How Republicans Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Ballot Harvesting
The 2018 midterms were so bad for Republicans that they’re still washing the bloodstains out of their shirts. It was in short, a bloodbath.
Then-House speaker and certified RHINO Paul Ryan couldn’t believe what happened to Republicans in California.
“We were only down 26 seats the night of the election and three weeks later, we lost basically every California race,’’ Ryan said. “This election system they have — I can’t begin to understand what ‘ballot harvesting’ is.”
The fact that the election results surprised Paul Ryan isn’t exactly a shocker. He’s not the smartest guy in the world: to wit, he talked about repealing Obamacare for half of his waking breathing life and then had two solid years of unfettered power under Donald J. Trump’s presidency to repeal the corrupt tax on the American people and he instead sat on his hands.
At best, Paul Ryan is an empty suit. He’s also now a board member at Fox News, which may tell you all you need to know about the current direction of the once-fabled conservative news channel.
Back to the 2018 midterms, triggering Ryan’s shock and disbelief were the “blue tsunami” of mail-in ballots that evaporated early-GOP leads and led to the loss of seven Congressional seats by California Republicans when all the votes were counted.
Two 2016 laws that California’s Democratic-led legislature passed drove this phenomenon: one that permitted counties to mail every voter an absentee ballot, and another that waived a family-only requirement for third-person ballot return, allowing anyone to collect them (this latter law enabled what is commonly known as “ballot harvesting”).
Former California GOP chair Shawn Steel cried right alongside Ryan in bewilderment wondering how they got caught with their pants down.
“How does a 14-point Republican lead disappear? Merciless and unsparing, California Democrats have systematically undermined California’s already-weak voter protection laws to guarantee permanent one-party rule,’’ wrote Steel.
Now in 2020, the California GOP, locked out of power for two years, has learned to stop b*tching and start fighting. They’re no longer paddling upstream.
Of the seven seats that Republicans lost two years ago, two have flipped back to red and Republicans lead by narrow margins and will likely win two more.
What changed? The CA GOP learned to stop worrying and love ballot harvesting.
“I think one of the big areas is ballot harvesting,” CA GOP spokesman Hector Barajas said.
“We were either going to do two different things,” Barajas continued. “We were either going to continue to whine, oppose valid harvesting, and lick our wounds after the election, or we were going to figure out the rules, look at the chessboard that was put before us, and figure out how to play the game.”
Orange County GOP chair Fred Whitaker said that in 2018, California Republicans tried their “own ballot harvesting experiment,” but “failed miserably.”
Hey – that’s OK – try, try, and try again. This time they succeeded.
“We wasted $25,000 of donor of money on one pilot project to get 12 ballots,” said Whitaker.
In 2020, Orange County played the ballot harvesting game to a T, placing ballot collection boxes in megachurches, gun stores, and other friendly locations. Take that, corrupt Dems!
Though the CA GOP would like to get rid of ballot harvesting all together, they’re in no position to change the law when the California state legislature is dominated by Democrats.
The CA GOP should be congratulated for their acknowledgment and confrontation of reality: They’re fighting on the terrain as it is, not as they wish it were – and, what do you know, they’re winning.
“The issue of ballot harvesting is we don’t like it. We don’t agree with it. However, it’d be political malpractice not to do it where the other side is doing it, and the other side has done it effectively,” said California RNC committeewoman Harmeet Dhillon.
“This isn’t the debating club. This is about winning the election,” she said.