Last month, 26 east Baltimore voters received their ballots two years too late, after the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) finally found the undelivered 2020 ballots in a mail facility. This year, members of Congress from Washington and Montana have already complained to USPS about its continuing failures to deliver mail on time. But incompetency is not the only problem with the USPS and voting by mail in an election year. In federal mail ballot voter fraud prosecutions from the 2020 election, the perpetrators were U.S. Postal Service employees.
In 2020, a West Virginia mail carrier confessed to tampering with mail ballots. Another mail carrier in New Jersey was sentenced for trashing ballots in a dumpster. These prosecutions stem from Attorney General Bill Barr’s 2020 directive to pursue “election fraud that involves postal workers.” Federal postal workers are known to have committed voter fraud on the job.
In addition to these fraudulent acts, failures of the postal service in minority areas impacted vulnerable voters. In 2020, NAACP and Public Citizen sued the postal service in D.C. because of failed postal delivery of mail in minority areas. This year, Washington and Montana point out the failures to serve rural areas with little postal service access. What’s more disturbing about vote-by-mail campaigns are the way they’re racially targeted. In 2020, Reuters reported that the DNC specifically targeted black voters, even though black voters prefer voting in person because of concerns their “mail ballots might get lost or rejected.”
Yet the Biden administration’s priorities are to throw billions of dollars at USPS to bail it out of bankruptcy, deploy more federal bureaucrats to get voters to vote by mail, and block states from instituting safeguards against abuse in elections.
Biden is throwing more taxpayer money at the postal service, but not to address the documented concerns with election integrity and delivery. The White House Council on Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency pressured the postal service to use more electrical postal service vehicles rather than gas, at a cost of $3 billion to the cost of Biden signing the Inflation Reduction Act. They disregarded concerns that rural parts of the country struggling with mail delivery like Montana do not have the electrification of the grid to power them. The mail truck price tag is in addition to a $57 billion USPS bailout after years of financial mismanagement. Then, Biden stacked the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors with vote-by-mail and partisan advocates such as former Deputy Postmaster General Ronald Stroman, who “spearheaded the organization’s strategic outreach on voting by mail,” and Amber Reynolds, who advocates for similar expansions at her Vote at Home Coalition. Notably, Vote at Home Coalition’s board is filled with Democrats, and another USPS Board appointee Daniel Tangherlini, managing director of special projects of Emerson Collective, which has shared vote-by-mail strategies endorsed by former DNC counsel Marc Elias.
Biden has paired this approach with getting other federal government actors more involved in the process. Biden issued Executive Order 14019 to direct federal bureaucrats to assist voters in filling out mail ballot applications, providing “election information,” and soliciting “third-party organizations” to register voters on federal property, which is a license for D.C. bureaucrats to impose their policy preferences on other Americans and grant favors to non-government groups.
But MIT Election Law Scholar Charles Stewart found nearly 60% of Democrats — compared to 30% for Republicans — vote by mail. And Democracy Fund and UCLA polling in 2020 showed that likely Biden voters were twice as likely to vote by mail. Don’t forget the era of corruption and political party machines in our nation’s history that prompted almost every state to institute vote-in-person and election integrity reforms at the polls that election scholars John C. Fortier and Norman J. Ornstein discuss in Michigan Journal of Law Reform. Similarly, Crime Prevention Research Center scholar John Lott analyzed international election laws in Public Choice, and found most countries outside the U.S. imposed safeguards for mail-in ballots after experiences in voter fraud in their countries in past elections.
Despite the evidence of vote by mail’s dangers, Biden’s Justice Department has refused to prioritize prosecutions of federal employee abuse in elections. Instead, its focus is stopping states like Texas, Florida, and Georgia, overturning state laws with vote-by-mail safeguards such as mail ballot deadlines and regulating third-party get-out-the-vote organizations from coercing, bribing, or influencing voters.
Biden’s Executive Order 14019 is entitled “Promoting Access to Voting.” Instead of promoting access of American voters to freely access the ballot box as the voter chooses, the directive and the Postal Service’s policies actually expand Biden’s, self-interested bureaucrats’, and partisan and leftist allies’ influence on voters. Using vote by mail for its convenience and efficiency means nothing to a voter if their ballot is past deadline or completed undelivered. And despite the stated motive of increasing voting access for all, the ones who stand to lose the most by pushing vote by mail are minorities.