California GOP began to enact a campaign to install their own “official” dropboxes in Orange County to collect ballots on behalf of the electorate. It is not clear how far they got in this process, outside of one location: A Baptist Church. Of course.
It is not illegal to “harvest” ballots in CA, with the very important caveat that voters are aware and have consented to a third party collecting their ballots. So, collecting ballots without this clarity, would in fact be illegal. The mere use of the word “official” brings the entire enterprise into question, as these are clearly not official dropboxes, and that, in and of itself, is prohibited.
This tweet from California GOP (CAGOP) regional director, Jason Tygh, promotes the dropboxes, which appear to be some kind of file cabinet with a laminated sign taped on it.
I captured this image last night, it has since been removed by twitter or OP. Take note, there are at least 2 more created “official” dropboxes in the background. This is the same type of box which found its way to Freedom’s Way Baptist Church in Castaic CA.
The inclusion of, “DM me for convenient locations to drop your ballot off at[sic],” makes this really questionable. If you wanted people to know dropbox locations, simply link the official list. If you want to direct people to just your unofficial “official” dropboxes, you do that in private communications.
Jerry Cook is indeed the pastor of the church. What his involvement is, and what the parishioners understanding of the dropbox is, I have no idea.
An Official dropbox in Orange County, would look like this:
See. It’s not a gray file cabinet with some shit taped to the front.
There is no reason, as of yet, to believe this is a concerted nationwide GOP undertaking. I don’t believe any national Republican organization is aware of, or endorsed this. What it is, is incredibly stupid. Ya know what district this is? CA-48. That is Dana Rohrabacher’s old district, which currently has a tight battle between incumbent Harley Rouda(D) and Michelle Steel (R). This had been targeted by the GOP as a seat they could win back, because clearly CA-48 must have a boatload of batshit crazy people if they elect Rohrabacher to 15 consecutive terms.
Did they plan on altering any votes? When the GOP plants the dropbox at a Baptist church, of all places, it certainly raises the prospect. I think it more likely, that CAGOP is simply run by idiots. Check it:
“I can’t impress on you enough, my name is Steve. Swear to God. My name is Steve and I’m a Democrat.” This stinks of the make-believe “Walkaway” movement, which is supposedly a movement of former Democrats that joined the GOP, but is actually a movement of former GOP voters that joined a cult.
I mean, this dude looks an awful lot like the above GOP regional director Jordan Tygh sitting next to the dropboxes and the same guy from his facebook pics below, doesn’t it?
I had been wanting to write some ideas I had about dropboxes, but can’t come up with a pleasant way to present my thoughts. This above disaster provides a nice segue though.
I’m going to dance around this without explicitly saying anything.
It seems probable that dropboxes will receive some extra attention before ballots are collected. The word and associated object are now in our collective awareness. A flashpoint. It may occur to some people that it would be ideal to have an affect on a local dropbox, because they hate what it represents. One needn’t add or remove a dropbox to make a statement; to make the process untenable or in question, no. One need merely make the process difficult, interrupted, or poisonous.
That’s my concern.
* Small update, CNN reporter just said she contacted the RNC about the CA dropbox situation. The reporter said the RNC did not condone the action, but (and this is one motherfucking hilarious *but*), but…the use of these dropboxes (which is not legal) is to combat democrats harvesting ballots.
They attempted to illegally harvest ballots to defend against the Democrats harvesting ballots. Quote: “We are not going to let them have an artificial advantage at places where it is legal.”
Buy your own, official CA ballot dropbox at Amazon.