Only a couple of days after James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas exposed a ballot harvesting scheme in Minnesota involving shady characters and politicians connected to Rep. Ilhan Omar, former Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard is calling on Congress to take action. The Hawaiian lawmaker introduced a bill this week that would strip federal funding from states that allow third parties to collect ballots from voters – a practice that provides nearly-unlimited opportunities for corruption and fraud.
“Project Veritas offers further evidence of the need to ban ballot harvesting,” Gabbard tweeted. “It’s not a partisan issue. It’s been abused to help both R & D candidates, including in North Carolina & California. Please help by telling your congressional rep to pass our bipartisan bill HR8285.”
The Project Veritas investigation, as damning as it is, was not what sparked Gabbard’s interest in outlawing the practice. In a video she released earlier this month about the bill, the Hawaiian Democrat explained that measures like hers are necessary if we are to have continued faith in our elections.
“Hey, everybody, we’re getting closer and closer to election day now, and it is critical to remember that the strength of our democracy lies in the integrity of our elections, that every one of us has to have faith that our vote will count,” Gabbard said in the video.
“But right now, there are still many states in our country that allow for something called ballot harvesting,” she continued. “This is a system that allows for third parties to collect and deliver ballots for other people, potentially large numbers of people. 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.”
In her new tweet, Gabbard said that even with the difficulties of the coronavirus swirling around the election, it is essential that we protect our one-person, one-vote system and make sure that people are not taking advantage of harvesting policies.
“Now, our vote is our voice,” Gabbard said. “So whether 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.”