The American Independent reports that despite criticizing vote-by-mail, President Donald J. Trump and multiple of his closest supporters have recently voted by absentee themselves.

  • In an April 7 press briefing, Trump said, “mail ballots—they cheat. Okay? People cheat. Mail ballots are a very dangerous thing for this country, because they’re cheaters. They go and collect them. They’re fraudulent in many cases.”
  • Other Republican lawmakers have taken up similar rhetoric.
  • Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) tweeted, “The Left is pushing for a mechanism of voting that is extremely susceptible to fraud.”
  • House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said to reporters in a press call, “You want to hold up the bill because you want to change election law for November, because you think that gives you some political benefit?”

However, “Trump himself has cast multiple absentee ballots in his life. At least 10 other members of Trump's family and inner circle have also voted by mail at least once.”

  • Trump has voted by mail several times. Most recently, he voted by absentee in the March 17 Florida Republican primary. In 2018, he cast an absentee ballot in the midterm elections for New York.
  • Melania Trump also cast an absentee ballot for Florida’s primary in March.
  • Mike Pence cast an absentee ballot for his home state of Indiana in the 2018 midterm elections. The Independent reports that there was some controversy as “he listed the governor's residence in Indiana as his primary residence—even though he is no longer governor.”
  • Ivanka Trump reportedly cast an absentee ballot for the 2017 New York mayoral election. However, the New York Daily News reports that because she mailed her ballot on election day, it did not arrive in time to be counted.
  • Attorney General William Barr — who continues to rail against mail-in voting and said recently that it “opens the floodgates to fraud" — voted by mail in 2019 and 2012, according to The Washington Post.

The Brennan Center at the New York University School of Law released a report on voter fraud. The Center stated,

…fraud by voters at the polls is vanishingly rare, and does not happen on a scale even close to that necessary to “rig” an election… most reported incidents of voter fraud are actually traceable to other sources, such as clerical errors or bad data matching practices. [Another Brennan Center] report reviewed elections that had been meticulously studied for voter fraud, and found incident rates between 0.0003 percent and 0.0025 percent. Given this tiny incident rate for voter impersonation fraud, it is more likely, the report noted, that an American “will be struck by lightning than that he will impersonate another voter at the polls.”

Representative Gaetz claimed in a Fox News interview that “MIT professors are saying [vote-by-mail] is the most susceptible to fraud.”The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Election Data & Science Lab did release a report on vote-by-mail that stated, “fraud with [mail] voting seems to be more frequent than with in-person voting.” However, the same report asserts that “As with all forms of voter fraud, documented instances of fraud related to [vote-by-mail] are rare.”Read more.