Allowing Postal Votes After 3 Nov Is No Recipe for Election Fraud
RBI board member S Gurumurthy was among those who shared the misleading claim.
RSS ideologue and a member on the board of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), S Gurumurthy on Friday, 6 November, alleged that the mail-in voting in the United States is “a huge election fraud” as several states will be allowing the postal votes till as late as 12 November.
But, Gurumurthy’s tweet is misleading as it does not take into account the fact that all ballots received after 3 November will not be counted. Only those which are postmarked on or before the polling day (3 November) will be considered.
In his tweet, Gurumurthy wrote, “There is definitely fraud in mail voting in US election. Some states are allowing postal votes not just after Nov 3, but even as late as 12 Nov. it is a mockery of democracy. The US must learn better rules of democracy and elections from India.”
This was subsequently shared by several users on Twitter and Facebook.
WHAT WE FOUND
We found that Gurumurthy’s claim is misleading and contributes to several other similar conspiracy theories around the mail-in votes. In his tweet, he failed to mention that while some states will not be counting ballots received after 3 November, 23 states will accept them as long as they are postmarked on or before the polling day.
This report by The Washington Post mentions that thousands of people in every state vote by mail for various reasons every election. However, “half of the states allow ballots to come in after Nov 3 as long as they’re postmarked by Nov 3 (sic),” the report added.
Another report by ABC News also stated that to be considered as a valid vote, absentee and mail-in ballots also must have been received or postmarked by the polling date, if not earlier, depending on a state’s rules.
Further, this report by The New York Times gives a detailed account of how long will vote counting take in all states and lists the 23 states where postmarked ballots will be counted till after the voting day.
Clearly, Gurumurthy claim lacks context. counting of the votes after polling date does not imply that people are allowed to send their votes after 3 November.
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