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Poll: Most U.S. Voters Trust Mail-In Ballots

U.S. Navy

A majority of American voters - 58 %- say vote by mail should be available to everyone in the upcoming November election due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, according to a recent Politico and Morning Consult poll. 

Sylvia Albert with Common Cause said soldiers stationed overseas, people with disabilities and others have been securely voting by mail in the U.S. for more than 150 years. She said there's no reason to limit people's right to vote safely when alternatives to in-person voting are available.

 "Voting is a fundamental right,” Alber said. “And in the midst of a global pandemic, vote by mail is a safe and secure way that you can vote and still protect yourself and your community and your family."

Wyoming Secretary of State Ed Buchanan recently sent letters inviting all registered voters to receive ballots at home. President Donald Trump has claimed, without evidence, that mail-in ballots could lead to widespread voter fraud. The president also has endorsed voting by mail in his new home state of Florida. Just 33% of Republicans support vote by mail, compared with 57% of independent voters, and 81% of Democrats.

A Stanford University study found that over past decades, vote by mail has not favored one political party over another. Albert said voter fraud is extremely rare, pointing to research by the conservative Heritage Foundationthat showed just a tiny fraction of one-tenth of one percent of mailed ballots were fraudulent.

"You are actually more likely to be hit by lightning or win the mega millions than to have a problem happen with your mail-in ballot due to voter fraud,” Albert said.

In the last presidential election, just 58% of eligible voters cast ballots. Albert said after voters received ballots at home for recent primaries, election officials saw record turnouts. She said giving Americans more voting options during the pandemic could increase civic participation, which she sees as critical for a healthy democracy.