Patterico's Pontifications

11/6/2018

It’s Election Day, So Now for the Stories on the Herculean Burdens of Voting

Filed under: General — JVW @ 5:47 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Happy Election Day, my fellow deluded sheep.

It’s a tradition on the left every election day to lament the seemingly insurmountable hardships that are placed before the voter who is simply trying to accomplish the task of exercising his or her Constitutional right to participate in our democratic republic. Four years ago, for example, I relayed the MSNBC guest who tried to insist that college kids in Gainesville, Florida were being disenfranchised because there were only about about nine polling locations within walking distance of the University of Florida. Today we’re treated to the editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy magazine, Jonathan Tepperman, picking up the theme on the utter impossibility of voting:

Fortunately, most of Twitter isn’t having it:

And a couple of other responses:

Voting Tweets

I can imagine what Jonathan Tepperman would think of my first voting experience in the Presidential election of 1988. I was in school in Massachusetts at the time, but I wanted to vote in my native Colorado, so I had to write the Colorado Secretary of State requesting an absentee ballot, then when it was mailed to me I actually had to take it in and have it notarized before I could return it. And what with deadlines and the U.S. Postal Service and all of that, I had to make sure I mailed it in at least a week before Election Day. Since then of course, we have had rounds of “voting reforms” which include the motor-voter law which allowed people to register when they renewed drivers licenses, permanent absentee ballots which allow people like me to get the ballot in advance and dispense with it at our leisure, polling stations that open a week before the election so you can vote when the mood strikes you, same day registration for those who are so lazy that they can’t rouse themselves to register until the day of the election, provisional voting so that even if you probably aren’t eligible to vote you get to cast a ballot that Democrats can then insist gets counted later, and now even automatic voter registration that adds you to the polls on your eighteenth birthday without you having to do a damn thing. Next comes a bad idea imported in from overseas: mandatory voting, a favorite of academic leftists who are adverse to personal freedom.

There may come a day when the advocates of loose and easy voting win, and exercising your sacred right to the ballot becomes as easy and, in fact, pretty much the same thing as clicking a “Like” button on your smartphone from the safety and comfort of your couch. I hope not to be around should that day come, but I can be reasonably sure it won’t be some glorious day in the annals of democracy, it will instead be yet another step on the long and, I regret to say, seemingly inexorable slide into national mediocrity.

– JVW

69 Responses to “It’s Election Day, So Now for the Stories on the Herculean Burdens of Voting”

  1. Hey, I love to bitch and moan as much as the next guy, but this year they moved the polling place across the street from my residence. I should have taken one of those subsidized Uber and Lyft rides just to be a jerk (it was a straight path for me to walk to the polling place, but an automobile would have had to circle the block and enter from the other side), but I refrained this one time.

    JVW (42615e)

  2. every vote counts

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  3. my body my choice

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  4. JVW, I would say you were light years beyond today’s college students attempting to vote by absentee ballots:

    On Tuesday, a Fairfax County, Virginia official said they are noticing a disturbing trend: young people failing to mail in their absentee ballots because they don’t know how to get a stamp.

    Lisa Connors, of the Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs, ran a focus group this summer comprised of colleges students interning in various county departments.

    “One thing that came up, which I had heard from my own kids but I thought they were just nerdy, was that the students will go through the process of applying for a mail-in absentee ballot, they will fill out the ballot, and then, they don’t know where to get stamps,” Connors told WTOP. “That seems to be like a hump that they can’t get across.”

    Dana (023079)

  5. Obviously TPO (the post office) is trying to suppress voting by not having home delivery of stamps. Oh, wait.

    You think they don’t know this as well as I do? Maybe better? (I still buy mine at the Jewel.) They’re lying.

    nk (dbc370)

  6. On the subject of the post office, Bruce Rauner just conceded. J.B. Pritzker will be the new governor. Which means Springfield will have to get one more zip code.

    nk (dbc370)

  7. Sketchy much?

    Among the supporters tonight ⁦@SenatorMenendez⁩’s HQ is Evelyn Arroyo-Maultsby, a juror on his federal corruption trial. She achieved some fame when she left the jury last year during deliberations to go on vacation. She would’ve voted for acquittal. ⁦⁩

    Dana (023079)

  8. Jury tampering is one of the exceptions to double jeopardy.

    nk (dbc370)

  9. I have voted in every presidential and statewide election since 1980, the first one I was old enough to vote in.
    I confess to not voting in a number of local races. The problem there is that most of these candidates are completely unknown to me,so I feel like voting for one of them is actually a dereliction of duty.

