Millions of Mail-in Ballots Are Still Unaccounted for Following California’s Midterm Elections Over Three Months Ago

Jan 19, 2023 | Political News

The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) revealed that in the State of California alone, there were over 10.8 million mail-in ballots unaccounted for in the most recent 2022 midterm elections. This is after the state mailed out 22,184,707 mail-in ballots in the last election cycle — a truly impressive number for the Golden State.

“Typically, when a polling place opens and closes, there is an accounting of all election materials. Significant issues arise when incidents occur such as ballots disappearing at poll closing time. With mass mail elections, problems accumulate,” PILF writes.

“After accounting for polling place votes and rejected ballots in November 2022, there were more than 10 million ballots left outstanding, meaning election officials do not know what happened to them. It is fair to assume that the bulk of these were ignored or ultimately thrown out by the intended recipients,” PILF researchers add.

PILF implies this is not the case with in-person voting, where the alleged “information gap” is bridged by the immediate acceptance or rejection of one's ballot.

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“But, under mass mail elections, we can only assume what happened. Mail voting practices have an insurmountable information gap,” PILF explained. “The public cannot know how many ballots were disregarded, delivered to the wrong mailboxes, or even withheld from the proper recipient by someone at the same address. ”

This is on top of the 226,250 mail ballots that PILF reports were rejected by election officials in the 2022 primary and general elections. PILF asserts, “these rejections represent potential disenfranchisement of voters because of the switch to mail balloting.”

This information leads PILF President J. Christian Adams to conclude that, “mail ballots disenfranchise. There are many reasons mail ballots fail ultimately to count. No one casting a ballot at home can correct an error before it’s too late. California’s vote-by-mail demonstration should serve as a warning to state legislators elsewhere.”

The American people are demanding answers. They deserve maximal transparency, especially when it comes to elections. As such, our state governments ought to be clear and up-front about the relevant facts. That is not too much to ask.