Hoosiers should ignore President Donald Trump’s tweets and comments trying to discredit voting by mail.
In Indiana, as elsewhere in the country, the standard methods of voting — by mail, early in person and at the polls on election day — have strong safeguards against fraud.
The president tweeted this Tuesday morning:
“There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent. Mail boxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged & even illegally printed out & fraudulently signed.”
In response, Twitter for the first time posted a retort to the president’s tweeting, urging Twitter users to “get the facts about mail-in ballots.”
Though the president claimed mail-in ballots would lead to a rigged election, Twitter said, fact-checkers say there is no evidence that mail-in ballots are linked to voter fraud.
Twitter also called out the president’s claim that California would send mail-in ballots to “anyone living in the state, no matter who they are or how they got there.” In fact, Twitter said, only registered voters will receive ballots.
The fact-check also credited NBC News with reporting that five states already vote entirely by mail and all states offer some form of mail-in absentee voting.
All mail-in ballots in Indiana are logged in a state database to assure that voters don’t try to vote again in the same election by mail or in person, according to Madison County Clerk of Courts Olivia Pratt.
In Madison County, all such ballots are stored in a “double-locked room that requires a bipartisan team to open,” Pratt said. “Those ballots are not touched again until the morning of the election when bipartisan teams open the envelopes to count the ballots.”
No form of voting is 100% free of fraud, but evidence shows that mail-in voting is no more susceptible than in-person voting.
Over the past 20 years, The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, has kept track of documented voter fraud cases across the country. Only about 200 of the 1,200 cases involved mail-in ballots. During that time more than 250 million ballots were mailed.
Indiana offers a range of voting options, and Hoosiers should feel comfortable using any of them to participate in the democratic process.
If you requested a mail-in ballot, you should complete it and send it back to your county clerk’s office by noon Tuesday with full assurance that your vote will be properly registered. Likewise, if you prefer to vote early in-person, check with your clerk’s office on remaining hours to do so.
And if you choose to vote in person Tuesday at a polling site, you should be far more concerned about following public health directives than about whether your ballot will be counted accurately.