Dems' 'Ballot Harvesting' Law Blows Up in Their Faces as GOP Weaponizes It in Newsom Recall


Republicans have long lamented the practice of ballot harvesting.

Efforts to ban the practice in the state of California have failed time and time again, but — now that the state governorship hangs in the balance — GOP operatives are opting to use their political opponents’ questionable election practice against them.

Recent polling from the Public Policy Institute of California suggests that, if his recall vote were today, Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom would retain his position.

Republican ballot harvesting efforts, led by Rescue California, may change these prospects, however.

According to KABC-TV, Rescue California — a political committee at the forefront of the recall effort — is creating a “Volunteer Citizens Brigade” that will perform a targeted “ballot harvesting” of Republican voters throughout the state.

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Ballot harvesting is a process that allows third-party political operatives to collect voters’ ballots and then deliver those ballots to polling places.

Up until 2016, only a voter, a relative of a voter or a citizen that lived in the same household as that voter was allowed to hand in their ballot.

It was then that Gov. Jerry Brown signed a ballot harvesting measure into law allowing anyone to collect and turn in absentee ballots, according to The Press-Enterprise.

A document from Rescue California — obtained by KABC — laid out the organization’s full ballot harvesting plan.

Is ballot harvesting safe?

“Taking advantage of the massive Volunteer Citizens Brigade created by the Recall, we will contact all 5.3 million Republican voters in the state through door-to-door canvassing, texting, emailing, mail and phone calls to ‘harvest’ ballots, creating a GOP wave capable of overcoming the Democrat’s registration advantage in the state,” the document states.

“Independent voters who are identified as recall supporters will be included in the Ballot Harvesting/GOTV program.”

Should Rescue California’s efforts prove successful, Republicans still have some work to do if they wish to take over the state’s governorship.

As of now, if Newsom were to be recalled, the leading candidate would be Democratic contender Kevin Paffrath, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted for KABC, KGTV-TV and The San Diego Union-Tribune.

A professional YouTuber and real estate broker, Paffrath would take in 27 percent of the replacement vote.

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Coming in second place, according to the poll, would be renowned conservative radio host Larry Elder with 23 percent of the vote.

From there, it is a bit of a drop-off, with third place being Republican candidate John Cox, currently at 10 percent.

If Republicans truly want to take the governorship, their best chance lies in consolidating votes around Elder. Otherwise, the office will simply change hands from one Democrat to another.

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Michael wrote for a number of entertainment news outlets before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter. He now manages the writing and reporting teams, overseeing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Michael Austin graduated from Iowa State University in 2019. During his time in college, Michael volunteered as a social media influencer for both PragerU and Live Action. After graduation, he went on to work as a freelance journalist for various entertainment news sites before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter.

Since then, Michael has been promoted to the role of Manager of Writing and Reporting. His responsibilities now include managing and directing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
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Iowa State University
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