On its face, it seems harmless. A family member, friend, or volunteer from a community group offers to take your ballot to a drop box or county office, maybe because you don’t have a car or have trouble getting around on your own.
But in most cases in Pennsylvania, so-called “ballot harvesting” is illegal. Only a voter can mail their ballot or return it in person, unless they have a disability and officially designate someone to do it for them. A violation could land you a misdemeanor with up to a year in jail or as much as a $1,000 fine.
Last month, the state Supreme Court reaffirmed these restrictions, prohibiting third parties from collecting and returning mail-in ballots.
So what’s the big deal?