The Department of Justice is conducting several “very big” voter fraud investigations in multiple states, Attorney General William Barr told CNN in an interview aired on Sept. 2.
“I know there are a number of investigations right now, some very big ones, in states,” Barr said in response to a question about how many voter fraud indictments the Department of Justice (DOJ) has brought on his watch.
Barr said he did not know the exact number. At least 32 people have been criminally convicted of voter fraud in 2019, according to a database maintained by the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank.
The attorney general made the remarks as part of a tense exchange with CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer about mail-in voting. Barr has repeatedly said that mass mail-in voting is an invitation for voter fraud and coercion. Blitzer pressed the attorney general for evidence that this will be the case in 2020. Barr pointed to a recent conviction in Texas over 1,700 fraudulent ballots and noted that widespread evidence isn’t available because the United States has never attempted an election with the kind of massive access to mail-in voting available in 2020.
At least 83 percent of American voters, or roughly 100 million people, will be able to vote by mail in the 2020 election, according to a tally by The Washington Post.
“We haven’t had the kind of widespread use of mail-in ballots as being proposed,” Barr said. “We’ve had absentee ballots from people who request them from a specific address. Now what we’re talking about is mailing them to everyone on the voter list, when everyone knows those voter lists are inaccurate.”
Barr referenced the findings of a nonpartisan Commission on Federal Election Reform, co-chaired by former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker, which determined in 2005 that mail-in voting creates the potential for voter fraud and opens the door to coercion if activists or party workers are allowed to handle ballots.
Carter recently issued a statement to point out that the commission’s key finding was that states should invest in more research on mail-in voting. The former president encouraged states to invest resources to expand voting by mail.