As the Arizona audit of 2020 ballots winds down, progressive activists — continuing the tradition they laid out in that extraordinary TIME Magazine article where they admitted all the things they did to ensure a Biden win — are now admitting to traveling from California to Arizona and Georgia to help cure ballots in the days following the election.
A California nonprofit called Unite Here is profiled in yet another extraordinary piece in The Atlantic in which they admit they sent activists across state lines to Arizona to help “cure” ballots in the days following the election.
The article titled, “How Unite Here Turned the West’s Biggest Red State Blue” (subtitled: “Arizona was pivotal in the 2020 presidential election. Its shift was no accident.”), rather shamelessly details how activists associated with the nonprofit had affected races in Arizona in the past and had their sights set on the general election as early as July.
In the summer of 2020, when Minato and her colleagues headed east from California, they had their sights set on the biggest prize of all: Arizona’s 11 Electoral College votes, which they knew could prove pivotal in the presidential race.
By the summer of 2020, with the election fast approaching and Covid’s spread accelerating, the national Democratic Party had decided to pull back from door-to-door canvassing operations. The pandemic, Biden’s team concluded, simply made it too risky. Local 11’s leadership in Los Angeles and in Phoenix decided the opposite was true: that given what was at stake in both the presidential and congressional elections, it was too dangerous not to go door-to-door.
But canvassing pre-election to register voters wasn’t their only mission. In an admission toward the end of the piece, so far down that it could be easily missed, Unite Here proudly announces they used the days following election night to help “cure” ballots for Arizona voters.
In the days after the November election, with most of the networks declaring the result still too close to call, Minato and her team worked on vital vote-curing efforts, following up with people whose ballots were at risk of being discarded because they had filled out a line incorrectly or had a signature on the form that didn’t quite match the one in the county’s files. Gomez says that he helped 10 voters cure their ballots. With hundreds of Unite Here canvassers helping to cure several ballots each, a whole heap of votes ended up being counted that would have been discarded otherwise, in a state ultimately decided by 10,457 votes.
On November 10, when it became clear that her work in Arizona was done, Minato, along with hundreds of other LA organizers, left. Largely under the radar, courting a minimum of publicity, they had helped craft one of 2020’s most extraordinary political stories. They had developed a template for how, with the right kind of organizing and outreach, solidly red states around the country—even those with a long history of voter suppression efforts—could be turned blue.
After a brief spell back in Los Angeles, many of these canvassers headed east again, this time to Georgia. As the Senate run-off races there intensified, the canvasser-activists once again played a crucial, albeit out-of-the-spotlight, role.
Ballot curing is a controversial process that allows voters to fix their ballot if it was filled out correctly for a number of days following election night. Democrat activist groups adopted the issue before the 2020 election and made sure it was widely available.
Democrats and advocacy groups like the League of Women Voters have sued to change or institute “cure” processes in at least 10 states this year. New York’s state Legislature passed a law creating a cure process in July, while Georgia settled a suit with state Democrats to update their cure process after their primary. A North Carolina judge also ordered a cure process for ballots in November.
Then along come California activists to make sure it’s used.
The Democrats had an effective plan for the 2020 election and they executed it rather flawlessly. The Arizona audit may determine if it was executed legitimately.