‘Ballot Harvesting’: How Was It Played in 2018? Will It Repeat in 2020?

On the night of November 6, Republicans knew they lost control of the House of Representatives. But one saving grace is that the “blue wave” Democrats touted going into the 2018 midterms did not realize. Technically, at the end of the night, Democrats could not confirm they won at least 23 seats, and others were still pending. Now, six weeks after the election, in virtually every pending House contest, the Democratic candidate was declared the winner, giving House Democrats a net gain of 40 seats.

What happened? How did House Republicans go from barely holding on to the lower chamber of Congress to going into the new congressional session with 199 seats to the Democrats’ 235 seats in the weeks after the election was over? On the eve of the new congressional session, we will look at why House Republicans lost the confidence of the American people and what role “ballot-harvesting” played after the polls closed.