WASHINGTON — Attorney General William Barr on Thursday raised concerns that expanding mail-in voting could lead to widespread fraud — but admitted he had no evidence to support his claims.
In an interview with NPR, Barr was asked if he believes an election conducted mainly by mail can be secure.
"Personally, no. I mean, we just mailed out checks under this program. And what is it? I heard something like 20 percent or something were misdirected," Barr said, referring to stimulus checks sent out by the federal government as part of a coronavirus relief package.
Barr said that he thinks the same thing can happen with mail-in ballots.
"I know things can happen like that," he said. "Because I know people move, a very high percentage in the United States, people move all the time. And I also know that you can easily take things out of mailboxes."
He added, "There's so many occasions for fraud there that cannot be policed. I think it would be very bad. But one of the things I mentioned was the possibility of counterfeiting."
Asked if he has evidence to raise that concern, Barr said, "No, it's obvious."
President Donald Trump has repeatedly railed against mail-in voting, claiming that it leads to widespread voter fraud and has repeatedly said that mail-in voting doesn’t help Republicans.
There have been few documented cases of voter fraud, however, in the U.S. through voting by mail. And election officials in the states where mail-in voting is common take a number of steps to ensure the integrity of the elections, including signature verification.
Barr also said he has reason to believe there are "a number of foreign countries" that want to sow discord in the U.S. and said that mail-in ballots is an area that "they will exploit."