Republicans once resisted “ballot harvesting” in California, but have now fully embraced the practice, and intend to pursue it aggressively in the 2024 elections, according to a report by CalMatters.org.
“Ballot harvesting” refers to the collection of mail-in ballots by third parties. Though regarded as a form of election fraud in most of the democratic world, it was legalized in California by the Democratic Party, which controls the state government, and Democrats tried to make it legal nationwide after 2020.
Now, CalMatters notes, Republicans have decided that since they cannot reverse the practice, they might as well embrace it:[F]or the 2024 election, the California GOP is going big on collecting ballots from voters and dropping them off at election offices or polling places, which is legal in California, with some conditions.
“These are the rules that we have been given. And we have to play by those rules,” said Jessica Millan Patterson, chairperson of the California Republican Party. “It doesn’t make any sense to only be Election Day voters. That is like only playing three quarters of a football game.”
For the 2024 election, the state GOP plan is focused on grassroots efforts — recruiting volunteers to go door-to-door to build relationships with voters and later collect ballots.
Republicans were shocked in 2018, when Democrats first exploited ballot harvesting in California en route to flipping seven congressional seats. In 2020, Republicans used the practice in a few districts — and, ironically, Democrats objected. The result was that Republicans took several seats back, and held them in 2022.
Shawn Steel, the Republican National Committee member for California, and husband of Rep. Michelle Steel (R-CA), told Breitbart News in 2022 that Republicans must “adapt or die.”