Honest Elections Project criticizes Virginia group for mailing unsolicited ballot applications
The self-described nonpartisan group Honest Elections Project condemned an organization in Virginia on Tuesday for sending out hundreds of thousands of absentee ballots to state voters who did not request them.
The Center for Voter Information, which is affiliated with a nonprofit called the Voter Participation Center, sent over 800,000 mail-in ballot applications last week, aiming to “empower” eligible voters with a focus on unmarried women, people of color and young voters.
“A Virginia group mailing a ballot application to a pet sounds like a funny story, but suppose it were an actual ballot? That is the risk of a jury-rigged vote-by-mail election," Jason Snead, Executive Director of Honest Elections Project, told Fox News. "To say nothing of the virtual certainty of ballots getting sent to the wrong address, or to dead or ineligible voters."
The Center for Voter Information also reportedly attempted to mislead voters into thinking the ballots came from an official government source.
“Approximately half a million applications sent to eligible voters in Virginia included incorrect information,” the group said, according to WTOP News. “And we are working diligently to address the issues. Mistakes in our programming are very rare, but we take them seriously, and our methods overall are extraordinarily effective.”
Virginia’s Fairfax County elections Twitter account sent out a warning about the "inaccurate, potentially misleading mailing" last week.
Snead said other states have experienced similar errors and wasted government funding, after pushing for a vote-by-mail system that includes automatic mailings.
"New Jersey and Nevada experienced that earlier this year when their automatic mailings led to large numbers of undeliverable ballots piling up in apartment lobbies and on sidewalks," he added. "That not only wastes taxpayers’ money, it invites chaos and fraud. Unfortunately, states like Nevada seem determined to repeat that mistake.”
Snead claimed mail-in voting can lead to what he referred to as “deadwood," or inaccurate records for people who have moved away, died, or aren’t qualified to vote. Sending unsolicited ballots to every registration only creates further confusion, he explained.
In a separate message, Honest Elections Project highlighted Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan's election plan as the best one to emulate, heading into November.
“Governor Larry Hogan’s election plan gave voters a choice: to request an absentee ballot, or to vote safely in person by opening the state’s polling places," Snead continued. "That was the right move to empower voters while learning from the missteps that have brought chaos and dysfunction to so many of the pandemic primaries. Unfortunately, the State Board of Elections—under pressure from activists single-mindedly pushing for a universal mail-in election—instead backed a plan to radically scale back polling places in November."
He added, "That step is not only unnecessary, it risks causing unconscionably long lines that may discourage voters. The voters stuck in those lines this November will know who to thank for their situation: the activists and politicians who are more committed to a reckless plan to jury-rig a vote-by-mail election than in finding real solutions that empower voters.”
Fox News' Morgan Phillips and Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report