In late April, the California Republican Party sent a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom asking him to prohibit ballot harvesting for the upcoming special elections on May 12, to avoid risks to public health and safety in light of COVID-19, California Globe reported.
Receiving no response from the governor, the CAGOP filed a lawsuit in Sacramento Superior Court asking Governor Newsom to prohibit ballot harvesting ahead of the May 12 Special Elections in Congressional District 25 and State Senate District 28. Attorneys Harmeet Dhillon, Mark Meuser and Gregory Michael filed the lawsuit on behalf of the CAGOP.
With no response to that lawsuit, the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee, and the California Republican Party have filed a lawsuit against California Gov. Gavin Newsom seeking to have his recent executive order redesigning California’s entire election system declared unlawful.
“Democrats have seized on the coronavirus pandemic to push their long-sought partisan election agenda, and Governor Newsom’s executive order to send absentee ballots to inactive voters without necessary ballot safeguards is an illegal and brazen power grab ahead of November’s elections,” the press statement says.
As California Globe explained in April, “Governor Newsom has told Californians that they can’t open their businesses, their kids can’t go to school, and they can’t attend family events including weddings and funerals. If we can’t see our mothers on Mother’s Day, then strangers should not be visiting our homes to collect ballots. He must stop dodging this issue. His silence is irresponsible and is putting Californians’ lives at risk – and without direction from the Democrats in office, we need the courts to weigh in,” CAGOP Chairwoman Jessica Patterson said.
The RNC lawsuit says:
In a direct usurpation of the legislature’s authority, Governor Newsom issued an executive order purporting to rewrite the entire election code for the November 2020 election. This brazen power grab was not authorized by state law and violates both the Elections Clause and Electors Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The Governor’s Order is invalid and must be enjoined.
Moreover, in his haste, the Governor created a system that will violate eligible citizens’ right to vote. By ordering that vote-by-mail ballots be automatically sent to every registered voter—including inactive voters, voters with invalid registrations, voters who have moved, voters who have died, and voters who don’t want a ballot—he has created a recipe for disaster. No State that regularly conducts statewide all-mail elections automatically mails ballots to inactive voters because it invites fraud, coercion, theft, and otherwise illegitimate voting. Fraudulent and invalid votes dilute the votes of honest citizens and deprive them of their right to vote in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Finally, the Governor reserved for himself the sole discretion to choose if and where in-person voting will occur. Such unbridled discretion, which leads to arbitrary and disparate treatment of individual voters, violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
California Democrats’ weaponization of ballot harvesting has led to a lack of safeguards and delays in counting ballots.
The political weaponization of ballot harvesting in California, where strangers go door-to-door to collect ballots, is commonplace, but there is no way to track who drops off ballots to polling locations, no way to track the quantity of ballots that are dropped off at once, and no way to determine the chain of custody of ballots, which opens the door to fraud and inaccurate ballot counts.
In 2018, ballot harvesting had a major impact on the midterm elections in California, when seven Republican candidates were leading on election night, but lost weeks later because of the delay in counting mail ballots – many of which were harvested.
The RNC and the Trump campaign are aggressively fighting back against the Democrats’ assault on the integrity of our elections. All across the country, Democrats are trying to use coronavirus and the courts to legalize ballot harvesting, implement a nationwide mail-in ballot system, and eliminate nearly every safeguard in our elections.
The RNC has more information about the fight against ballot harvesting at www.ProtectTheVote.com.
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