No major problems with ballot drop boxes in 2020, AP finds

No major problems with ballot drop boxes in 2020, AP finds

ATLANTA — The expanded use of drop boxes for mailed ballots during the 2020 election did not lead to any widespread problems, according to an Associated Press survey of state election officials across the U.S. that revealed no cases of fraud, vandalism or theft that could have affected the results.

The findings from both Republican- and Democratic-controlled states run contrary to claims made by former President Donald Trump and his allies who have intensely criticized their use and falsely claimed they were a target for fraud.

Drop boxes are considered by many election officials to be safe and secure, and have been used to varying degrees by states across the political spectrum. Yet conspiracy theories and efforts by Republicans to eliminate or restrict them since the 2020 election persist. This month, the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s conservative majority ruled that drop boxes are not allowed under state law and can no longer be widely used.

Drop boxes also are a focal point of the film “2,000 Mules,” which used a flawed analysis of cellphone location data and ballot drop box surveillance footage to cast doubt on the results of the 2020 presidential election.

In response to the legislation and conspiracy theories surrounding drop boxes, the AP sent a survey in May to the top elections office in each state seeking information about whether the boxes were tied to fraudulent votes or stolen ballots, or whether the boxes and the ballots they contained were damaged.

All but five states responded to the questions.

None of the election offices in states that allowed the use of drop boxes in 2020 reported any instances in which the boxes were connected to voter fraud or stolen ballots. Likewise, none reported incidents in which the boxes or ballots were damaged to the extent that election results would have been affected.

A previous AP investigation found far too few cases of potential voter fraud in the six battleground states where Trump disputed his loss to President Joe Biden to affect the outcome.

A number of states — including Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas — said they do not allow the use of drop boxes. Some had not allowed them before the 2020 election, when the coronavirus pandemic prompted wider use of mailed ballots. In states where they are used, secretaries of state or election commissioners may not be aware of every incident involving a drop box if it was not reported to their office by a county or other local jurisdiction.

Drop boxes have been a mainstay in states with extensive mail voting for years and had not raised any alarms. They were used widely in 2020 as election officials sought to provide alternative ways to cast ballots with the COVID-19 outbreak creating concerns about in-person voting. The boxes also gave voters a direct method for submitting their ballots, rather than sending them through the U.S. Postal Service and worrying about delivery delays.

Boeing Closes In on Making New Dreamliner Deliveries Previous post Boeing Closes In on Making New Dreamliner Deliveries
Texas lawmakers’ report on Uvalde school shooting criticises federal, state law enforcement Next post Texas lawmakers’ report on Uvalde school shooting criticises federal, state law enforcement