AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A proposal to criminalize "ballot harvesting" of mail-in votes has renewed tensions in the Texas House over voting rights.
The bill targets what Republicans say is rife with potential voting fraud: political individuals or groups — often called ballot harvesters — that collect and mail completed early ballots. They typically seek out voters who need help, such as the disabled or those living in assisted residences.
A proposal Thursday by Republican state Rep. Cindy Burkett caps the number of ballots an individual could mail at 10. Critics say ballot harvesting preys on a vulnerable population and invites the risk of voter fraud.
The proposal cleared a preliminary House vote after two hours of debate.