Thursday, November 3, 2016

The Dangers of Fraud in Voting by Mail Deserve More Attention

   The danger of voter fraud is on the increase, as the country turns more and more to voting by mail. The system is not secured. Someone can come along and steal the ballot out of the mailbox. And, with ballots sent out to all registered voters, that includes voters who have died. Those ballots fall into the hands of family members of the deceased, who can be tempted to use them.
   Yes, vote-by-mail systems usually compare the signatures on the ballots with those on file. Unfortunately that safety check has not been perfected.
   And, it is not just the ballots of those who have died.  Ballots arrive to voters who decide they don't want to vote. They sit on the table, and the voter tells others he is not going to vote. Then a family member or friend says, "Well, then, let me use it."
   Vote sharing. Like no time in our history, we now have the danger of that. The person using someone else's ballot can sometimes get the rightful ballot owner to sign it. And, thus, the perfect crime. The fraud cannot be detected when the signatures are examined.
   Vote sharing might be just part of the danger of double ballots being cast. I wonder if some vote by mail, then show up at the polls just to see if they can get away with a second vote. This presses the need for vote-by-mail ballots to all be in and counted, so those who voted by mail can all be on file at the polling place, so the poll workers can look them up and not let someone vote twice. Or, does a computer catch all the double voting? If so, does it always correctly pick the legitimate vote and dismiss the fraudulent one?
   There are advantages and benefits to voting by mail, but I wonder if the dangers should make us think on this more. Do the negatives outweigh the positives?

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