In December 2018 The Federalist posted an article with the following title, “How Ballot-Harvesting Became The New Way To Steal An Election.” The article is still relevant today. So what is ballot-harvesting? Ballot-harvesting is the practice of party operatives collecting absentee or mail-in ballots and turning bunches of them in at a time. So why is this risky? A person can go into a nursing home with a handful of ballots, sit down with each resident (regardless of their mental capacity), fill out a ballot for them, have the resident sign it, and turn it in as the resident’s vote. There is no way of knowing if the ballot reflected the resident’s wishes.
The article notes:
With ballot-harvesting, paper votes are collected by intermediaries who deliver them to polling officials, presumably increasing voter turnout but also creating opportunities for mischief.
The latter is suspected in North Carolina, where uncharacteristic Democratic charges of vote fraud prompted an investigation into whether Republican-paid political operatives illegally collected and possibly stole absentee ballots in a still-undecided congressional race. A national spotlight was shone by The New York Times, which, like Democrats, often minimizes vote fraud; it flooded the zone in this case, assigning five reporters to a single story.
In California, by contrast, Democrats exulted as they credited a quietly passed 2016 law legalizing ballot-harvesting with their recent sweep of House seats in the former Republican stronghold of Orange County, thereby helping them win control of the House. In that case, it was Republican eyebrows that were arched. House Speaker Paul Ryan said what happened in California “defies logic.”
The article continues:
Only 16 states regulate ballot-harvesting at all, and their rules vary. In Colorado, one of three states to conduct all elections entirely by mail-in ballots, third-party volunteers are allowed to collect up to 10 ballots, though critics have long alleged that the practice is ripe for exploitation.
In November, Montana voters passed a state referendum banning the collection of ballots by third parties. Arizona’s 2016 ban against the practice, which had previously been linked to voter fraud in the state, was recently upheld by a federal appeals court, despite claims that it would disproportionately impact Latino voters who relied on third parties to help navigate the voting process.
Please follow the link to read the entire article. This is an activity that has successfully stolen elections in the past, and there is no reason to believe that it would not be used if voter laws were altered to allow voting by mail.