Adams, Michigan vote director say no evidence of election fraud

WASHINGTON D.C. (WTVQ/AP) — Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams and his counterpart from Michigan told Congress Friday they saw little or no evidence of ballot or voter fraud in primaries earlier this year because of expanded use of absentee and by-mail voting.

And they don’t expect to in the even larger November general election, Adams, a Republican, and Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, told the House Committee on Homeland Security.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed more mail-in voting will lead to an increase in fraud, though he votes absentee ad has expressed more support for that form of voting.

Adams said in Kentucky, Republican voters expressed the most enthusiasm for drop boxes, and he said more drop boxes would be used in November but would be kept under “continuing surveillance” to ensure against fraud.

Likewise, Benson said Michigan will have about 1,000 “drop boxes” across the state where voters can deposit their ballots.

In her testimony, Benson said they have found “zero evidence of fraud or irregularities.”

Adams agreed, saying the June primary was free of fraud.

He outlined how the state came to its plan for a system that addresses almost every type of voter, from those who need mail-in to those who like voting early to those who like in-person voting on election day.

“In our state, we found that what made the most sense for June was no-excuse absentee voting, as we had a severe drop-off in the number of available poll workers and voting locations. For November, with turnout expected to more than double from the primary, we are tightening the absentee voting standard somewhat, preserving it for those who need it due to age or health concerns, but also not overwhelming our infrastructure – our county clerks, who process the ballots, and our postal system. In both elections, we’ve utilized an absentee ballot request portal linked to our drivers’ license database so we can verify voter identity. We also track ballot envelopes with bar codes, and signature-match every single one before the ballot is counted,” Adams explained.

Both for our primary and general election, we’ve offered weeks of early in-person voting. I’ve found that Kentuckians of both parties want to vote in person if they can, and as we showed in June, we know how to conduct in-person voting safely. Although I support absentee balloting for those who need it, early voting is a far less expensive and labor-intensive way to conduct an election, and it takes the pressure off election day voting sites. Having more election days also spreads out the crowds and facilitates social distancing,” he continued.

Committee members asked about interference or meddling by operatives from foreign governments. Neither provided details but did say they’d see hints of some efforts. Adams called it “rattling on our doorknobs.”

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