In the 2020 Presidential Election, some states responded to the increase in mail-in voters by dramatically increasing ballot drop box availability.¹ While this measure facilitated easy ballot return, without supervision these become an easy target for potentially undetectable voter fraud. Mailboxes where absentee ballots may be left for return through the United States Postal Service are already susceptible to break-ins.² Without measures to monitor those who access ballot drop boxes and the ballots inside, the integrity of the entire election could be compromised. Additionally, in some states the use of absentee ballot drop boxes at all in 2020 may have violated the law.³
In the chaotic wake of the 2020 Presidential Election, several states took steps to ensure that absentee ballot return can be done safely and securely. Iowa, Florida, and Utah, for example, have passed legislation to ensure that ballot drop boxes are secured and monitored in person or via video surveillance to prevent fraud. However, in many states the use of ballot drop boxes is not sufficiently regulated to preclude the possibility of fraud.4
ACUF’s Center to Protect Voters & Their Voices believes that restrictions that secure and monitor absentee ballot drop boxes should be implemented throughout the United States to stop voter fraud and ensure that every American citizen’s vote is effective and protected.
¹Olivia Rubin, Cheyenne Haslett, As popularity skyrockets, ballot drop boxes face unexpected obstacles, ABC News (October 16, 2020) https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/popularity-skyrockets-ballot-drop-boxes-face-unexpected-obstacles/story?id=73630385.
²Antonio Olivo, Mailboxes broken into in central Virginia, sparking worries about missing absentee ballots, The Washington Post (October 5, 2020) https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/va-politics/mailboxes-broken-into-in-central-virginia-sparking-worries-about-missing-absentee-ballots/2020/10/05/39b3ded8-0744-11eb-a166-dc429b380d10_story.html.
³Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, Teigen v. Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC), https://will-law.org/teigen-v-wisconsin-elections-commission/.
4NCSL, Table 9: Ballot Drop Box Laws (February 14, 2022) https://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/vopp-table-9-ballot-drop-box-definitions-design-features-location-and-number.aspx.