Support Lines Up For Ballot Harvesting Bill

In August 2014, Arizona voters caught their first glimpse of a ballot harvester in action when cameras captured a member of the progressive group, Citizens for a Better Arizona, stuffing hundreds of envelopes into a ballot box in Maricopa County. Arizona has been the only state that allows harvesting of ballots. That could change if Representative Michelle Ugenti-Rita (R-23) has her way.

Ugenti-Rita has introduced HB2023 which prescribes a class 6 felony for collecting a voted or unvoted early ballot from another person. The bill will allow a family member, household member, or caregiver of a voter, as well as election officials and United States postal workers to continue to be allowed to collect ballots.

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According to Ugenti-Rita, this legislation is an effort to maintain the ability of Arizonan’s to participate in the electoral process via the mail without it being manipulated.

Rep. Ugenti-Rita said, “During my tenure at the legislature I have been a strong advocate of a fair and impartial electoral process. I believe ballot harvesting flies in the face of that. Prohibiting the collection of ballots is important to maintaining the integrity of the electoral process. Voting is the most direct method to impact government and the process should be void of fraud to ensure voters can have confidence in the system.”

Secretary of State Michele Reagan stated, “We must do all we can to improve election integrity and reduce the opportunity for political gamesmanship from any political party,” said Secretary Reagan. “I’ve always said we want to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat. This commonsense legislation will ensure voted ballots are secure with the USPS and not in the hands of activist groups walking door-to-door in neighborhoods collecting hundreds of ballots without any oversight.”

Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio stated, “This bill is about protecting voter rights. The bill protects our precious rights at the ballot box by preventing extreme influence, coercion and ballot fraud from people collecting ballots for special interest groups.”

Rep. Ugenti-Rita continued, “Due to the nature of this issue, it will be the only bill I hear during the first meeting of the Elections Committee. HB2023 is the product of a deliberative stakeholder process that involved participants from multiple levels of government eager to develop a solution to this problem and I thank them for their contributions and support.”​

LaFaro submitted a Public Information Request to Maricopa County Elections on 08/26 requesting the 24/7 security surveillance video tape for 08/25 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. for the camera in the MCTEC foyer watching the ballot box – camera 9.

9 Comments

  1. We Americans allowed this assault on our liberty to happen with our keyboard crap and lack of physical action. Remember Election Days in the past when liquor sales in some states were suspended until the polls closed? Say what you will about Mexico, its citizens all vote
    in person on the same day at the polls with stringent requirements for ID.

  2. We need to be like the rest of the world.
    1. Show up in person.
    2. Show proof that you are allowed to vote.
    3. Dip your finger in an ink well, to show that have already voted.

    • AMEN I used to look forward to Election day. I think they should make it a holiday. Maybe even a Holyday.

  3. Hank it is unfair to play the Chicago Card when having a civil discussion about ELECTION FRAUD.

    One improvement is that at least this legislation has penalties, although a Class 6 Felony is hardly a deterrent with the latitude given to the Judge for sentencing.

    Class 6 Felonies

    Class 6 felonies are the least serious felonies under Arizona law. The presumptive term for a class 6 felony is one year in prison and the aggravated term is two years in prison. Under certain circumstances, a judge can even designate a class 6 felony conviction as a class 1 misdemeanor conviction and sentence a defendant accordingly. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. §§ 13-604, 13-701.)

  4. Good intention, but not a solution. My dad and others in my family are uninformed democrats who still think Kennedy is president. Other family members are the same. I know damn well what would happen to my vote if it got in their hands. If a person has lost the mental capacity to vote they shouldn’t. It’s commonsense. If they are home bound a member or representitive of their party should transport their vote. As far as a class 6 felony, what the hell is that? if you want to stop this criminal practice make it a felony one. Get serious or why bother.

  5. Bill its the ‘only state’ to allow, BUT it is not the only state involved. Just because we dont have a law does not mean that the other states that do ENFORCE the law on the books. If enforcement was something to be feared then how do the roles of chicago voters include many who have been dead for years or not even registered to vote. They want instant registration which is an open invite to fraud as this is to be pushed for being accomplished on election days. Also they want open primaries so that the opposition parties can impact the party nominations. So dont get upset at ‘being the only state’ just that the others probably have an unenforced law on the books.

  6. This is such a no brainer piece of legislation. Horay for Rep. Ugenti-Rita for introducing this bill. It will be interesting how the sanctimonious Democrats justify opposing this without looking like they support fraud.

  7. It is incredible that Arizona is the only state that allows this practice. This practice is open to so much FRAUD potential.

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