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Mailing It In: Where Election Integrity Efforts Stand After a Year of Big Fights

Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2021
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by AMAC Newsline
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AMAC Exclusive – By Cal Palmer

For almost a year, Democrats and left-wing activists have smeared the efforts of Republican lawmakers to strengthen election integrity as “racist” and “voter suppression.” But as high-flying rhetoric has abounded on both sides of the debate, it has left many voters wondering: after months of politicians fighting, fortifying, and falsifying, what actually happened? In particular, with the midterm elections looming as the next big test of the integrity of the American election system, where do the major swing states now stand on the biggest opportunity for election fraud—mail-in, absentee ballots?

Recent polls show that a solid majority of Americans on both sides of the political aisle are eager for the answer to those questions. According to the Center for Excellence in Polling, over 60 percent of all voters are concerned about institutional election fraud, including a surprising 31 percent of Democrats who admit they are “very concerned.”

Two states – Georgia and Texas – have received the most national attention for their new election integrity measures, with the MLB pulling the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta and multiple large corporations issuing public rebukes of the Republican-controlled state legislatures in both states over the bills. President Joe Biden went so far as to call Georgia’s election integrity law “Jim Crow on steroids.” Democrats in Texas’s state legislature fled Austin on private planes in an attempt to block a vote on the state’s election integrity bill.

The Texas bill, which finally passed, tightened the state’s mail-in ballot rules by now requiring absentee voters to include either their driver’s license number, last four digits of their Social Security number, or a sworn statement that the voter has neither.

Texas also now requires counties with 100,000 people or more to provide a live stream of all ballot drop-boxes. 

However, in America’s upcoming midterm and presidential elections, the Lone Star State likely won’t play a decisive role in which party controls the future direction of the country. With no Senate contest in 2022 and a comfortable win for Donald Trump in the most recent presidential election, other states will likely determine which side comes out on top.

These states—call them the big nine—are Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona, Iowa, and New Hampshire.

The big nine will decide control of the Senate in 2022 and the presidency in 2024. But they have at least one more common trait. Each has seen serious fights in 2021 over election integrity and mail-in ballots.

Of the big nine, Georgia’s law, SB 202, received the lion’s share of national attention. Of course, it also received an outsized share of leftist hysteria.

Under the law, election officials can’t send unsolicited absentee ballot applications without a voter requesting one. Georgia has joined Arizona and Florida in this regard.

Voters must also make their request for an absentee earlier than two Fridays before election, rather than just the Friday before election day.

The bill’s defenders argue this will likely lead to an increase in the number of absentee ballots actually counted because it will decrease the number of rejected ballots.

In turn, Georgia voters will need to provide their driver’s license number or equivalent voter ID number. Among the big nine, Georgia now joins Ohio and Wisconsin in requiring a driver’s license number on ballots. Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Florida, Arizona, and Pennsylvania don’t.

One modest reform not included in Georgia’s election integrity bill was a witness requirement for absentee ballots. Instead, like Florida, Arizona, Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, Georgia allows unwitnessed, mail-in ballots.

North Carolina and Wisconsin do require absentee ballots to be witnessed. Missouri’s absentee voters are actually required to have their ballots notarized, but none of the big nine have taken that approach.

What about timing? What’s the deadline for returning these mail-in ballots?

Most of the big nine require absentee ballots to be received by the time polls close on election night, including Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.

But Ohio and North Carolina don’t. In fact, Ohio even counts absentee ballots received up to ten days after election day as long as the ballot was postmarked before election day.

That’s not Ohio’s only fast-and-loose rule, either.

Most states in America have either no “cure” period—a time in which voters can “correct” a mistake in their signature or try to overcome a verification problem in their absentee ballot—or a cure period of three days or less after election day.

But Ohio is an outlier. It allows seven days for curing. This puts Ohio in a very small group of states including Oregon and Rhode Island – constituencies with very different political leanings.

One thing is clear. As long as a strong majority of Americans have serious doubts about the integrity of mail-in voting, it will be difficult, if not impossible, for Americans to have faith in election outcomes. How states address those concerns is of vital importance to the health of our democracy, and it is accordingly the responsibility of both elected officials and a free and independent press to explain changes to election laws clearly and honestly. People are tuned in and engaged, and they expect no less from those charged with safeguarding our democratic ideals.

Cal Palmer is the pen name of an analyst and fellow at a national think tank. He is an attorney and officer in the U.S. Army Reserve.

