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6 reasons to have confidence in mail-in voting

Amber Stenger | Published on 7/13/2020

Voters can trust in the safety and security of the mail-in voting process, regardless of recently politicized claims to the contrary. Since 2000, more than 250 million votes have been cast via mailed-out ballots, in all 50 states, according to the National Vote at Home Institute. And by-mail voting was used by a quarter of the electorate in 2018, according to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.

Here are six reasons you can vote by mail with confidence.

1. Voting by mail isn’t new to Kansas. 

Vote-by-mail processes are well-established and well-tested here. All voters have been able to vote by mail for any reason since the mid-1990s (commonly called “no-excuse” voting by mail). Tens of thousands of Johnson County voters cast their votes by mail every year.  

Source: Johnson County Election Office

2. The same voter ID requirements apply to your mail-in application and in-person vote. 

In Kansas, voters applying to vote by mail go through a similar process as voters checking in at an in-person voting location. At a polling location, the voter is required to provide photo ID and sign the electronic poll book. When a voter applies to vote by mail, they’re required to provide their Kansas driver’s license or ID card number and signature on the application, both of which are verified by election office staff before a ballot is mailed to the voter. 

Johnson County Election Office

3. It’s difficult to request a mail-in ballot or vote by mail under someone else’s name. 

It’s a misconception that it would be easy to apply for or vote a ballot by mail in someone else’s name because there’s no way of knowing who’s requesting or voting the ballot. 

In reality, voters who vote by mail are required to provide the same information as those voting at a polling location. Then, voters are required to sign the ballot envelope, which is verified again before the ballot is counted. There are security procedures at every step of the vote-by-mail process to ensure the voter requesting the ballot is the voter receiving and voting the ballot.

Source: Johnson County Election Office

4. Nationwide security procedures protect the delivery of mail-in ballots.

Mailed ballots are typically delivered to and picked up from the post office by two election office staff and transported in a secure container. These ballots are also processed by teams of trained election staff to ensure the integrity of the counting process. 

Source: U.S. Election Assistance Commission

5. Vote-by-mail programs do not favor one political party over another.

Researchers have conducted many studies to determine whether there is a partisan bias to election reforms designed to make it easier to vote, of which vote-by-mail is one. A recent study by the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research found that “(1) vote-by-mail does not appear to affect either party’s share of turnout; (2) vote-by-mail does not appear to increase either party’s vote share; and (3) vote-by-mail modestly increases overall average turnout rates, in line with previous estimates.”

The researchers say their findings essentially dispel concerns that mail-in voting would cause a major electoral shift toward one party. 

Source: Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research

6. Voter impersonation and ballot falsification are exceedingly rare.

Based on a meticulous review of elections that had been investigated for voter fraud, the Brennan Center found miniscule incident rates of ineligible individuals casting ballots at the polls – no more than 0.0025 percent. Numerous reports have confirmed this finding that voter impersonation is exceedingly rare. Research shows that voter fraud is similarly rare with mail ballots.

Source: Brennan Center for Justice

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