The Heartland Institute claimed fraudulent mail-in votes swung the presidential election for Democrat Joe Biden
Mail-in ballot fraud “significantly” impacted the 2020 US presidential election, handing President Joe Biden his victory, according to a study published by conservative think tank the Heartland Institute on Friday.
“Had the 2020 election been conducted like every national election has been over the past two centuries, wherein the vast majority of voters cast ballots in-person rather than by mail, Donald Trump would have almost certainly been re-elected,” the report stated, citing survey data collected in December.
As many as 28.2% of mail-in voters potentially committed some form of fraud, acting in ways that were “under most circumstances, illegal,” the institute’s data suggested.
With over 43% of 2020’s votes cast by mail – the highest percentage in US history – this alleged fraud “significantly” impacted the election results.
The group’s December survey of 1085 likely voters found that about one in five mail-in voters may have acted fraudulently. Over a fifth (21%) of respondents admitted to filling out ballots for others or voting in a state where they were no longer a permanent resident, while 17% said they signed ballots for family members without their approval. Another 19% said a friend or family member had filled out their own ballot.
After subjecting the data to further statistical analysis, however, Heartland upped the percentage of potentially fraudulent mail-in ballots to 28.2%, adding that mail-in voters disproportionately favored Biden, further skewing the results.
Even if the percentage of fraudulent mail-in ballots was as low as 3%,Trump would have won, the think tank, which is known for opposing government regulation, argued, laying out 29 different scenarios with varying degrees of fraud to bolster its case that the Republican incumbent would have triumphed in the absence of fraudulent ballots.
The report urged lawmakers to crack down on mail-in voter fraud by requiring in-person voting or, in cases where that was impossible, requiring mail-in vote signatures be notarized or otherwise authenticated by a trusted third party.
“If state lawmakers fail to solve this problem, Americans’ confidence in the legitimacy of elections in 2024 and beyond will likely decrease, paving the way for chaos and civil unrest,” the report stated.
Mail-in voting, previously restricted to a small segment of the US population, was opened up to all during the 2020 presidential election due to the Covid-19 pandemic, despite bipartisan concerns about the potential for voter fraud.
While the Department of Homeland Security insisted the 2020 election was “the most secure in American history,” Trump and many of his supporters blamed voter fraud for his loss. Thousands descended on Washington DC on January 6, 2021 to protest the certification of Biden’s victory in the Electoral College. Clashes between Capitol police and protesters attempting to enter the Capitol building subsequently triggered the infamous riot for which thousands – including the former president – have been charged.