Voter Fraud: Caused by Mail-In Ballots?

Many cast their votes by mail this year, leading to questions about whether this had an impact on voter fraud.

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Many cast their votes by mail this year, leading to questions about whether this had an impact on voter fraud.

The 2020 election had the biggest voter turnout in US history; the number of mail-in ballots was also higher than ever before. With over 141 million votes cast in the 2020 presidential election, 550,000 absentee ballots were returned and not counted, according to FiveThirtyEight ( With many states having different laws for counting the votes and changing their laws to increase the use of mail-in or absentee ballots, the margin for possible voter fraud is believed by some to have been increased in this election. 

During this pandemic, mail-in ballots offer many benefits to voters. They do not force prospective voters to meet strangers and do not put vulnerable people at risk. However, it was proven that voting in person was safer than expected, and experts now say that voting while wearing a mask is not any more dangerous than going to the grocery store in a mask. So far, no outbreaks have been traced back to the voting sites. Lynbrook parent Maria Raynor commented, “I personally voted at our own South Middle School; I was nervous about keeping social distancing and was not sure what to expect, but the facilities were great! I felt extremely safe, and am glad I voted this way!” Many believe that mail-in votes were the best way to vote in this election, but no one can deny the fact that voter fraud could have potentially been easier than ever withsuch  a high volume of mail-in ballots.

With many Americans voting via absentee ballots, more errors were recorded than expected—contributing to the high number of votes rejected for this year. New York City alone threw out more than 84,000 ballots during its June primary, where mail-in ballots were used much more than ever before. Casting mail-in votes requires several steps, including postmarking the ballots, signing in various places, and using the proper number of envelopes. For these reasons, the actual process of voting can confuse first-time voters and even experienced voters who are used to voting at their usual locations. Voters and states are struggling to adhere to the new rules pertaining to absentee ballots, and states are fighting to limit the admissibility. 

Absentee votes can be void for several reasons, spiking many issues in the 2020 presidential election. According to The New York Times (, the top reason ballots were rejected in 2018 was because the ballots were received late and after the votes were counted. Lynbrook resident Vasilios Kotenoglou commented, “I thought about using an absentee ballot; I was afraid it wasn’t going to make it in time for the count. I ended up in-person voting and had just as pleasant [an] experience.” A ballot can also be considered void because of signature problems, such as a signature not matching, not having a witness signature, or a ballot having no signature at all. Missing information can also be a reason a vote is not counted. The absentee ballots can be tricky and need to be completed correctly in order to be counted. According to the FiveThirtyEight website, the rates of flagged ballots in Florida were highest for people between 18 and 25 years old, and for new mail-in voters. While many had trouble filling out the mail-in ballot, Island Park resident Filio Fandaros said, “This was my first time using an absentee ballot. I found it quite easy. It was remarkably close to in-person voting, only you had to mail it in. I had a vast experience, and I would use them again.”  

After the election results were released and former-Vice President Joe Biden was declared president-elect, President Trump and his campaign began pushing to fight election results. President Trump’s campaign has leveled accusations of large-scale voter fraud in Pennsylvania and other states. After the election results were released, Trump’s lawyer accused the voting system in Philadelphia of being “riddled with fraud,” and that this contributed to Biden’s victory. There were claims from members of the Republican party that Democrats were mailing in ballots under the names of deceased people in an attempt to take away Electoral College votes from President Trump. The Trump campaign has demanded a recount in Wisconsin, while a recount in Georgia is still pending. According to NPR (, Rudy Giuliani, one of President Trump’s lawyers, has predicted that the campaign will file four or five lawsuits in the week following the election. There were other claims from Trump that caused him to file lawsuits against states, but no evidence has been found supporting these claims.

Possible voter fraud had a massive impact on this election. Even if there is not evidence of voter fraud, Americans are becoming aware of the possibility of handing over their ballot and their vote not being counted, which is unsettling for many Americans.