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Thu Sep 3, 2020, 12:17 AM

Democrats Should Curb Their Enthusiasm for Mail-in Voting

Thereís a giant scheme afoot to disenfranchise voters in Novemberóitís called mail-in balloting.

*SNIP*

Trump shouldnít be trying to delegitimize the process, a point that journalists have often made, rightly. Yet there hasnít been enough focus on the other side of equation: Does it make sense for Democrats to be such fervent boosters of a process that may lead to a historic number of votes cast in a presidential election not counting? Stacey Abrams, call your office.

There are at least three ways that mail-in voting could contribute to a 2020 nightmare. Trump could be winning on election night, and the outcome slowly reverse over time, a dynamic that would undermine confidence in the result even if the president doesnít scream that heís been robbed (which he would). Delayed by the volume of mail-in ballots, states could blow past the deadline for finalizing their results, a blow to the legitimacy of the process. And if the margins in battleground states are very close again, rejected mail-in ballots could loom large and lead to protracted, high-stakes court fights that could make Florida 2000 look like a pleasant tiff between friends by comparison.

The primaries have been a mail-in balloting preview. More than a half-million ballots were rejected in the presidential primaries. Ballots are rejected for improper postmarks and signatures, and mail-in voters are also more prone to accidentally vote for more than one candidate or make other elementary errors that are caught and corrected when voting in-person. First-time mail-in voters are most likely to mess it up.


In its primaries, New York state delivered up the perfect storm of ramped-up mail-in voting, inadequate preparation and bureaucratic ineptitude. In the 12th Congressional District, more than half of the votes were absentee. It took weeks to declare a winner and the number of rejected mail ballots was roughly three times Rep. Carolyn Maloneyís 3,700-vote margin of victory over challenger Suraj Patel.

If this had happened in Georgia in a race a Republican narrowly won over a Democrat, it would be it considered a notorious offense against democracy itself.

Itís easy to see how what happened New York easily could preview a close general election. NPR notes that more than 23,000 absentee ballots were rejected in Wisconsinís primary this year, exceeding Trumpís margin in the state back in 2016. Nearly 40,000 were rejected in Pennsylvania, where Trump won by 44,000 votes in 2016.

In light of all this, it makes sense to try to make available more options for in-person voting. If there are more opportunities for early voting people can go vote with less worry about crowds, and election officials should work to move voting outside and under tents, to the extent possible, and pursue imaginative solutions with civil society. (Old Navy, for instance, has announced they will pay their employees for serving as poll workers as election officials prepare to confront a shortage of such workers due to the pandemic).

States should allow the counting of mail-in ballots prior to Election Day to minimize any swing in the count in the days and weeks after the election. Congress should delay the date that states have to finalize their results, currently December 8. And election officials and the parties should do everything they can to educate voters about how to fill out and mail an absentee ballotóI prefer same-day, in-person voting, but if people are going to vote by mail, they should obviously do so correctly.

What should be intolerable is any attempt to change the rules after the fact, although itís entirely conceivable that Democrats will feel compelled after November 3 to argue that the mail-in voting that theyíve done so much to promote is desperately flawed and unjust.

[link:https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/09/02/democrats-mail-in-voting-407939?fbclid=IwAR0_EC5_SLDhBW_BlA_POxkJpo4H6LHzoRI2s3Nn4yThJ441QiOHDh2bPHs|

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Please mask up and vote early in person. We need all hands on deck!

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Response to Indyfan53 (Original post)

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 12:21 AM

1. Richard Lowry is an American author who is the editor of National Review,

an American conservative news and opinion magazine. Lowry became editor of National Review in 1997 when selected by its founder, William F. Buckley, Jr., to lead the magazine. Wikipedia

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Response to elleng (Reply #1)

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 12:23 AM

2. But he has a point.

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Response to Indyfan53 (Reply #2)

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 09:01 AM

12. There is no "point" from anyone associated with the National Review

It is outright fear-mongering because the issue that is not being discussed is that most "poll workers" are the very definition of "HIGH RISK" people who can contract the virus by sitting in an enclosed location for hours and hours with the hope their locales can get them the proper PPE at the level that a hospital might have (doubtful).

Plus there are states like mine (PA) that have no "early voting" and being in a city (Philadelphia) that for some idiotic reason, decided to purchase ES&S touchscreen machines in 2018, and when I used one for the first time, it took twice as long waiting in line to vote, during a slow time of the day, because of the abject confusion (particularly by the actively-voting 80-somethings) about how to use them. And worse, I can't "touch" the printed ballot with my final selections to examine for correctness, nor could I barely even "see" what was on the printout because the chute was unlit and there was not enough overhead light to illuminate it. I don't trust them as far as I can throw them.



