Trump legal adviser: Ballot harvesting unconstitutional if it creates 'wide opportunity for fraud'

'We can stand in line and social distance and be safe at a grocery store or hardware store, we can stand in line to vote,' said Trump 2020 senior legal adviser Jenna Ellis.

Updated: July 10, 2020 - 5:31pm

Allowing third parties to collect election ballots, a term sometimes called "ballot harvesting," is unconstitutional if it creates "wide opportunity for fraud," Trump campaign senior legal adviser Jenna Ellis says.

"I think that ballot harvesting is definitely opening up a ripe opportunity for fraud," Ellis told Just the News in an interview, while acknowledging there is no language in the Constitution specifying "exactly how a vote has to be held." 

Citing Supreme Court rulings that talk about the importance of election security, Ellis said: "We have to make sure that we are securing the sanctity of that ballot, and part of the right to vote is to make sure that my vote, your vote is fairly and accurately counted."

"When you undermine election security," she said, by allowing procedures "that provide such a wide opportunity for fraud, then yes, that can be unconstitutional on that basis."

Ellis is part of a legal team examining possible breakdowns in what they call the "chain of custody," e.g. the interposition of additional barriers that separate a voter from directly delivering his or her own ballot to be counted. Each additional degree of separation from a voter's personal custody of a ballot adds risk and opportunities for fraud, Ellis explained.

"If a ballot is mailed to an individual through the mail, and then they fill out their ballot, and then they give it to a third party to then go and return, and even if that third party happens to be a mail carrier, there are still documented instances where mail carriers have altered or destroyed ballots," Ellis said. "So that just breaks down the chain of custody, rather than going and voting in person. You know, we can stand in line and social distance and be safe at a grocery store or hardware store — we can stand in line to vote." 

Ellis said today's uncertain, COVID-era election environment creates openings for electoral mayhem and chaos.

"What we're trying to make sure that we that we prevent is that these election laws aren't just manipulated and changed hurriedly and in an unmonitored fashion like what the Democrats want," Ellis said. "So we filed in multiple states, and if that ballot harvesting issue or the nationwide mail-in voting issue gets to the Supreme Court, then that would be great, but we're taking this one step at a time and the most recent suit we filed was in the Western District of Pennsylvania, but go to protectthevote.com, and you can see everywhere that we're fighting."

Just the News previously reported on “granny farming,” a practice in which political operatives seek out massive groups of senior citizens to help them request mail-in ballots and then assist them in filling their ballots out when they arrive. In his book “Fraud: How the Left Plans to Steal the Next Election,” author and researcher Eric Eggers details examples of how this process is carried out. 

"It shouldn't be something where one individual can go around to neighborhoods, can target nursing homes, can target individuals and collect a lot of ballots on behalf of one party," Ellis said. "That certainly would be unconstitutional, because that would negate the sanctity of the ballot." 

Watch the full interview by clicking below: 

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