Today the Texas Public Policy Foundation published the paper Mail-In Balloting in Texas: Weaknesses and Recommendations.

“Texas election law limits the use of mail-in ballots to those 65 and older and those with a disability that would make it difficult or dangerous to vote in person,” says the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Vice President of National Initiatives Chuck DeVore. “With Texas election law in mind, it is interesting to note voting by mail increased by 137% by those over the age of 65 and 156% by those under 65 as respective shares of total votes from the 2012 primary to the 2020 primary.

“To preserve faith in our elections, mail-in ballots should be treated with the same level of protection as in-person ballots. Due to the vulnerability at the county level, the Texas Secretary of State should have a greater role in ensuring the fairness and consistency of the mail-in ballot process and penalties for mail-in ballot fraud should be strengthened.”

Key Points:

  • Voting by mail has become increasingly popular in Texas. In 2006, less than 1% of votes were cast by mail, rising to just over 6% in 2020.
  • Voting by mail lacks the protections that voting in person provides. The ballot can get lost; no voter identification is required; and the ballot is vulnerable to fraud, voter intimidation, or deception.
  • Increased use of mail-in balloting will make voters more vulnerable to COVID-19 vs. voting in person as elections workers will go door to door to harvest ballots.
  • All mail-in ballot elections take decades of preparation to be conducted safely and effectively but still rely on the U.S. Postal Service to do its job in a timely, accurate manner.

To read the paper to full, please visit:

https://files.texaspolicy.com/uploads/2020/09/30102322/DeVore-Mail-in-Balloting.pdf