FACT CHECK: Were Millions of Mail-in Ballots Sent to Voters Who Didn't Ask for Them?

Five states — Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington and Utah — allow all eligible voters to cast votes via mail.

It seems President Donald Trump and his supporters are in no mood to concede defeat as their allegations of voter fraud continue to multiply every day. Now, the social media is once again abuzz with a new mail from Trump's reelection campaign that has been leaked. The leaked mail alleges that millions of ballots were mistakenly sent to people who didn't request for them, and, because of that the election results were tainted and change the entire equation.

Citing this, Trump supporters have once again alleged voter fraud and are urging people to reject the results. Social media users since then have been trying to find the authenticity behind such claims and if the mail is real or fake.

What's In the Mail?


A mail dated November 16, 2020 from Trump's reelection campaign, which got leaked, claims that millions of mail-in ballots reached people who never actually requested for them. "Millions of mail-in ballots were sent to people who never asked for them," the mail reads.

It then alleges that because of this error in sending out mail-in ballots to millions of people who never requested for them, the election was compromised and people should reject the results. According to the claims made in the mail, US states require voters to submit an application expressing their desire to vote by mail in order to receive the official ballot paperwork to cast a vote.

It then alleges that despite this age-old rule, mail-in ballots were sent to people who didn't make any such request to the state authorities and thus the election involved widespread voter fraud and was a nefarious ploy to change the results in Democrat nominee Joe Biden's favor.

Were Ballots Received Without Request?

Vote counting in Pennsylvania.
For representational purposes only. Twitter

Voting via mail has been an age-old practice in the United States dating back to 1860. However, things have changed a lot over the year. In today's era, majority of states follow the rule of allowing a person to request an absentee ballot and vote via email, while some states allowed people to vote absentee only if they provided a valid reason for not being able to make it to the designated polling station such as illness or physical disability.

As of today's date, five states — Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington and Utah — allow all eligible voters to cast votes via mail, while other states allowed local jurisdictions to run elections by mail only under certain circumstances. However, the Covid-19 pandemic this year changed the entire scenario, with local jurisdictions encouraging people to vote via mail to avoid the risk of spread of the virus.

Inside a polling station in the United States YouTube Grab

A large number of states passed new laws to allow all eligible citizens to vote by mail, as per the National League of State Legislature's compilation of state laws governing mail-in voting in 2020.

Here's where the allegation made by Trump's supports fail. Majority of the states, but not all, require voters to submit a valid reason to receive a mail-in ballot. Moreover, many states allow voters to apply for "permanent absentee ballot status" so they automatically receive ballots via mail ahead of all elections and do not need to submit fresh applications every time.

Hence, states like Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington and Utah this time too sent mail-in ballots to every eligible voter without them requiring an application. Hence, the claims being made Trump's reelection campaign if not completely false are half baked and misleading and definitely isn't a nefarious scheme to undermine Trump.

Join the Discussion