Q&A – Would expanded voting by mail lead to more fraud in Florida?

Q&A of the Day –Would expanded voting by mail lead to more fraud in Florida? 

Each day I’ll feature a listener question that’s been submitted by one of these methods. 

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com

Twitter: @brianmuddradio

Facebook: Brian Mudd https://www.facebook.com/brian.mudd1

Today’s entry: I saw something about a lawsuit trying to change Florida’s mail in ballot laws. I know Trump doesn’t like it but I don’t see a problem. It’s the way I vote and it works well so who cares if there’s more of it? 

Bottom Line: The lawsuit you’re referencing was filed by Priorities USA, the Florida Alliance for Retired Americans and Alianza for Progress. That’s a good place to start. Considering the source comes to mind. Priorities USA is a Democrat SuperPac. The Wellington based Florida Alliance for Retired Americans mirrors the politics of the national alliance which is politically active and donated 100% of their money to Democrats in the 2018 election cycle. The Alianza for Progress is an organization which proclaims to advance the power of Puerto Ricans and Latinxs for the progressive agenda. All three are hard left groups. So why are three leftist organizations suing to open Florida up to expanding voting by mail – using the pandemic to advance that agenda. It’s not for nothing. 

You might have heard of “ballot harvesting” which has become standard operating procedure in West Coast states – most notably California. The practice of ballot harvesting requires having ballots mailed to would be voters and collected by third parties seeking to have them counted. What’s been discovered is that many “harvested” ballots aren’t signed (and thus likely filled out) by those who receive them. The practice is still relatively new but there are two proved instances of significant voter fraud associated with harvested mail in ballots. The first comes from North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District. The 2018 election was evidenced to have featured significant ballot harvesting from absentee ballots with altered and forged ballots having altered the outcome in the race. In a historic decision the state’s Board of Elections vacated the results of a Congressional election. Separately, a study conducted by Portland State University into absentee ballots cast during the 2018 midterms in Washington County, Oregon – near Portland – found 2.4% of the ballots were not filled out or signed by the person they were assigned to. That’s the largest percentage of voter fraud identified in a non-municipal race in American history. 

According to the Heritage Foundation's ElectionFraudDatabase, 1,285 proven instances of voter fraud have been documented with 1,110 criminal convictions. This happens to be a case of media omission of coverage more than a lack of actual fraud occurring as is commonly reported. In Florida there have been 15 criminal convictions of voter fraud, five of which used absentee ballots as the mechanism of their fraud, in just the past decade. Harvesting fraud commonly happens in two ways. Keeping dead or other ineligible voters on rolls. The first kind, having ballots mailed to those addresses with fraudsters intercepting them and filling them out. The fastest growing is for third parties to go to the homes of absentee voters who haven’t turned in their ballots. In these instances of fraud, blank ballots are often collected and filled out by those collecting them. 

Here’s what it really gets down to. The more ineligible voters on rolls and the more absentee ballots being issued, the greater the potential to access those ballots by potential fraudsters. Honest elections should never be a partisan issue. That hard-core partisan groups are the one’s suing Florida to ease the restrictions on voting by mail, and that they’re the ones frequently challenging the purging of ineligible voters, should tell you all you need to know. 

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