Speaking Out About Vote By Mail
By: Petti VanRekom
With the increased popularity of vote-by-mail in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the League has provided the following messages to counter attacks on vote-by-mail and pivot the conversation to solutions. (Avoid saying the words “voter fraud” when interacting with voters, the general public, or media. Even the mention of potential fraud has a negative impact on voters’ confidence in our elections.)
- All states administer elections by mail through the absentee voting process.
- All states have systems in place to deter and detect irregularities or violations in the voting process, both by mail and in person.
- Vote-by-mail does not favor one party over another.
- There is no record of massive or serious election manipulation via mail-in voting (even Fox News anchor Chris Wallace has attested to this).
- (PIVOT) With an expected increase in vote-by-mail in 2020, now is the time for election officials to make the investments in ballot access and protect the integrity of our elections.
- Like all voting systems, vote-by-mail benefits from risk-limiting audits, which allow election officials to double-check the vote count, identify irregularities that need to be resolved, and issue strict penalties for tampering with the process.
In addition, the League has made some suggestions on how to improve and expand both vote-by-mail and in-person voting. The key points are:
- Stress that expanding vote-by-mail is necessary, but so is preserving and expanding in-person voting options.
- Highlight the benefits of flexibility and reducing crowds on Election Day by offering multiple voting options.
- Counter misinformation before it happens by regularly directing voters to trusted information, including VOTE411.org (or in California: VotersEdge.org).
Additional details about Voting by Mail are found on the LWVUS League Management Site.
In addition, the LA Times has made the following recommendations:
- Provide more aid for state and local election systems.
- Expand early voting.
- Ensure that the post office can deliver absentee ballots expeditiously.
- Allow a grace period for mailed ballots.
- Sign up younger poll workers.
- Take the time necessary for an account count.
For more details on each of these suggestions, see this LA Times article.