The compromise solution is to make SECURE and MONITORED (yes by "all parties" ) drop boxes available to drop off any "late-to-complete" "mail-in"/"absentee" ballots.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #12)

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 11:59 AM

13. The mail has been sabotaged.

It took two weeks for a birthday card I sent with a first class stamp to travel 10 miles to its destination. Imagine that happening with our ballots.

If you are waiting for a mail ballot, donít mail it back. Use a drop box and make sure it is filled out properly.

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Response to Indyfan53 (Reply #13)

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 04:25 PM

14. +1 K&R. I don't trust the USPS postal mail at this point until after the election. Dejoy needs to go

to DeJail.

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Response to Indyfan53 (Original post)

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 12:26 AM

3. Over 500,000 mail-in 2020 primary ballots ended up being rejected nationwide...

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Response to Indyfan53 (Original post)

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 12:40 AM

4. A lot depends on what state you live in.

And how they are handling this. Is the only way to vote by mail? Is there somewhere you can drop off your ballot? What are the requirements for things like a signature? If your signature has changed over the years, make sure you sign the ballot the same way you signed your voter registration.

Personal experience: My signature has changed a lot over the years, and essentially I have three different signatures. Some years ago I had a problem because the signature I presented was not what they had on file. That problem was solved, but I have since reverted to what is essentially my original signature. It takes a tiny bit longer, but it's legible, clearly says "Poindexter Oglethorpe" (which is not my real name, but I'm sure you guys already knew that) and is consistent.

I do live in a state with good early voting, which not all states have. I do plan to early vote here. I'll head to the polling place as soon as early voting opens, and if the line is longer than I'm comfortable with, I'll come back later. Or go to a different early voting place. Too many states do not have good early voting, which is criminal. I am so glad I live where I do, which is New Mexico. Plus, we're a small state that almost no one cares about, and a lot of people think isn't even a real state. So we fly under the radar. But we have two Democratic Senators, three Democratic Representatives, and a WONDERFUL Democratic governor. This state shut down early in the Covid-19 crisis and we have an infection rate a whole lot lower than any of the states around us.

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Response to Indyfan53 (Original post)

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 01:04 AM

5. I think we are going to have to show up and stand in

Line. Itís worth it.

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Response to Indyfan53 (Original post)

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 01:27 AM

6. complete your ballot, drop it off in advance at a drop location or a precinct on e-day nt

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Response to Indyfan53 (Original post)

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 01:49 AM

7. make sure your college kids send it in immediately

 

Request it now.
Make sure they send it in immediately, possibly overnighting it.

Vote in person if you can.
Avoid using the USPS in the final 6 weeks.

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Response to Indyfan53 (Original post)

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 06:15 AM

8. if you can early vote in person, that is what we must do

eliminates the post office and all the mail-in ballot distractions

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Response to Indyfan53 (Original post)

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 06:41 AM

9. I'm in Florida and the county I'm in has great

early voting so thatís what Iíll be doing. Iím encouraging everyone I know to do the same.

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Response to Indyfan53 (Original post)

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 06:46 AM

10. Bingo

 

No one should vote by mail. Indyfan is 100 percent: Wear protection and vote in person. Take a small risk for the survival of the country!

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Response to Drome (Reply #10)

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 04:49 PM

15. I guess the states that only vote by mail shouldn't vote at all?

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Response to Indyfan53 (Original post)

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 07:35 AM

11. Absentee ballots

Like the Obamacare/ACA confusion, we would be best served referring to mail-in ballots by their proper name: Absentee Ballots. The Occupant of the WHite House has encouraged GOP voters in PA and elsewhere to vote Absentee while excoriating the paper trail of Absentee ballots when they are the very same thing.

NC is the first to mail out ballots. A month ago, a week after I'd requested Absentee, the State mailed Absentee Applications to all registered voters. I think these freaked the GOPers out. They mailed *applications* to registered voters. They did not mail *ballots* to anyone, as the official ballots have not yet been printed. NC begins mailing them on the 4th, I believe.

That the *Ipresident is encouragingNC republican supporters to vote twice is unconscionable. He's advocating a crime. He whined that he really did win the popular vote because of non-existent fraud in California (it's always California, isn't it?? As a 40+ year Californian I know that the old adage still applies: as goes California, so goes the Nation. Newsom's decision to Shelter inPlace the entire Bay Area is just a recent example.)

It's absurd that we can't move to vote on line.

Yes, hacking, but there must be away to set up voting on line. Banks are secure, and if we wanted to, we'd make voting more accessible.

This North Carolinian will be voting as soon as the ballot gets here, and then I will be driving it to the registrar's office and dropping it of in person. Making Mr. Oh Nette do the same.

courage!

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Response to Indyfan53 (Original post)

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 10:56 PM

16. cue someone on DU saying that is an OVERREACTION

it's like they cannot interpret what is happening right in front of them

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