Barr casts doubt on mail-in voting: ‘There are going to be ballots floating around’
Attorney General William Barr blasted mail-in voting Thursday in Arizona, a state where about 80 percent of voters receive ballots in the mail.
Barr suggested mail-in ballots, used in much of the western U.S., are more vulnerable to intimidation and coercion than in-person voting, The Associated Press reported.
“The government and the people involved can find out and know how you voted. And it opens up the door to coercion,” Barr said.
The attorney general made the remarks while in Phoenix on Thursday to announce progress in a Justice Department operation targeting methamphetamine traffickers.
Barr also echoed President Trump’s attacks on mailing ballots to all voters, saying “[T]he fact that ballots are mailed out profligately the way they would be, many of them misdirected we know because of inaccuracy of voting lists, there are going to be ballots floating around and collected.”
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) pushed back on the comments, noting the state has a “decades-long history of secure and reliable ballot-by-mail procedures.”
“It is a shame that high-ranking officials are sowing doubt in our democratic institutions,” she added.
Barr has previously claimed mail-in ballots could be fabricated by foreign actors, conceding “I don’t have any information” on examples, but saying he was basing it “on logic.”
In an interview earlier this month with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Barr claimed the Justice Department had indicted a Texas man who had filled out 1,700 ballots for a single candidate. However, former prosecutor Andy Chatham told ABC News this was an inaccurate description of the case.
A Justice Department spokesperson admitted the inaccuracy shortly thereafter, saying in a statement “prior to his interview, the Attorney General was provided a memo prepared within the Department that contained an inaccurate summary about the case which he relied upon when using the case as an example.”