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George
George
2 years ago

As long as mail-in ballots (NOT absentee ballots) are counted, the democrats have a great chance of winning. Absentee ballots are requested. Mail-in ballots are sent out in bulk mail and accepted in bulk mail. That way, if there is a deficiency in a democrat candidate’s plurality, a “lost” bunch of ballots can be found to insure a democrat victory. This seemed to be the case starting in Duval County, Texas, where a bunch of dead people’s ballots were surprisingly found and Lyndon B. Johnson was elected to the senate.

JJ Johnson-Smith
JJ Johnson-Smith
2 years ago

Seems to ME that Federal Elections should all share identical restrictions and requirements. Basic, Common Sense such as Photo I.D, Absentee Ballots for deployed military and proven disabled ONLY, and voting ON Election Day Only. Why is that so difficult? These basic guidelines SHOULD be nationwide for ALL elections at every level. Eliminate the confusion.

Sammy
Sammy
2 years ago

2020 Presidential election? Most corrupt election ever held in this country. Now we are all paying. The future of America looks bleak to me. Sorry kiddies.

Sharon Black
Sharon Black
2 years ago

I’m 83, no longer drive, therefore I welcome absentee ballot

Sovereign
Sovereign
2 years ago

As usual, Republicans have been negligent in preventing the Democrats from taking over the election process. That’s how the 2020 election got stolen, and that’s how future elections will be stolen.

Clark Kent
Clark Kent
2 years ago

The author is obviously a lawyer. Tons of blah, blah, blah to admit nothing has really changed. Get paid by the hour, ‘Cal’?

Sam
Sam
2 years ago

Face it, folks. “Elections” in this country are now a thing of the past. What we will have from now on will be “Selections” of people previously picked to “win”. Just look at all the “Selectors” pouring over the borders…….

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
2 years ago

Just to be consistent they should demand vaccination cards to vote. But then that would be “racist” right? See? “Consistency” works!

George
George
2 years ago

Mail-in ballots are much different from absentee ballots. Absentee ballots are tracked. Mail-in ballots should be counted as provisional ballots only. There are many weeks of early voting opportunities prior to an election, and the polls are open at least twelve hours on election day. Serious voters can case a ballot in person.

Aine Coleman
Aine Coleman
2 years ago

Mail-in Ballots are just an opportunity for fraud – that is why my state, NJ, loves it.

Joe
Joe
2 years ago

There shouldn’t be any mail-votes/ballots except for the disabled,elderly, that is what it was intended for. Any other way is just so the socialist,marxist,dumbocrap commies can steal the election like they did against Trump. Without identification for mail-in ballots any one can defraud the election, like we have found out all over the country,dummycraps been caught all over the place for fraud. If the spineless repukes don’t do something about this fraud, they will never win an election again.

mjl
mjl
2 years ago

I have asked Bob Carlson AMAC ACTION to contact Lt. Col. Wendy Rogers, Senator AZ, for an interview of her continued actions across the nation in encouraging every state/legislature to request forensic audits and support voter integrity. We read what happened in the 2020 election but no action is taken even when proof is presented…only the media and press not acknowledging this proof and continuing to mock Trump’s claim of fraud.. .this gal has taken a lead in bringing about a proposed change to prevent this happening in ’22 and ’24 elections…we NEED TO SUPPORT HER AND CONTACT OUR STATE LEGISLATURE TO FOLLOW ELECTION LAWS!!!! I hope you have seen her interviews on OANN.

BAE
BAE
2 years ago

Politicians should only be able to run two four year terms for the house and senate, then get a real job. No more then eight years. Done and gone……………
This is they only way to get some honesty.

Marc P.
Marc P.
2 years ago

If we don’t fix every state and have true election integrity all hope for America is lost. We must eliminate ballot harvesting, unverified mail-in ballots, dead people voting and double voting by people who have moved. And we must have a cross-check of ballots to valid ID + validated signatures.

Karen
Karen
2 years ago

NO MORE MAILING IN BALLOTS!

Doris Lauter
Doris Lauter
2 years ago

We must have Republicans and Democrats working together to count the votes. Mail in voting is horrible. I saw a woman stuffing the ballot pickup boxes at night. I saw phony mail in ballots that someone printed and used. The boxes and boxes of boxes of ballots all filled out for Biden. Was there a warehouse to see how many they would need to beat Trump? I saw a ;machine on Anderson cooper on election night, tallying the votes. The machine gave Biden 500 votes more, and at the same moment, the machine too away 500 votes form Trump totals. Fraud everywhere. Paper ballots in person are best, and mail in absentee ballots for old people….handicapped

Joan
Joan
2 years ago

I have not heard anything about voters who change their minds after mailing in their vote. I had heard that if they went to the polls and “re-voted” their original vote would be deleted. Is that part of the “cure” process?

