MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Reed, R-Jasper and Sen. Garlan Gudger, R-Cullman on Wednesday, Feb. 7, issued a statement after the Ballot Harvesting Bill advanced out of the State Government Affairs Committee.
The bill, sponsored by Gudger, prohibits any individual from ordering, requesting, collecting, prefilling, obtaining or delivering an absentee ballot and receiving or offering payment for such services. Assistance for Alabamians with disabilities is protected.
The statement is below:
“No greater priority exists than ensuring integrity in our elections. We must ensure absentee ballots are handled and cast in proper ways. Voting is a right that is foundational to our democracy, and we need to make certain that legitimate votes are not being diluted by fraudulent votes,” said Reed. “The main goal of these efforts will be to make sure that your vote counts and that those who try to cheat our system are held accountable.”
“A democratic Republic cannot survive if election laws allow voters to commit fraud easily,” said Gudger.“When individuals engage in deceptive practices during elections, it undermines the very essence of democracy, discouraging legitimate voters. The Ballot Harvesting Bill ensures the people of Alabama are the ones managing our elections without interference from bad actors.”
Last night, in the governor’s State of the State Address, Governor Ivey expressed support for the issue, stating, “I am proud to support legislation that prohibits ballot harvesting in our state. We would put a stop to any manipulation of our elections by closing loopholes that allow unaccountable, paid political operatives to pressure folks through the absentee voting process.”
Senate Republicans are committed to making Alabama elections transparent, trackable and publicly verifiable so Alabama voters have confidence in the security and accuracy of our elections.