Over the past couple of days both U.S. Atty. Gen. Bill Barr and Vice Pres. Mike Pence have talked about concerns over mail-in voting, which may be widely used in the November election. While Barr said he believes common sense says mail-in ballots leave more room for fraud than in-person voting, the research may not agree.
“So far there’s no systematic evidence that mail-in ballots increase voter fraud,” said University of Indianapolis Political Science Prof. Dr. Laura Wilson. “As it stands right now, voting by mail seems to be generally very safe and a relatively secure process.”
Wilson said research also shows that neither party gets an advantage over the other with mail-in voting.
But, that doesn’t mean the method is without troubles or concerns.
“It’s gonna be a challenge in terms of convenience certainly. For some people voting by mail is a lot easier. You don’t have to go in on election day, but you do have to request a ballot ahead of time,” said Wilson. “You have to fill it out. You have to make sure you get it back in the mail in time. Those kinds of changes, especially for people who are used to voting that first Tuesday in November, make it harder.”
Wilson said a large-scale mail-in vote would mean a considerable strain on registrars, people counting the ballots, the secretary of state’s office (for overseeing the election) and the U.S. mail.
“The change could absolutely happen. But, it’s gonna take some time and we’re already almost in August as it is,” she said.
Wilson said if government decided to implement a more large-scale mail-in vote, there is more time in Indiana to educate voters on what is expected, than there was before the primary.