Shawn Steel, a Republican National Committee member from California who is married to Rep. Michelle Steel (R-CA), said in an interview with Breitbart News Sunday that the GOP must “adapt or die” by now engaging in ballot harvesting.
Steel explained how his wife utilized ballot harvesting to win her election by working with Korean and Vietnamese Churches.
“It’s a different game because of ballot harvesting,” Steel said to Breitbart’s Joel Pollak. “Several states, they outlawed it in the last two years. I don’t like it, but since that’s the rule in California, you have to adapt or die, and so we’ve adapted it. We’re not ashamed of it, because that’s explicitly the law.”
Steel stressed the importance of approaching community leaders such as church elders to give immigrant voters “a great deal of comfort” in their decision to have their vote delivered by a third party.
“It’s a different game because of ballot harvesting,” he said. “Several states, they outlawed it in the last two years. I don’t like it, but since that’s the rule in California, you have to adapt or die, and so we’ve adapted it. We’re not ashamed of it, because that’s explicitly the law.
“Now we have several generations, after three election cycles that [think to themselves], ‘Yeah, I can give it to this organization. I know they’ll take care of my ballot. I know they’re doing the right thing.'”
A list of ballot harvesting laws by state can be found here.
Steel is not alone in his disliking of ballot harvesting in spite of his pragmatic stance. Former Democrat Congresswoman of Hawaii Tulsi Gabbard slammed the practice back in September 2020, saying it “poses a serious threat to the integrity of our elections.” The then-congresswoman introduced a bipartisan bill at the time called the “Election Fraud Prevention Act,” which sought to block funding to states that engage in the practice.
Numerous prominent conservative commentators agree with Steel’s assessment that Republicans need to adapt to the new election processes, including well-known American journalist Mike Cernovich who brought up the issue in 2018.
“Ballot harvesting. In 2018 I told everyone in the Trump campaign that it was be THE ISSUE in 2020,” he wrote online.
Ballot harvesting. In 2018 I told everyone in the Trump campaign that it was be THE ISSUE in 2020.
Anyway, this is why I legit don’t care about the 2020 hijinks.
Trump will lose badly in 2024, but for different reasons.
Can’t be him.
Has to be DeSantis. pic.twitter.com/fdF1FDBSOX
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) April 24, 2022
Steel added that pushing the Republican Party’s anti-communism stance paid dividends in his wife’s path to victory.
“By knocking on 200,000 doors, campaigning in seven languages, and fiercely taking on the Chinese Communist Party … literally, it was the most anti-communist campaign in America because her opponent was a proponent of the Confucius Institute and got his master’s degree at the University of Peking,” he said.