July 6, 2020
Between 2012 and 2018, 28.3 million mail-in ballots remain unaccounted for, according to data from the federal Election Assistance Commission.
“The missing ballots amount to nearly one in five of all absentee ballots and ballots mailed to voters residing in states that do elections exclusively by mail.
States and local authorities simply have no idea what happened to these ballots since they were mailed – and the figure of 28 million missing ballots is likely even higher because some areas in the country, notably Chicago, did not respond to the federal agency’s survey questions. This figure does not include ballots that were spoiled, undeliverable, or came back for any reason.
To illustrate the risk, Churchwell notes that in 2016 Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by garnering over 2.8 million more votes than Donald Trump. But nearly 6 million unaccounted mail-in ballots were never counted in 2016, more than twice her margin in the popular vote. The potential to affect elections by chasing down unused mail-in ballots and make sure they get counted – using methods that may or may not be legal – is great”.