ELECTIONS

Live Mic: Both parties benefit equally with mail-in voting

Aug 31, 2020, 3:49 PM

Image of a person voting by mail in Utah. After a Utah lawmaker suggested that voters should have t...

FILE- A employee at the Utah County Election office puts mail in ballots into a container to register the vote in the midterm elections on November 6, 2018 in Provo, Utah. (George Frey/Getty Images)

(George Frey/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — Does mail-in voting give Democrats an advantage over Republicans? Not at all, according to research by BYU.

Debunking mail-in voting claims

President Trump has said the results of the presidential election under mail-in voting might not be known for years.

Years.

Can the United States wait on the results of a presidential election for years?

Mr. Trump claimed without evidence that mail ballots may purposely be manipulated to be sent to Democratic areas and not Republican areas. He blasted a system of ballot return that the federal government calls “secure and convenient” in official documents, according to NPR.

 

Michael Barber, professor of political science at BYU, joined Lee Lonsberry on his show Live Mic to discuss his research into voting by mail.

Barber said he investigated states — including Utah — that have used vote-by-mail for more than 30 years and collected election outcomes and millions and millions of voter records. This is what he found.

Mail-in voting: no political advantage found

Under vote by mail, voter turnout increased by 2 to 3 percent, and that slight uptick in voters benefitted both parties equally.

“There was no partisan benefit to one party or the other,” said Barber.

“How is that possible? That runs counter to the narrative. I thought we were all supposed to believe that Democrats benefit when we vote by mail,” asked Lee.

“Well, I think that narrative is incorrect, and it’s just people saying things without any evidence,” Barber said. “You have a lot of Republican voters who are older and don’t necessarily want to travel to vote in person and so mail-in voting really benefits them. You have a lot of Democratic voters who might not be regular voters — occasional voters — and vote by mail often acts as a reminder to them that the election is taking place. So what end up happening is both parties benefit equally.”

“Do you get contacted by political parties themselves wanting to scrutinize your data?” Lee asked.

“I’ve talk to more media outlets in the last 24 hours than probably the last 10 years,” Barber said. “The life of a professor is usually one of obscurity. But this is a topic that’s important, and it’s a topic that’s really timely. So I think it’s really important that we educate the public and people know what we’re doing in terms of administering on an election.

“Utah is a great example of a state that has been very careful in developing a vote-by-mail system. They run it in a very efficient and in a very professional manner. And it works very well for us. It’s been very successful here in Utah,” Barber said.

Related reading:

Read more about Barber’s research here and here.

Live Mic with Lee Lonsberry can be heard weekdays from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Elections

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a primary election night ...

MEG KINNARD and WILL WEISSERT Associated Press

Trump wins South Carolina, easily beating Haley in her home state and closing in on GOP nomination

Donald Trump won South Carolina's Republican primary on Saturday further consolidating his path to a third straight GOP nomination.

9 hours ago

Example of ranked choice voting ballot. Twelve cities across Utah will participate in ranked choice...

Adam Small

Utah House passes bill that would end rank choice voting

Utah's ranked choice voting pilot program may come to and early end as the House passes a bill ending the program.

2 days ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump holds gold Trump sneakers at Sneake...

MICHAEL R. SISAK Associated Press

Here’s a look inside Donald Trump’s $355 million civil fraud verdict as an appeals fight looms

On the witness stand last year, Donald Trump proclaimed: "I have a lot of cash." After Friday's eye-popping penalty in his New York civil fraud trial, he's going to need it.

7 days ago

nick clegg...

Associated Press

Tech companies sign accord to combat AI-generated election trickery

Tech executives from Amazon, Google, Meta, Microsoft, OpenAI and TikTok gathered to announce a new framework for responding to AI-generated deepfakes.

8 days ago

Gov. Spencer Cox speaks to reporters at the PBS monthly news conference at the Eccles Broadcast Cen...

Bridger Beal-Cvetko, KSL.com

Gov. Cox predicts a Donald Trump victory in the upcoming presidential election

The governor blamed President Joe Biden for not taking a tougher stance to stem the flow of migrants.

9 days ago

Voting signs at West Valley City Hall in West Valley on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2023....

Adam Small

Utah’s lieutenant governor would lose election authority with new bill

A new bill takes election authority from lieutenant governor's office and creates a voting council instead.

18 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Live Mic: Both parties benefit equally with mail-in voting