President Trump continues to push the argument that voting by mail is a recipe for fraud. However, Oregon has been voting by mail for decades without fraud impeding on its system’s success. By April 2019, for example, only 10 people in Oregon had been convicted for voter fraud related to the 2016 presidential election—a small fraction out of the 2,051,448 votes cast.
Most of those convictions involved people voting in two states—a felony, but all of these cases were eventually reduced to violations. None resulted in jail time. The maximum penalty was $1,000 and 10 hours of community service.
Linn and Benton Counties participated in the state’s first vote-by-mail for local elections in 1981, and Oregonian voters approved a ballot measure making the state vote-by-mail only in 1998. Other Western states, including Colorado, Washington, and Utah, have adopted similar systems in recent years. These states maintain that cost savings, participation increases, and—safety measures for 2020—make such systems hard to resist.
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