When it comes to election fraud, the “voting twice by dressing up with a different hat” tactic that President Trump talks about almost never happens. What actually does happen, as allegedly illustrated in the race for North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, is vote-by-mail fraud. “The consensus, among people who study fraud carefully, is that voting by mail is a much more fertile area for fraud than voting in person,” said Charles Stewart, who studies election technology and administration at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Still, voting by mail is on the rise. The numbers aren’t finalized for 2018 yet, but in the 2016 presidential election, the percentage of people who voted by mail had more than doubled compared to two decades prior.
Supporters say it increases turnout, because it is significantly more convenient for most voters. With voting by mail, there are none of the long lines that were seen across the country this year, as turnout for a midterm reached 50-year highs.
Voters also get weeks to mull over and fill out a ballot in the comfort of their own home, with research resources handy.