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GOP learning to love mail-in ballots, curing, legal harvesting as it seeks to level playing field

"The House of Representatives is GOP-controlled thanks to how we performed in states with the most liberal ballot harvesting and vote by mail laws," Charlie Kirk tweeted.

Published: November 17, 2022 8:00pm

Updated: November 17, 2022 11:30pm

In a 180-degree turn, Republicans are adopting the Democratic strategy for winning elections in states where mail-in voting, ballot curing and ballot harvesting are legal.

Republicans have repeatedly sounded the alarm over universal mail-in voting, ballot curing, and ballot harvesting because of the heightened possibility for fraud, but as Democrats have used these methods to help their candidates win elections, the GOP is belatedly accepting that they must play the same game.

Following the 2020 presidential election, Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) tweeted: "How to weaken ballot integrity through the US: Ballot Harvesting, Universal Mail-In Voting, Ineligible Voters Registering and Voting, People Voting Where They Barely Reside (If At All), Allowing Ballot Defects to Be Cured In Some Areas of a State But Not Others."

Zeldin, who lost his New York gubernatorial campaign to Gov. Kathy Hochul, sent an email to Republican committee members on Thursday about possibly running for RNC chair.

"It is time for our party to retool, transform, win back the Presidency in 2024, expand our number of Republican held seats in Congress, and elect the maximum number of down ballot races across the country," Zeldin wrote.

"The Republican Party needs to be all in to do everything in its power to save America. The Democratic Party seems to be all in to do whatever they need to do to save themselves, wrecking the country and imposing their radical ideology on us all."

With the 2022 midterms, Republicans began turning to tools that are legal in some states — including aggressive ballot curing, ballot harvesting, and encouraging mail-in voting over in-person voting on Election Day — to help their numbers.

On Wednesday afternoon, Turning Point USA Founder and President Charlie Kirk tweeted: "The Rubicon has been crossed. I don't like it, but its [sic] time to win. We will build the most sophisticated and aggressive legal ballot harvesting operation in America and never let this garbage happen again."

Later that day, Kirk tweeted: "The House of Representatives is GOP-controlled thanks to how we performed in states with the most liberal ballot harvesting and vote by mail laws — New York, Oregon, California. We can master this system. Democrats are praying that we refuse to try."

Harmeet Dhillon, chair of The Republican National Lawyers Association, then retweeted a Kirk tweet expressing gratitude for the work of "patriots in New York and California" who helped retire "Nancy Pelosi as Speaker."

Dhillon wrote in her response: "Thank you for saying this Charlie! We work for every vote in a winnable race, often outperforming registration and top of ticket for our winners. Without aggressive curing and harvesting in the right CA communities, we wouldn't have the House today."

Arizona GOP campaigns, including those of gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and attorney general candidate Abe Hamadeh, also encouraged Republican voters to cure their ballots.

"Cure your ballot! Lake's campaign account.

Hamadeh retweeted Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers (R), who posted: "Abe Hamadeh's ATTORNEY GENERAL's race VERY CLOSE! Wed 5pm is deadline to ensure YOUR vote counted. Go to Click on YOUR COUNTY to see if your vote counted! IF NOT, immediately call the number to cure your ballot & resolve the discrepancy. VERY IMPORTANT!"

Rogers also tweeted on Wednesday: "A group of California patriots came over here to Arizona to help cure ballots based on my Telegram post from Monday! The POWER of the PEOPLE!"

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