CAGOP's Ad-hoc Ballot Drop Boxes Are Straight out of the Dem Playbook

FILE - In this Aug. 7, 2018 file photo, a hand of Jarogerick Johnson is viewed through the handle of a ballot tray as he removes ballots from Washington state's primary election from a sorting machine at King County Election headquarters in Renton, Wash. Winners in close U.S. House races from the Nov. 6, 2018 election might not be known for days or weeks in Washington state and California. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

 

Palm Springs, CA resident, former Ambassador to Germany, and former Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell has called on Governor Gavin Newsom to investigate the growing California mail-in ballot fraud (as our Scott Hounsell covered here). Since California began distributing mail-in ballots two weeks ago, numerous concerned citizens and one foreign national have reported instances of repeated or duplicate ballots to Grenell and allowed him to tweet them out to see if he could get the attention of the higher powers handling the state election. Thus far, Grenell doesn’t seem to have gotten any traction or attention.

In September, The Hill reported that California Secretary of State Alex Padilla entered a $35 million no-bid contract with SKD Knickerbocker for a voter outreach campaign to “produce advertising to encourage voters to participate in the November election.” This is all on the California taxpayer dime, of course. Here’s the rub: SKD Knickerbocker has ties to presidential candidate Joe Biden, prompting the House Oversight and Reform Committee to mount an investigation because of this potential conflict of interest.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that any so-called outreach between a Democrat Secretary of State with ties to a Democrat presidential candidate would only extend one way. Yet, aside from a scattering of national mentions, this story dropped off the radar fairly quickly.

Enter Jordan Tygh, whose Twitter profile says he is the CAGOP Regional Field Director for the Michelle Steel (R-48) campaign. On Saturday night, Jordan tweeted a photo of himself in front of an unofficial ballot drop box where he stated he deposited his ballot. Jordan offered to help others get their ballots collected and dropped off. According to the Orange County Register, this raised concerns that not only was the dropbox not official, but it could be against the law.

“The California Secretary of State has received reports in recent days about possible unauthorized ballot drop boxes in Fresno, Los Angeles and Orange counties, agency spokesman Sam Mahood said Sunday evening. Reports place such boxes at local political party offices, candidate headquarters and churches.”

Local Los Angeles-area station KCAL 9 also chased down another lead of an unofficial ballot drop box in front of a church in Castaic, airing this on its Saturday 10 p.m. broadcast.

“Shannon Kaehny first spotted it on Facebook: a grey metal container with a taped sign that read ‘Official Ballot Drop Box’ outside of Freedom’s Way Baptist Church.

“The pastor, Jerry Cook, had posted the photo with the caption “Our church has a voting drop box in front of our complex — if you are voting early, drop your ballot on by.

“But, when Kaehny and others reached out to the L.A. County Recorder/Registrar’s office, they responded on social media, saying: ‘This is not an official vote by mail drop box and does not comply with [state] regulations for drop boxes.’

“ ‘Oh, it was insane!’ Kaehny said. ‘I can’t imagine in what world that you would think that that’s acceptable.’

“The registrar’s office told KCAL9 they are trying to reach Pastor Cook and are working with counsel to issue a cease and desist letter. However, the drop box is already gone.”

Along with the disappearing ballot drop box, Jordan Tygh had also deleted his tweet.

The OC Register broke its story on Sunday evening. Wouldn’t you know it, by Monday morning the story was getting national coverage, from the Washington Post to the Wall Street Journal. Left-wing publications like Slate, Daily Beast, Daily Kos, and Newsweek, all clutching the pearls over, <gasp> voter fraud in the great state of California.

Also by Monday, the mystery of the unauthorized ballot drop boxes was solved. The California Republican Party (CAGOP) claimed ownership and distribution of the ballot boxes, and it was discovered that the boxes have been placed throughout the state.

From the Wall Street Journal:

“On Monday, state GOP spokesman Hector Barajas said that the party owns the boxes and has no plans to remove them. He would not say how many exist or where they are located. Barajas said the state’s law governing so-called ballot harvesting allows an organization to collect and return groups of ballots and that collection boxes provided by a private organization to help people vote are no different.

