In his recent VOP, Tim Somers argues in favor of mail-in ballots. He claims that fraud is rare, that the method is secure and popular. He makes his case eloquently. He is also wrong.
Our electoral system evolved to ensure that a vote is secret, protected from intimidation, and secure. These protections are a cornerstone of free elections. Voting by mail destroys them.
It destroys secrecy. When a ballot is cast by mail, the ballot records both the voter’s identity and their choices. While this link is not yet recorded, there is no guarantee that it never will be, to be used as a weapon against those who dare to vote the “wrong” way.
It destroys protections against intimidation. When ballots are filled outside a polling place, there is no way to control who actually fills out the ballot, or what pressure is being applied to the voter as the ballot is being filled out.
It undermines security. The ballot is entrusted to the tender mercies of the US Postal System. Assuming it is delivered in time, it’s processed by someone who may well have an interest in the election’s outcome. In any case, ballots dribble in over a period of days, delaying the outcome in close elections.
Fraud happens. Intimidation happens. Our system of voting evolved over time to protect against these abuses. Fortunately, Wisconsin so far has been slow to undermine the secure, secret ballot. I urge readers to contact their legislators and urge them to reject voting by mail.