Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said that the losses for Republicans in California after this year’s midterm elections were illogical and didn’t make sense. California Secretary of State Adam Padilla set the record straight on how the state calls elections.
“We were only down 26 seats the night of the election and three weeks later, we lost basically every contested California race,” Ryan said Thursday, referring to the full blue flip of Orange County. “This election system they have — I can’t begin to understand what ‘ballot harvesting’ is.”
The GOP took a large hit in the House race this election when Reps. Mimi Walters, Dana Rohrabacher, Jeff Denham, and Steve Knight all lost their re-election bids.
“When you have candidates that win the absentee ballot vote, win the day of the vote, and then lose three weeks later because of provisionals, that’s really bizarre,” Ryan added. “I just think that’s a really strange outcome. When you win the absentee ballots and you win the in-person vote, where I come from, you win the election.”
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Paul Ryan: "California just defies logic to me… We were only down 26 seats the night of the election & 3 weeks later, we lost basically every contested CA race. This election system they have – I can’t begin to understand what ‘ballot harvesting’ is." https://t.co/usf6KWIfDb pic.twitter.com/qUym7Ucrq8
— The Hill (@thehill) November 29, 2018
California Secretary of State Padilla quickly responded to Ryan’s insinuation that something about the election was off. In a statement released Thursday, Padilla explained that counting every eligible ballot is necessary for a fair election.
“It is bizarre that Paul Ryan cannot grasp basic voting rights protections. It shouldn’t ‘defy logic’ that elections officials are meticulous in counting every eligible ballot. California works to ensure every ballot is counted properly and every ballot is accounted for. In the most populous state in the nation — and the state with the largest number of registered voters — this takes time.
“In California, we believe in an inclusive and accessible democracy. We provide voters as many opportunities as possible to cast their ballots. That is why we have no excuse vote by mail, automatic voter registration, same-day voter registration, and early voting. These reforms helped drive California’s historic registration and a 30 year high in midterm turnout. I stand with the thousands of elections officials and volunteers throughout the state who continue to work around the clock to ensure the accuracy and integrity of our elections.”
The process to call elections did take a long time in the golden state. According to the Los Angeles Times, the last undecided congressional race was called on Wednesday, with Democrat T.J. Cox beating Republican Rep. David Valadao, bringing California’s total flipped districts to seven.