“But according to Secretary of State Alex Padilla, ‘Operating unofficial ballot drop boxes—especially those misrepresented as official drop boxes—is not just misleading to voters, it’s a violation of state law.’ He said.”

Secretary of State Padilla and Attorney General Xavier Becerra issued a cease and desist order to the CAGOP demanding they stop the use of unauthorized ballot drop boxes, and remove any existing ones.

“Political parties and campaigns can engage in get out the vote efforts, but they cannot violate state law. The unofficial, unauthorized drop boxes in question violate state law and jeopardize the security of voters’ ballots. State and local elections officials have worked tirelessly to provide voters multiple safe, secure options to return their vote-by-mail ballots. These unauthorized drop boxes are a disservice to elections administrators and a disservice to voters who deserve to cast their ballots with clarity and confidence.”

As of this writing, the cease and desist order is being ignored. Sacramento’s CBS 13 reported:

“Barajas said the Republican Party will now remove the word ‘official’ from the ballot boxes, but they won’t remove the private ballot drop boxes themselves. He said they may even add more to strategic locations like gun stores and churches across the state to increase their voter turnout.

“Show us within the law, where we should stop,” Barajas said. ‘Tell us within the law, where we’re breaking the law.’

[…] Barajas then countered,

“We’ll see you in court.”

He’s not wrong. Ballot harvesting is legal in California, and the reading of the rules governing the election and distribution of ballot return boxes is, shall we say, sketchy at best. Something else that is sketchy is the 14 new “emergency” regulations Padilla issued for the November general election. Per one of Governor Gavin Newsom’s executive fiats, and with the help of the complicit California Legislature, mail-in ballots have already been sent to all registered voters in the state, as well as plenty of dead residents (see the Grenell tweet above), and those who have moved away—and there have been plenty.

Anyone note any quality control issues here? Yet, Secy of State Padilla appears to be more concerned with promoting Democrat turnout than protecting the integrity of every citizens’ vote, whether Democrat, Republican, or No Party Preference: a category that is still the most popular in California.

California was always above such small matters of potential voter fraud because the loss was never on the Democrat side. That may well change, and suddenly Padilla is now concerned that, “Misleading voters is wrong.”

In her recent article on RedState about Secy of State Padilla’s sketchy emergency regulations, Jennifer Van Laar wrote:

“The regulations make it more likely that invalid votes will be counted and increase restrictions on official observers.

“Padilla’s office didn’t post the proposed regulations to the Secretary of State website until September 25, which is outside the five-day limit for public comment, according to Election Integrity Project California.

“Of course, the mainstream media hasn’t picked up on any of this.”

Which is why, I suspect, the CAGOP decided to fight fire with fire. In California, ballot harvesting is perfectly legal. The person harvesting the ballots cannot do it for any type of monetary or other gain, but as long as the voter(s) has written their consent on the ballot envelope, and the name of the person who dropped the ballot off is witnessed, it’s all good in the neighborhood. In the past, CAGOP has been squeamish about using ballot harvesting and even attempted to block it, without success, during the March primary. Now it’s sauce for the gander… Oh—you know the thing!

In an email with The Washington Post, Barajas further explained,

“The Democrat anger is overblown when state law allows organizations, volunteers or campaign workers to collect completed ballots and drop them off at polling places or election offices. If Democrats are so concerned with ballot harvesting, they are the ones who wrote the legislation, voted for it, and Governor Jerry Brown signed it into law. California Republicans would be happy to do away with ballot harvesting.”

You see, in California, the corruption has always been big; it’s the players who have gotten small.

Aja Smith, who is a congressional candidate for California’s 41st Congressional District, hit it right between the eyes when she tweeted:

The CAGOP is playing straight from the California Democrat election fraud book and they’re probably laughing. Sadly, the Democrats don’t seem to appreciate being hoist with their own petard; it’s not as funny when the shoe is on the other foot. With 20 days until the general election, we’ll see if additional scrutiny is finally focused on California and its deliberately haphazard election process.

Mr. DeMille, we’re ready for our close up.