Rumor vs Reality

Question: Is it legal to have someone submit my absentee ballot for me? Reality: Ballot collection or third-party submission rules vary between states.

Published October 28, 2020

This card was produced in partnership with the Stop Digital Voter Suppression Project.

“Ballot harvesting” (i.e. having a third-party collect and submit your absentee ballot) is a practice that is very helpful to elderly voters, Native Americans living on remote reservations, and Black and Brown people who live in areas without easy access to polling places. It can be used to boost voter turnout.

Some people on the right are wrongly claiming that this is a kind voter fraud. It isn’t. A widely circulated video that supposedly showed ballot tampering in Rep. Ilhan Omar’s Minnesota district was proven false.

Before giving your ballot to a relative, friend or other third party:

  1. Make sure that it is legal in your state by checking this list of state rules.
  2. Be certain your ballot is properly and completely filled out, signed and sealed – just as if you were putting it in the mailbox.
  3. Double check that the person or organization is legitimate.


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