With less than two months to go before the midterm elections in November, a number of Republican-led states are attempting to crack down on mail-in voting, and other practices that are known to be vulnerable to widespread fraud.
The Washington Examiner reports that 18 states thus far, mostly led by Republicans, have enacted limitations of some kind on mail-in voting. Some of the measures include requiring extra voter ID or reducing the timeframe during which a voter can request mail-in ballots. Meanwhile, 22 states, mostly run by Democrats, have increased their access to mail-in voting.
Mail-in voting, as well as other questionable practices such as ballot-harvesting and ballot drop boxes, was greatly expanded by many states during the 2020 election, with most officials using the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to justify less traditional forms of voting such as in-person ballots. President Donald Trump and many Republicans have pointed out the likely instances of fraud in key swing states that had implemented such measures, often unilaterally and without the consent of the state legislatures. These changes may have ultimately swung the results of the election away from President Trump in favor of Democrat Joe Biden.
Several states that have since passed sweeping election integrity laws include Florida, Georgia, Texas, and Iowa. Texas’s law, passed in 2021, requires election workers to reject any mail-in ballots that are submitted with a different form of ID than what the voter originally registered with. As a result, the primary in March of this year saw a ballot rejection rate of 12.4 percent, compared to just 0.8 percent in the 2020 election.
In Virginia, Attorney General Jason Miyares (R-Va.) announced on Friday the creation of the new Election Integrity Unit (EIU), which serves to provide legal advice and assistance to the Department of Elections, and to prosecute any violations of state election laws. The EIU, Miyares said, will “ensure uniformity and legality in application of election laws, and work with law enforcement to ensure legality and purity in elections.”