    kishnevi (2717fb)

  10. My mom was sent an absentee ballot for CA and she’s been dead 4 years.

    When she got one 2 years ago Pop sent them a letter saying she had passed on.

    harkin (e81e20)

  11. Comstock the NeverTrumper got beat, but not before wasting 5 mill on ad buys instead of just retiring in Paul Ryan fashion once the populist tide turned

    Ajami (c2c6e2)

  12. If it makes you happy, some Atlanta polls are still open. 2 1/2 hours after official closing time.

    I am THRILLED that Donnelly bit the dust and that FL was saved. Massive absentee voting from places wiped out by hurricane Michael.

    Losing the House was a foregone conclusion.

    For me, it’s all about Hawley. James would be a miracle. Cruz looks OK, but if he goes down, it is a disaster.

    Ed from SFV (6d42fa)

  13. If it makes you happy, some Atlanta polls are still open. 2 1/2 hours after official closing time.

    I am THRILLED that Donnelly bit the dust and that FL was saved. Massive absentee voting from places wiped out by hurricane Michael.

    Losing the House was a foregone conclusion.

    For me, it’s all about Hawley. James would be a miracle. Cruz looks OK, but if he goes down, it is a disaster.

    Ed from SFV (6d42fa)

  14. It appears that more voters participated in this year’s election than in any previous off-year election. No matter who wins, I think this is worth celebrating.

    John B Boddie (41beaf)

  15. It took me less than 10 minutes to vote this morning. Less fuss than getting some cash at an ATM>

    When I first moved into our town about 17 years ago, I just registered about a month before the election. One page form, mailed in. Since then, every time I vote, I am automatically renewed for 4 years.

    Whoever thinks this process is hard is whiner or a baby.

    Bored Lawyer (8ea02a)

  16. This imminent House loss was undoubtedly brought to you by Paul Ryan the NeverTrumper, who, unlike Mitch McConnell, was shamefully and repeatedly absent (along with most Republicans in the House) from any national media coverage except to occasionally be the voice that chimed in as the ‘principled disagreement’ to Trump on important nationally popular issues like national borders and their protection.

    Lesson: Hanging back, taking the ‘Benedict Option’, and hoping for the best in the days of wrath and action is a LOSER’S mindset.

    I’d say I hope he loses all of his post-House Republican lobbying gigs but my guess is they’re not really the ones paying his salary anymore.

    Ajami (e925a0)

  17. Should voting be so easy that we let the government do it for ourselves?

    AZ Bob (885937)

  18. It was pretty easy to vote in WA State, which is 100% mail-in (I physically dropped our ballots off at a nearby city hall).
    A good Republican loss is Kobach losing the governor’s race in KS. The guy is a contentless Trumpalista hack. Good riddance.

    Paul Montagu (36c8f1)

  19. So who did you vote for, you think the people of Kansas want higher taxes.

    Narciso (d1f714)

  20. “A good Republican loss is Kobach losing the governor’s race in KS. The guy is a contentless Trumpalista hack. Good riddance.”

    Kansas just went through a budget crisis largely precipitated by Sam Brownback and the GOP state legislature, so just about anybody Republican would have lost.

    And Kobach not having to defend an indefensible seat means Kobach is all freed up for a cabinet position.

    Tonight was a much-needed cleansing of the NeverTrump guard, though I guess we’ll have Mitt Romney to play Paul Ryan if you really insist on it.

    Ajami (3add76)

  21. I went to vote and they gave me a paper ballot and a stick-like thing. It took me a while to realize it had a cap that could come off, and then the pointy end could be used to mark the ballot. It took me several spoiled ballots before I could color in the little oval without sticking myself with the dangerously sharp device.

    Why is voting so hard? If there was, like an app where I could use voice, it would be much better.

    Kevin M (a57144)

  22. Bill Kristol finally admitting his defeat by the FACTS of the alt-right talking points that didn’t care about his feelings, not even trying to dodge it by saying it came from Lee Kuan Yew or other Deniable Overseas Sources like Lee Kuan Yew or whoever:

    “Bill Kristol

    Verified account

    @BillKristol
    47m47 minutes ago
    More
    I’ve always disliked the phrase “demography is destiny,” as it seems to minimize the capacity for deliberation and self-government, for reflection and choice. But looking at tonight’s results in detail, one has to say that today, in America, demography sure seems to be destiny.”

