Is Ballot Harvesting the Key to Republican Victory in 2024?
Elections in both 2020 and 2022 showed the power of Democrats in seizing the ballot, by hook or by crook.
With the current election rules set to favor Democrats in battleground states, the question how to counter the blows of non-election-day ballots. A compelling answer is simply using the same whip as your foe but with greater force.
Ole Braatelien attributes this year’s midterm victory of Republicans in reclaiming the House of Representatives to the use of ballot harvesting in California. He mentioned key Republican members of congress from CA whose victory decided to secure the House majority for their party: Young Kim, Michelle Steel, Mike Garcia, and David Valadao. Their victory in CA, he underscores, was possible with ballot harvesting that has otherwise heavily favored Democrat candidates and irked Republicans to the point of opposing the practice.
Paula Whitsell, chairwoman of the Republican Party of San Diego, was cited expressing satisfaction with using ballot harvesting to the party’s benefits:
“Overall, I’m satisfied with the results we had in the election here in San Diego County, and a part of that could be attributed to the fact that we ballot harvested.”
The success of Republicans in using California’s ballot harvesting law was so obvious that Democrats – who are all for the practice – actually sued the California Republican Party to stop them from using it to their advantage. Since the state law allows it, the Democrats failed in their lawsuit. In many states, however, ballot harvesting remains illegal and Hector Barajas, a California Republican Party strategist, believes it’s time to change that as a strategy to win in 2024. In his expert opinion for Republicans outside California, he says:
“They need to start putting together how to engage in it, how to go out and utilize all the techniques that we’ve been using in California.”
Conservative writer Bonchie of RedState.com is also onboard with the suggestion that Republicans need to get ahead of Democrats in using early voting and vote-by-mail methods to secure future election victories. Buck Sexton called it fighting fire with fire:
“You play the game with the rules that exist, not the ones you wish.”
Sexton tweeted a video of Mollie Hemingway explaining on Fox News why the big red tide failed to materialize in November’s midterm election. She is convinced that the Republican strategy of getting voters excited for all showing up on the election day is not enough in these times when elections are run differently.
Will Republicans continue to try to stop the Democrats from using ballot harvesting rules passed by the states or switch gears and use the same rules to their benefit? It’s time for some serious dialogue between the Republican strategists, campaigns, and leadership.