A member of the board of directors of Stacey Abrams’ electoral organization said postal ballots are most vulnerable to fraud in an interview in 2007
A board member of Stacey Abrahms’ Georgian political organization, Fair Fight, said in 2007 that voter fraud is more likely to occur in postal ballots, a statement that appears to contradict the current position of the group against laws that impose safety rules on the practice.
Board member, State Representative Al Williams, made the comment in a 2007 NPR interview in on a voting law implemented by Georgia at the time. He said voter fraud was not an issue during in-person votes, so the law’s identification requirement was unnecessary and discriminatory. To support his position, Williams said postal voting is less secure than voting in person.
âWe don’t have a single case in 12 years – and this was a study by former Secretary of State Cathy Cox – not a single case of voter fraud at the ballot box,â Williams said.
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âMost of the fraud that occurs in voting involves postal ballots, where only a signature is required,â Williams also said. “But none of these provisions will even address [in the 2007 law]. “
But now Williams is a board member of Fair Fight, which is very supportive of postal voting. He supports a justice ministry lawsuit against a 2021 Georgia-implemented electoral law that requires, among other things, voter identification for postal ballots.
“We oppose all attempts to eliminate mail-in voting without excuse and we oppose any move to add voter identification laws for mail-in ballots,” Fair Fight also tweeted in January. as the Georgian legislature prepared to consider the bill that ultimately became the new law. . “Postal voting works. Republicans come up with solutions looking for a problem.”
Most recently, Fair Fight is promoting an effort called “#HotCallSummer,” which asks activists to call their US Senators to ask them to vote for federal legislation to override state election laws.
“In 2020, over 65 million Americans voted by mail!” Fair Fight tweeted last month. “But now Republicans across the country are erecting barriers to postal votingâ¦ Call TODAY and ask them to take action to pass federal legislation that will protect our freedom to vote, including by mail.”
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Among the bills that Congress is currently considering are the S.1, a massive bill that would ban states from requiring photo ID to vote; raise barriers for states to clean up electoral rolls; require states to offer drop boxes 45 days before an election and more. This bill stalled in the Senate in the face of a GOP filibuster. Democratic senators are currently trying to come up with possible compromise legislation.
And next week, the House will consider HR 4, also known as the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.
With the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, proudly introduced today by Congresswoman Terri Sewell alongside Judicial Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, Democrats are fighting an undemocratic wave, protecting access to the ballot box for every American and pursuing the cause our beloved John Lewis has dedicated his whole life to, âSpeaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said of the bill on Tuesday.
Democrats say these bills are needed to counter GOP-backed state election laws. Republicans, meanwhile, say the Democrats’ federal voting bills are a poorly thought-out takeover.
âThis is clearly a one-party effort to rewrite the rules of our political system, but even more immediately it would create an implementation nightmareâ¦, said of S.1 during a hearing earlier this year.
Election fraud in the United States is extraordinarily rare, including in postal voting. While massively expanded postal voting in the 2020 presidential election resulted in delays in the counting of ballots in some states, there is no evidence of widespread fraud in any state, despite false claims to the contrary. of former President Donald Trump and others.
Nonetheless, postal ballots have proven to be susceptible to fraud on a smaller scale.
A municipal election in Paterson, New Jersey in 2020 was thrown out entirely after the apparent race winner and a sitting city councilor were charged with voter fraud with mail ballots. And as states and localities sent out unsolicited mail-in ballots in the 2020 election, many people received ballots addressed to former residents of their homes, revealing a potential security breach with this. voting method.
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There has long been a consensus that although voter fraud is rare by any means, postal ballots are the most vulnerable form of voting.
“Postal ballots remain the main source of potential electoral fraud,” says 2005 report Carter-Baker Commission, a bipartisan panel attached to the American University, said. It was chaired by former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker.
Republicans, who generally oppose expanded postal voting, say practices such as ballot harvesting and universal postal voting can be particularly problematic.
But Americans have increased their use of mail-in ballots in recent years despite these problems. Almost 25% of Americans voted by mail in 2016, according to the Brooking Institution – and nearly 50% in 2020 according to the MIT Election Data + Scientific Laboratory – all without widespread fraud.