    “Bill Kristol

    Verified account

    @BillKristol
    47m47 minutes ago
    More
    We’re running a census every two years as much as an election.”

    Ajami (e2fff1)

  23. And Kobach not having to defend an indefensible seat means Kobach is all freed up for a cabinet position.

    As if a cabinet position for a contentless hack like Kobach is somehow a good thing. But he bent the knee to Trump, so he might well be rewarded for his cheerleading.
    DeSantis just won FL, so that’s something.

    Paul Montagu (4575b4)

  24. DeSantis just won FL, so that’s something.

    Really? To quote Sally Kohn, “Thank you, Florida!”

    nk (dbc370)

  25. Jessica Valenti
    @JessicaValenti
    I really wanted Ted Cruz to lose, but those numbers for Beto were a win in themselves
    __ _

    Lisa Fellows
    @LisaFellows
    Yeah, only cost $70 million
    __ _

    Michelle
    @Michell89344681
    With that $70m we could have fed and housed the caravan migrants in their own country!

    harkin (e81e20)

  26. “As if a cabinet position for a contentless hack like Kobach is somehow a good thing.”

    Kobach’s content is STRONG: America First, muzzle the Treason lobby, put teeth into DHS and tell the immigration lawyers who want infinite jurisdiction to go pound sand.

    I want to tell you a quick short story about illegal immigration. I began working on this issue when I was an adviser to John Ashcroft at the time of 9/11. I was there during 9/11, and we all remember how the world changed, but let me tell you something that you may not know. All nineteen hijackers came into this country legally on temporary visas. Five of them became illegal mostly by overstaying their visas; four of those five were stopped by state and local law enforcement for speeding violations. They were illegally in the country at the time, but the cops didn’t know it and so they didn’t make an arrest even though they could have if they’d had that information at their fingertips. Now get this — three of those four illegal aliens that they could have arrested were pilots, so if they had made those arrests they could have stopped 9/11 from happening.

    Those numbers have shaped my career: the gravity of that has never left me, and I will not and I know President Trump will not allow our immigration system to be used again as a weapon to harm the American people. Stopping illegal aliens is not just about jobs; it’s not just about crime; it’s about our nation’s security, and that comes first.

    Guess this is what ‘contentless’ means to you.

    Ajami (4f675d)

  27. Also noting that Kansas had a full six percent go to Greg Orman and two percent for libertarian Jeff Caldwell, really hammering home the point that Libertarians and ‘Third Way’ candidates are there to help Republicans lose and giving them any money or attention is a fool’s errand.

    The sooner Republicans strongly and publicly divest themelves of their Libertarian and NeverTrump spoilers, the better everyone will do.

    Ajami (bd24ac)

  28. The last democratic governor of Kansas was creepy cruella deville.

    Narciso (d1f714)

  29. In rural San Luis Obispo county when you vote you get a cookie after, a fresh big homemade oatmeal chocolate chip, given to you by sweet old ladies.

    Angelo (416797)

  30. The sooner Republicans strongly and publicly divest themelves of their Libertarian and NeverTrump spoilers, the better everyone will do.

    Because the one thing that REALLY helps broad-based coalition parties is to jettison inconvenient voters.

    Kevin M (a57144)

  31. Kobach’s content is STRONG:

    When a judge orders Kobach to take a remedial course on trial procedure, it’s clear that Kobach’s “content” is basic incompetency. Good riddance. He’s nothing more than a Trump fluffer.

    Paul Montagu (4575b4)

  32. Judge Julie… Check local listings for time and channel.

    Matador (39e0cd)

  33. “Because the one thing that REALLY helps broad-based coalition parties is to jettison inconvenient voters.”

    The Republicans are a broad-based coalition of the Generic American Party.

    Libertarians and NeverTrumpers are the very definition of special interests inimical to the interests and experiences of generic Americans, I’m told they even hate the term ‘nationalist’ as something ‘exclusive’ or ‘exceptional’

    The electoral payoff for dropping the Ayn Rand cult and focusing on, say, leftover union voters and Sierra Club environmentalist types can’t be overstated. The John McCains and Paul Ryans of the world only led our party’s agenda to embarrassing defeat and ruin.

    Ajami (8bda1d)

  34. Also noting that Kansas had a full six percent go to Greg Orman and two percent for libertarian Jeff Caldwell, really hammering home the point that Libertarians and ‘Third Way’ candidates are there to help Republicans lose and giving them any money or attention is a fool’s errand.

