voter fraud

Bevin Blames His Defeat on ‘Vote Harvesting’ Among Students and Black People

Those “less informed” people denied Matt Bevin another term misgoverning Kentucky. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Nasty to the very end of his term as Kentucky’s governor, Matt Bevin simply cannot accept responsibility for his defeat after four years of largely unpopular actions and policies. After trying unsuccessfully to convince his fellow Republicans in the legislature to overturn Andy Beshear’s election on grounds of undefined “voter fraud,” Bevin finally conceded and will leave office six days from now. But he can’t stop complaining that he was robbed, without evidence:

During a series of interviews on talk radio shows Wednesday morning, outgoing Republican Gov. Matt Bevin said that he lost his race for reelection because the Democratic Party “harvested votes in urban communities …”

During an interview on 55KRC in Cincinnati, Bevin said that the election was a “surprise” that defies logic.

“The left, those who think of a different ideological bent, they are getting so good at harvesting votes in the urban communities,” Bevin said.

“They were able to go into urban communities where people are densely populated on college campuses and public housing projects.”

In case vote or ballot harvesting is an unfamiliar concept to you, it’s the practice — entirely legal in Kentucky and 26 other states — of allowing third parties to pick up signed and sealed absentee or mail ballots and turn them in to election officials. It’s really no different than giving voters rides to the polls, an ancient practice by both parties and by nonpartisan good-government groups. Bevin’s suggestion that there’s something fishy about it is characteristically based on the invidious suggestion that residents of “public housing projects” (code for “black people”) and of college campuses (you know, dope-addled slacker parasites) are “less-informed people” who are letting others cast their votes. No evidence, of course, is supplied of the implied ballot tampering, which would be illegal in Kentucky and everywhere else. The most recent example of ballot tampering, of course, was on behalf of a 2018 Republican congressional candidate in North Carolina — a consultant who worked for the candidate was found to have fraudulently completed blank ballots for his man and fraudulently disposed of completed ballots thought to be cast for the Democrat in the race, leading to the voiding of the election results and a special election.

Republicans all over the country have recently gotten into the habit of rationalizing defeats by deliberately conflating legal ballot harvesting from illegal ballot tampering, and for that matter, by suggesting that anything other than in-person voting on Election Day is suspect. Most notably a host of Republican officials claimed that late-arriving mail ballots in California (100 percent legal under laws that count ballots postmarked by Election Day and received within a few days) that predictably pushed some close U.S. House races into the Democratic column were somehow sinister. When you boil it all down, anything that makes it easier for demographic groups prone to voting Democratic to exercise their right to vote is treated as borderline illegal or unethical, since those people are too ignorant to be heard in any event.

And Republicans like to call themselves “populists.”

Bevin Blames His Defeat on ‘Urban Vote Harvesting’