The GOP’s drop-box hypocrisy

This article contains news and liberal commentary.

California Republicans are picking a fight with state officials over ad hoc, unofficial, homemade ballot drop boxes they’ve installed at party offices, churches, and other locations. Read the latest update here.

The unofficial boxes are limited to a few counties with close races, and the intent behind them is to help the Republican candidates in those rases by making it easier for Republican-leaning voters in those areas to deliver their ballots to election offices. The boxes are collection points for ballots, which presumably will then be turned in to election offices by those operating the drop sites.

Because this is an effort to boost turnout in Republican-leaning areas, there’s no reason to believe the Republican party workers setting out the drop boxes won’t turn in the ballots. And California law, unlike some other states, allows collecting ballots from voters — so-called ballot-harvesting — to a point.

The state officials who told the Republicans their boxes are illegal are Democrats. They issued a cease-and-desist letter, which the Republicans say they won’t obey. The state officials especially took issue with a box with an “Official Ballot Box” sign on it, which they said was deceptive. The Republicans answered that was the work of an overzealous individual and the sign was removed.

Whether the drop boxes are permissible is a legal issue that may depend on what a judge decides. A cease-and-desist letter isn’t legally binding; it’s a warning that legal action will be taken if not complied with. The Republicans have a right to challenge the Democratic election officials’ interpretation of the law in court and get a judicial ruling on the legality of their ballot drop boxes.

I wrote earlier about this dispute (here), and also about an order from the Republican governor of Texas to limit official ballot drop boxes to one per county, including counties with millions of inhabitants, a move Texas Democrats criticized as voter suppression. I wrote about that, too (here). Also see the videos below.

While I’m a lawyer, and write about legal news or matters when I feel like it (for example, here), it’s not possible to try legal cases in a blog nor do I wish to try. It’s for California courts to determine whether the California Republicans’ drop boxes violate that state’s election laws. In writing this article, I have a different focus:¬†Republican hypocrisy.

In California, Republicans have set out private drop boxes to collect ballots, a practice called ballot harvesting, to make it easier for Republican voters to vote. In other states, where Republicans make the laws, ballot harvesting is illegal and they’ll throw you in jail for taking your sick mother’s ballot to a mailbox (see, for example, this article).

In other words, at the same time they’re setting up private drop boxes in California to make it easier for Republican voters to vote, they’re eliminating or restricting official drop boxes in other places to make it hard for Democratic voters to vote. At the same time, Trump and other Republican officials are calling drop boxes and ballot harvesting “voting fraud,” whether it’s legal or not. Trump votes by mail, but calls mail voting — legal in all states — “massive voting fraud,” and has tampered with mail delivery to interfere with it.

Enough already. Just stop it. If you can’t win a competition of candidates and ideas, you deserve to lose. The blatant hypocrisy of all this is all the evidence anyone needs that today’s GOP isn’t a political party, but the rotting corpse of a political party that can’t win elections without cheating.

Our country needs two competitive political parties. A single-party system quickly becomes corrupt and dysfunctional. Competition is the great cleansing agent that keeps everyone honest. What the GOP needs most right now is a crushing defeat, in order to clean out the gangrene, in order to being the necessarily painful, but necessary, process of rebuilding this broken party.

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0 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. Mark Adams #

    Yes the Republicans are hypocrites, so are the Democrats. The Democrats who could not manage their own caucus in Iowa have used Corvid 19 as a cudgel to get some states to open up on absentee balloting, and not asked if the Post Office is up to the task. Yes the Republicans have been trying with some success and support from Democrats to privatize the post office by curtailing service, and little of this has squat to do with elections. The letter the post office puts out every two years got a lot of overwrought attention from Democrats. There is a solution as in go vote in person.

    Comparing what officials and republicans do in one state to another state is dishonest. We have 50 states and while the basic rules are the same there are differences. Until the Federal government runs elections gotta love it. If ballot harvesting is legal in California then Republicans there should join in the fun. If they can make the California legislature and officials look foolish even better. Common sense tells you unless it is someone putting moms vote in the mailbox the harvester is putting the envelops in a container immediately, if not then voters envelops from the opposite party are being burned or thrown in the ditch. Is there not the potential for fraud particularly with modern technology to disenfranchise voters, and stakes that there is something to loose.

    Texas has always expected Texans to show up at the polls even in LBJ’s day so to expect the current Texas government not to push back on being forced to do mail in voting is not reasonable. Of course the judge ordering it should have anticipated or actually the attorney representing the Democrats should have anticipated and included something for the order the judge wrote up about county ballot boxes. Something best left to the Texas legislature.

    As for as Trump’s comments so what. For all the hatred and remarks on his smarts, good looks nd temperate personality his posts get Democrats in a lather and you ct like he is some Moses and his tweets are the word of god. He trolls all of you good. And when his tweets are added to holy scripter as the new new testament what you gonna do when they come for you?

  2. Roger Rabbit #

    Trump has a temperate personality? I haven’t heard that one before. I don’t think he has, either.

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