President Trump and other Republicans have alleged that voting by mail is not secure, but some election experts and former military officials say otherwise, noting that U.S. troops and civilians posted overseas have been doing it successfully for decades.
As the presidential election coincides with the novel coronavirus pandemic, many states have adopted vote-by-mail for their primaries and caucuses and support is growing among election officials to expand such efforts for the general election in November to heed social distancing guidance. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and White House coronavirus task force member, said on CNN on Sunday, that he “can’t guarantee” in-person voting will be possible or advisable in November due to the ongoing pandemic.
Meanwhile, the president has repeatedly railed against voting by mail, although he does acknowledge its value—for some citizens at least. “Absentee Ballots are a great way to vote for the many senior citizens, military, and others who can’t get to the polls on Election Day,” he tweeted on April 8. “These ballots are very different from 100% mail-in-voting, which is ‘RIPE for FRAUD,’ and shouldn’t be allowed!” A fact-check article by NBC News called the president’s comments misleading, and noted that “absentee voting is mail-in voting on a smaller scale, sometimes with different rules on who is allowed to take advantage of the accommodation.” Additionally, experts and former military officials pushed back on claims that voting by mail is not secure.