This post originally appeared at It was researched by Justin Haskins, Christopher Talgo, Donald Kendal, Jack McPherrin, James Taylor, and Jim Lakely.

  • 17% of mail-in voters admit that in 2020 they voted in a state where they are “no longer a permanent resident”
  • 21% of mail-in voters admitted that they filled out a ballot for a friend or family member
  • 17% of mail-in voters said they signed a ballot for a friend or family member “with or without his or her permission”
  • 8% of likely voters say they were offered “pay” or a “reward” for voting in 2020
    Taken together, the results of these survey questions appear to show that voter fraud was widespread in the 2020 election, especially among those who cast mail-in ballots.

A new poll by The Heartland Institute and Rasmussen Reports found one-in-five voters who cast mail-in ballots during the 2020 presidential election admit to participating in at least one kind of voter fraud.

When asked, “During the 2020 election, did you fill out a ballot, in part or in full, on behalf of a friend or family member, such as a spouse or child?”, 21% of respondents who said they voted by mail answered “yes.” (Filling out a ballot for someone else is illegal in all states, although many states allow people to assist others with voting.)

Additionally, 17% of mail-in voters said they voted “in a state where you were no longer a permanent resident.” Seventeen percent of mail-in voters also admitted to signing a “ballot or ballot envelope on behalf of a friend or family member.” (Both voting in a state where you are no longer a permanent resident and forging a signature on a ballot or ballot envelope are fraudulent activities that invalidate votes, when caught by election officials.)

According to election data, more than 43 percent of 2020 voters cast ballots by mail, the highest percentage in U.S. history.

Further, 10% of all respondents — not just those who said they voted by mail — claimed that they know “a friend, family member, co-worker, or other acquaintance who has admitted … that he or she cast a mail-in ballot in 2020 in a state other than his or her state of permanent residence.”

Eight percent of all respondents said “a friend, family member, or organization, such as a political party” offered them “pay” or a “reward” for agreeing to vote in the 2020 election.

Taken together, the results of these survey questions appear to show that voter fraud was widespread in the 2020 election, especially among those who cast mail-in ballots.

The poll of 1,085 likely voters was conducted from November 30 to December 6, 2023. Among those surveyed in the poll, 33% were Republicans, 36% were Democrats, and 31% were “other”; 32% were 18-39 years old, 46% were 40-64 years old, and 22% were 65 or older.

The following statements from policy experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. If you’d like to interview a Heartland Institute expert on this topic or other topics, please contact Justin Haskins, the director of Heartland’s Socialism Research Center and primary author of the Heartland/Rasmussen survey, at, or contact Vice President and Director of Communications Jim Lakely at You can also call/text Jim at 312-731-9364.

“The results of this survey are nothing short of stunning. For the past three years, Americans have repeatedly been told that the 2020 election was the most secure in history. But if this poll’s findings are reflective of reality, the exact opposite is true. This conclusion isn’t based on conspiracy theories or suspect evidence, but rather from the responses made directly by the voters themselves.

“A democratic republic cannot survive if election laws allow voters to commit fraud easily, and that’s exactly what occurred during the 2020 election. Although some progress has been made in more than a dozen states since the conclusion of the 2020 election, much more work is needed in most regions of the United States. If America’s election laws do not improve soon, voters and politicians will continue to question the truthfulness and fairness of all future elections.”

“The 2020 election was unlike any other in history as tens of millions of Americans voted by mail due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time, many experts warned that massive mail-in voting could result in widespread voter fraud. Unfortunately, these concerns were prophetic, as the results of this poll clearly show that a large number of voters did indeed fraudulently cast ballots in the 2020 election.

“The past few presidential elections have been razor-thin, and signs point to 2024 being another closely contested election. It is paramount that the American people have the utmost confidence that all elections are free and fair, and bereft of voter fraud as much as possible. Therefore, states should ensure their voter rolls are up-to-date and accurate, encourage in-person voting, and implement commonsense measures to reduce the potential for mail-in voting fraud.”

Subscribe to Kyle Becker’s new “Relentless Podcast.”