Rep. Rodney Davis, ranking member of the Committee on House Administration, introduced a bill last week to ban “ballot harvesting”, a practice which allows anyone to deliver unlimited numbers of mail-in ballots on others’ behalf.
The practise was legalized by California Democrats in 2016, and is banned in most of the rest of the country, except for immediate family members. It is highly susceptible to fraud, which is why its banned almost everywhere else in the world.
In 2018, California Democrats used “ballot harvesting” as part of a sucessful drive to flip seven Republican seats. Hundreds of thousands of ballots were dropped off by Democratic Party operatives. Republicans have been unable to do the same because Republican voters are less inclined to part with their ballots.
(4) the practice of ballot harvesting in California creates significant vulnerabilities in the chain-of-custody of ballots because individuals collecting ballots are not required to be registered voters and are not required to identify themselves at a voter’s home, and the State does not track how many ballots are harvested in an election;
(5) in North Carolina, a congressional election was invalidated due to fraud associated with ballot harvesting committed by a political operative, and it is unlikely such activity would have been detected were it not for the prohibition against ballot harvesting in the State; and
(6) ballot harvesting invites electioneering activity at home and creates the possibility of undue influence over voters by political operatives.
The bill would prevent states that allow ballot harvesting from receiving federal funds through the Election Assistance Commission (EAC). The only people who would be allowed to deliver other people’s ballots would be election officials; U.S. Postal Service employees and officials authorized to deliver the mail; and a “family member, household member, or caregiver of the person to whom the ballot was mailed.”
In a statement, Davis said:
We cannot allow politics to interfere with the integrity of our electoral process. Ballot harvesting, in the way House Democrats are trying to nationalize, allows any individual to pick up any voter’s ballot for any reason and deliver it to the polling location, completely unchecked. This ‘pandemic relief’ bill from House Democrats would actually jeopardize public health by allowing ‘ballot brokers’ to go door to door with a blatant disregard for social distancing guidelines. Not to mention, allowing political operatives to pick up ballots is unnecessary when mail ballots already have pre-paid postage.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has included nationwide ballot harvesting in every coronavirus relief bill she has proposed. None has become law.
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