Bill prohibiting ballot harvesting passes Idaho House

On Monday, the Idaho state House passed a bill to make it an illegal act for neighbors to deliver one another’s voting ballots to the post office on the others’ behalf.

Republican Idaho Rep. Mike Moyle was the one to lead the effort seeking to prevent ballot harvesting as well as “to make it clear that we don’t like cheaters,” as reported by The Associated Press.

The bill passed 53-15 in the chamber, and under its provisions, delivering 10 or more ballots to the post office on behalf of friends or neighbors would be a felony, and delivering less than few would constitute misdemeanor charges. “In Idaho voting should be easy, but in Idaho cheating should be hard,” said Moyle, according to the AP.

But the bill’s critics have said its purpose is to criminalize neighbors who are making an effort to help each other by good works. Others also say it could potentially violate the Americans with Disabilities Act by stopping some groups, as well as disabled people and those who might need the help of health care workers to vote, from casting their ballots and participating in the election process.

State Rep. Ilana Rubel, a Democrat in the chamber, told the AP that she has personally helped drop off the ballots of some of her constituents who are housebound. “I’m bragging – I think it’s a great thing to do, it’s a good service,” Rubel commented. “I really think we shouldn’t be making good deeds into crimes.”

Fellow Democratic state Rep. Colin Nash said, “Consent should be enough to give someone your ballot,” noting that there are other laws currently in place in the state to stop election fraud and illegal votes. The bill will now head to the state Senate for consideration in the upper chamber.




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