Most developed countries, especially in Europe, ban mail-in voting to fight vast fraud and vote buying that had threatened the integrity of their elections, according to an exhaustive review of voting rules and histories in over 30 major nations.
In the European Union, 63% have put a ban on mailing in ballots except for citizens living overseas. Another 22% have imposed a ban even for those overseas. And most of those that allow mail-in ballots require some form of photo ID to get one, according to the report from the Crime Prevention Research Center shared with Secrets.
“These countries have learned the hard way about what happens when mail-in ballots aren’t secured. They have also discovered how hard it is to detect vote buying when both those buying and selling the votes have an incentive to hide the exchange,” said author John R. Lott, the center’s president.
While politicians in the United States have been debating the pros and cons of mail-in voting due to concerns of spreading COVID-19 at the polls and new reports of postal service and vote counting issues, Lott, whose center is known for its gun research, built a voting database of the European Union and the larger Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries.
Those countries, said Lott, are typically held up by Democrats as a model to follow.
“Liberals and progressives often try to model the U.S. on Western European countries in many ways, but you never hear them arguing that we should adopt their voting rules. There is a reason for that. Banning mail-in voting or requiring people to use photo IDs to obtain a mail-in ballot is quite common in developed countries, especially in Europe,” he said in the report.
He ended up calling mail-in voting a “throwback to the dark old days of vote-buying and fraud. Like most of the rest of the world, Americans deserve a more trustworthy system.”
President Trump has been critical of mail-in voting, though his campaign has endorsed it in some states such as Florida.
He has warned that it can be manipulated, a charge that has prompted Democrats eager for it to call the president delusional.
But Lott said the president is correct and listed nearly 10 cases of mail-in voting fraud and vote buying to support his case.
He referenced cases of deceased voters receiving mail-in ballots, including 458,000 in California. In another, he cited a report that 83 mail-in ballots went to a single, two-bedroom apartment. And in another, he cited reports of fraud in Pennsylvania mail-in voting that resulted in giving Democrats control of the state Senate in 1994.
In overseas cases, he cited a case of mail-in voting fraud in 2005 that led to the election of six officials in Birmingham, England, and the history of fraud in Mexico.
“If concern about vote fraud with mail-in ballots is delusional, it is a delusion that is shared by most of the world. Even the countries that allow mail-in ballots have protections, such as government-issued photo IDs. But Americans are constantly assured even this step is completely unnecessary. Without basic precautions, our elections are on course to become the laughing stock of the developed world,” Lott concluded.