DREAMers tell of going ballot-harvesting in California to flip the House blue

It was one of those tug-on-the-heartstrings, tear-jerking, carefully curated narratives about DREAMers we're supposed to read and respond to with sympathy.

But a story that ran in the Los Angeles Times yesterday accidentally did more to raise questions about the issue of ballot-harvesting in California than any raving right-wing tome could ever do.

The Times describes how California's famed ballot-harvesters, who flipped places such as Orange County blue by "helping" fill out, turn in, and continue to turn in ballots from otherwise uncommitted voters until they got the result they wanted, aren't actually U.S. citizens.  Here are the DREAMers in action, "helping" the voters to vote the way they wanted:

In California, Dreamers like Cruz phoned voters, walked precincts and protested outside Republican lawmakers' offices, reaching people who had not been called or visited by either party. Their efforts helped boost turnout among Latinos in this year's midterm election – 29 million nationwide were eligible to vote, according to the Pew Research Center – which is projected to surpass levels higher than in past presidential election years, political analysts said.

An analysis of data from eight states by the Latino Policy and Politics Initiative at UCLA found the Latino vote grew by an estimated 96% from 2014 to 2018, compared with 37% among non-Latinos.  The surge, researchers said, helped move 20 House districts held by Republicans to Democratic control in California, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, New Mexico, Florida, New Jersey and New York.

Here's how they actually did it:

Half an hour later, she was helping Silva look up candidates as he filled out his ballot by the light of her phone.  "I'm glad you guys came," he said.  "I was going to leave it in my drawer."

The story doesn't say what the DREAMer/ballot-harvester would do if the voter decided to vote some other way from the way she wanted him to fill his ballot out.  The incurious reporter omitted the obvious question from that heart-tugging scene: Did this foreigner tell the indifferent man how to fill out his ballot?  Let's just say the reporter showed a strong interest, based on the rest of her reportage, in protecting the foreigner from any accusation of illegal voting.

But only a fool would think she didn't tell the indifferent man whom to vote for, effectively voting by proxy.

This pretty well amounts to foreign nationals voting, without any fear of prosecution.  That changes the nature of the election and, in fact, the U.S. republic itself.  Voting up until now has been a practice reserved for citizens.  Today, non-citizens vote – by getting hold of indifferent Americans and in a perfectly legal setup in California, filling in the ballots by proxy, with no fingerprints visible.  Who knows what kind of coercion may be employed by some of them?  

And even more disturbingly, if DREAMers can do that to promote their own political agenda, what's to stop other foreigners, with far more malign agendas, from doing it?  Shall a team of Russian or Chinese agents, Arab terrorists, or Mexican cartels, be next to help harvest the ballots?  (You know the Chinese are thinking about it.)  They're as foreign as DREAMers, and it would be perfectly legal under current California law.  Ballot-harvesting, which is illegal in most states, makes this all possible.  What's to stop the Chinese from running an agent (as recent CIA busts show, it doesn't need to be a Chinese-American) and then sending their goons and agents to the houses of Chinese-American voters in Chinese-American neighborhoods, to insist that they vote for Beijing's candidate? They'd have the additional pull of being able to warn those voters about repercussions against family back home and don't think they wouldn't dream of using it.

What it means now is that the House has been flipped in no small part by foreigners, who not only cast one ballot, but may have cast dozens and dozens of ballots, all from the advantages of ballot-harvesting.

It sounds as though it's time for a constitutional amendment to end this fiasco should the GOP retake the House in 2020, or we can forget about the integrity of the ballot entirely.  Spread the news of this de facto foreign voting far and wide.

Image credit: Pax Ahimsa GethenCC BY-SA 4.0.