    On the other hand, Martha McSally is at this moment clinging to a 19,000 vote lead on Kyrsten Sinema, but the Green Party candidate has received 33,000 votes. So the third parties can work against Democrats too.

    JVW (42615e)

  35. The final takeaway: Them Republicans what looked back longingly at the pre-2016 Sodom were turned into pillars of salt:

    https://twitter.com/NorahODonnell/status/1060044694753869824

    Steve King is now the only Republican rep left in Iowa. The lessons to take from it will be obvious to everyone.

    Ajami (a41d1a)

  36. That the whole state is soft and did not avenge a coed killed by an illegal alien? King squeaked by with far less than his usual 70%, so he almost got caught up in the undertow.

    urbanleftbehind (22b95a)

  37. democrats get 60% of vote ;but thanks to gerrymandering barely take house. despite getting60% of vote in senate races lose more seats as 18% of voters control 52 senate seats. democrats now talking about doing away with senate to stop minority control of voting majority.

    lany (d27088)

  38. Democrats win 60% of votes in the Senate and win at least 21 of the 34 Senate races held tonight. Do you truly not understand how any of this works? We used to have a higher quality of troll around here.

    JVW (42615e)

  39. Finally, an eye-opener for Walker; he’s out of a job.

    Ambassador to Antarctica is still open, Scott, but Heller may already have first dibs in for it w/Trump.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  40. walker got stale and nevertrump-snotty

    bye bye

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  41. nervertrump

    no class at all

    just snot and corruption

    amoral and unprincipled

    Corker declines to say whether he voted for Blackburn

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  42. It’s true – it is hard to vote if they’re using the electronic voting machines. I saw in my own state the percentage of dead people voting dropped precipitously after they introduced the machines. The numbers have come back up some since then, but the dead no longer vote in the numbers they once did. I have no proof, but I suspect it has something to do with the special dispensation the dead used to be given to vote after-hours and the software in the voting machines no longer grants them the privilege of voting after the polls have closed. So unfair to that particular demographic that waits until the preliminary votes are in before deciding how many of them need to vote and for which candidate.

    Jerryskids (702a61)

  43. T. Greg Doucette
    @greg_doucette

    US Senate for Texas

    2012, Paul Sadler
    Raised: $705,027
    Votes: 3,194,927
    $/Vote: $0.22 each

    2018, Beto O’Rourke
    Raised: $69,240,350+
    Votes (11:33pm ET): 3,413,259+
    $/Vote: $20.29 each

    Allllllll that money for just 200K+ more votes?

    harkin (e81e20)

  44. a lot of trash got taken out

    more on the red side

    more on the red side

    bye bye

    lovely parting gifts and et cetera

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  45. I think it was very nice of the entertainment industry to pour all those millions into Texas’s economy. The yard sign printers, especially, should be sure to go and see their next movies.

    nk (dbc370)

  46. I do think some kind of national uniformity on how to vote is becoming a necessity. I really don’t favor the mail it in approach, and I would like to see it banned — there are so many opportunities for people to have their voting done by somebody else that it’s frightening. (You don’t need to vote the graveyard if you have managed to gather up the proxies of the indifferent.)

    Also, the time is coming for national ID standards, and maybe a national ID. I dislike that. But I prefer that to the Brian Kemps of the world playing games with the voting rolls. It also ends the great Republican fear of non-citizens voting.

    Appalled (96665e)

  47. yeah that was just weird

    all that money and wtf is bart simpson’s signature issue does anyone know?

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  48. Scott Walker- our era’s Mario Cuomo and a victim of Taiwanese and Red China tag team collusion (that, or a brilliant DJT long-time ratfusch).

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/foxconn-considers-bringing-chinese-personnel-to-wisconsin-as-u-s-labor-market-tightens-1541505600

    urbanleftbehind (22b95a)

  49. 48 – you mean they aren’t hiring Interpretive Dance, Women’s Studies and Poli-Sci majors?

    harkin (e81e20)

  50. I say let them hire those majors, Harkin, but don’t install the famed Apple factory suicide netting.

    urbanleftbehind (22b95a)

  51. September, 1984: I register to vote for the first time. I’m in Philadelphia.

    Election day: Stand in line, get into a debate with a socialist in the very long line, get to the front of the line: “We have no record of you.” They refer me to a Republican field worker, who DRIVES ME TO COURT where I swear in front of a judge, he orders that I be permitted to vote, and I vote.

