Leading up to the 2020 election, Jordan Tygh, a young veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard, worked as a California GOP field operative in Orange County. While he was the face of a CAGOP ballot harvest-initiative, which received negative attention far and wide, he had nothing to do with the planning aspects. Because he was that face, however, thanks to what was supposed to be an innocent tweet of him taking a picture by a ballot-drop off box, many on the left sought to take him down and ruin his life. But now, Jordan is fighting back, as he discussed with Townhall, and with the help from Harmeet Dhillon, the prominent First Amendment rights attorney of the Center for American Liberty.
The set-up is best explained by Jordan himself in a recent column of his for Townhall:
To recap, California started ballot harvesting in 2016, after Democrats passed Assembly Bill 1921 and legalized this electioneering tactic. The GOP fought this bill and lost (as they do with most bills in California). In 2018, consistent with their opposition to this practice, Republicans avoided widespread ballot harvesting. This unilateral disarmament cost Republicans seven of the 14 U.S. House seats that they held in California.
So, in 2020, the GOP had no choice but to organize its own ballot-harvesting operation. They deployed locked receptacle boxes in Republican offices across the state. Each box was manned by a staffer who collected the ballots. The staffer presented unique receipts with links to the Secretary of State’s website to let voters track their individual ballots. The program was heavily vetted by GOP attorneys and completely complied with the law. Ignoring these facts, Democrats cried foul. When the program rolled out, it quickly made national headlines.
As a low-level CAGOP field staffer, part of my job included promoting Republican get-out-the-vote efforts and events on social media. I posted a picture in which I posed beside one of these receptacles.
The picture of Jordan with the ballot-box was picked up by the Daily Beast, but it wasn’t merely liberal media outlets.
In his October 14 monologue for “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” Kimmel puts the picture of Jordan out there, pointing out “they should stuff him in that box, is what they should do.”
On October 12, John Iradola and Francesca Fiorentini discussed Jordan on the Young Turk’s “Damage Report,” as a matter of “voter fraud.” Fiorentini wanted to know if Jordan would change his title to “Regional Coordinator of Hell.”
Roland Martin also accused Jordan of “voter fraud” on October 13.
Jesse Dollemore, in his October 13 screed, even honed in on Jordan’s veteran status. “First of all, here’s Jordan,” Dollemore shared, as Jordan’s Twitter account was shown on the screen. “Here’s my good buddy Jordan! United States Coast Guard Veteran. First, when you, when you join the military–Coast Guard is the military–you take an oath to support and defend the Constitution of these United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. He’s doing a real good job here,” Dollemore said sarcastically, “of promoting voter suppression, voter fraud.”
Then there’s the tweets, including from Meidas Touch, an organization founded in March 2020 by the Meiselas brothers, who take their job very seriously in taking down Donald Trump and condemning the Republican Party. While whatever hashtag or figure or cause they want to go after depends on the day, for a time in October, their sights were set on Jordan, then.
It is amazing to the lengths some are going to, to suppress people’s vote. This is ILLEGAL. Lock them up! Lock them up! Lock them up!
California GOP Caught Installing Unofficial Ballot Drop-Off Boxes, Says Report https://t.co/hYbCwvUeJW
— Ana Navarro-Cárdenas (@ananavarro) October 12, 2020
I already said this elsewhere, but Jordan Tygh (field director for the Repubs in Cali) who was promoting these scam boxes on social media, had better be facing charges.
— Marcurian Dreamer (@HorseMaxwell) October 12, 2020
Jordan is just one of many Republicans the left loves to mock, but as the Orange County Register reported on in January, after speaking with Jordan, “Orange County man who became face of GOP ballot drop box controversy says it ‘destroyed’ his life.”
In discussing the merits of his lawsuit, which he is fundraising for, Jordan emphasized how it’s not merely a matter of cancel culture, which can be likened to the smearing of Covington’s Nicholas Sandmann. “My situation is unique,” Jordan shared. “I’m not a celebrity, I’m an ordinary person,” he pointed out, who is being “canceled for something for completely legal.” He emphasized that the initiative was planned by someone else and he was falsely accused, but that “I was still canceled for all of this.”
Jordan does have hope though that, as a private citizen who is being smeared, he is in a position where he can stand up to leftwing figures and the media.
Harmeet Dhillon also spoke to Townhall about preliminary steps of the case, which includes a focus on the “Democratic election shenanigans in the state,” when it comes to how Democrats “will stop at nothing to smear people and be dishonest about what is happening to suppress Republican votes and Republican voters.”
“Republicans are trying to play by the rules set by Democrats,” she shared, adding that “they have no qualms destroying people” and “taking a scorched earth approach.”
The initiative also gained the unwanted attention from California state officials, including Alex Padilla and Xavier Becerra. Now Sen. Padilla, after being appointed to replace Kamala Harris, he was California’s Secretary of State at the time. Becerra, then the state’s Attorney General, is now the Secretary of Health & Human Services.
Padilla and Becerra learned of and tweeted their thoughts about Jordan, too, without trying to reach out to him or the CAGOP first. As Jordan explains in a piece for National Review:
The next day, Padilla went on TV and bragged that he would work with local authorities to prosecute anyone involved in what proved to be a legal CAGOP ballot-harvesting operation. Although I was the “poster boy” for this effort, Padilla’s threat would have targeted the majority of the CAGOP. Alex Padilla attempted to normalize such abuse of power in California, and Xavier Becerra was right there with him.
After negotiations with the state government, Sacramento deemed GOP ballot receptacles legal, though the party agreed not to label them as “Official” going forward. Despite this, Becerra continued to use his government office to harass the Republicans who installed them, continuing an investigation into the GOP. He sued the CAGOP and demanded it hand over all the data on the ballots that Republicans had collected. For better or worse, not only is there no legal requirement to surrender this information, there’s no legal requirement even to collect it.
Jordan also shared that one-term Rep. Harley Rouda, the Democrat who lost to Rep. Mchelle Steel last November, had a ballot-harvesting of his own. What do you know? Becerra did not go after him, though luckily Judge David Brown knew well enough to deny Becerra’s request for an emergency subpoena, lecturing the power-hungry attorney general on the double standard.
Becerra dropped his lawsuit, and went on to be nominated and confirmed–by the narrowest of margins of 51 to 49–to head HHS, putting him another position of power where he can bully someone else, as he has with Jordan and pro-lifers on a massive scale.
There is a fundraiser for Jordan on Go Fund Me, “Push back on Defamatory lies.”