Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) came out against the process of ballot harvesting in a video posted to Twitter on Friday, critiquing the system as “ripe for fraud” and announcing the introduction of a new election security bill called the Election Fraud Prevention Act.
“Unfortunately, ballot harvesting has allowed for fraud and abuse to occur by those who could tamper with or discard ballots to try to sway an election for or against a certain candidate or party,” Gabbard stated.
The congresswoman continued, “So whether we are in the midst of a pandemic, as we are now, where mail-in voting is likely to drastically increase, or even in a normal election, no one, no one should get in between a voter and the ballot box.”
Gabbard went on to reference recent examples of ballot harvesting being used to manipulate votes.
“Now to protect the integrity of our vote in our elections, I’ve introduced legislation called the Election Fraud Prevention Act, with my friend Representative Rodney Davis,” Gabbard announced.
The bill protects the chain of custody for ballots by prohibiting funding from going to states that allow the process of ballot harvesting to occur.
“This bill will actually encourage states to stop this practice that’s ripe for fraud, and that poses a serious threat to the integrity of our elections,” Gabbard concluded.
The full video message can be viewed below.
Banning ballot harvesting is not a partisan issue. It's been used & abused in states like North Carolina and California & is ripe for fraud.
— Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) September 18, 2020
Gabbard is the first prominent Democrat politician to come out in vocal opposition to ballot harvesting.
The issue has largely split along partisan lines in recent weeks, with the Trump campaign advocating for the ban of ballot harvesting while Democratic states push for third-party pickup of ballots in a bid to allegedly “help the disenfranchised.”
So far, California and Michigan are the first two states to put a legal stamp of approval on ballot harvesting. Both states have Democrat governors.