What you need to know about vote-by-mail

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we must prepare for the possibility that traditional in-person voting will be more difficult for many this year. Voting by mail keeps voters safe while preventing disenfranchisement.

Multiple states already have vote-by-mail. Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington conduct their elections almost entirely by mail — offering successful models for how it can be implemented around the county.

In 2016, more than 23% of voters cast their ballots by mail. There is already a significant precedent for vote-by-mail, and many voters are familiar with the practice.

Vote-by-mail improves voter turnout. States that allowed vote-by-mail had, on average, a 15.5 percentage point higher turnout rate than states that did not in 2018.

There is no evidence that voting by mail results in significant fraud. As with in-person voting, the threat is infinitesimally small. [1] As Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado reminded President Trump after he opposed vote by mail on fraud grounds, “Mr. President, we’ve had vote-by-mail in Colorado for years. We don’t have fraud. But we do have the second-highest turnout in America.” [2]



[1] Dale, Daniel, et al. “Fact Check: Trump Makes False Claims about His Coronavirus Record and Voter Fraud, Misleads about the WHO.” CNN, Cable News Network, 8 Apr. 2020, www.cnn.com/2020/04/07/politics/fact-check-trump-coronavirus-briefing-april-7/index.html.

[2] Bennet, Michael. “Mr. President, We've Had Vote by Mail in Colorado for Years. We Don't Have Fraud. But We Do Have the Second Highest Turnout in America. Https://T.co/SAaa8379Xm.” Twitter, Twitter, 4 Apr. 2020, twitter.com/SenatorBennet/status/1246259356729032705?s=20.

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