cheat in elections. Because I’ll bet that only a handful of people in your county have such an arrangement with the county clerk. It would be really suspicious if all of a sudden hundreds tried to set up such an arrangement, claiming they live in your county.