Ballot harvesting and jungle primaries have made the Golden State ripe for vote fraud.
By John Friend
Voter fraud and corruption is a very real problem, even in so-called “advanced democracies,” such as the United States. For example, changes made in 2016 to AB1921, a California state law dealing with collecting and submitting voter ballots, may have exacerbated the problem in the Golden State, at least according to some political experts.
Prior to 2016, California election laws stated that voters wishing to vote by mail had to either mail their ballot in or have a family or household member submit the ballot on their behalf at their local polling place. The changes made to AB1921 and signed into law in 2016 by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown updated the law to allow anyone to return mail ballots on behalf of other voters. Called “ballot harvesting,” the updates allowed third parties—really anyone—to collect ballots from voters and submit them to election officials with little oversight.
The changes were instigated and supported by California Democrats, while Republicans largely opposed the updates.
In the 2018 mid-term election, Democrats in California exploited the new law, befuddling state and national Republican leaders, especially considering that many Republican contenders for various congressional seats around the state were winning on election day. After all ballots were finally counted—weeks after the election—Republicans ended up losing to Democrats in most races, as ballots submitted by third parties were finally counted and factored into the race.
“California just defies logic to me,” outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan stated shortly after the election results were in. “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.”
At least six Republican congressional contenders in California were leading their races on election night, but eventually lost after all votes were finally counted. In Orange County, where Democrats won every single House seat, “the number of Election Day vote-by-mail drop-offs was unprecedented—over 250,000,” Fred Whitaker, the chairman of the Orange County Republican Party, noted shortly after the election. “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.”
Ryan called California’s voting system “really bizarre” and appeared quite suspicious of the final vote tallies.
The point is, Ryan stated, “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.”
Democrats insist they are simply taking advantage of the updated laws and working their hardest to get the vote out, while some Republicans have conceded that they were ill-prepared to take advantage of the updated laws.
“One of the lessons that the GOP needs to learn out of this election cycle is how to work within all of the new rules, same-day voter registration, motor voters,” Rep. Jeff Denham, a Republican congressman who lost in the mid-term election to a Democrat this year, told reporters. “There have been a lot of changes in laws that I think have caught many in the Republican Party by surprise. You can’t just run a traditional campaign as you did before.”
Other GOP leaders indicated that it is time for Republicans to adapt to the new rules in order to compete with Democrats, who were well prepared to exploit the updated laws.
“The Democrats are creating a new, highly efficient tool to turn out voters,” Dale Neugebauer, a Republican consultant in California, stated shortly after the election. “If Republicans can’tfind a way to match it, we’re going to lose more elections all over the country.”
California Republicans have their work cut out for them, as Democrats continue to solidify their power in the state at the local, state and national level.
John Friend is a freelance author based in California.
California’s ‘Jungle Primary’ Primed Golden State for Vote Scam
By AFP Staff
As if California’s new laws allowing “ballot harvesting” aren’t bad enough, the Golden State’s so-called “jungle primary” before the mid-term election in November made the voting even more chaotic and suspicious.
Back in May 2018, the San Diego Tribune published a lengthy article that explained the state’s jungle primary. “California is one of three states that employ an election process known as the ‘jungle primary’ that leaves the top two vote getters, regardless of political party, facing off in runoff elections in November,” reported the Tribune. “That means in theory a Democrat could compete against another Democrat, or a Republican could compete against another Republican instead of having the top vote getter in each party’s primary advancing.”
The Tribune noted that this was supposed to open the primaries to third parties and independents. In reality, what Californians witnessed was the Democratic Party taking advantage of this chaotic system to advance even more of its candidates.
For example, this explains why there was no Republican candidate for Senate on the ballot. Instead, voters were only able to choose between two Democrats: Dianne Feinstein and Kevin de León.
Typically, in primaries, registered Democratic voters can only vote for Democrats while registered Republican voters can only vote for candidates from their own party. This usually translates into a general election where a Democrat, a Republican, and anyone else who can get on the ballot is listed for voters. California’s jungle primary, however, opens the primary race to all of the candidates, regardless of political party affiliation.
This has been going on since 2012, and the results are in for independents and third parties. In the past six years, only a handful of candidates who are neither Democrat nor Republican have been able to get on ballots for federal offices.
According to the Tribune, what they have seen, instead, are races flooded with candidates from the two major political parties, drowning out independents and third parties.
Nebraska and Washington are the only other states in the U.S. that have jungle primaries.