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Barr falsely asserts mail ballots aren’t secret

This article contains news and liberal sarcasm.

Bill Barr, Trump’s attorney general and personal lawyer, accused Democrats of undermining public confidence in the vote during a radio interview on Monday, September 14, 2020, according to the Daily Mail (story here), then proceeded to attack mail-in voting again using this novel argument:

“There’s no secret vote. You have to associate the envelope in the mailing and the name of who’s sending it in, with the ballot.”

He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. This ridiculous assertion reveals that he doesn’t know the first thing about the mechanics of how elections work.

Mail ballots are returned in an envelope the voter signs on the outside. The ballot itself isn’t signed, nor does it have any information on it that identifies it back to the voter. When ballot envelopes are received by the election department, voters’ names and signatures are verified against voter rolls, the same as at walk-in polling stations. Then the ballots are removed from envelopes and stacked in bins for counting. At that point, before anyone counts them or looks at them, there’s no way to link them to the voters. The entire procedure is carried out by election workers under the watchful eyes of supervisors.

Mail voting isn’t new. All states have had absentee ballot processes in place for decades. The procedures for handling these ballots have withstood the test of time. After countless elections and billions of votes, there’s never been a legitimate issue about the secrecy of absentee voting. Absentee ballots are secure and secret. When Barr says otherwise, he’s making things up.

This is not to say that ballots never get lost, mislaid, or miscounted. Elections are subject to human error like everything else, an issue I address here. But his argument that mail-in ballots are systematically compromised is nonsense. It’s pure conjecture of the same variety as apocalyptic prognostications of giant asteroids crashing into earth.

Photo: Hmm, this one’s really got him stumped.

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