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The Coming Ballot Harvest Tsunami

May 25, 2020 (Raleigh) Among the silver linings of last year’s “Republican ballot harvesting” investigation is that it exposed the California Blueprint for how Democrats can sweep North Carolina this November.

We’re still amazed at how many Wizards of Smart simply missed that fact.

These otherwise bright media pundits (including Rush) push a “minimal-impact” lie about ballot harvesting and NC’s Jones Street Mafia is poised to enact “temporary” reforms to facilitate a November blue wave.

To see how, let’s consider the two elections the “experts” cite: Congressional races in California’s 25th and North Carolina’s 9th.

Both were Republican gains, which misinformed national figures claim, “proves Trump is lying about voter fraud.”

Such sophistry conveniently ignores one dirty detail: Special Elections tend to favor honest politicians.

Why? Because there just aren’t enough corrupt candidates down the ballot to finance a “get-out-the-vote” effort.

Since that will not be a problem in November, we expect both men will lose their rematches.

Remember another 2018 California Congressional race? Republican Young Kim had nearly a 4,000* vote lead after Election Day and ultimately lost by 7,611 votes after eight days of ballot harvesting.

We’d like to prevent such chaos in NC.

What’s The Price For One Vote?

The answer depends on local economics.

For example, in Franklin County (NC), one man explained why he voted against Roger Lytle, an engineer who twice ran reform campaigns for County Commission.

Apologizing, the voter said Roger’s primary opponent paid him ten dollars.

“What if I paid you ten dollars to go home and not vote?” Roger asked.

“I’d go home,” the cash-hungry voter replied.

Rather than go that dark, Roger decided to sell his house and leave Franklin County.

“Both parties are just too corrupt here,” he later told me.

“Hold on,” you ask, “who can afford to buy one vote for ten bucks?!”

But you’re asking the wrong question.

How Much For One Ballot?

The economics of Chicago-style election “machines” is that for ten dollars, you don’t buy a vote. You buy a slate . . . that each candidate finances.

In impoverished Robeson County, a Commissioner might pay $10 for a slot on a “voter guide” that’s guaranteed to harvest 1,000 votes. A corrupt Sheriff, DA, and Judge might each pay $15, while the incumbent Congressman pitches in $25. By the time a School Board candidate ($2), the House candidate ($3), and the NC Senate ($5) all buy into the plan, the criminal enterprise has around $90 per voter.

Hey! Isn’t that illegal?

Yes, Buttercup.

But only if it’s prosecuted.

As NC’s 2018 9th CD election proved, it’s only illegal for Republicans. Election officials ignored overwhelming evidence of Democrat ballot harvesting machines, bigger in Robeson and massive in Mecklenburg’s HD 103.

Meanwhile, the Democrats behind 2014’s South Texas politiquera scandal, mostly got a pass from Obama’s FBI while the honest local prosecutor lost his next primary.

The absolute beauty behind North Carolina’s two-witness requirement on absentee ballots was that it increased the cost of cheating.

We say “was” and “drove,” because last Friday’s House Bill 1169 proposes to drop that requirement back to one witness . . . in the name of bipartisanship.

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  • CORRECTION: A prior version of this story: mistakenly reported that Kim “blew a 150,000-vote lead.” Kim did, however, suffer a highly unlikely 11,611-vote swing, after holding a 3% lead when counties finished their random sample of 150,000 ballots. Of the harvested 94,000 votes that came in during the following week, Kim closer to around 11,611 votes. The highly unlikely 6% swing in the remaining batch of ballots can be attributed to pure chance. Would it have shifted that far by targeted ballot harvesting make the difference?