There is widespread thought among President Donald Trump and some Republicans that the desire for widespread voting by mail because of COVID-19 will lead to massive fraud. Trump’s tweet on this issue was cited as “potentially misleading” by Twitter.

Former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, a Republican who is now co-chair of a bipartisan group called VoteSafe, said recently, “It just seems to me that this may be an indication (Trump) is more worried about the outcome than he’s worried about fraud.”

Carnegie-Knight News21, a national investigative reporting project that tracks cases of election fraud, has documented only about 2,000 cases of alleged election fraud since 2000. Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity (with Trump’s pleading to “find something”) went bust in seven months. One of its members, Hans von Spakovsky, had a history of advocating voter suppression.

In the 2016 and 2018 national elections, about 25% of votes cast were by mail. Sixteen states were over 50%, with Oregon (100%), Washington, Colorado, Utah and Hawaii leading the way.

Trump and some of his family members have voted several times by absentee ballot, as has his press secretary. And by the way, there’s essentially no difference between absentee voting and voting by mail.

Something that some local voting districts across the country have tried — and that is probably the future of voting by mail — is “ballot tracking,” which involves a simple bar code. Interesting!

Jim Diehl


Lebanon County