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July 17, 2023

Steve Miller at RCI: Why Are Republicans Such Boomer N00bs At Gathering Absentee Votes?

We're not as good at voter fraud as the Democrats. And that's a problem, because voter fraud is now legal.

After President Trump's defeat in 2020, Republican-led legislatures worked to turn back the emergency voting measures in many states, to mixed success, and -- after an expected GOP wave fizzled in 2022 -- the Republican Party has turned away from Trump's vilification of absentee voting to essentially say, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em."

"We don't want to wait till the fourth quarter to start scoring touchdowns when you have four quarters to put points on the board," Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said last month in promoting the new strategy. "We have to change the culture among Republican voters."

But a range of factors suggest that Republicans are a long way from implementing that change. This impression emerges from interviews with election veterans from both parties in a number of pivotal states; disclosures about the left's prodigious fundraising for private assistance to local election offices; and Democrats' reinvigorated focus on community organizing in dense urban areas. The latter is a tradition reaching back more than a century but exploited in recent cycles to overwhelm the GOP's onetime edge in collecting absentee ballots from the elderly and members of the armed forces.

"The left is about 20 years ahead on getting these votes," said Michael Bars, executive director of the conservative Election Transparency Initiative. "You can say it's an absentee, get-out-the-vote model, an absentee ballot chase or ballot harvesting. But they're ahead."

And catching up isn't easy, an RNC official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity in giving a grim assessment of a ground game still unfamiliar to the GOP.

"Strangers going door-to-door met with a ton of resistance from Republican voters," the official said. He was referring to a strategy shift in 2016 when "the RNC changed its field structure to resemble the work that the Obama campaign did in 2008 and 2012 by focusing on training people to be organizers, to put together teams that were part of the community." It turned out that, with Republicans tending to live in suburban developments, soliciting was frowned upon, and even prohibited, while the Democrats were, as ever, more welcome in urban settings, visiting apartment buildings, public libraries, and residential centers.


"We got our asses handed to us," said Jessica Millan Patterson, chair of California's Republican Party, whose 2019 election to office was in part based on her vow to embrace harvesting for the party and avenge the Orange County defeat. "Democrats in California have normalized what would be considered voter fraud in the rest of the country. If I had my way, harvesting would be illegal, but we have to win more elections if we want to change laws."


Critics of the GOP's newfound strategy of ballot collection contend that it may be too late, at least to win in 2024.

"The nature of the left is to never stop fighting and usually their fight is smart," said Scott Walter, president of the conservative Capital Research Center, which studies the influence of nonprofits on politics. "They have multiple think tanks dedicated to nothing but winning elections. And there are no Republican counterparts."

While Republicans will engage in the same practices as their foes, "harvesting for Republicans won't work," said Der Manouel, the former vice chair of the California GOP.

"Republican voters don't need to have their vote harvested. The only reason it works for Democrats is because they could never turn out their voters. What's going to happen is Republicans are going to start doing this and find that they don't have nearly enough ballots to harvest to make a difference."

Last month, Ben Weingarten warned that the GOP still has no plan to win in the new fraud-friendly environment. Other than Trump and DeSantis both saying they'll engage in the despicable practice of "ballot harvesting" -- basically, voter fraud -- no one has any answers as to how they can win a "fortified" election.

And you'll never out-fraud the Democrats.

The million-dollar question for 2024 contenders is: How will you win the general election under the present voting system?

There is one fundamental question that any candidate vying for the Republican nomination for president of the United States in 2024 must answer -- but that as of yet has gone largely unaddressed, at least publicly, as the field spars over significant but ultimately subordinate issues.

The question is this: How will you win the general election under the present voting system?


Over the last two election cycles, Republicans lost in historically aberrant if not unprecedented ways. That, or they underachieved relative to what conditions on the ground would have suggested. Political analysts have pointed to numerous factors to explain why the results broke the way they did, but perhaps the one constant in the presidential and midterm elections was that they were both held under a radically transformed voting system.

Democrats are so well-positioned to thrive under this system that even under the most favorable political circumstances, and with a "perfect" Republican presidential candidate, it is not at all clear that such a candidate would prevail. At least that is the prudent assumption under which Republicans serious about winning the presidency should be operating.

As Americans well know, we are lightyears removed from the election days of old -- singular days when people voted in person, on paper ballots, after presenting identification. Now, we have mass mail-in elections, conducted over weeks, where those voting in person often do so on electronic machines, and with lax identification standards.

Democrats largely developed and long fought for this system, willing it into existence under the cover of Covid-19. Naturally, they have successfully manipulated and exploited the voting regime they made.

Ballot harvesting is becoming an accepted norm. Candidates not only have to earn votes but figure out how to collect as many votes as they possibly can. Are Republicans overnight going to out-harvest their opponents, or figure out some new means to identify and turn out voters otherwise sitting on the sidelines in sufficient numbers to overcome Democrats' ballot-harvesting superiority?

"Zuckerbucks" continue to loom over our contests as well, despite bans in many states. The left is doing everything it can to steer private money toward public election administration -- administration done in conjunction with left-wing nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) seemingly targeting the Democrat ballots needed to win.

The Biden administration is working to leverage federal agencies to mobilize presumed Democrat voters as well -- also potentially in conjunction with the same NGOs -- under a March 2021 executive order, "Promoting Access to Voting," that has remained shrouded in mystery as the bureaucracy stonewalls over inquiries about its implementation. Republicans have started to engage in election administration, but largely in the context of monitoring over execution. What is the plan to combat Democrat control over election machinery?

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posted by Ace at 06:40 PM

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