Data Suggests Ballot Harvesting May Be Becoming More Common

Data suggests that ballot harvesting may be becoming more common. Here are a few examples:

  1. Increased legal recognition: In recent years, several states have passed laws that explicitly legalize or regulate ballot harvesting. For example, in 2016, California passed a law allowing third-party collection of absentee ballots, which has been referred to as "ballot harvesting." Other states, such as Arizona and Montana, have passed laws allowing certain individuals, such as family members or caregivers, to collect and return absentee ballots.
  2. Increase in ballot collection programs: There has also been an increase in ballot collection programs run by political parties, campaigns, and advocacy groups. These programs typically involve volunteers collecting absentee ballots from voters and returning them to election officials. According to a report from the National Vote at Home Institute, these programs have expanded significantly in recent years, with over 1.1 million ballots collected in the 2020 election cycle.
  3. Role in recent elections: Ballot harvesting has been a controversial issue in several recent elections. For example, in the 2018 midterm elections, Republican candidates in California alleged that Democrats were engaging in ballot harvesting to manipulate the election results. In the 2020 presidential election, ballot harvesting was a key issue in several states, with some Republican officials and candidates claiming that it could lead to fraud or manipulation of the election.

While these data points suggest that ballot harvesting may be becoming more common in the United States, it is important to note that there is still limited empirical data on the prevalence and impact of this practice.