How did California flip seven house seats from Republican, including all of Orange County – long a Republican stronghold?
By “ballot harvesting”, that’s how.
And how does it work?
Here is the “ballot harvesting” legislation, pushed by Democrat Governor Jerry Brown and passed by the mostly-Democrat voters of California, that made it operational. The bold print is mine:
In other words, if you send out campaign operatives to knock on doors, go to senior homes, go anywhere votes might be harvested, ask people which party they prefer – maybe helping their decision along by reciting their agenda – you can get voters for the party you work for to give you their ballot, which you will then submit (while maybe help out a little in filling the ballot out – wink, wink).
Did Republicans realize how badly Brown and his fellow Democrats had gamed them? Nope. Read this excerpt from John Wildermuth and Tal Kopan’s article for the San Francisco Chronicle and see for yourself:
Some national Republicans expressed befuddlement with what was happening to their party in California. In an interview with the Washington Post, House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin called California’s election system “really bizarre” and said he couldn’t even begin to understand what ballot harvesting is.
“We were only down 26 seats (nationally) the night of the election and three weeks later, we lost basically every California race,” he said. “Point being, when you have candidates that win the absentee ballot vote, win the day of the vote, and then lose three weeks later because of provisionals, that’s really bizarre.”
However, this was no spur-of-the-moment effort by the Democrats, said Shawn Steel, the California GOP’s delegate to the Republican National Committee.
“This was not done at the last minute,” he said. “It started the day after Jerry signed” the bill.
There is an old saying: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me”. If ever a saying were operable and worth remembering, it is that one in California, come 2020. Maybe then, Republicans will figure out ways of pulling the same crap this law enabled Democrats to “win” elections with and things will even out at least somewhat.
But, for 2018, the damage has already been done.
When do we restore sanity to our voting laws? Ever?