As the coronavirus pandemic accelerates a national trend toward voting by mail, experts say it can be conducted safely

New York Times,  April 7, 2020

Studies have shown that all forms of voting fraud are extremely rare in the United States. A national study in 2016 found few credible allegations of fraudulent voting. A panel that Mr. Trump charged with investigating election corruption found no real evidence of fraud before he disbanded it in 2018. ...

“Election fraud in the United States is very rare, but the most common type of such fraud in the United States involves absentee ballots,” [Richard L. Hasen, an elections expert at the University of California, Irvine, School of Law] said. “Sensible rules for handling of absentee ballots make sense, not only to minimize the risk of ballot tampering but to ensure that voters cast valid ballots.” ...

Five states, including the Republican bastion of Utah, now conduct all elections almost entirely by mail. They report very little fraud. The state is among the six states with the highest percentage of mail-in votes in the last election in 2018, all of which had Republican state election supervisors at the time, according to David J. Becker, the director of the Center for Election Innovation and Reform.

By Stephanie Saul and Reid J. Epstein

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