The Idaho House is pushing pause on a bill that would outlaw a practice known as ballot harvesting.
Ballot harvesting is when you fill out an absentee ballot, sign it and then give it to someone else to drop off at an official collection point.
Healthcare workers in Idaho, for instance, did this for patients who were unexpectedly hospitalized on Election Day last year.
The bill would make it a felony to do so if enacted. Family members could only drop off two ballots at a time.
“We are trying to prevent with this bill Idaho going down the road that other states have gone down,” said House Majority Leader Mike Moyle (R-Star), who sponsors the bill. “Do we have a problem today? Maybe not. But let’s fix it before we do.”
Moyle referenced last year’s presidential election – the results of which Trump allies have baselessly argued were illegal. As of last month, courts had rejected more than 60 attempts in states across the country to overturn the election results.HurryTimer: Invalid campaign ID.
Debate over the proposal showed fault lines within the House’s Republican supermajority.
House Majority Caucus Chair Megan Blanksma (R-Hammett) explained that her closest polling location had been closed last November due to consolidation. Her family, which includes her husband and two adult children, all received absentee ballots at their home 20 miles outside of Hammett.
Not trusting that the U.S. Postal Service would deliver their ballots to the Elmore County Clerk’s office by the deadline, she chose a different option.
“You send your kid. If there’s any possible way of getting out of that trip into town you’re going to take it because your kid has a driver’s license,” Blanksma said.
“With this legislation, my daughter’s a felon. A 20-year-old kid is a felon.”
Moyle acknowledged that reality.
“So, you have to make two trips to the post office. I understand that concern,” he said. “But you know what, voting shouldn’t be easy.”
Other Republicans who said they supported the concept of barring ballot harvesting had concerns similar to those of Blanksma.