    For Ronald Reagan.

    COME BACK RON. WE NEED YOU.

    (Yesterday, I voted for me. But it was not enough.)

    JRM (c80289)

  52. Another good Republican loss was Rohrbacher (R-Moscow).

    Paul Montagu (a2904d)

  53. I’d split on that one. Kemp is just villain, a d I’d like to see a highly standardized runoff as Appalled descrjbed. Also make a note to add to your bill that obtaining your parties nomination as a sitting Secretary of State impels you to resign, but with the right to appoint your own successor.

    DeSantis actually acquited himself well down the stretch. The Rican pop helped Scott, whereas I think skeptical Jewish voters who were sore about Gillums victory in the primary against SoFla candidates and put off by his associations with Islamic figures might have done it for DeSantis, after all they flipped 2 SoFla dustricts.

    urbanleftbehind (22b95a)

  54. narc:

    Sorry, Kemp is asking for it. (Can’t speak for Florida.) But, like Texas, the predicted blue wave is always about to hit Georgia and never quite does. The polling has overstated the Democratic vote for the last three elections.

    I can hope Kemp does like Perdue in 1994 — rides in on his wedge issues (it was the state flag in ’94, which was a remnant of the resistance to Brown v. BoE), and then governs pretty centrist. I would not bet on that approach, though. It’s just too RINO.

    Appalled (96665e)

  55. Can anybody splain to me how it makes political sense, for either Trump or Walker, to import Chinese workers to Wisconsin?

    (I can see how it makes money sense for the Kushner family and six-figure corporate board appointments for Walker.)

    nk (dbc370)

  56. No they pull this garbage and then they carrier Franken on the votes of excons and when they didn’t need him anymore they threw him to the wolves, Pritzker going to be a peach.

    Narciso (d53c51)

  57. Like when they zeroed in on katherine Harris in 2000, because of the butterfly ballot.

    Narciso (d53c51)

  58. Just looking at Pritzker makes me think IL will end up having what FL and GA missed on.

    urbanleftbehind (22b95a)

  59. JB … he went on a diet and cattle futures dropped by 10%.

    nk (dbc370)

  60. Democrats win 60% of votes in the Senate and win at least 21 of the 34 Senate races held tonight.

    Let’s not forget that California had no Republican on the ballot for Senator, and 6 million votes were cast for the two Democrats in that state. If you take CA out of the totals, you’ll probably find that the Dems and Reps came very close to splitting the vote in the other races.

    Chuck Bartowski (bc1c71)

  61. #60 How is the budget situation in Illinois? Seems like that was a huge crisis, then it fell off the radar.

    Appalled (96665e)

  62. JB …he wore a Malcolm X t-shirt and a helicopter tried to land on him.

    nk (dbc370)

  63. It doesn’t make sense to import Chinese workers to Wisconsin.
    The deal was that Foxconn would hire Americans.
    Now Foxconn is trying to alter the deal.
    All we have to do is say ‘no’ and not give them the H1-B visas such engineers would require.

    Ingot9455 (f12c00)

  64. It’s still horrible, Appalled, but we could fix it with the money in either Rauner’s or Pritzker’s Cayman accounts. No joke, they both have really big assets in Cayman accounts.

    nk (dbc370)

  65. JB … when he go to McDonald’s, there’s a French fry shortage in seven Illinois counties.

    nk (dbc370)

  66. There was a lane closed for road work on the 3-minute drive to my polling place. Which was in somebody’s garage. And a telemarketer called my cell phone while I was getting into line.

    #votingishard

    Dave (9664fc)

  67. At the polling place wheer I worked, they couldn’t get the sanners set up because they probably didn’t know about it. There was a short line outside the room at abput 6:25 am.

    There were probems with getting the balllots in but not because any of them were wet. (some maybe somewhere could have been wet, not because of wet fingers, but because of water dripping fdrom coats or umbrellas, but that’s nto why the scanners had problems)

    First the ballots had to be separated into two sheets – something entirely new for the first time – it is as if nobody knew about this because the Charter Revision Commission had these wraparound ads about flipping (over) the ballots) But the way things were there were four sides.

    Second. the balllots were thinner and harder for the scanners to grab on to. Sometimes the ballots had to be put in the other way. When separated they didn’t always cut evenly across the perforations – producing alittle bit of a ragged edge.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  68. The Chinese workers will spend at least some of their money in Wisconsin? It’ll bust the union? What is this all about?

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

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