The Connecticut House of Representatives’ bipartisan vote in support of no-excuse absentee ballot voting will provide a chance to test how well it works and whether the change should be made permanent, possibly with some tweaks.

Voting by mail is clearly the easiest and safest way for most people to vote, especially during a pandemic.

Nationally right wing zealots are spreading false claims about voting in attempts to undermine the coming election. Mail-in voting is their main target, even though it has worked well in some states for years. A recent analysis by The Washington Post found only 372 cases of potential fraud out of roughly 14.6 million ballots cast by mail in 2016 and 2018.

Rampant voter fraud is a fantasy dreamed up by those who want to make it harder for certain people to exercise their right to vote. Instances of in-person and mail-in voter fraud are extremely rare, according to decades of data and academic research.

The Brookings Institution reports, “There is no evidence to suggest a systematic bias towards one party or another from mail-in ballots. Nor is there any evidence that there is widespread fraud in the use of mail-in ballots.”

Brookings studied data collected by the conservative Heritage Foundation and concluded, “There is surprisingly little voter fraud and not nearly enough to justify blocking vote-by-mail systems in a pandemic.” According to Heritage’s own research, in the past 20 years, 0.00006 percent of all mail-in ballots cast were fraudulent.

Without any evidence, President Donald Trump is claiming mail-in ballots are subject to fraud and favor Democrats. Looks like he’s setting the stage for overturning the November election when he loses, doesn’t it?

The Republican National Committee has filed lawsuits in a dozen states attempting to block absentee ballots and mail-in voting. Apparently they believe making it safe and easy to vote hurts their candidates’ chances of winning.

Misleading claims about voting are all over Facebook and other social media where they are sold as truth though they are, in fact, lies designed to make it harder for people to vote.

The voter fraud claim is itself a fraud…and threatens our most precious of constitutional rights.

Tom Crider lives in Southbury.

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