A local television station conducted an experiment with vote-by-mail and it exposed the shortcomings of the system.
WRDW in Philadelphia sent 100 “mock ballots” from across the city to a P.O. box set up specifically for the test.
A few days later, reporter Tony Dokoupil sent 100 more. He sought to mimic the size and weight of ballot envelopes to ensure the most accurate results.
A week later, Dokoupil went to the post office to pick up the delivered ballots at the PO Box he had created for them.
At first, a worker could not find his mail. When he sought to confirm the answer, he was dismissed.
“Alright then, have a good day,” he was told curtly.
It wasn’t until he spoke to a manager and explained the experiment that he finally found what he was looking for.
“They had them somewhere else,” he was told from behind the protective glass.
Dokoupil tabulated the results:
- 21 percent of the votes hadn’t been delivered within the same city after four days.
- Some mailed a week prior were also missing.
At the end of the experiment, only 97 percent of the ballots arrived. Three percent were missing, leading Dokoupil to declare those mock voters were “disenfranchised by mail.”
The reporter then hit the streets and couldn’t find a resident who would say a kind thing about the mail service.