A bitterly partisan debate unfolding on whether more Americans should cast their votes through the mail during a pandemic is provoking online disinformation and conspiracy theories that could undermine trust in the results, even if there are no major problems.
With social distancing guidelines possibly curtailing in-person voting at the polls in November, states are drawing up plans to rely more heavily on a mail-in system that has until now seen only limited use.
Historically, there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud through mail-in voting. But social media users are already pushing grandiose theories casting doubt on the method. President Donald Trump has encouraged the skepticism, saying during a televised briefing that “a lot of people cheat with mail-in voting.” On Saturday, he tweeted: “Don’t allow RIGGED ELECTIONS!”