In many states across the country, voters appear to be returning to in-person voting for their top preference, after vote-by-mail was greatly increased and heavily promoted during the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the Associated Press, many states, including key swing states, have seen massive drops in the number of requests for mail-in ballots. In Georgia, where nearly one million ballots were cast by mail in the primary elections in 2020, only about 85,000 voters have requested mail-in ballots for this year’s primary. Other states that saw similar declines include Ohio, West Virginia, and Indiana.
The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) recognized Pierce County, Washington for its practices related to the chain of custody that helps track pick-up and chain of custody of vote-by-mail election ballots deposited in drop boxes.
Pierce County was an EAC “Clearie” Award winner in 2021 for outstanding innovations in elections for large jurisdictions. Having over 550,000 registered voters, Pierce County is Washington state’s second largest jurisdiction.
The Arizona Republican Party, along with its secretary Yvonne Cahill, has filed a lawsuit against Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs over more actions she has taken that appear to be making it easier to commit voter fraud. The AZGOP’s Application for Issuance of Writ Under Exercise of Original Jurisdiction asks the court to compel Hobbs to include signature verification procedures in the election procedures manual and remove the language she added authorizing the set up of unmonitored ballot drop boxes, and challenges “no-excuse” early ballots as violating the Arizona Constitution.
AZGOP Chair Kelli Ward, who has been out on the forefront combating election fraud since the 2020 presidential election, told The Arizona Sun Times, “We want to make sure that our elections are secure so we can restore voter confidence and strengthen our representative republic.”
On Monday, California Governor Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) signed a bill into law that permanently enacts “vote-by-mail” procedures in every state election, including automatically mailing out ballots to every single registered voter in the state, the Daily Caller reports.
The drastic mail-in voting measures, which are highly susceptible to fraud and manipulation, were originally enacted as an emergency response to the coronavirus pandemic, and ostensibly aimed to make it safer to carry out elections. However, State Assembly Bill 37 sought to permanently extend this procedure for all California elections, after the original coronavirus-based procedures were set to expire on June 1st, 2022.
In addition to automatically mailing out ballots to all voters in every election from now on, the new law extends the post-election day window in which late ballots can still be received. Prior to the pandemic, voters had up to three days after election day to submit their ballots and still have their votes counted; now, voters have up to seven days to do so.
The audit of Maricopa County ballots cast in the 2020 election ordered by the Arizona Legislature finished last month, and State Senate President Karen Fann (R-Prescott) said Tuesday the ballot totals don’t match the county’s official results. She told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show, “They haven’t released a number yet, if you will, however we do know that those numbers do not match with Maricopa County at this point.”
When asked about the degree of the discrepancy in the audit versus the official county tallies, Fann said, “I do not know. They have not told me the number;” adding that the auditors are “finishing up.”