States planned to expand voting by mail before the November elections after the coronavirus pandemic struck the United States earlier this year. According to numerous government officials, it is a safer alternative to in-person polling places.
Dangers of mail-in ballots
However, right-wing media and groups have continued to highlight alleged instances of voter fraud in different forms since the announcement of voting by mail. Regardless of having no evidence behind their claims, this election was no different.
U.S President Donald Trump heavily criticized the use of mail-in ballots and stated on numerous occasions that it would result in voter fraud.
A similar claim emerged after a report from Fox10 came about that 19,000 fraudulent driver's licenses had been seized by U.S Customs and Border Protection or CBP at Chicago O'Hare International Airport from early 2020 until June 30.
Conservative websites like Finish the Race latched onto this story and shared the same post. They argued that the fraudulent licenses would be used to enable record numbers of illegally cast votes through mail-in ballots.
Fake ID's have been around for years, made by local criminals. However, the timing of these IDs coming out of China at the same time Democrats are demanding that no ID required universal mail-in voting has sent up red flags.
If the Democrats are successful, the mail-in ballot system might produce millions of illegally cast votes for Democratic candidates on November 3, 2020.
Were the fake licenses seized?
Numerous people are now looking for claims that the fake licenses could result in millions of illegally cast votes for Democrats in the November election. However, there is no obvious or definitive answer.
The CBP confirmed that it seized 19,888 counterfeit U.S driver's licenses from January 2020 to June 30 in a Chicago airport. The majority of these shipments arrived from China and Hong Kong. The licenses were for various people in different states, and largely for college students.
Some licenses shared the same image but showed different biographical data. In a news report, the CBP said that fraudulent documents like these usually lead to identity theft, critical infrastructure protection, worksite enforcement, and fraud linked to immigration-related crimes.
However, while reports of the fraudulent documents were accurate, a spokesperson of CBP stated that officials had no concrete evidence that the fake IDs could be used by people to register to vote. The spokesperson added that they were not able to speculate on the question raised by the public.
The CBP also pointed out the bar codes, which contain a digital record of a person's personal information. The bar codes on the fake IDs had been made in such a sophisticated manner that they could pass through a scanner at an establishment such as a restaurant or bar.
Michigan secretary of state spokesperson, Tracy Wimmer, said that producing a real person's license, with the exact signature and bar code information was virtually impossible.
Wimmer said that voters were validated through many avenues, including contacting the department of state to verify photographs and driver's license number. The signature of the voter must also match the signature that the government has on file when they apply for a ballot.