Following the success of the Democrats in the recent midterm elections, some Republicans are reconsidering the party’s stance on ballot harvesting, voting by mail, and extensive early voting periods. The Democrats managed to beat the historic trend of losing multiple seats in both the Senate and the House during this midterm elections.
The GOP has previously pushed for election laws that became more prevalent during the pandemic, such as unlimited voting by mail and widespread ballot drop boxes to be stopped. This is because they have previously claimed that ballot harvesting could be a threat to the integrity of the electoral process.
Ballot harvesting specifically refers to the practice of a third party collecting the ballots of a number of voters and dropping them off at a ballot drop box or polling location.
Supporters of this measure have said that this allows people who might have struggled to vote previously, to cast their votes. However, those opposing the measure say that it opens the way for potentially fraudulent ballots to be cast. They also added that people might be pressured to fill out ballots by their community and not vote for whom they supported.
Currently, thirty-one states allow a third party to cast the vote filled by the voter.
Walter Olson, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute’s Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies, has said that the potential of losing the privacy of the vote, as well as turning voting into a social process is part of the reasons for the opposition to this method of voting. He added that this is why it is important to insulate people and to stop them from feeling societal pressure when making their voting choices.