Twitter utterly debunks Trump’s 5 biggest lies about voting by mail

The USPS is in trouble; how Trump is destroying the Postal Service — and why.

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Trump is pushing back on vote-by-mail for the November election, saying that he believes it will lead to cheating.

But if absentee postal voting leads to fraud, then why has it been in practice since the Civil War? Because it does not lead to fraud. Trump knows he’s losing votes, so he wants to ensure Democrats lose their vote, too, by using unfounded claims that vote-by-mail will lead to “the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history.”

Here are five myths and lies about our vote-by-mail system debunked by Twitter—and the reasons why vote-by-mail is a safe and secure way to cast your ballot during the pandemic.

The myth: Absentee voting is safe, vote-by-mail is not

A photograph of USPS postage stamps.

Canva

The truth: they’re the same thing.

“Voting experts told us the verification process is the same for absentee and mail-in ballots, and many states consider them to be the same thing,” according to Robert Farley in a post on FactCheck.org.

Trump’s false accusation is ironic, considering he voted by mail in Florida’s primaries, where there is no need to provide a reason for not voting in person. That means that there is no absentee voting in Florida since, to vote absentee, the eligible voter must present a reason.

The myth: Mail-in voting isn’t common practice

A hand placing a ballot in a box

Canva

The truth: several states already use vote-by-mail as their primary way of voting.

Five states already exclusively vote-by-mail, including Washington State, where eligible voters have mailed in their ballots for nearly a decade now.

Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman mentioned in an interview with NPR that election officials focus on building security measures to prevent fraud and invited Trump to come and see the fair, secure process in person.

The myth: Mail-in voting leads to fraud

A sticker on an HVAC tube that says "Fraud"

Flickr / Michele Hubacek

The truth: there’s no substantial evidence that voting-by-mail leads to increased fraudulent voting.

In a study conducted from 2000 to 2012 that looked at every reported case of election fraud in the U.S., only 491 cases of absentee ballot fraud had occurred.

Six instances of “Fraudulent Use Of Absentee Ballots” occurred in Washington State from 2005 to 2010. This minuscule number of cases is an insignificant fraction of the total number of voters who don’t commit electoral fraud.

The myth: vote-by-mail only serves to elect Democrats

The elephant and the donkey

Flickr / DonkeyHotey

The truth: this is just… false.

Trump has made baseless claims that postal voting disadvantages Republicans.

According to ABC, Utah Senator Mitt Romney told Capitol Hill reporters that he speculates almost 90% of eligible voters in his state vote by mail. “It works very, very well and it’s a very Republican state,” said Romney. If anything, Trump’s election fear-mongering is a disadvantage to Republicans, discouraging them from voting using a completely viable system.

The myth: Ineligible voters will use voting-by-mail to cast a ballot

a roll of vote stickers

Unsplash

The truth: security measures are in place to prevent ineligible voters from voting through the mail.

Identity verification is just one of many secure ways that officials prevent voting fraud through vote-by-mail. To verify that the ballot belongs to you, “We actually compare every single signature of every single ballot that comes in and we compare it and make sure that it matches the one on their voter registration record,” said Kim Wyman, Washington Secretary of State.

Officials also use post-election audits to “inform election officials of any bugs or errors in the system,” “act as a deterrent against fraud,” and ultimately “increase confidence in the results of an election.”

Obviously, the most significant deterrent against electoral fraud is the harsh penalties attached to meddling with a federal election. Voter fraud can lead to five years in prison and $10,000, according to a report with The Brennan Center for Justice.

Voting-by-mail this November is a matter of public safety. There’s a risk of fraudulent voting with any voting practice, and Trump’s antagonization of the vote-by-mail method is a futile attempt to stifle voters from casting votes in the safety of their homes for the federal election. (Unless those voters are in Florida. Trump encouraged those living in the Sunshine State to get their absentee ballots!)

See if you are eligible to vote by mail

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