The coronavirus pandemic heightened the importance of ballot collection in 2020, as a record number of people voted absentee and many were unable or uncomfortable with the risk posed by leaving their home to return their ballots. Ballot collection refers to the practice of third-party individuals gathering and submitting completed absentee ballots for other voters. Ballot collection can provide a convenience for all voters who cast mail ballots, and it can provide a solution for mail voters with disabilities or other challenges that make going to a post office, mail box, or election site particularly difficult. This memo surveys the debate about ballot collection, the state laws regulating it, and the litigation regarding ballot collection laws and practices in the 2020 general election.
Authors: Christopher Wan, Alex Popke, and Haley Schwab