Opinion

Mail-In Ballots Are Risky And CBS News Correspondent Demonstrates Why

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CBS News Correspondent and Co-Host of This Morning conducted a social experiment to measure the risks associated with mail-in voting.

As COVID-19 continues to lock down much of the country, serious thought is being given to opening up the 2020 election to mail-in voting.

Proponents of such a measure argue that it’s in everyone’s best interest to vote by mail to ensure that they do not catch the virus.

Opponents of mail-in voting argue that the measure would open the door to fraud, ballot harvesting, and missing ballots during the mail delivery process.

In his experiment, Dokoupil mailed a few hundred items, from locations all over Philadelphia, to a P.O. Box that was meant to represent a local election office. The letters were meant to simulate the size and weight of official election ballots, and Dokoupil’s team waited four days to see the results of their efforts.

The first attempts to collect the mock ballots yielded no results as the Post Office said that they could not find them. The letters were later found, when he asked to speak to a manager, and was told that his letters were “not where they were supposed to be.” In other words, they were misplaced.

Immediately, we can see a problem with mail-in voting. Much like the game of telephone, the more people involved in the process, the less likely one will get an accurate result. In-person voting reassures each voter that their vote is counted as they are there to witness that it’s been counted.

Another challenge emerged when Dokoupil realized that 3% of his mock ballots went missing. They never arrived.

While 3% might seem like a small number, consider the fact that there were 128 million votes cast in 2016. Extrapolate Dokoupil’s little experiment nationwide and you are potentially looking at 3.8 million votes going uncounted. It should be a big deal when a single voter is disenfranchised, but when you are talking about millions, you run the risk of invalidating the entire election.

You can take a look at Dokoupil’s report below:

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