The California Elections Pandemic
The virus that came out of California this year is deadlier to election integrity than COVID could ever be to Americans. The once Golden State, renowned for creating and exporting much of what constitutes American popular culture, now exports a vote-fraud rich, elections-stealing contagion across the nation. We’d have preferred a repackaging of the Beach Boys and the surfing craze.
As of November 3, the California elections bug has infected -- the word is actually, corrupted -- battleground states. The Trump presidency is the immediate target of this scourge. We await litigation treatments to see if the patient -- the word is actually victim -- can be saved. If this contagion cannot be eradicated, woe unto free and fair elections across the land. Future elections, fatally contaminated, should be disposed of in mass graves.
A consequence of Californizing elections will be rampant cynicism. Sullen distrust will take hold. Voters, in droves, may elect not to vote. Yet nonparticipation may be the best case. In time, the nation may devolve into warring political factions, who thuggishly vie to control the levers of power. Does that seem surreal? Investigate Latin America, where countries are colored with rigged elections and associated violence.
In a July 29, 2020 article that could well describe Pennsylvania and Michigan (“Latin America Is Facing a ‘Decline of Democracy’ Under the Pandemic”), New York Times reporter Antaloy Kurmanaev wrote:
Leaders ranging from the center-right to the far left have used the crisis as justification to extend their time in office, weaken oversight of government actions and silence critics -- actions that under different circumstances would be described as authoritarian and antidemocratic but that now are being billed as lifesaving measures to curb the spread of the disease.
The gradual undermining of democratic rules during an economic crisis and public health catastrophe could leave Latin America primed for slower growth and an increase in corruption and human rights abuses, experts warned. This is particularly true in places where political rights and accountability were already in steep decline.
COVID is the crisis Democrats hoped for. Like Latin America’s caudillos, Democrat governors used COVID to impose open-ended, rights-trampling state shutdowns. Mail-in balloting would be the principal, though not exclusive, means of rigging elections this year.
The contagion and shutdowns threatened to disenfranchise voters, Democrats argued without irony. In-person voting was risky. In-person grocery shopping is never risky, though. Many Republicans fell in with mail-in balloting schemes. They feared voter backlash. The last thing that GOP state lawmakers wanted was to appear on the wrong side of granting ballot access to virus-spooked voters.
The Pennsylvania Republican-run legislature outdid itself in the race to extinction. Act 77, which blew open the doors to mail-in balloting in the Keystone State, was signed into law by gleeful Democrat governor Tom Wolf on Halloween day, 2019 – a full four months before COVID was a twinkle in Democrats’ covetous eyes. The legislation was hailed as a bipartisan achievement.
Compounding the trouble, generous GOP legislators granted citizens a 50-day mail-in voting period. Governor Wolf’s website boasts about this being “the longest vote-by-mail period in the country.” This provision might well be called, “50 Days to Steal an Election.”
A year hence, the trick would be on Pennsylvania voters, who gave President Trump a commanding 700,000 vote lead on Election Night, only to see the president’s seemingly insurmountable lead evaporate when vote counting was suspended and then resumed in the wee hours. Suspected widespread ballot-counting software chicanery and mountains of mail-in ballots suddenly appearing in Philly and Pittsburgh changed fortunes.
In the subsequent 48 hours, Joe Biden went from sure loser to Keystone State winner. There were process violations by Democrat secretary of state Kathy Boockvar. A series of elections rulings by the Democrat-controlled state Supreme Court favored Democrats. But blundering commonwealth Republicans laid the groundwork for the debacle. Should the president’s litigation fail to overturn this bogus state election, Act 77 should be framed and hung in the Oval Office by Biden’s handlers and a smirking Kamala Harris.
Now, back to California. Democrats didn’t need a contagion to blow holes in honest elections there. Demographic and generational changes, along with outmigration -- thanks to onerous taxes and regulations, burgeoning homelessness, and ever-increasing crime -- tipped the scales politically. The drivers in debauching the franchise were mail-in balloting and ballot harvesting. Former GOP governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to this day sings the praises of the state’s mail-in ballot scheme, which has ruined the state GOP in the process.
In a Politico article, October 15, 2020 Schwarzenegger condemned California Republicans’ efforts to compete with Democrats’ statewide ballot harvesting operations with their own ballot collection boxes, deployed at convenient locales for GOP voters. Schwarzenegger is the sort of Republican that Democrats love.
Unlike Schwarzenegger, Trey Trainor, chairman of the Federal Election Commission, has an infinitely more realistic -- and prophetic -- take on mail-in voting. From National Review, October 5, 2020:
On the surface, “vote-by-mail” sounds like a quick and easy way for every registered voter to participate in our democracy. In reality, it opens the U.S. to fraudulent elections on a massive scale that will probably result in invalid results, contested elections, and delays lasting weeks, if not months.
In 2010, Republican Steve Cooley was favored to win the California attorney general’s office, succeeding Jerry Brown. Cooley served as the L.A. County district attorney. His opponent was Kamala Harris, San Francisco’s D.A. On election night, Cooley led by a significant margin. He declared victory. But the election wasn’t over. Absentee and provisional ballots -- mail-ins -- had to be counted.
As Election night, November 2, wore on into the next morning, Harris gained the lead. The contest seesawed briefly, and then settled into a long slog. It wasn’t resolved until November 25, when Cooley conceded the race to Harris. He lost by less than a percentage point -- that’s a piddling 74,000 votes out of 9.6 million cast.
L.A. County was the contest’s pivot. “Irregularities” were rife. From Legal Newsline, November 15, 2010:
"Harris' election monitoring staff have engaged in inappropriate contacts with county staff who are counting ballots," [Cooley senior consultant Kevin] Spillane said.
"County staff has also held private meetings regarding ballot counting with members of the Harris staff that the Cooley election monitors were not aware of or invited to participate in until after they raised questions.
"In addition, there are serious concerns about the signature verification process and the verification of provisional ballots by county staff. These issues go to the heart of preventing voter fraud and ensuring the integrity of the ballot counting."
Note the uncanny similarities between the 2010 Cooley-Harris contest and the Trump-Biden matchup in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, among others. The script goes: Republican leads on election night, only to see his lead dwindle in the subsequent hours and days as mail-in and provisional ballots are tallied -- or manufactured. Democrat wins by a whisker.
There’s no coincidence. It’s no more coincidental than what Joe Hoft at Gateway Pundit discovered in Pennsylvania:
What happened with the mail in votes is almost statistically impossible. In almost every county throughout the state, the President was awarded a percent of votes 40% less than the percent the President won on election day.
The cure for mail-in balloting abuse is repeal -- not reforms, which leave the sickness in place. Reforms are what Republicans like to do when making nice with deceitful Democrats. In states where Republicans have leverage, they must act. If mail-in balloting infections remain, Democrats will subvert the midterm elections and beyond. Honest elections will be the casualty, along with the rule of law… along with the liberties we cherish.
J.. Robert Smith can be found on Twitter @JRobertSmith1 and Parler @JRobertSmith. He also blogs at Flyover.