Vote-by-Mail, Absentee Voting Prompts Security Concerns

Vote-by-Mail, Absentee Voting Prompts Security Concerns

Amid concerns about the impact of COVID-19 on the upcoming elections, many election officials across the United States -including Leon County Supervisor of Elections Mark Earley – have recommended voters take advantage of vote-by-mail or other absentee voting opportunities.

Earley said he is encouraging all voters to request vote-by-mail ballots as an “insurance policy” in the event that COVID-19 is still affecting in-person voting by November’s general election.

This approach to voting has raised concerns about security among some. These concerns vary across states since the laws are different in many states.

One of the concerns raised with the vote-by-mail or absentee voting process is called “ballot harvesting.”

According to an article in the San Diego Tribune, “ballot harvesting” refers to “a practice in which organized workers or volunteers collect absentee ballots from certain voters and drop them off at a polling place or election office.”

The issue of “ballot harvesting” became popular in California during the 2018 midterm elections. Shortly before the elections, state law regarding mail-in ballots had changed.

“In 2016, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a change to Section 3017 of the Election Code that allows any person to collect a mail-in ballot from voters and turn in the mail ballot to a polling place or the registrar’s office. Prior law restricted the practice to just relatives of or those living in the same household as the voter,” according to the article.

Some argued that “ballot harvesting” caused an influx of last-minute votes, delaying the results of the election and changing its outcome. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Orange County Republican Party chairman Fred Whitaker claimed a GOP congressional seat flipped as a direct result of ballot harvesting.

Earley said Florida law prevents “ballot harvesting” by limiting the number of ballots a person can pick up for other people.

According to the Florida Department of State, if a voter wishes to designate another person to pick up their ballot, they must authorize it in writing. Furthermore, a designee can pick up ballots for only two other voters per election besides their own and their immediate family members’ ballots.

Earley said signatures are also checked to prevent voter fraud, and he encouraged voters to update their signatures.

“As far as voter fraud goes, I think we have very good safeguards in place,” he said.

Earley said over 38,000 people in Leon County have requested vote-by-mail ballots so far. Voters can request ballots through an online request form, in person, or by email, telephone, or fax.

The deadline to request a ballot by mail is 5:00 p.m. 10 days before Election Day, but ballots can still be picked up in person until Election Day.

10 Responses to "Vote-by-Mail, Absentee Voting Prompts Security Concerns"

  1. Mark S, Earley apparently has either no knowledge about or no respect for security & privacy. He (ok, they) are mailing out “you need to vote by snail” cards with names & birth dates on the outside. Party time for ID thieves!?

    He insists the wi-fi e-registration record devices used at each precinct are secure… merely because the router has a pw, FCOL! He (they) needs to read a few network security books, and a shelf full of books on privacy including _Databanks in a Free Society_ by Alan Westin & Michael Baker…& maybe a subscription to _Privacy Journal_.

    I wouldn’t trust this crew to secure a paper mache teddy bear, let alone ballots & registration records.? Criminently, when my mother worked elections there were heavy canvas & leather & metal bags with numbered seals & locks so that poll-workers from both major parties had to seal them up & transport them (so they woukdn’t end up like FrankenBallots found in the trunk of a rusting car down by the river weeks after voting day…found just in time to reverse the results, & fuggedabout those military ballotsthat arrived an hour too late. grrrrr?

  2. As a career military officer, I have voted by mail since 1972, including during my 2 tours of Vietnam.
    My mom and dad have been voting by mail since Moby Dick was a minnow.

    This is a partisan nonsense, and I am a Trump supporter all the way! He needs to leave my parents, and ME, to vote how we choose!

    1. Regardless of your snide comment, James Wood’s comment is accurate and truthful. Being snide does not make your statement accurate or true.

      BTW, if dementia is a problem for you Biden probably isn’t the answer.

  3. As I’ve noted a number of times, and as I’ve personally witnessed as well… Mail-in ballots and Ballot Harvesting are rife with fraud and abuse. There are simply too many to adequately vet and validate, and those doing the vetting and validation are, by a large majority, predominantly elderly volunteers with declining eyesight. Those who seek to exploit any vulnerability for nefarious purposes, know this all to well.

    We use to accomplish in-person voting in one day, with a larger population… ask yourselves why this suddenly became an impossible task, requiring months of early voting and mail-in ballots.

  4. Yes there could be cheating or ballot harvesting in Leon County.
    But it really is a non issue due to our voter base who will continue to be relied upon to elect Democrats and their “token” RIno Deslodge without any need whatsoever of cheating or ballot harvesting.
    Why Republicans continue with their banging their heads against the wall fantasy of running and losing every time is beyond reasonableness.
    Any conservative that wants to run who is not already tainted with past loser Republican attempts PLEASE PLEASE run as a Democrat. The voting sheeple will elect you. We need you to not commit political suicide by trying to run as a Republican. And forget about DesLodge, he’s a RINO, and does not count.

    1. Correct, Snidester.
      Did you know that the person who allowed Trump to come here and use his property for a rally almost 4 years ago is a registered Democrat?

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