Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) introduced the Voter Fraud Prevention Act, co-sponsored with Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), that would help amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 by taking federal funds away from states that allow ballot harvesting, Breitbart reported.

Ballot harvesting allows political agents to collect as many votes as they want from other people to take to the polls themselves. While the condition requires they do not receive money for the number of votes they deliver, there is a gap in practice and these agents receive money to perform this task.

However, the question of whether they receive money for the work or not is not as serious as the susceptibility to fraud that this mechanism presents. In late August, a Democratic agent revealed to the New York Post the methods he and his aides have used for years to manipulate elections. One of the methods mentioned by the agent rightly refers to ballot harvesting from nursing homes where these individuals have contacts with the employees there or directly from older people at their residence.

Using different methods, they replace the original ballot with the fraudulent one or after collecting the ballot simply get rid of them if they are from the opposition. 

However, Gabbard’s proposal could actually solve the problem of ballot harvesting because this law would ensure that anyone collecting ballots of people who can’t make it to the polls whether they are family members, election officials, or employees of the national postal service, and especially third-party special interest groups cannot get between the voters and the ballot box.

The Gabbard said in a statement: ” This bill protects assistance from family members, household members, and caregivers as well as election officials and mail carriers acting in their official capacity. Voters will still have assistance, if they need it, to turn in their vote, but this bill makes sure that third-party special interest groups don’t get between voters and the ballot box.”

Ballot harvesting is one of the challenges to be solved before Nov. 3, but the massive mailing of votes to all registered voters on the voter rolls, adding to the poor state of the national postal service, remain two major obstacles to safe and legal elections. 

Federal election data reveals that since 2012, some 28.4 million mail ballots have disappeared in each of the last four election cycles. According to the Pew Research Center’s analysis, there are potentially 24 million ineligible or inaccurate voters on state lists. 

Voting in person is still the best way to ensure democracy is safeguarded.

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