“Ballot harvesting” is the controversial practice of one person collecting dozens or hundreds of ballots from other voters, and then turning them all in to be counted in an election. This practice deprives voters the fundamental safeguard of complete secrecy in the voting booth. When someone collects multiple ballots from voters at community centers or nursing homes, there’s no way to be sure whether the ballot harvester looked at how the people voted before giving those ballots to an election clerk, or even if he switched other ballots in to substitute for or add to the ones that he collected.
Kevin Dang, President of the Vietnamese Community of Arizona, observed that minority groups are “especially vulnerable to manipulation by groups who harvest ballots.” Similarly, President Sergio Arellano of the Arizona Latino Republican Association stated that “[m]any people in the Latino population, particularly the elderly, are taken advantage of by groups that collect ballots and misrepresent themselves as government or election officials. Many of the [voters] that these groups target do not speak English and are particularly vulnerable” to such tricks.
Earlier this year the State of Arizona passed a law to prohibit ballot harvesting, but Democrats challenged that law in court. You see, the practice of ballot harvesting helps Democrats, because they can use this practice to tell people how to vote, watch them vote, and make them worry about how they voted. People are told to hand their ballot to someone who might read it, change it, or even fill it out for them in the first place. That is not integrity in voting, and a State should not be required to allow it.
But merely two business days before the November election, the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals voted 6-5 to overturn the Arizona law and compel them to allow ballot harvesting in this recent election. Arizona immediately appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to “stay” the ruling until after the election. The Supreme Court unanimously blocked the Ninth Circuit decision from going into effect. Thankfully, ballot harvesting was not allowed in Arizona for this election.