William Barr says, without citing evidence, that a choice made predominantly by mail would not be safe


When asked during an interview with NPR if he thought a choice made primarily by mail could be safe, Barr replied, “Personally, no.”
The process for sending absentee ballots and stimulus checks differs in key ways. Stimulus checks were automatically sent to people who had direct deposit information on file with the US Treasury, and those who did not have that information on file were sent their checks by mail. Absentee ballots are not simply mailed to individual voters; Most people who vote by mail have to apply to vote absentee before receiving a ballot.

“I know things can happen like this,” Barr added when asked if he thought the same could happen with mail-in ballots. “Because I know that people move, a very high percentage in the United States, people move all the time. And I also know that you can easily get things out of mailboxes.”

There are also no widespread reports of people withdrawing ballots in the absence of mailboxes, as Barr suggested it was possible.

Barr’s comments come as public health experts from the Trump administration itself have encouraged voting by mail due to the coronavirus pandemic and in the absence of evidence of widespread or rampant fraud in the U.S. election.
The President has asserted, without evidence, that there is systematic cheating with mail ballots and has made false accusations against states that are expanding absence and mail options, despite voting by mail. Numerous studies suggest that electoral fraud is almost non-existent in the U.S., and the president’s own electoral fraud commission dissolved without finding any evidence to support his claims.
The most blatant recent example of voter fraud occurred in another decisive state, North Carolina, when in 2018 a Republican agent working for a Republican House candidate was charged and then charged with illegally collecting ballots in absentia. The election was investigated and rejected, prompting a special election in 2019.

Barr said his concerns are not about limited voting by mail, but the scale required for a general election.

“I’m not talking about a mail ballot for a limited number of cases where someone, you know, is going to travel around the world, and the way the state has provided it is that you mail your ballot,” he said. “I am talking about a comprehensive rule where all ballots are essentially mailed, and there are so many occasions of fraud there that they cannot be controlled.”

Barr added: “I think it would be very bad. But one of the things I mentioned was the possibility of counterfeiting.”

When asked if he had evidence to support that specific concern, Barr replied, “No, it’s obvious.”

“Why do you think we are going to the problems we are making when making dollar bills?” He said, adding, “Because they make counterfeiting difficult.”

When asked if the mail ballots did not go through similar investigative procedures, Barr said “they are quite primitive.”

CNN’s Michael Warren, Manu Raju and Marshall Cohen contributed to this report.

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