Postcard From Hell: California Shows How Not to Run an Election

SAN FRANCISCO — Everything the Left touches turns to lead, most vividly in the Golden State. California, my boyhood Heaven of the 1970s and ’80s, has become the Hell of the 2010s and ’20s.

While the state remains as physically beautiful as ever (and still filled with my beloved family and friends), the Democrats who run it cannot get anything right.

California reels from rocketing crime, rampant vagrancy, and reckless spending that fundamentally transformed last year’s $100 billion budget surplus into this year’s $22.5 billion deficit. This should be enough failure for one state.

But no!

Consider the catastrophe that the Sacramento Democrats have made from the basic civic function of handling ballots. This is far worse than even the most rabid “election denier” could have hallucinated. Imagine worrying that a Gila monster is running through your backyard. You step outside, and there is Godzilla, breathing fire on your garage.

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) signed Assembly Bill 37 on Sept. 27, 2021. Since then, officials send ballots via the post office to all active registered voters, whether they want them or not. Those who prefer to vote at the polls also get ballots along with their junk mail. Mail-ballot recipients have included people who have moved away or even died.

Authorities mailed out 22,184,707 general-election ballots last fall. Of these, 9,781,328 were mailed back in or dropped off at election facilities and tabulated. Another 1,391,422 were cast at polling places, and 120,432 were rejected and not counted. The balance — 10,891,525 — is ballots unaccounted for.

That’s right: Democrats dropped 22.2 million ballots in the mail, and 10.9 million — 49.1 percent — went poof!

California authorities haven’t the foggiest notion of what happened to nearly half of the ballots that they promiscuously blasted out like confetti from a cannon.

The 120,432 ballots received, rejected, and not counted approximates the population of ​Hartford, Connecticut.

So, they did what Democrats always do: shove their fingers into something that worked fine and then break it.

“The number one reason for rejection is arriving late,” explains Lauren Bis, spokeswoman for the Public Interest Legal Foundation. (Full disclosure: PILF represents yours truly and three other plaintiffs in our lawsuit to vanquish another Democrat abomination — New York City’s insidious 2021 law to let foreign citizens vote in local elections.)

California disregarded 57,568 ballots last November because they arrived too late to be counted — never mind the fact that Democrats allowed them to drift in like paper airplanes until Nov. 15, seven days after Election Day, which was Nov. 8. “When you vote by mail, you’re trusting the post office to deliver your ballot on time,” Bis added. “Based on how often I get my neighbors’ mail, they don’t inspire great confidence!”

These 57,568 voters cast ballots that never got counted. Their voices never were heard last November.

The U.S. Postal Service aims to deliver 96 percent of political mail on time. So, by its own criteria, if only 4 percent of mail-in ballots are lost or show up too late to be counted, USPS considers this a success. In skin-tight elections, this failure rate could spell the difference between victory and defeat. And Democrats are all too happy to let voters drop their ballots into a delivery system that high-fives itself when it flops up to 4 percent of the time.

Other ballots were rejected due to errors. In fact, 11,897 mail-in ballots lacked signatures; 647 voters forgot to put their ballots in their mail-in envelopes. And 169 voters put multiple ballots in single envelopes.

“Many of these could have been corrected at the polls,” Bis said. Instead, these people filled out their ballots at home, where election workers were not on hand to help them avoid those errors. Ultimately, they had no say as Californians decided their collective future.

Democrats accuse the GOP of “voter suppression.” And yet their brilliant scheme lost 10.9 million sacred ballots and prompted 120,432 voters to cast ballots that never got counted. This is voter suppression, Democrat style.

“Mail ballots disenfranchise,” said PILF’s president, J. Christian Adams, Esq. “There are many reasons mail ballots fail ultimately to count. No one casting a ballot at home can correct an error before it’s too late. California’s vote-by-mail demonstration should serve as a warning to state legislators elsewhere.”

PILF’s report details this fine mess.

For some 240 years, Americans walked into the polls on Election Day (the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November), asked questions of precinct workers, dropped their ballots into secured boxes — whose contents were counted that night — and then cheered and cried over the results by dawn on Wednesday.

That reliable system was just too much for Democrats in California and elsewhere. So, they did what Democrats always do: shove their fingers into something that worked fine and then break it. Now, nearly 11 million ballots totally vanish, and enough voters to populate the capital of Connecticut cast ballots that never were tabulated.

From the Golden Gate to the Nutmeg State, Democrats have devolved from a political party into an infectious disease.

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor.

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News Contributor, a contributing editor with National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research.

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