FEC Commissioner Disputes Trump’s Charge That Voting by Mail Leads to Fraud

May 28, 2020 Updated: May 28, 2020

A Federal Election Commission (FEC) commissioner disputed President Donald Trump’s charge that voting by mail leads to fraud.

Labeling the notion that voting by mail causes fraud a “conspiracy theory,” Obama-appointed commissioner Ellen Weintraub wrote in a series of social media posts that vote-by-mail has expanded across the country with little negative effect.

She cited a slew of news articles and opinions from journalists. She also pointed to a 2012 report from the Voting Rights Project that found 491 cases of absentee ballot fraud between 2000 and 2012 and a paper (pdf) from Lorraine Minnite, a professor of political science at Rutgers University-Camden, that argued most instances of what’s described as voter fraud are actually “simple mistakes by election officials or voters.”

A third reference was made to the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University’s School of Law, which said in an analysis it was “debunking the voter fraud myth.”

Weintraub, a Democrat, is one of dozens of FEC commissioners.

Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, a watchdog group, told The Epoch Times that “experts agree that absentee and mail in voting is the vehicle for voting that is most susceptible to fraud.”

Wisconsin voters
Voters wait in line to enter a polling place at Riverside University High School in Milwaukee, Wis., on April 7, 2020. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Fitton pointed to several sources including The Pew Center on the States-commissioned research in 2012 (pdf) that found approximately 24 million, or one of every eight, voter registrations in the country were no longer valid or were significantly inaccurate. That included more than 1.8 million dead people listed as voters.

He also noted that the 2005 report (pdf) presented by James Baker and Jimmy Carter, co-chairs of the commission on Federal Election Reform, said voting by mail could see people come under pressure to vote for certain candidates. The method also “increases the risk of fraud,” it stated.

The Carter Center, established by the former president, acknowledged the findings this year but released a statement from Carter in which he called on expansion of voting by mail. Voting by mail can be done well if certain safeguards were in place, the center said.

Judicial Watch last year found millions of registrations above the number of citizens old enough to vote living in certain areas. The organization previously reached a settlement with California and Los Angeles County to remove up to 1.5 million inactive registered voters.

“It stands to reason when you’re not voting at a polling place, and you have ballots that are being voted on lord knows where and transmitted through the mail, it increases the opportunity for voter fraud and intimidation,” Fitton said.

Fitton accused Democrat officials of wanting to be able to “steal elections,” a similar charge to statements made by Trump.

He cited opposition to identification requirements at polls as another example. The Carter-Baker report recommended a uniform voter identification system.

Trump this week said mail-in ballots will be “substantially fraudulent,” warning of mailboxes being robbed and ballot forgery.

mail in voting
Election workers sort vote-by-mail ballots for the presidential primary at King County Elections in Renton, Washington state, on March 10, 2020. (Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images)

All registered voters are sent ballots in a few states. California officials are doing that this year for the presidential election. Trump criticized Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, saying the ballots would be “followed up with professionals telling all of these people, many of whom have never even thought of voting before, how, and for whom, to vote.”

“This will be a Rigged Election,” he charged.

Republicans recently sued Newsom to try to stop vote-by-mail ballots being sent to all registered voters while Democrats are suing in at least 13 states to overturn restrictions on mail-in voting.

The vote-by-mail issue has become increasingly relevant as a number of states start mailing ballot applications to voters because of concerns that voting in person will lead to a higher number of CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus cases.

Trump last week threatened to delay funding to states turning to mail voting schemes, calling the moves illegal.

Republican Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske’s office told The Epoch Times in an email that she thought hard about sending all voters mail-in ballots.

“Nevada has many safeguards in place to ensure the integrity of an all-mail election, including signature requirements and verification processes, preprinted ballot return envelopes, barcode tracking, and laws against ballot harvesting. Voters concerned with mailing in their ballot may drop off their ballot at any designated drop-off location in their county,” according to the statement.

Michigan moved to mailing applications for mail-in ballots to all voters. Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, noted that Republicans in a number of states, including Georgia and West Virginia, are doing the same.

Matthew Vadum contributed to this report.

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