Wisconsin Shows Why Mailing Everyone a Ballot is a Bad Idea

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to unfold, many leftists are proposing a voting “solution” to ensure they can beat President Trump this fall. Their solution is to mail a ballot to every name on the voter rolls. Wisconsin’s spring election and presidential primary should serve as a warning for states and the federal government to avoid universal mail elections.

In the Wisconsin election on April 7, a record number of registered voters requested absentee ballots, but even the process of mailing ballots to voters proved too much for the government to handle. The nation should learn the lessons from Wisconsin and oppose all-mail ballot elections this fall.

Mailing a ballot to every name on the voter rolls is straight out of the left-wing playbook to rig the election in their favor. On cue, the Democratic National Committee and many leftists pushed voting changes to help only their candidates. A closer look at how the process played out in Wisconsin is helpful to understand the Left’s political calculation.

For weeks, Wisconsin’s Democratic governor, Tony Evers, insisted on not moving the Wisconsin April 7 election, which included many local races as well as the presidential primary. Behind Evers’ insistence on keeping the date the same were marching orders from the DNC.

On March 17, DNC Chairman Tom Perez begged states to not postpone their primary elections and then on March 22, Perez repeated that instruction saying, “[s]tates can provide easy access to voting while still taking necessary precautions to protect the health and safety of the American people.”

Was this a plan to keep the voters safe? No—it was the DNC’s attempt to ensure Joe Biden received enough committed delegates so they wouldn’t have to postpone the DNC Convention.

As soon as the DNC decided on April 2 to postpone the convention, Evers immediately flip-flopped and called to postpone Wisconsin’s April 7 election and mail a ballot to every registered name. His suggestion was dead on arrival in the state legislature, but that didn’t stop him.

In the final days leading up to April 7, Evers and a federal judge created more chaos for the election by trying to change the election date unilaterally. The Wisconsin Supreme Court and U.S. Supreme Court rejected these changes on the eve of the election. Evers also proposed abolishing voter ID and witness requirements, measures to ensure election integrity.

The common denominator in all of Evers’ proposals was that they were intended to help turnout for the Left. Conservatives are traditional by nature and prefer to vote in person on Election Day. The fact that Evers issued a “safer at home” order and still planned on having an election suppressed the conservative vote.

A record number of Wisconsin voters requested absentee ballots for the April 7 election, yet the U.S. Postal Service failed to deliver the ballots. Personally, I have several friends and family who requested absentee ballots that never showed up in their mailboxes. If the government can’t even manage to get ballots to those who request them, how can we count on them to mail ballots to every voter who is registered?

There invariably will be problems like these from Wisconsin: “three large tubs of missing absentee ballots found in mail processing center,” hundreds of ballots returned to the clerk as undeliverable, and questions about ballot postmark dates.

Another big problem with universal mailing of ballots is that the voter rolls in many states are filled with outdated addresses, and inactive or dead voters, which can lead to voter fraud. Voters do not have confidence that the rolls are accurate.

Wisconsin made national headlines over roughly 209,000 voter registrations, which were ordered to be purged from the rolls according to state law. A local judge had ruled in late 2019 that those Wisconsin registrants who did not answer a mailed notice from the election commission in October 2019 should be removed from the list. The local judge’s order was put on hold by an appeals court and is stuck in ongoing litigation.

So those 209,000 names would have been mailed ballots for the April 7 election, contrary to state law.

Drastic changes to the voting process would lead to even more chaos. The Left thrives on using Saul Alinsky-style chaos to bring about policies that work to their political advantage. They tried it in Wisconsin, but courts rejected their last-minute changes. While there are no easy solutions to the challenges of voting during a pandemic, an all-mail program would jeopardize the integrity of any election and suppress the conservative vote.

The rush to a completely new system would create more problems than it is addressing. The nation should learn from Wisconsin and reject the idea of mailing every registered voter an absentee ballot.

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About Matt Batzel

Matt Batzel is the Wisconsin Based National Executive Director of American Majority Action, Inc., a conservative grassroots mobilization organization.

Photo: Derek R. Henkle/AFP via Getty Images

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