Trump allies are pushing to require states to hand-count all ballots, raising concerns from election experts that such a change could lead to “chaos,” The Washington Post reports.
Trump allies and election conspiracists have traveled around the country urging legislatures to pass bills requiring the hand-counting of paper ballots.
Such proposals have already been broached in Nevada, Colorado, Louisiana, Kansas, and New Hampshire.
No state has passed a bill to require the hand-counting of ballots but the idea is increasingly popular among Trump supporters who wrongly believe his election loss was tainted.
“The electronic voting machines are so vulnerable and so uncertifiable, I don’t see how we can trust them,” Jim Marchant, a Trump supporter running to be Nevada’s next secretary of state, said last month, urging Nye County to ditch all of their electronic machines.
Experts warn of chaos:
Election experts warn that hand-counting all ballots is impractical, would result in errors and counting delays, and could open the door for bad actors to slow or block the certification of results.
“It’s a recipe for some chaos,” Pam Smith, president of Verified Voting, told the Post. “And I do think that’s potentially very damaging to public trust in the process.”
Election officials say that hand-counting in any significantly-sized city or town would take days if not weeks. It could also lead to higher costs to taxpayers while resulting in more errors.
“The extreme right’s call for a hand count across the nation is political theater,” Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold told the Post. “It does not increase security. It actually decreases security. What will come of it in the big jurisdictions is a big slowdown in being able to certify elections, less-reliable results and opportunities for extremists to spread misinformation and mistrust.”
Effort backed by top Trump allies:
The push is backed by prominent Trump allies like MyPillow founder Mike Lindell and Steve Bannon.
Lindell insisted to the Post that hand-counting would be “better than the machines, even faster and certainly more accurate.”
“We have probably 30 counties on board now, and it’s just going to keep growing and growing,” Lindell said earlier this year.
Bannon also promoted the idea.
“I’m a paper ballot guy,” he said at an event organized by Marchant’s PAC. “All the machines should go.”