When Donald Trump boldly complained about the “millions of people who voted illegally” in the presidential election, he may not have been far from the mark after California is considered. Most Americans are unaware just how far California’s election procedures have drifted away from the rest of our country.
In the 49 States other than California, Donald Trump crushed Hillary Clinton by almost 2 million popular votes. The claim that Hillary won the national popular vote is due entirely to the huge run-up in votes that she claims she received in California.
Hillary’s reported vote total in California is constantly changing, even weeks after the election, so Donald Trump’s skepticism about the popular vote total is healthy. A look at rules in California which are rejected by nearly every other state illustrates why California’s vote should not dictate the future of our country.
For starters, California continues to accept mailed-in ballots lacking in safeguards against voter fraud for many, many days after the rest of the country voted on Election Day. How many of these mailed-in ballots, not received until long after the election, are the result of fraud?
California does not require any photo identification or comparable verification before allowing someone to cast a ballot. This is in contrast to the states that do have safeguards against voting by impostors, and most of the voter ID states were carried by Trump.
California is one of only three states that allow convicted felons to vote while sitting in jail behind bars. In most other states, murderers and rapists are denied the ability to influence the outcome of an election even after they have been released from jail, unless they go through a process to have their voting rights restored.
California harbors illegal aliens in far greater numbers than other states, with several major cities in California designated as “sanctuary cities.” The entire state was declared a “sanctuary” by the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice, a decision which allows the Attorney General to withhold federal funds from the state.
In 2013 the California legislature even passed a law to allow illegal aliens to serve on juries, in contrast with all other states. Democratic Governor Jerry Brown vetoed that bill, but he signed a bill to prohibit state government from using the word “alien” because, according to the bill’s sponsor Tony Mendoza, it “has very negative connotations.”
Illegal aliens have been given so many benefits and protections unavailable to them in other states that the term “California citizenship” has been used to describe its un-American approach. Many of those illegal aliens could have voted because in practice there is nothing to stop them from doing so, and Trump is right to complain about the unknown number who “voted illegally” in the presidential election.
In addition, California did not allow any Republican to be on the general election ballot for U.S. Senator this year, due to an unusual process that eliminated the Republican candidate in the primary. Given a choice between two liberal Democratic minority females, California’s U.S. Senate race was more like something found in Cuba or other one-party systems.
Many local races in California also reflected a one-party system where voters were given a choice between two different members of the Democratic Party, both of whom generally supported the same political positions. While Californians could vote for the Republican candidate Trump for president, many could not vote for a Republican candidate for other key offices in the general election.
Neither Trump nor Hillary Clinton spent much time or money campaigning in California, which has expensive media markets and a sprawling population nearly 800 miles from north to south. The final vote tally in that state is as meaningless as the final score in a sporting event where one side continued to run up the score after the outcome was already settled.
If the outcome of the election were based on who won the most popular votes rather than who won the Electoral College, then the candidate who spent the most money would have an enormous advantage. The very problem that liberals criticize so often – the influence of money in determining the outcome of elections – would be far worse if popular vote were all that mattered.
Instead, the Electoral College brilliantly allows a less-funded candidate, as Trump was, to focus on a half-dozen small-media states to take his campaign right to the American people without relying heavily on negative ads as Hillary Clinton did. How ironic it is that the critics of negative campaigning and the corrosive effect of big money in politics are not defending Trump’s victory based on his large rallies with the people in a few swing states.
John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously on September 6.