Friday, October 23, 2020

Is Ballot Harvesting is Legal in California for Democrats, but not for Republicans

Election night 2018 showed 39 Democrats and 14 Republicans in California’s Congressional delegation. Nine Republicans, seven incumbents and two seeking open Republican seats, went to bed election night, believing they had won by sizable margins. They won the in-person vote and regular absentee votes. Then came the tsunami of late arriving, ballot harvesting votes, 250,000 in Orange County alone. All nine lost when the final votes were counted over the next three weeks. Republicans now have nine Congressional seats as they won one back a few months ago in a special election. Getting out the vote is a key to winning elections. Car rides to the polls would be offered to prospective voters who could not make it to the voting booths on their own. Philadelphia was notorious for “walking around money.” The dead continued to vote in Chicago. Ballot harvesting is a whole new ball game in states where it is legal. The traditional absentee voter requested an absentee vote, filled it in, and signed a verification on the outer envelope, or have someone in the family or residence sign it. Ballot harvesting was not legal. No longer in California. Governor Brown signed AB 1921 in 2016, legalizing ballot harvesting. Anyone, not just family members or residents, could collect the ballots with no limits. Harvesters could be paid for collecting ballots, but not on a per ballot basis. A 2018 statute by the Democratic supermajority in the legislature eliminated the verification requirement. No ballot could be “disqualified solely because the person returning it did not provide on the identification envelope his or her name, relationship to the voter, or signature.” Democratic operatives, including union canvassers, troll college dorms, nursing homes, sometimes homeless encampments, the barrios and ghettos, and target individual voters for mail ballots. One union held a victory party in Anaheim on the 2018 election night. It knew. The signature gatherers can even fill in the ballots, presumably expressing on the voter’s will. They can also toss any ballots they think will be for an opposition candidate. May not be legal, but who would know! California and Orange County are rapidly changing in demographics. Whites are now a shrinking plurality with scores moving out of the state, which partially accounts for the dimming Republican prospects in California. Ballot harvesting accelerated the change. California sent ballots to all registered voters in the state. Ballots can stack up in apartment houses and other places, ripe for harvesting. The California GOP decided to engage in ballot harvesting of their own this year. They placed third party ballot collection boxes in Fresno, Los Angeles and Orange Counties in sites frequented by conservative voters, including shooting ranges and gun shops, churches, and candidate and GOP offices. The ballots did not require verifications on the outer envelopes. The collection boxes were locked and supervised. Some were labeled “official” ballot collection boxes. California’s Secretary of State Alex Padilla and Attorney General Xavier Becerra went ballistic. The AG has already filed over a 100 lawsuits against the Trump Administration, seemingly every time the President inhales and exhales. Becerra received a supplemental budget allocation to fund the lawsuits. They issued last Monday cease and desist orders, which the GOP ignored. The Attorney General subpoenaed the names of the voters who dropped off their ballots. Hector Barajas, spokesperson for the California GOP, said “This is a thuggish voter intimidation and vote suppression tactic by our Democratic attorney general and secretary of state.” Conversely the Registrar of Voters in tony Marin County called the Republican ballot boxes “very risky:” “They leave themselves open to accusations of ballot tempering with the ballots,” which is, of course, what the Democrats are engaged in. Sacramento Superior Court Judge David I. Brown denied the state’s request for a preliminary injunction against the GOP. Attorney General Becerra said “Here in California, we’re doing everything in our power to protect the integrity of our elections.” An attorney for the GOP argued California lacks authority to investigate “noncriminal activities that are constitutionally protected.” The Democrats will not be as successful this year trolling the unoccupied or under occupied dorms. The Democrats control California politics. They hold all eight statewide elected offices, both United States senators, supermajorities in the state legislature, and all but nine congressional seats. It’s never enough; they want total power!

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