Nearly all Americans have concerns with America’s current forms of voting. For decades, liberals have claimed that voters are disenfranchised. The ACLU has a website dedicated to voting problems in the 2020 election. The ACLU claims politicians are trying “to manipulate political outcomes.” Sounds like conservatives concerned with the presidential election. I’m not sure, however, Twitter is putting disclaimers on ACLU’s content.
Conservatives, on the other hand, are rightly concerned with the security of mail-in ballots. According to the 2005 Commission on Federal Election Reform co-chaired by Jimmy Carter and James Baker, “vote by mail is, however, likely to increase the risks of fraud…”
For mail-in ballots to work, a lot has to go right, and if one aspect goes wrong, the entire process is open to fraud. First, the voter registration rolls need to be accurate. This is a problem in Colorado. Judicial Watch recently sued Colorado’s secretary of state for “failing to clean the state’s voter rolls as required by the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.” Judicial Watch claims that there are many counties in Colorado where the number of people registered to vote exceeds “100% of the eligible citizen voting-age population.”
Ballots in Colorado are being sent out to people who aren’t eligible to vote any longer. This creates severe problems for the integrity of Colorado’s voting operation.
Secondly, ballots need to be returned in a timely manner. Late ballots in Pennsylvania are one of the major cases being litigated in the Presidential election. Colorado required you to mail your ballot by Oct. 26, which is over a week before election day. Historically, about 9.8% of ballots rejected in Colorado were due to them being received late. Late ballots cannot be fixed.
Once the mail-in ballots are received, signatures need to be verified. This is done by computers in some Colorado counties, but for a ballot to be rejected, it has to be rejected by both a Republican and Democratic election judge. If one disagrees that the ballot shouldn’t be rejected, it is allowed to pass. Perhaps this is why less than 1% of ballots are rejected due to signature problems.
Fourth, both Republican and Democratic poll watchers need to have access to review the ballots being counted. This is a significant point of contention for the Trump campaign that is arguing they were not given proper access or forced to stand too far away to review the ballots being counted in many of the contested states.
Fifth, the software counting the ballots, scanners, and voting machines need to be reliable. Questions about the legitimacy of Colorado’s own Dominion Voting are being raised. Dominion serves about 40% U.S. voters. The fact a single company controls so many votes in America is questionable.
Finally, audits need to take place after the votes to confirm the authenticity of the voting process. Colorado requires counties to “scan ballots until there’s a 96% chance the audit yields a correct outcome.”
While Colorado has an increased risk of fraud from mail-in ballots, adding ballot harvesting to the mix increases the likelihood for fraud. Ballot harvesting allows third parties to collect mail-in ballots and submit them on behalf of other people. There are serious questions about the legitimacy of votes when the chain of custody is broken between voter and county clerk. A Coloradan may return up to 10 ballots from other people. Ballot harvesting is a practice that should be banned in Colorado.
After this election, my thoughts on voting have changed. In the past, I’ve mailed-in my ballot. Not anymore. In fact, “among the 27 countries in the European Union, 63 percent ban mail-in voting.”
The best way to secure elections from fraud is to vote in person with valid state-issued identification and to limit absentee ballots to those truly deserving.
Jeff Hunt is the director of the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University in Lakewood.