Virginia Coleman
Virginia Coleman
2 years ago

I still say Paper Ballots are the best way to vote cause there would be no internet interference for sure. Our elections have to be secure and not have the fiasco that went on with liberals controlling it. There should never have to be anything hidden when it comes to counting votes. CHEATERS don’t want you to see their hand until it’s too late and you lose all.

Robin Walter Boyd
Robin Walter Boyd
2 years ago

Why are all American citizens required to have a SS number if we aren’t going to utilize that number to prevent something as important as voter fraud? Yes, fake SS numbers can be made up, but that still leaves just one vote per SS number, preventing multiple votes by any one person even if they are using an invalid SS number, which should be able to be verified. Voting integrity just doesn’t need to be as complicated and convoluted as deceitful people keep making it out to be.

Bruce G Rowe
Bruce G Rowe
2 years ago

Someone needs to look at those voting machines or eliminate the machines all together, and just do it by hand. That’s how Venezuela lost their country, and after that the country’s dictator eliminated their country’s Supreme court. I would say that the Republicans could not win in the 22 election, because of those machines.

MariaRose
MariaRose
2 years ago

Not mentioned here but should be, is the Proposition 3 in New York, on the upcoming election which want to eliminate the 10 day Advance Voter registration requirement ( somehow planning to vote and register is restrictive) and Proposition 4-Authorize no excuse Absentee Ballot (so they can be just mailed out even when not specifically requested). No one but the individual voter has the right to request method of voting and there’s nothing wrong with just the voter doing the request as there’s multiple ways to request getting the ballot.
There’s no politics involved with planning how you want to vote and if you are planning to use USPS as the means to deliver to you the ballot and back to send the ballot, you can’t blame politics for the USPS slow delivery because there’s plenty of other options to vote if one truly wants to.

Steven Anderson
Steven Anderson
2 years ago

Mail in is here to stay – like it or not. I’m concerned about vote harvesting and the Dems are great at this.

R.J. from Arizona
R.J. from Arizona
2 years ago

I don’t think I can ever trust an election again, and nothing will be done to those who trashed our system.

Raes
Raes
2 years ago

I’m in Texas…I received a mail-in ballot without my permission…of course I discarded it…but my point…we are still struggling for fair elections everywhere…I feel that corruption… regarding elections go way back…a strong Governor can push back…the US has been a relaxed and trusting country too long… it is time to get involved…the integrity of this country depends on it…know who your voting for…the biggering that goes in between Democrats and Republicans is insane…this is and will affect everyone’s life…I will always be thankful to President Trump for shining the light on the dishonest media and the corrupt politicians…

robert manfre
robert manfre
2 years ago

this needs to be fixed, ID for ALL voters, only mail in if an absente is requested, no votes AFTER election date, there is enough time to vote !

Rik
Rik
2 years ago

ELECTION INTEGRITY??? . . . It’s just NOT GOING TO HAPPEN because the GOP ISN’T DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT!
Term Limits . . . Term Limits . . . Term
Limits . . . Term Limits . . . Term Limits!
THAT IS THE SOLUTION AND NEITHER PARTY WANTS THEM TO END THEIR GRAVY TRAIN RIDE! ! !

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
2 years ago

Mail/drop Ballot reforms needed:
o Watermarks
o Bar codes
o signature match
o UV scan.
o Color code ballots by Region, state
Then Its minimum Safer to Vote

Problem:
Collect & trash ballots by workers
Otherwise Safe

PaulE
PaulE
2 years ago

I care far less about meaningless polls more than a year out from any election, than I do about the progress made to date to ensure the so-called “emergency voting standards” enacted and used in 2020 and 2021 do NOT become the ongoing standard nation-wide. Yes, we have had a few states that have enacted some reforms, some more thorough than others by the way, but if you look at the key must win swing states outlined in the article, we’re still a long way from correcting the issue.

Where is the sense of urgency from the GOP lawmakers in those key swing states or the RNC at the national level to prod Republican legislatures to clean up this mess? Pretty much nowhere. They are treating the issue as something “we’ll get around to at some point” or just campaigning on the issue while actually planning to do nothing about it.

The American people seem far more concerned about election integrity than the career politicians on the GOP side. The people have to light a fire under these folks to get things done, because pretty much what is in place, rules wise, come January 1st of 2022 is what these states will use in the 2022 mid terms.

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President Joe Biden, joined by Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, delivers remarks on the U.S. Supreme Court decision to strike down the Biden Administration's student loan forgiveness program, Friday, June 30, 2023, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

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