My 3-year election-security crusade was mostly about issues with new polling place equipment. I felt & still feel there were risks that even large election-Integrity groups were NOT sounding the alarm on. I don’t know as much about vote by mail & thus have less to add on that. 1/
There are already people out there discussing the pros and cons of vote by mail, and I assume many of them know more about it than I do. If I don’t have anything to add, there is no point in my talking about it. 2/
I do think there is not enough attention being paid to the GOP’s effort to shutter and privatize the US Postal Service and how this could impact & undermine the integrity of vote by mail. 3/
During Brexit, a private company with a pro-Brexit Director (IDOX) handled postal votes and it undermined public trust in the integrity of the election. I worry very much that a similar scenario could play out here. 4/
In addition, I don’t think people are giving enough thought and attention to how easy it would be to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters by not mailing out their ballots on time, or at all, or sending to the wrong address. 6/
I think it is a mistake to make broad statements about how “secure” vote by mail is because the devil is in the details. All voting systems can be gamed without sufficient proactive protocols & vote by mail is no different. 7/
For starters, voters must have notice and an opportunity to cure defects in their ballots, and they need a way to track their ballots to ensure they are received and counted. 8/
Some states require notarized witness statements for vote by mail. Those requirements are unworkable in a pandemic and should be eliminated. 9/
We must also try to ensure that officials thoroughly vet any private companies that step up to “help” with expanded vote by mail in this crisis. 10/
Logistically, I don’t know to what extent vote by mail can be expanded—w/ integrity—b4 Nov. I don’t expect the GOP to cooperate much. I also don’t expect most people to pay attention to concerns w/ polling place equipment when vote by mail may be the dominant voting method. 11/
For now, I’m mostly listening and reading and learning about vote by mail, but will chime in on the issue where I see not enough attention being paid. 12/
Do to the pandemic, I support expanding vote by mail with integrity protections to the extent possible b4 Nov. I just am unclear to what extent this is logistically possible & don’t know all of the protections we need to address the many ways I’m sure the system can be gamed. 13/
As with voting in person, robust manual audits are critical. But we are unlikely to have them in many (perhaps most) jurisdictions from what I can tell. Don’t forget that mail ballots are counted in hackable scanners too. 14/
One way to think of it is this. Imagine your “sworn enemy” was in charge of administering mail ballots. What protocols wld you need to trust the result? Think about the retrieval of mail ballots each day from drop boxes, the addressing of envelopes, verifying signas, etc.15/
This is how we should analyze every voting system imo. Not just vote by mail. 16/
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