May 24, 2020
WASHINGTON – The Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee, and the California Republican Party have filed a lawsuit against California Governor 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.
“Democrats continue to use this pandemic as a ploy to implement their partisan election agenda, and Governor Newsom’s executive order is the latest direct assault on the integrity of our elections. Newsom’s illegal power grab is a recipe for disaster that would destroy the confidence Californians deserve to have in the security of their vote.” – RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.
“California’s election system is already burdened with serious issues. The disastrous Motor Voter program arbitrarily changed voter registration for thousands casting doubt on the integrity and accuracy of our voter rolls. Using this pandemic in a unilateral power grab to change our election laws with an executive order will further put the integrity of our elections into question. The California Republican Party will fight back at every step to ensure a secure election, as Californians rightfully expect and deserve.” – CAGOP Chairwoman Jessica Millan Patterson
“Democrats continue to try and use every trick in the book to unfairly tilt the election in their favor. The NRCC is proud to partner with the RNC and the California GOP to stop Democrats’ unconstitutional efforts to rob Californians of their voting rights.” – NRCC Chairman Tom Emmer
Democrats’ Election Power Grab in California:
Governor Newsom’s executive order declaring California a vote-by-mail state is unlawful, violating eligible voters’ rights and creating an opportunity for fraud:
- Newsom’s executive order violates eligible citizens’ right to vote. By ordering mail-in ballots be automatically sent to inactive voters, Newsom has created a recipe for disaster. This order will result in ballots going to voters with invalid registrations, voters who have moved, and voters who have passed away. The problem with sending ballots to inactive voters is that many states do not clean up their voter registration lists unless forced to.
- Los Angeles County, for example, had to remove up to 1.5 million ineligible voters due to a court settlement last year after its rolls showed registration of 112 percent. In other words, there were more registered voters than adults living in the county.
- Newsom’s executive order creates an opportunity for fraud. No state that conducts all-mail elections automatically mails ballots to inactive voters because it invites fraud, coercion, theft, and otherwise illegitimate voting. Even in Washington, which has successfully implemented a vote-by-mail system, the Secretary of State has said:
- “…you can’t just flip a switch and go from real low absentee ballots to 100 percent vote-by-mail. I mean, as we sit here right now, in April, with a November election deadline, I’m not sure you could do it in states across the country.”
- “So essentially, our state wanted to move to vote-by-mail in 2005. It took five years to get all 39 of our counties to move to vote-by-mail.”
- “I don’t think it’s a realistic goal to think that you could get 50 states to all be vote-by-mail by even the November election just because the states are in such wildly different places.”
California Democrats’ weaponization of ballot harvesting has led to a lack of safeguards and delays in counting ballots. House Republicans recently released a report on the political weaponization of ballot harvesting in California – where the practice of strangers going door-to-door to collect ballots is commonplace, with no supervision. The report emphasizes the lack of safeguards on ballot harvesting: 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 – opening 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’s lawsuit against Gov. Newsom comes on the heels of Republicans’ legal intervention involving California’s 25th Congressional District special election. Rep. Mike Garcia won despite the Democrats’ best efforts to turn the election in their favor by allowing for ballot harvesting and opening up a single in-person voting center in a district favorable to his opponent, amidst their push for an all-mail election, which was patently hypocritical. These efforts were clearly done with partisan intentions, and underscore exactly why we are fighting back. Democrats are proposing to strip away important safeguards of the vote-by-mail process, such as sending ballots to inactive voters, doing away with signature matching, legalizing ballot harvesting, and more under the guise of voter access amidst a pandemic.
The RNC continues to fight back against the Democrats’ assault on the integrity of our elections by intervening in left-wing backed lawsuits across the country. Last Thursday, Republicans intervened in a lawsuit that Democrats brought in Florida, where they demanded the state and its county supervisors of elections willfully ignore and violate Florida election law by prohibiting enforcement of the state’s ban on ballot harvesting and allowing ballots to be counted after Election Day. Last Wednesday, Chairwoman McDaniel demanded Nevada’s Attorney General investigate election chaos brought on by a similar Democrat lawsuit. Last week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court handed us a big victory, throwing out a left-wing lawsuit to allow ballots to be counted after Election Day. Similar radical lawsuits are being fought in states like Michigan, New Mexico, and Arizona. The RNC recently doubled its legal budget to $20 million to fight these efforts, and you can learn more about them at www.ProtectTheVote.com.