Trump's latest falsehood: Democrats are trying to end signature verification for ballots

www.washingtonpost.com
5 min read
fairly difficult
The president routinely cries "voter fraud" where none exists. Now he's railing against legislation that doesn't exist.
This is false. Democrats are not trying to ban signature verification requirements for mail-in ballots.

What Democrats have introduced is a bill that says U.S. election officials must notify any voter whose signature was deemed deficient and give them an opportunity to fix it. That's not a ban on signature verification, not by any stretch.

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Democrats also have sued individual states and, in some cases, have won a court-ordered remedy process for voters to clear up any signature mismatches. That's not a ban, either.

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The president has a dearth of credibility on election issues. He routinely cries "voter fraud" where none exists. Now, he's railing against legislation that doesn't exist.

The Facts

Documented instances of voter fraud are exceedingly rare in the United States, the odds being lower than those of being struck by lightning, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. In 2018, more than 31 million Americans voted by mail, representing one-quarter of election participants. Five states — Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Washington — use mail ballots as the primary method of voting.

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"Despite this dramatic increase in mail voting over time, fraud rates remain infinitesimally small," the Brennan Center says. "None of the five states that hold their elections primarily by mail has had any voter fraud scandals since making that change."

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A Washington Post analysis of data collected by three vote-by-mail states with help from the nonprofit Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) found that officials identified 372 possible cases of double voting or voting on behalf of deceased people out of about 14.6 million votes cast by mail in the 2016 and 2018 general elections, or 0.0025 percent.

Wendy R. Weiser, an election expert and vice president at the Brennan Center, previously told us that "the bigger problem is not forging signatures, but ballots being cast and not counted because the signature doesn't match." She cited "significant…
Salvador Rizzo
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