CA GOP in Court: Newsom's Stay-at-Home Order Prohibits Ballot Harvesting, Right?

Yesterday, the California Republican Party, represented by RNLA Co-Chair Harmeet Dhillon, filed suit in the Superior Court for Sacramento County against Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom, Attorney General Xavier Becerra, and Secretary of State Alex Padilla.  

The complaint seeks clarification of the governor's overreaching Stay Home Order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which could be interpreted to designate ballot harvesters as "nonessential workers" who must stay home under the order.  The complaint seeks clarification so that "all candidates and their supporters are . . . abiding by the same rules" for the May 12 special congressional election.

Ms. Dhillon tweeted:


The California GOP Chairwoman noted how California's Democratic state officials have refused to provide the state party with guidance as to the application of the Stay Home Order to ballot harvesting, necessitating the litigation:

“Governor Gavin Newsom has yet to make clear that ballot harvesting stands in direct conflict with the social distancing guidelines he claims to support,” said California Republican Party Chairwoman Jessica Millan Patterson. “The governor’s stay-at-home order clearly prohibits ballot harvesting, and we are asking him to break his silence and prohibit the practice ahead of California’s Special Elections.

“Governor Newsom has told Californians that they can’t open their businesses, their kids can’t go to school, and they can’t attend family events including weddings and funerals. If we can’t see our mothers on Mother’s Day, then strangers shouldn’t be visiting our homes to collect ballots. He must stop dodging this issue. His silence is irresponsible and is putting Californians’ lives at risk – and without direction from the Democrats in office, we need the courts to weigh in,” concluded Patterson.  

Ballot harvesting presents a threat to public health, as the California GOP noted

California GOP is now demanding Gov. Newsom make clear that his order prohibits ballot harvesting, which involves a stranger visiting a voter’s home and returning that voter’s ballot to the election officials.

Strangers should not be going to voters’ homes to collect ballots, as it is a threat to the health and wellbeing of Californians and could increase the spread of COVID-19.

Thanks to Ms. Dhillon and the California Republican Party for standing up for the rule of law by ensuring that all parties and candidates are playing under the same rules for the May 12 election and pointing out that as it's interpreted by the government, the governor's overreaching order applies to ballot harvesting also.