Are Election Officials Sending 80 Million ‘Unsolicited Ballots’ To Voters?

Our weekly check-in with the Texas Truth-O-Meter.

By Amy Sherman, PolitiFact; Madlin Mekelburg, Austin American-Statesman; radio story produced by Alexandra HartSeptember 16, 2020 10:00 am, ,

From PolitiFact:

President Donald Trump, the nation’s most prominent critic of voting by mail, has repeatedly said that 80 million ballots will be mailed to voters who didn’t request them this fall.

“And the dirtiest fight of all is the issuance of 80 million ballots, unrequested,” Trump said during his Labor Day remarks. “They’re not requested; they’re just sending 80 million ballots all over the country. Eighty million ballots, non-requested. I call them ‘unsolicited ballots.’ That’s going to be the dirtiest fight of all. People are going to get ballots; they’re going to say, ‘What am I doing?’ And then they’re going to harvest. They’re going to do all the things.”

Trump made similar remarks about mail in ballots during his Aug. 24 speech at the Republican National Convention and the next day on Twitter, where he described the mailing out of these “unsolicited” ballots as “fraudulent” or a “scam.”

It’s not yet clear precisely how many voters will receive ballots without requesting them by mail, because voter registration is not yet closed for the Nov. 3 election. But based on our research, we found that Trump has exaggerated the number. He also omitted the fact that millions of voters have automatically received ballots in some states for many years without it leading to widespread fraud.

Read more about Trump’s claim at PolitiFact, and listen to how his claim scored in the audio player above.

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