Sen. Josh Hawley Introduces Bill to Ban Ballot Harvesting, Protect Election Integrity

November 10, 2020 Updated: November 10, 2020

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) introduced a bill to ban ballot harvesting during federal elections to protect election integrity in the midst of voter fraud allegations during last week’s presidential election.

Hawley’s bill seeks to improve the ability of campaigns to watch vote-counting operations, would require absentee or mail-in ballots to be counted, and require that ballot-counting continue after it is started. The third point likely is in reference to several states stopping vote-counting on Election Night before picking up the next day and later in the week.

Some states like Arizona, Alaska, North Carolina, and Georgia have not yet finalized their vote-counting yet. Election officials have said it’s due to a glut of mail-in and absentee ballots during this election—which they say is a bid to curb the CCP virus pandemic.

“The debacle of the 2020 election has made clear that serious reforms are needed to protect the integrity of our elections. The American people deserve transparency—that means banning ballot harvesting, empowering poll watchers, and taking steps to ensure that all legally cast ballots are accounted for,” Hawley said. “The confusion and controversy of this past week is not acceptable, Congress must take action.”

According to a news release from Hawley, the bill would also “impose requirements, adapted from existing Florida law, that mandate the auditing of voting systems and the reporting in advance of preparations made for upcoming general elections.”

Other details about his bill were not provided.

Allegations

It comes as Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said in a Fox News appearance on Monday night that he is aware of an alleged ballot-harvesting operation in Pennsylvania nursing homes. He said there were up to 25,000 cases that are being looked into as President Donald Trump’s team attempts to file legal challenges to contest the results.

“I’ve got more information. We’re now finding potentially that 25,000 nursing home residents in different nursing homes requested mail-in ballots at the exact same time,” the South Carolina Republican said.

“You can’t ballot harvest in Pennsylvania,” Graham added. “What are the odds that 25,000 people in different locations of the same age group requested at the same time a ballot? Somebody is up to no good in these nursing homes.”

Major media outlets have called the race for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, and he on Saturday declared victory. The Epoch Times has not yet called the race until counting operations are finished and all legal challenges are completed. Individual states have to certify the results of the election before votes are cast in the Electoral College, who have the final say.

Graham didn’t reveal any evidence in regards to ballot-harvesting in Pennsylvania, a key state that is needed to win the presidency.

“We don’t need their permission to look into these allegations. We owe it to those who voted for President Trump and the country at large to test this system. If we don’t deal with voting by mail in 2020, we will never win the White House again,” he said.

Trump currently trails Biden by about 45,000 votes in Pennsylvania, according to The Associated Press.