Voting by mail invites fraud and hypocrisy

Voting by mail invites fraud and hypocrisy. By Gerard Baker.

“Voting by mail is now common enough and problematic enough that election experts say there have been multiple elections in which no one can say with confidence which candidate was the deserved winner.”

Another presidential tweet? Some right-wing pundit promoting a debunked theory about mail-in ballots in an effort to delegitimise the election?

Try the New York Times. In a front-page news story published just before the 2012 presidential election, the Times cast grave doubt on the reliability of widespread mail-in voting, noting it was much more vulnerable to fraud than conventional voting.

“While fraud in voting by mail is far less common than innocent errors, it is vastly more prevalent than … in-person voting fraud”

Times change. Last month the paper ran a headline that said, “Trump Is Pushing a False Argument on Vote-by-Mail Fraud.”

It’s possible, I suppose, that all that fraud the paper worried about has just disappeared in eight years. But the real clue as to why the Times — along with virtually the entire media — now says claims about mail-in fraud are false comes further down in that October 2012 news item.

“Republicans are in fact more likely than Democrats to vote absentee. In the 2008 general election in Florida, 47 per cent of absentee voters were Republicans and 36 per cent were Democrats.”

There you have it. When voting by mail seemed to be a Republican thing it was: Fraud! Manipulation! Now that Democrats are expected to vote this way in much greater numbers, it’s all: Nothing to see here.

We are probably going to be hearing a lot more about voting by mail in the aftermath of Nov. 3.