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Last year, the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF), an organization dedicated to election integrity, shed light on concerning trends in local elections across the United States. Despite 2023 being an off-year for elections, PILF’s analysis revealed a troubling number of races decided by narrow margins or ending in ties. This included 33 elections tied or decided by single-vote margins, underscoring potential challenges for the upcoming 2024 presidential election, particularly concerning absentee ballots.

Of the elections scrutinized, Pennsylvania emerged with the highest number of tied elections, totaling seven. PILF’s research, spanning back to 2002, has uncovered a significant tally of 603 tied elections and 146 decided by single votes. These findings underscore the critical impact that every vote can have, highlighting the importance of ensuring fair and accurate election processes.

PILF President J. Christian Adams emphasized the significance of these findings, stressing that the outcome of elections should not be determined by illegal votes, mistakes, or errors. The integrity of the electoral process is paramount to upholding the democratic principles upon which the nation was founded.

Moreover, PILF highlighted instances where elections were overturned due to voting irregularities and fraud. Several races, including the Caddo Parish sheriff’s contest in Louisiana and the Bridgeport mayoral race in Connecticut, were subjected to new balloting following the discovery of election malfeasance. These incidents underscore the vulnerabilities within the electoral system that must be addressed to safeguard the integrity of future elections.

One common thread among these challenges is the issue of absentee ballots. PILF Director of Communications and Engagement, Lauren Bis, emphasized that local elections, often characterized by lower turnout, are particularly susceptible to close results. Ensuring that only legal votes are counted and that eligible voters participate is crucial to preserving the integrity of the electoral process.

Mail-in ballot issues, in particular, have emerged as a significant concern. States like Nevada and California have seen high numbers of rejected mail ballots, raising questions about the efficacy and security of mail-in voting. Bis cautioned against the disenfranchisement that can result from mail balloting errors, advocating for in-person voting as a means to mitigate potential issues and enhance ballot security.

As the nation gears up for the 2024 presidential election, these findings serve as a stark reminder of the importance of safeguarding the integrity of the electoral process. Addressing vulnerabilities in absentee balloting and ensuring fair and accurate elections will be essential to upholding the democratic principles upon which the nation was founded.