A new report accuses California Democrats of winning over votes during the 2018 midterm elections using a questionable practice called “ballot harvesting.”
Fox News reported that Speaker Paul Ryan was trying to understand the term “ballot harvesting” as well.
House Speaker Paul Ryan questioned the legitimacy of California’s ballot-counting process Thursday, adding to claims from many Republicans that the state’s election procedures are flawed.
“It defies logic to me,” Ryan told the Washington Post. “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.”
California Democrats “stole” the midterm election using a new method that is illegal elsewhere but completely legal in the Golden State: a practice called “ballot harvesting,” which allows third parties to submit mail-in ballots for voters.
It sounds “bizarre,” as outgoing Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) described it to the Washington Post on Thursday — but it is absolutely true: Democratic operatives handed in pile after pile of other people’s ballots.
And Demorats are proud of it, mocking Republicans for failing to take advantage of a new law signed by Governor Jerry Brown in 2016, over GOP objections, that allows “ballot harvesting,” and which some Republicans are now blaming for their defeat.
The practice explains several mysteries about the 2018 election, such as: why mail-in ballots caused massive shifts toward Democrats in races Republicans thought they won on Election Night; why Republicans won the turnout battle in the primary, but lost it in the general election; and why Democrats with party backing defeated fellow Democrats without it — even when the latter had more money.
“Ballot harvesting” by Democratic Party operatives — a surprise tactic they likely saved for the general election — appears to have made the difference. The San Francisco Chroniclereported Thursday that Democrats ran a disciplined, door-to-door campaign offering to deliver voters’ ballots to the polls:
Few people noticed when Gov. Jerry Brown signed the changes in AB1921 into law two years ago. In the past, California allowed only relatives or people living in the same household to drop off mail ballots for another voter. The new law allowed anyone, even a paid political campaign worker, to collect and return ballots — “harvesting” them, in political slang.
In Orange County alone, where every House seat went Democratic, “the number of Election Day vote-by-mail dropoffs was unprecedented — over 250,000,” Fred Whitaker, chairman of the county Republican Party, said in a note to supporters. “This is a direct result of ballot harvesting allowed under California law for the first time. That directly caused the switch from being ahead on election night to losing two weeks later.”