Why Mail In Ballot Fraud is Meaningless
With the 2020 US Presidential election coming up under the Corona Virus situation, many states are moving to allow mail in ballots for more voters, and in some cases for all voters. President Trump has been railing on and on about how this encourages ballot fraud and how this is going to somehow steal the election. It’s really just him trying to make an excuse so that if he loses, he has something to blame.
I was thinking about vote fraud with mail in ballots, and I came to a very interesting conclusion. It has to do with both the numbers of voters and the limited number of states that are swing states or up for grabs in the 2020 Presidential election.
Out of the 538 electoral college votes (consolidated result votes), the winning candidate needs to get 270 to win. The 270 to win site is a good way to see an interactive map of this stuff. Because some states are “safe” to one party or the other, there are only actually about 90 to 100 electoral college votes that are really in contention here. States like Florida and Ohio are examples here. Let’s use Florida, it’s always a battle ground state, and has a history of all sorts of things, including the old dimpled chad issue.
According to this NPR site, Florida has about 13,536,830 registered voters, split about evenly between the parties and non-affiliated voters. In 2016, Trump won the state by 1.2% of the vote, or about 113,000 votes. 9.4 million people voted, and a shocking 160,000 votes were considered invalid or spoiled – higher than the difference in the vote. You would think this would be a big issue, but since spoiled ballots are likely spread between the two candidates, there really wasn’t enough there to make a difference.
That is the key here. In order to make a change in the previous Presidential election, the Democrats (or someone who supports them) would have had to create about 120,000 fraudulent ballots / votes. They would have had to spread them around the state in a manner that didn’t skew the results in any one area too much, show too high a voter turn out, etc. That would require managing, manipulating, or changing voter roles in every county, every district, and then somehow magically placing a valid vote.
That is a hell of a lot of work – and you never know how many you really need. In 2012, Obama beat Romney by less than 100,000, but beat the late John McCain by nearly 250,000 in 2008. So in order to assure that you get the desired effect, you would need to create somewhere near a quarter of a million fraudulent votes in a single state.
For all the yelling and screaming, voter fraud is a very limited thing, rarely happens on any scale, and that scale is still in the hundreds and not hundreds of thousands. It’s hard work to get that many votes past election workers.
The real solution lies in getting the vote out. Florida has 4,986,520 registered democrats, but Hillary Clinton only got only 4,504,975 total votes. If you split the no party affiliation voters about evenly, it means that only about 3 million registered Democrats voted for Hillary. The numbers are similar for Trump, 4,761,405 registered Republicans and he too got only about 3 million of their votes.
If either party gets the vote out and gets 10% more of their registered voters to cast ballots, they are looking at a 300,000 vote swing. In every election in Florida since 2008, the margin of victory in either direction has been less than that 300,000 number. Both parties did a good job in 2016, with the highest voter turn out in Florida history. Getting the vote out has a much more profound effect on the results than trying to cheat with mail in votes.