Ever heard of ‘ballot harvesting’? Here’s what you need to know.
Notice that a whole bunch of seats that were tilting Red on election night flipped blue a week or so later? What’s up with that?
And why was that trend only in one direction?
Carmine Sabia of The Federalist Papers had some interesting things to say about that. Here’s a taste.
California’s most staunchly ‘red’ district went blue in at the Midterms. But why?
Was it the ‘blue wave’? Did Republicans stay home? Was there any ‘funny business’ behind the scenes? (Heaven forbid anyone call it ‘monkey business’ anymore.)
This is where ‘ballot harvesting comes into play’.
As the polls closed on election day last month, six California Republican House candidates, including Representatives Dana Rohrabacher, Steve Knight, and Mimi Walters, were ahead in their respective races. However, as the absentee and provisional ballots rolled in over the intervening weeks, all six lost to their Democratic opponents.
The case of Korean-American GOP candidate Young Kim was one of the most prominent examples. On election night, Kim held an 8,000 vote lead over her Democratic opponent Gil Cisneros, and even attended freshman orientation in Washington, D.C. before watching her lead, and her victory, slowly evaporate over the subsequent weeks.
What is it?
“We beat Republicans on the ground, fair and square,” said Katie Merrill, a Democratic consultant deeply involved in November campaigns. “Many of the field plans included (ballot harvesting) as an option to deliver voters or their ballots” to the polls.
Those efforts involved identifying voters who might support Democratic candidates and ignoring those who wouldn’t.
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.
That’s a perfect example of the “thorough and disciplined” ground game the Democrats used, said Merrill.
“We were not wasting time talking to people who weren’t going to vote for Democrats,” she said.
It’s not just an offer to drive the voters to the polls, it’s an offer to drop off their ballots.
Nope, no way THAT could be misused, is there?
There’s no way you could misplace the ‘wrong’ party’s ballots on the way to the polls, right? Or slip in a few dubious ones with the stack of legitimate ones?
So, was this a slick way to make those ‘grey areas’ work in their favor that our side has to implement? Or is it something that needs to be nipped in the bud?