Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard stated, “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. But right now, there are still many states in our country that allow for something called ballot harvesting. 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.”
Tulsi Gabbard spoke out against ‘ballot harvesting’ after videos surfaced alleging that Rep. Ilhan Omar used this practice to win her seat.
Video footage from Project Veritas revealed a journalist ask a ballot harvester, “Will they (Ilhan Omar’s clan) do it (voter fraud) again for the next election? General election?”
The translator asked the man in Somali, “Are they doing it in November?”
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The ballot harvester responded in Somali, “Yes, they will do it. They do it always.”
“November, it’s actually they are hearing up for November. Yes,” the translator relayed back to the journalist.
Rep. Gabbard also shared, “Now our vote is our voice. 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. Now, while some states have prohibited vote harvesting or ballot harvesting, many have not. Which again, allows for abuse from third parties collecting and mishandling ballots. This is something that we’ve actually seen happen in recent elections. Now to protect the integrity of our vote in our elections, I’ve introduced legislation called the Election Fraud Prevention Act with my friend, Representative Rodney Davis. Our bipartisan bill protects the chain of custody for every one of our ballots by prohibiting funding from going to states that allow this practice of ballot harvesting to occur. This bill will actually encourage states to stop this practice that’s ripe for fraud and that poses a serious threat to the integrity of our elections. We urge our leaders in Congress to take up this legislation quickly to support and ensure the integrity of our elections.”
Rep. Gabbard has also introduced another bill to assure voter security in elections.
Gabbard stated, “It’s important that as we talk about interference in our elections, that we recognize the actual vulnerabilities that exist. I’ve introduced legislation called the Securing America’s Elections Act that would make sure that we have either paper ballots or voter-verified paper backup so that we have an auditable paper trail that exists should there be any question about interference and manipulation of our elections. There are still a number of states in this country who do not use any kind of paper backup paper ballot, leaving those things, leaving those election systems highly vulnerable. This is something we’ve got to urgently address if we’re serious about making sure that no person or foreign country or foreign actor is able to threaten our democracy.”
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