Tulsi Gabbard Backs Ban on Ballot Harvesting After Project Veritas Video

Representative Tulsi Gabbard has called for a ban on ballot harvesting following a video from Project Veritas allegedly showing political operatives in Minneapolis, Minnesota illegally carrying out the practice.

Ballot harvesting refers to laws in some states allowing third parties to collect and deliver ballots. Where it is legal, campaign workers or volunteers can go to voters' homes and collect completed ballots. They can then deliver them en masse to polling places or election offices. Some states allow ballot harvesters to be paid an hourly rate for their work.

Gabbard, a Democrat, took to Twitter on Monday to reiterate her earlier support for a ban on ballot harvesting. She specifically referenced a Project Veritas video which has caused major controversy.

"Project Veritas offers further evidence of the need to ban ballot harvesting," Gabbard wrote.

"It's not a partisan issue. It's been abused to help both R & D candidates, including in North Carolina & California. Please help by telling your congressional rep to pass our bipartisan bill HR8285."

Gabbard retweeted a video from September 18 where she made the same argument against ballot harvesting.

"It is important to remember that the strength of our democracy lies in the integrity of our elections, that every one of us has to have faith that our vote will count," Gabbard said in the video.

"But right now there are still many states in our country that allow for something called ballot harvesting," she said.

"Our vote is our voice. So, whether in the midst of a pandemic, as we are now, where mail-in voting is likely drastically increase, or even in a normal election, no one, should get in between a voter and the ballot box."

The Project Veritas video shows a man, Liban Mohamed, talking about harvesting ballots for then Minneapolis city council candidate Jamal Osman. Later in the video, community activist Omar Jamal claims Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar pays for ballot harvesting.

"She uses her money and he is one of her many people. He is not the only one who works for her," Jamal says of Omar.

Omar's spokesperson, Jeremy Slevin, denied that Liban Mohamed worked for the congresswoman and said the accusations leveled against her weren't true.

"The amount of truth to this story is equal to the amount Donald Trump paid in taxes in ten out of the last fifteen years: zero," Slevin said.

Mike Freeman, attorney for Hennepin County, which covers all of Minneapolis, has said Project Veritas should turn any evidence of election law violations over to the Minneapolis police department.

Minneapolis PD has said they are aware of Project Veritas' claims and are investigating their validity, according to KSTP-TV, an ABC affiliate.

Gabbard's tweets won both praise and condemnation from other social media users. The congresswoman has sometimes angered fellow Democrats with the positions she's taken. She voted "present" when articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump were brought before the House of Representatives, the only lawmaker to do so.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard  Answers Media Questions
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) answers media questions following a campaign event on February 9, 2020 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Gabbard has called for a ban on ballot harvesting. Scott Eisen/Getty Images