Written by MC
Elections are over and the Democrats swept Orange County, CA. But what really happened? How did this happen? Did the Republicans and Independents suddenly change party affiliation? Or was it about Trump?
Ballot Harvesting. Heard of it? Is it the new swear word? Some may think so. How do so many winners on election day become losers two weeks later? In one race, three weeks later. So you may ask, what’s Ballot Harvesting? In the past, California allowed only relatives or those living in the same household to drop off mail ballots for another voter. Ballot harvesting allows anyone, even a paid political campaign worker, to collect and return ballots — “harvesting” them. Changes were made two years ago and this was the first election it was used.
In Arizona, The legislature passed a law against Ballot Harvesting. The Democrats took it to court and lost. A federal judge has rejected a bid by a Democrat activist to void a 2016 law that makes “ballot harvesting” illegal and to allow the practice to resume for Tuesday’s primary. In a ruling late Friday, Judge Douglas Rayes acknowledged that once an early ballot is put into an envelope it becomes “mail.” And he said federal law specifically allows private individuals to deliver mail as long as they do not charge a fee.
So the Democrats appealed. Same result. Yet another legal challenge to Arizona’s “ballot harvesting” law was shot down in federal court Wednesday when a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to overturn the law known as HB 2023. Arizona Democratic Party activist Rivko Knox challenged the law on grounds that it was pre-empted by federal law and that it violated her First and Fifth Amendment rights. An attorney for Knox said she was “incredibly disappointed” in the ruling that upheld what one voting rights activist dubbed the “you can’t help your elderly and disabled neighbor vote law.”
In closing, California Republicans have a chance to win this. The courts so far are in their favor. Do they proceed? Some claim that not allowing Ballot Harvesting is voter suppression. But what would you call this?
In one Orange County household, for example, both the husband and
wife were longtime Republicans, said Dale Neugebauer, a veteran
Republican consultant. Democratic volunteers came by the house four times,
each time asking to speak only with their 18-year-old daughter, a
no-party-preference voter, and asking if she wanted them to pick up her
signed and completed ballot. “It’s Lulu, I’m here to pick up your ballot. Yeah, we’re offering this new service but only like, to people who are supporting the Democratic party,” Lulu said, adding, “It’s a service and I’m just trying to pick up your ballot and show you how to do it if you don’t know.”
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I have been writing on and off the past 46 years. First piece I ever wrote was my high school underground newspaper. A father of two twenty somethings. Happily married and presently living in Ohio.