Voters Increasingly Returning to In-Person Ballots over Mail

In many states across the country, voters appear to be returning to in-person voting for their top preference, after vote-by-mail was greatly increased and heavily promoted during the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the Associated Press, many states, including key swing states, have seen massive drops in the number of requests for mail-in ballots. In Georgia, where nearly one million ballots were cast by mail in the primary elections in 2020, only about 85,000 voters have requested mail-in ballots for this year’s primary. Other states that saw similar declines include Ohio, West Virginia, and Indiana.

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U.S. Election Assistance Commission Identifies Pierce County, Washington, for Best Practices in Chain of Custody for Vote-by-Mail Ballots Deposited in Drop Boxes

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) recognized Pierce County, Washington for its practices related to the chain of custody that helps track pick-up and chain of custody of vote-by-mail election ballots deposited in drop boxes.

Pierce County was an EAC “Clearie” Award winner in 2021 for outstanding innovations in elections for large jurisdictions. Having over 550,000 registered voters, Pierce County is Washington state’s second largest jurisdiction.

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Gavin Newsom Signs Bill Making California a Permanent ‘Vote-by-Mail’ State

On Monday, California Governor Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) signed a bill into law that permanently enacts “vote-by-mail” procedures in every state election, including automatically mailing out ballots to every single registered voter in the state, the Daily Caller reports.

The drastic mail-in voting measures, which are highly susceptible to fraud and manipulation, were originally enacted as an emergency response to the coronavirus pandemic, and ostensibly aimed to make it safer to carry out elections. However, State Assembly Bill 37 sought to permanently extend this procedure for all California elections, after the original coronavirus-based procedures were set to expire on June 1st, 2022.

In addition to automatically mailing out ballots to all voters in every election from now on, the new law extends the post-election day window in which late ballots can still be received. Prior to the pandemic, voters had up to three days after election day to submit their ballots and still have their votes counted; now, voters have up to seven days to do so.

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New Polling Finds Nearly Half of Americans Believe Mail-In Voting Is Vulnerable to Significant Levels of Fraud

Nearly 50% of American voters believe mail-in voting is likely to result in significant fraud as officials search for ways to secure the electoral system amid a]the coronavirus pandemic, a Washington Post/ABC poll published Sunday found.

Only 43% of people surveyed in the poll think there are adequate protections against potential instances of fraud. The WaPo/ABC poll also showed that 38% of Americans say they prefer to vote through mail, while another 59% want to vote in person.

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