Governor Tate Reeves has signed legislation to ban ballot harvesting across the Magnolia State into law, preventing political operatives in Mississippi from collecting and handling mass amounts of absentee ballots.
Senate Bill 2358, which was authored by Senate Elections Chairman Jeff Tate, R-Meridian, enacted penalties on individuals throughout Mississippi who are found guilty of improperly collecting absentee ballots.
“Mississippi is taking another step toward upholding the absolute integrity of our election process by banning ballot harvesting across the state,” Reeves said. “This process is an open invitation for fraud and abuse and can occur without the voter ever even knowing.”
The bill lists several exceptions for election officials that are authorized to collect the ballots while engaged in official duties, including:
- An employee of the United States Postal Service
- Any other individual who is allowed by federal law to collect and transmit United States mail
- A family member, household member, or caregiver of the person to whom the ballot was mailed
- A common carrier that transports goods from one place to another for a fee; no parcel shall contain more than a single ballot
Reeves approved the legislation on Wednesday, saying that SB 2358 will help protect the state from future instances of election fraud.
“Mississippians believe in honest elections. We reject attempts to cheat and we reject ballot harvesting. We demand election integrity and we demand accountability,” Reeves explained. “This bill builds on last year’s election integrity wins that banned illegal aliens and non-citizens from voting and blocked Zuckerbucks from funding elections.”
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