Reported by Chad Groening, Jody Brown (OneNewsNow.com) | Monday, December 3, 2018
A conservative columnist agrees with House Speaker Paul Ryan in questioning the legitimacy of California’s vote-counting process.
It’s called “ballot harvesting” – and it’s illegal in most states. But the practice was legal for the first time in California this year. It allows a third party to collect completed “vote by mail” ballots from voters and then hand them over to election officials. The legislation states that:
“… A vote by mail voter who is unable to return the ballot [by mail or in person] may designate any person to return the ballot to the elections official who issued the ballot, to the precinct board at a polling place or vote center within the state, or to a vote by mail ballot dropoff location within the state ….” (Assembly Bill 1921)
That new law has caused Ryan, the outgoing Speaker of the House, to question the legitimacy of several California congressional races last month, adding to the contention of many Republicans that the state’s election procedures are flawed. “We had a lot of wins that night, and three weeks later we lost basically every contested California race. This election system they have? I can’t begin to understand what ballot harvesting is,” Ryan told The Washington Post.
Robert Knight, a conservative columnist for The Washington Times and OneNewsNow, says Ryan has legitimate concerns. “There’s long been a clear pattern across the country that when ballots are counted after a close election, the Democrats invariably win. Somehow they come up with the ballots,” he points out.
The most suspicious case in California, according to Knight, was in the 39th Congressional District, where Republican Young Kim was vying to become the first Korean-American woman elected to Congress.
“She was up by 14 percent on election night – and then they started all the ballot counting,” he describes. “And a week later they declared the Democrat the winner, Gil Cisneros, by 3,000 votes.
“Now I’m just wondering why it always goes this way. It never goes the other way. Whenever you see a ballot counting, the Democrats always seem to harvest enough votes to get over the top. And so when Paul Ryan suspects something fishy, a lot of us feel the same way.”
Washington Times columnist Shawn Steel puts it this way regarding the ultimate result of the Kim-Cisneros race: “There’s no evidence of ballot box shenanigans. No need. Democrats know it’s easier to erode voter integrity laws than to stuff ballot boxes …. Merciless and unsparing, California Democrats have systematically undermined California’s already-weak voter protection laws to guarantee permanent one-party rule.”
Steel argues his case by detailing how California Democrats have expanded voter eligibility for non-citizens, inmates, and felons, and instituting “motor voter” registration, pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-olds, automatic mailing of absentee ballots to every voter, conditional ballots, ballots accepted up to a week after Election Day, and second chance for rejected ballots.
Ever heard of ‘ballot harvesting’? Here’s what you need to know. Notice that a whole bunch of seats that were tilting Red on election night flipped blue a week or so later? What’s up with that? And why was that trend only in one direction?
Carmine Sabia of The Federalist Papers had some interesting things to say about that. Here’s a taste.
California’s most staunchly ‘red’ district went blue in at the Midterms. But why? Was it the ‘blue wave’? Did Republicans stay home? Was there any ‘funny business’ behind the scenes? (Heaven forbid anyone call it ‘monkey business’ anymore.)
This is where ‘ballot harvesting comes into play’.
As the polls closed on election day last month, six California Republican House candidates, including Representatives Dana Rohrabacher, Steve Knight, and Mimi Walters, were ahead in their respective races. However, as the absentee and provisional ballots rolled in over the intervening weeks, all six lost to their Democratic opponents.
The case of Korean-American GOP candidate Young Kim was one of the most prominent examples. On election night, Kim held an 8,000 vote lead over her Democratic opponent Gil Cisneros, and even attended freshman orientation in Washington, D.C. before watching her lead, and her victory, slowly evaporate over the subsequent weeks.
What is it?
“We beat Republicans on the ground, fair and square,” said Katie Merrill, a Democratic consultant deeply involved in November campaigns. “Many of the field plans included (ballot harvesting) as an option to deliver voters or their ballots” to the polls.
Those efforts involved identifying voters who might support Democratic candidates and ignoring those who wouldn’t.
In one Orange County household, for example, both the husband and wife were longtime Republicans, said Dale Neugebauer, a veteran Republican consultant. Democratic volunteers came by the house four times, each time asking to speak only with their 18-year-old daughter, a no-party-preference voter, and asking if she wanted them to pick up her signed and completed ballot.
That’s a perfect example of the “thorough and disciplined” ground game the Democrats used, said Merrill.
“We were not wasting time talking to people who weren’t going to vote for Democrats,” she said.
It’s not just an offer to drive the voters to the polls, it’s an offer to drop off their ballots. Nope, no way THAT could be misused, is there? There’s no way you could misplace the ‘wrong’ party’s ballots on the way to the polls, right? Or slip in a few dubious ones with the stack of legitimate ones?
So, was this a slick way to make those ‘grey areas’ work in their favor that our side has to implement? Or is it something that needs to be nipped in the bud?