California made ‘ballot harvesting’ legal in 2016, and the Democratic party has been reaping the benefits of this highly controversial voting method. Under AB 1921, any third party – not just relatives and household members – were granted the ability to collect and turn in other people’s votes. And the impact of ballot harvesting has already been seen in the 2018 midterm elections.
Specifically, Assembly Bill 1921 removes the language in existing state law that limits help in submitting a vote by mail ballot to close family members. The bill’s author, Assemblywoman Lorena S. Gonzalez (D-San Diego), has said those limitations are an obstacle to getting ballots back in a timely fashion for voters in need of help.
In a legislative committee hearing in June, opponents noted that AB 1921 has no maximum number of ballots a single person can turn in and could therefore open the door to vote tampering during large-scale ballot gathering efforts.
What is ‘ballot harvesting’?
“Ballot harvesting” is political jargon for a practice in which organized workers or volunteers collect absentee ballots from certain voters and drop them off at a polling place or election office. Coined by California Republicans, the term carries a negative connotation to suggest improprieties and even election fraud. The conservative site Townhall.com called it the California Democrats’ “latest election-stealing tool.” The San Francisco Chronicle Editorial Board took a different view, calling it “a sinister-sounding way of saying their opponents turned out more votes than they did” in one recent editorial.
November 30, 2016: Ballot Harvesting in California. This woman made it clear she was there to pick up only Democrat ballots.
As Daily Caller reports, six Californian GOP candidates were leading their races as election night came to an end. But in the weeks that followed, absentee and provisional votes came pouring in — and all six candidates lost their races.
Some 250,000 votes were the product of ballot harvesting in Orange County alone. Unsurprisingly, the Democratic party won by a landslide.
Paul Ryan: "California just defies logic to me… We were only down 26 seats the night of the election & 3 weeks later, we lost basically every contested CA race. This election system they have – I can’t begin to understand what ‘ballot harvesting’ is." https://t.co/usf6KWIfDb pic.twitter.com/LcnmVqkMaO
— The Hill (@thehill) November 30, 2018
Ballot harvesting controversy
Speaking about the sudden losses, House Speaker Paul Ryan commented, “California just defies logic to me. We were only down 26 seats the night of the election, and three weeks later, we lost basically every California contested race. This election system they have — I can’t begin to understand what ‘ballot harvesting’ is.”
Ballot harvesting has come under fire for a variety of reasons, but most concerns are centered on the potential for fraud. As one anti-ballot harvesting group reportedly declared:
AB 1921 would allow anybody to walk into an elections office and hand over truckloads of vote by mail envelopes with ballots inside, no questions asked, no verified records kept. It amounts to an open invitation to large-scale vote buying, voter coercion, “granny farming”, and automated forgery. AB 1921 solves no problem that a simple stamp can’t solve.”
While promoters of California’s ballot harvesting practices say it makes voting “easier” and “more accessible,” the fact remains that this “method” of voting has more holes in it than Swiss cheese. Democrats around the country have been accused of massive fraud this election cycle.
As Daily Caller reports, California Democrats have been trying to shut down the conversation about ballot harvesting by insisting its all part of the party’s “ground game” to secure votes. To compete, sources say, Republicans may need to come up with their own plan for ballot harvesting.
Is it fraud?
While the Left Coast Dems are insistent that ballot harvesting is not a fraudulent or unsavory practice, its clear nor everyone agrees. A Democrat leader is threatening to not seat the Republican winner of a House seat from North Carolina over allegations of “serious fraudulent activity,” including possible ballot harvesting.
Incoming Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-MD, has reportedly alleged that a “very substantial question” about fraud hangs over Mark Harris, R-NC. Harris has an unofficial 905-vote lead over Democrat Dan McCready in their race for the 9th Congressional District.
Different states have wildly different voting laws and what one state considers to be fraud (ballot harvesting), another does not.
Unfortunately, the rest of the United States cannot afford for a state the size of California to continue to engage in mass voter fraud. Illegal immigration is already problem enough.
There are just 437 seats in the House of Representatives, and with an estimated 320 million people in the U.S., each seat represents about 800,000 people. Consider the fact that at least 20 million illegal immigrants get counted in the U.S. census, and this means that an increasing number of those 437 seats no longer represent American citizens.
Estimates suggest that about 37.5 House seats now represent illegal immigrants, at a numerical level. When these illegal immigrants are spread around the country and go out and vote, their impact can swing some 60 seats in favor of Democrats, if not more.
Past analyses have shown that two-thirds of the House seats redistributed by illegal immigration go to California — and that number may be even higher now.
Sources for this article include: