Committee Moves to Curb Absentee Ballot Harvesting

Apr 4, 2023 (Raleigh) By a strictly partisan vote, NCs House Election Law and Campaign Finance Committee, approved a bill, today, that adds a small amount of election integrity measures over absentee voting while leaving other matters on the table.

The most hotly debated provision of House Bill 304 is that it bans the counting of ballots that arrive after an election’s results are known. In the past, any ballot postmarked by 5:00 PM on Election Day could be counted up to three days after Election Day and in 2020, SCOTUS Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the three liberal justices in ordering the state to count ballots that arrived up to nine days after the election.

Click this image to see who works in the House Election Law and Campaign Finance Committee.

Democrat objection to the bill centered on around 15,000 late ballots that were counted after the 2020 elections. With the state’s Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul Newby race decided by just 401 votes, lawmakers are trying to prevent similar ballot harvesting chaos in future elections.

Exploiting laws that allow late ballots was most recently reported by VIP in October 2020, when a leaked NCDP memo revealed their secret plans that would facilitate collecting enough ballots to overturn close elections.

The tactic, honed in California, culminated in 2018, with Democrats overturning seven Republican congressional races several weeks after the election. That stunning result flipped control of Congress and publicity surroundingĀ  ballot harvesting in the 2018 Mark Harris election, impelled NC’s Republican-led Legislature to enact a few reforms.

Either because of the leaked NCDP memo or the fact that their 2018 reforms did not go far enough, the NCGOP set up a Republican harvesting effort that helped minimize the Democrat effort.

The unfair nature of such ballot-harvesting laws is that the winner is often determined by the 501(c)(3) charitable organizations the Left has established in order to control elections. So, while the GOP resorted to precious dollars raised by their party donors, dozens of non-profit liberal groups perform the harvesting at no cost to the party.

That’s why the easy answer is to stop letting anybody add ballots to the count after the results of the election are known and that’s what HB304 currently does.

Here are the main provisions of H304:

  • Provide that all marked mailin absentee ballots other than militaryoverseas ballots must be returned to the county board of elections by 7:30 P.M. on the day of the election, unless federal law requires otherwise.
  • Require any marked mailin absentee ballots to be delivered solely to the county board of elections office, whether delivered by mail or in person.
  • Require county boards of elections and the State Board of Elections (State Board) to publish the date mailin absentee ballots are available for voting and the date completed request forms for mailin absentee ballots must be received by a county board of elections for that election.
  • Require county boards of elections to submit reports on the number of spoiled absentee ballots, outstanding absentee ballots, counted absentee ballots, and voted provisional ballots to the State Board, and require the State Board to publish the reports on its website.

Next stop for this bill will be the House Rules committee and then to the floor for what is guaranteed to be a spirited debate.