Trump Demands Action After 20 Percent of Mail-in Voters Admit to Potentially Fraudulent Actions in 2020 Election Survey

President Trump called on the GOP to take urgent action after a poll revealed that 1-in-5 mail-in voters may have committed fraud in the 2020 election.
Trump Demands Action After 20 Percent of Mail-in Voters Admit to Potentially Fraudulent Actions in 2020 Election Survey
Former President Donald Trump speaks to reporters in New York City, on Dec. 7, 2023. (Eduardo Munoz Alvarez-Pool/Getty Images)
Tom Ozimek
12/12/2023
Updated:
12/29/2023
0:00

Former President Donald Trump issued an urgent call for action to his fellow Republicans over what he called “the biggest story of the year,” namely a survey showing that roughly 20 percent of mail-in voters admitted to at least one potentially fraudulent action in the 2020 election.

The Heartland/Rasmussen poll, released on Dec. 12, suggests there may have been concerning levels of voter fraud in the 2020 election, bolstering President Trump’s longstanding claim that he was cheated out of a victory amid an explosion in mail-in ballots combined with state-level moves by the courts that made it easier to cheat.

The survey shows 17 percent of mail-in voters admitting to voting in a state where they are no longer permanent residents; 21 percent filling out ballots for others; 17 percent signing ballots for family members, possibly without consent, and 8 percent reporting offers of “pay” or “reward” for their vote.

What’s more, 10 percent of all respondents to the survey (carried on a representative sample of 1,085 likely voters) said they know a friend, family member, co-worker, or other acquaintance who said they cast a mail-in ballot in 2020 in a state other than their state of permanent residence.

Over 43 percent of 2020 votes were cast by mail, which is the highest percentage in U.S. history.

“Taken together, the results of these survey questions appear to show that voter fraud was widespread in the 2020 election, especially among those who cast mail-in ballots,” the Heartland Institute, a conservative and libertarian public policy think tank, said in a statement.

‘Biggest Story of The Year’

President Trump, who is the frontrunner for the GOP nomination in the 2024 race for the White House, took to social media to call on Republicans to take action in response to the survey’s shocking results.
“This is the biggest story of the year, and Republicans must do something about it,” the former president wrote. Further, he suggested that unless something is done quickly to address the problem of voter fraud, the issue will cast a pall over the 2024 election.

“Have to make a move now,” President Trump continued. “Get tough, get smart. Our country is being stolen!”

While the survey’s findings offer fresh insight into the problem of voter fraud, an election integrity expert told The Epoch Times in an interview that the results are somewhat ambiguous as the questions comingled legal and illegal behaviors, precluding unequivocal conclusions of voter fraud.

“We know there was fraud in the 2020 election, but you can’t conclude that it was 20 percent or 10 percent or even 5 percent based on the survey because the questions that could lead to such conclusions were unclear,” Jim Womack, president of the North Carolina Election Integrity Team, told The Epoch Times in an interview.

For instance, Mr. Womack pointed out that it’s legal and permissible in all states for people who request or require assistance in filling out mail-in ballots to get it. However, the wording of survey question 5 (“During the 2020 election, did you fill out a ballot, in part or in full, on behalf of a friend or family member, such as a spouse or child?”) did not differentiate between legal and illegal forms of filling out a mail ballot on behalf of someone.

Therefore, 21 percent of people responding “yes” to question 5 does not necessarily mean that this percentage of people committed voter fraud, he said.

Also, Mr. Womack pointed to survey question 7 (“During the 2020 election, did you sign a ballot or ballot envelope on behalf of a friend or family member, with or without his or her permission?”) and noted that it includes the possibility that someone may have legally signed a ballot envelope as a witness for a family member’s vote at their request.

He also said that question 6 (“During the 2020 election, did you cast a mail-in ballot in a state where you were no longer a permanent resident?”)—to which 17 percent replied yes—also does not support the conclusion that all such cases were illegal as many military members retain their “home of record” address and vote by mail to a state within which they are no longer permanent residents.

“We'd need to dive deeper into these responses to determine if these were fraudulent or not,” Mr. Womack said, though he praised Heartland/Rasmussen for carrying out the survey, calling it a “window into potential voter fraud” that he hopes will bring increased scrutiny to this important problem.

While Democrats and their allies claim that election fraud is little more than a myth, President Trump has said for years that voter fraud is a pervasive problem in U.S. politics —and insists he was robbed of a win in the 2020 election.

In a recent interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” the former president spoke about what went into his decision to challenge the results.

“I was listening to different people. And when I added it all up, the election was rigged,” he said, adding that it was his choice to contest the results because “I won the election.”

‘Nothing Short of Stunning’

While Democrats and their allies, along with some in the scientific community, argue that voter fraud was so small in the 2020 elections as to be negligible, the findings of the Heartland/Rasmussen survey bolster President Trump’s claims that he was robbed of victory.

Justin Haskins, the director of Heartland’s Socialism Research Center and primary author of the Heartland/Rasmussen survey, said in a statement that the results of the poll are “nothing short of stunning.”

“For the past three years, Americans have repeatedly been told that the 2020 election was the most secure in history. But if this poll’s findings are reflective of reality, the exact opposite is true,” Mr. Haskins said. “This conclusion isn’t based on conspiracy theories or suspect evidence, but rather from the responses made directly by the voters themselves.”

Some progress has been made on election integrity measures in over a dozen states in the aftermath of the 2020 election, Mr. Haskins acknowledged. He insisted, however, that “much more” work is needed in most parts of the country to bolster the integrity of elections—and voter confidence that the results reflect the actual will of the people.

“If America’s election laws do not improve soon, voters and politicians will continue to question the truthfulness and fairness of all future elections,” Mr. Haskins said.

Some states have reformed their laws and procedures amid widespread vote integrity worries prompted by the 2020 presidential election controversy. However, according to conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation, more needs to be done.

The group’s Election Integrity Scorecard shows that not a single state in the country has a perfect score in a checklist of 12 possible problem spots, including voter ID, accuracy of voter registration lists, and absentee ballot management.

Tennessee has the best election integrity procedures in the country, with a score of 88 (out of a possible 100), followed by Georgia at 84, Alabama at 82, and Missouri at 83.

Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, recently wrote that “no state in the country has a perfect score of 100, which means everyone has some work to do.”

In order to make elections more secure and build public confidence that the declared results are legitimate, states should ensure that election officials maintain current, accurate voter rolls, he argues.

Further, they should require photo identification to cast a vote, both in person and absentee, according to Mr. Von Spakovsky, who also argues for a ban on partisan funding  of state and local election offices.

He pointed to the Heritage Foundation’s Election Fraud Database as a constantly updated record of various cases of voter fraud from across the country.

“In an era of razor-thin elections, guarding against this type of illegal behavior, as well as errors made by election officials, is especially important,” he wrote.

“In 2024, it could prove critical.”

This article has been updated with comments from Jim Womack, president of the North Carolina Election Integrity Team.
Tom Ozimek is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times. He has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education.
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