The way we cast our ballots matters. Some methods are not secure. Some methods are overly complicated. Some methods are not transparent. Any of these shortcomings is enough to undermine public confidence in the outcomes of our elections – and thus undermine our democracy itself.
Voting by mail suffers from every one of those shortcomings. In 2020, the avalanche of nonprofit monies used to turn urban election offices into partisan turnout centers identified and exacerbated these flaws and the impact of legal violations.
More than one year after the November 2020 presidential election, Fulton County election officials are offering conflicting accounts about whether video recordings, used to surveil drop boxes where absentee ballots were deposited in the November 2020 presidential election, have been destroyed and whether their actions comply with federal law that requires retention of all election records for 22 months.
The video recordings that may no longer exist would have monitored more than 60,000 absentee ballots being deposited into drop boxes during the majority 35 of the maximum 49 days drop boxes were allowed to have been deployed for the November 2020 presidential election.
In the summer before the contentious November 2020 election, the Democrats’ most influential election lawyer, Marc Elias, used the pandemic to urge liberal grassroots groups to press for the deployment of mass drop boxes to collect an expected wave of absentee ballots.
“Local libraries, church groups and civic associations should explore with local election officials setting up secure ballot drop boxes,” he wrote in an op-ed. “There may even be a role for businesses to play in preserving our right to vote through drop box placement and security.”