State Watch

Idaho passes bill prohibiting so-called ‘ballot harvesting’

The Idaho state House on Monday passed a bill to make it illegal for neighbors to deliver one another’s voting ballots to the post office.

Idaho Rep. Mike Moyle (R) led the effort in order to prevent so-called “ballot harvesting” and “to make it clear that we don’t like cheaters,” according to The Associated Press.

Under the bill, which passed 53-15, delivering 10 or more ballots to the post office for other people would be a felony, and delivering fewer than 10 would be a misdemeanor. 

“In Idaho voting should be easy, but in Idaho cheating should be hard,” Moyle said, the AP reported.

But critics say the bill criminalizes neighbors making an effort to help one another with good deeds. Some also say it could be a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act by preventing some groups, including disabled people and those who may need the help of health care workers to vote, from casting their ballots, the wire service added. 

State Rep. Ilana Rubel, another Democrat, told the AP she has personally helped deliver the ballots of some of her housebound constituents.

“I’m bragging — I think it’s a great thing to do, it’s a good service,” Rubel said. “I really think we shouldn’t be making good deeds into crimes.”

Democratic state Rep. Colin Nash said “consent should be enough to give someone your ballot,” adding that there are other laws in place in Idaho to prevent election fraud and illegal votes, the AP noted.

The bill will now goes to the state Senate for consideration.


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