Maryland’s Democratic attorney general scolded GOP Gov. Larry Hogan on Friday and insisted the state move to embrace a vote-by-mail election amid coronavirus this fall.
Brian E. Frosh said Mr. Hogan’s refusal to order ballots mailed to every voter will put people at risk and could “suppress the votes of hundreds of thousands of our citizens” who will refuse to show up.
Mr. Frosh said Mr. Hogan was bowing to pressure from President Trump, who has complained that mail-based elections are susceptible to fraud. But, the attorney general said, claims of voter fraud were themselves “a fraud.”
“Massive voter fraud is exceedingly rare because of the checks and balances that our election processes have in place to prevent it,” Mr. Frosh said in a statement.
He said in the 2012 election they detected only two definite cases of fraud, and didn’t spot any in 2016. Voter-integrity groups counter that’s because nobody is looking very hard.
Mr. Hogan this week announced a hybrid election system that would allow early voting and would mail an absentee ballot application to every voter. But they would still have to return the application and receive a ballot to vote by mail.
He cast the process as a win for everyone, expanding their voting options.
Voting-rights activists, though, oppose having to request a mail-in ballot, saying they want election officials to send an actual ballot to every registered person.
Nationwide in 2018, 42.4 million ballots were mailed out. Of those, 1.1 million were deemed undeliverable and about 10 million — nearly a quarter — were “unaccounted for,” likely meaning they were never mailed back.