Ballot harvesting bounty: How Dems apparently used election law change to rout California Republicans

Ballot harvesting bounty: How Dems apparently used election law change to rout California Republicans, by Andrew O’Reilly.

A minor change in California’s election laws may have had a major effect on last month’s midterm elections that saw Democrats steamroll their Republican rivals and claim all but seven of the Golden State’s 53 House seats.

Despite holding substantial leads on Election Day, many Republican candidates in California saw their advantage shrink, and then disappear, as late-arriving Democratic votes were counted in the weeks following the election. While no hard evidence is available, many observers point to the Democrats use of “ballot harvesting” as a key to their success in the elections. …

In Orange County — once seen as a Republican stronghold in the state– every House seat went to a Democrat after an unprecedented “250,000” vote-by-mail drop-offs were counted, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

“People were carrying in stacks of 100 and 200 of them. We had had multiple people calling to ask if these people were allowed to do this,” Kelley said.

Two years ago, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law AB1921, which legalized the so-called practice of “ballot harvesting.” Previously, only a family member or someone living in the same household was permitted to drop off mail ballots for a voter, but the new allowed anyone — including political operatives — to collect and return them for a voter. …

Hmmmm.

“We were only down 26 seats (nationally) the night of the election and three weeks later, we lost basically every California race,” outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., told the Washington Post. “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.” …

In one anecdote, Democratic volunteers in Orange County visited a home four times to speak with the owner’s 18-year-old daughter – a no preference voter – to see if she wanted them to pick up her ballot for her. …

“The Democrats are creating a new, highly efficient tool to turn out voters,” [Dale Neugebauer, a longtime Republican strategist] added. “If Republicans can’t find a way to match it, we’re going to lose more elections all over the country.”

Sounds wide open to cheating.

UPDATE: Orange County Releases Official Vote Count and the Numbers Don’t Add Up – One Precinct Has 120% Turnout. There’s a lot of smoke.

hat-tip Scott of the Pacific