Republicans Take A Hard Look At Ballot Harvesting, Early Mail-In Voting After Midterm Losses


(Washington Examiner) After Democrats defied historical trends and political expectations in the midterm elections, some Republicans are reconsidering their party’s resistance to ballot harvesting, voting by mail, and extensive early voting periods.

The GOP has fought in several states to roll back changes to election law that became widespread during the pandemic, such as unlimited voting by mail and the proliferation of ballot drop boxes. Republicans have rejected ballot harvesting in particular as a threat to election integrity.


Ballot harvesting refers to a practice in which a third party collects ballots from voters in bulk and delivers them to a drop box or polling location.

Proponents of the practice say it increases election access for people who may struggle to submit their ballots themselves, such as elderly patients in nursing homes.

Opponents have argued it opens the door to abuses large and small, from the submission of potentially fraudulent ballots to the subtle forms of social pressure that might arise from having a friend or community leader oversee the completion of multiple ballots.

Thirty-one states specifically allow a person other than the voter who filled out the ballot to return it, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

While a number of those states place limits on who can do the returning — restricting it to family members of a voter, for example — and how many ballots a person can return on behalf of others, 16 states allow virtually anyone to return a ballot for someone else, and only nine states cap the number of ballots a third party can return.

Alabama is the only state in the nation that requires a voter to drop off his or her own ballot.




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