Election officials break down likelihood of voter fraud for mail-in ballots

The Investigators: Will more absentee ballots in Tennessee mean more voter fraud?
The Investigators: Will more absentee ballots in Tennessee mean more voter fraud?(source: WMC Action News 5)
Updated: Nov. 5, 2020 at 7:33 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - More than 65 million people voted by mail for the 2020 presidential election. That number is likely to break records.

With the significant influx of mail-in voters, some people have been concerned about the legitimacy of those ballots. However, election officials have verification processes they must go through to ensure the security of the ballots.

Bossier Parish Registrar of Voters Stephanie Agee said one of the most important parts of the verification process is comparing the signature on the ballot to the signature associated with the voter’s file.

“Before we check them in, we actually look at images within that person’s record, no matter how many we get back, and we verify the voter signature against the images that we have,” She explained. “We make sure another person did not get their actual ballot and did not fraudulently vote it.”

Agee said there are several moving parts.

“First of all, we when we get it, it’s the accountability of checking it in. The second thing is that we verify every signature. Third, it must be completed in full, meaning it has the have the voter’s signature, the printed name, as well as the witness on it. It does have to be witnessed.”

The registrar’s office has a procedure if something looks out of place or suspicious.

“We, as a board, determine if we think there is a fraudulent signature ... we would present that to the board if we had suspicions that maybe someone else had signed it,” Agee said.

She said her office will also reach out if they run into a problem with the ballot.

“We make a phone call, we actually send them a letter; and if they had an email address, we email them.”

The ballots also go through scanners to be counted. If any issues arise during the counting process, they also get passed on to the board.

Once every ballot is counted, the registrar’s office is required to hold onto all the paperwork and information for 10 days. They keep them in a locked room in the office.

Caddo Parish Clerk of Courts Mike Spence said voter fraud is not worth the risk. “You possibly would go to jail for one vote.”

Agee said: “I think there have been a lot of states that have been overwhelmed by the amount [of mail-in ballots] they’ve received."

Click here for a breakdown on how each state handles ballot verification.

Copyright 2020 KSLA. All rights reserved.