Definition and meaning of ballot chasing: Ballot chasing, also known as "ballot harvesting," is a political practice involving the collection and submission of absentee or mail-in ballots by individuals other than the voter. While the specifics can vary by jurisdiction, this process typically involves party operatives, volunteers, or activists who collect completed ballots from voters to submit them to election officials.
The practice is controversial and subject to varying legal regulations across different regions. Proponents argue that ballot chasing helps increase voter turnout, particularly among groups who might find it challenging to submit their ballots themselves, such as the elderly, disabled, or those living in remote areas. It's seen as a way to ensure that every vote is counted and can be particularly useful in large-scale elections where the volume of mail-in ballots is significant.
Critics, however, raise concerns about the potential for fraud and manipulation. They argue that allowing third parties to handle ballots could lead to undue influence over voters' choices, loss or tampering of ballots, and challenges in verifying the authenticity of the votes. As such, some jurisdictions have strict laws limiting or entirely prohibiting the practice of ballot chasing, requiring voters to mail or submit their ballots personally.