Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) has raised an alarm over ballot harvesting and voter fraud, filing a bill to prevent the practice. Gabbard, a former presidential candidate, has shown an extraordinary willingness to buck the propagandistic groupthink in her party, and Democrats have not always appreciated it. Yet she is right to warn about ballot harvesting and voter fraud, and she even noted that the recent Project Veritas sting videos illustrate her point.
“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 a video on Sunday.
“But right now, there are still many states in our country that allow for something called ballot harvesting,” she warned. “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,” the Democratic congresswoman warned.
“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,” Gabbard argued.
She pushed H.R. 8285, the Election Fraud Prevention Act, which she cosponsored along with Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.). “Our bipartisan bill protects the custody for every one of our ballots by prohibiting funding from going to states that allow this practice of ballot harvesting to occur,” she explained.
Gabbard later noted a Project Veritas video in which a ballot harvester identified as Osman Ali Dahquane boasts, “I have forty people,” each of whom he pays $800 for his or her ballot. The Project Veritas video revealed a stunning exchange of cash for a voter registration form, in which a ballot harvester gives a voter $200 in “pocket money” and promises $800 more for the ballot later.
“Project Veritas offers further evidence of the need to ban ballot harvesting,” Gabbard tweeted on Monday evening. “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.”
Project Veritas offers further evidence of the need to ban ballot harvesting. 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. https://t.co/AJequVVrzc
— Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) September 29, 2020
Many Democrats have rushed to champion vote-by-mail schemes, repeating the rote claim that there is no evidence of fraud connected to mail-in voting.
Yet as Thomas Spencer, a lawyer in the Bush v. Gore (2000) case and vice president of the Lawyers Democracy Fund, told PJ Media on Monday, “There’s an underworld out there that trades on ballots and forgeries. They prey on old folks or people in very poor communities. It’s a huge problem and it’s one of those subterranean problems where it’s very difficult to find who these people are.”
Spencer warned that Democrats are “taking all the guardrails down,” and he noted Perkins Coie lawyer Marc Elias, who has spearheaded a “four pillars” approach to further mail voting. One of his “four pillars” involves allowing “community organizations” to “help collect and deliver voted, sealed ballots.”
Yes, a Democratic operative seeking election “reform” is openly advocating ballot harvesting, the very practice Tulsi Gabbard rightly warns against.
Gabbard’s honesty about ballot harvesting is a refreshing departure from this party line, but tragically, it is unlikely to convince Democrats to switch sides on this vital election integrity issue.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.