US election mail-in ballot fraud ‘could cause chaos’ – Donald Trump’s claims analysed

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However, they added it is “very, very unlikely” such efforts would not be found out by security systems in place. US President Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed mail-in voting – as opposed to voting in person at ballot stations – will lead to voter fraud in the upcoming presidential election.

Such claims have been met with scrutiny, with social media platform Twitter often hiding Mr Trump’s posts on the matter behind a ‘misleading’ content warning.

Only this week, Twitter labelled one of Mr Trump’s tweets as containing content that “is disputed and might be misleading”.

The president had said: “Big problems and discrepancies with Mail In Ballots all over the USA. Must have final total on November 3.”

In addition to the content warning, Twitter disabled the ‘like’ and ‘reply’ buttons and also attached a link to a page which explains how voting by mail is “legal and safe”.

Now, Michael C. Munger, Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute think tank and Professor of Political Science at Duke University in the US, has explained whether there is truth behind Mr Trump’s claims.

In August, the president said mail-in ballots “make it possible for a person to vote multiple times”.

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Professor Munger said there is some evidence to support this claim. He told “There are instances of people voting multiple times, using mail-in or absentee ballots.

“There was in fact a moderately significant incident here in my home state of North Carolina, where Duke University is located. It happened in 2018, and charges were brought in 2019.

“This was a Republican operation, at a low level. So, there is some evidence that such fraud is possible. But for the Republicans, and Trump, to complain about this kind of fraud is a little like an arsonist warning that fire is dangerous.”

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In September, Mr Trump said other countries could print counterfeit ballots in order to sway the US election.

Professor Munger said this is “absolutely possible” and that it “could cause chaos” if it did. However, he added: “So, is this possible? Yes. Would it be disruptive? Very. Would it go undetected and change the election outcome? Very, very unlikely.

“In almost all states, paper ballots of all kinds have a bar code which is scanned to identify the voter. A voter cannot vote twice. It is possible that people who are on the roles but who have moved or are dead will be ‘voted’ by unscrupulous operatives, but there is no evidence it is widespread.

“Any widespread effort at fraud would be caught, and would result in a catastrophic delay in processing that state’s returns, with a long sojourn through the courts in the offing. It would be disruptive, but it would not be effective.

One of the reasons mail-in voting has been brought into focus this election is because of a marked increase in the use of such ballots in this election due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some states, such as New Jersey, are sending ballots to all state citizens for the first time ever, according to the journal Nature.

Professor Munger claimed some issues with the process include processing bottlenecks and delays in announcements.

Twitter said: “Claims that mail-in voting leads to fraud are unsubstantiated, according to ABC and other outlets.”

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