Patterico's Pontifications

10/19/2020

Why Not Have a Fully Chaotic Election, Riven with Controversy?

Filed under: General — JVW @ 6:11 pm



[guest post by JVW]

Because, I guess, so many of us longed for a reply of the Florida recount of 2000. NPR reports:

The U.S. Supreme Court said Monday that election officials in Pennsylvania can count absentee ballots received as late as the Friday after Election Day so long as they are postmarked by Nov. 3.

The Court declined without comment to take up one of the highest-profile election law cases in the final stretch before Election. Pennsylvania Republicans had sought to block the counting of late-arriving ballots, which the state’s Supreme Court had approved last month.

Republicans sought the emergency stay, arguing that it is up to the state’s legislature — not the court — to set rules for how elections are conducted. They also said the court’s ruling could allow ballots cast after Election Day to be counted.

Chief Justice Roberts joined with the three remaining Court liberals to deadlock the Court at 4-4, allowing the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision last month to stand, which overturned the GOP majority in Harrisburg’s law requiring mail-in ballots to be received by 8:00 pm on Election Evening and instead imposted what the majority felt was an arbitrary deadline of 5:00 pm on the Friday following the election. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court also declared that ballots need not include a valid postmark, and can only be disqualified if it can be determined that they were indeed mailed after Election Day. The Democrat majority on the court justified this questionable power grab on the basis that the legislative deadline, while reasonable under normal circumstances, “will unquestionably fail under the strain of COVID-19 and the 2020 presidential election, resulting in the disenfranchisement of voters.” One has to marvel at the court’s confident use of the word “unquestionably” in that clause above.

So, with Pennsylvania being a state that could decide the final outcome of the entire election, we are nicely set-up for a scenario under which Tuesday night ends with Donald Trump holding a lead in the Keystone State, only to lose it as ballots are further counted, perhaps ultimately losing by a margin commensurate with the number of late-arriving ballots bearing no postmark. Wouldn’t that be a magnificent way to wind-up this stupid, stupid year?

– JVW

76 Responses to “Why Not Have a Fully Chaotic Election, Riven with Controversy?”

  1. The PA Supreme Court had earlier ruled that ballot collection drop-off boxes, like the ones we have here in California, are fine and dandy, though they also affirmed that ballot harvesting runs afoul of existing law and I guess even the court Democrats couldn’t work up the nerve to demand a temporary COVID change there. But I fail to see what is to stop a ballot harvester from collecting ballots and then simply dropping them off at a collection box before Election Day. I kind of doubt that there is going to be someone there on duty checking to make sure that each person only puts in one ballot.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  2. Re-electing Trump would likely give him another seat or two to fill on the SCOTUS; cool-headed conservatives w/some vision could have themselves a conservative court for the 40 or 50 years. Buckley would likely tell you that; if only they’d fall in line and support their party and its candidate.

    But no– the selfish interests of the slighted few, fevered over Trump, are as bad as the unmasked amidst Covid.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  3. Tough cookies! Maybe Trump and his Postmaster General should have inspired confidence in the Post Office’s ability to deliver the ballots by Election Day instead of undermining it?

    nk (1d9030)

  4. JVW- you’d have to do some digging, but the PoliSci guy in me seems to recall they were concerned over the closeness over the Carter/Reagan race back in ’80 as well– until literally the last few days when the internals told them the wagon was tipping toward Ronnie? This may not end up being as close as we expect it to be.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  5. The PA Supreme Court did make ballot harvesting illegal.

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  6. I grant your point, nk, but the idea of anybody or anything inspiring confidence in the United State Postal Service strikes me as so unlikely that it barely merits mention. As P.J. O’Rourke used to say, “they can’t even deliver your mail correctly and it has your address on it and everything.”

    JVW (ee64e4)

  7. The PA Supreme Court did make ballot harvesting illegal.

    No, not quite. If you follow the link inside of the NPR story it becomes clear that they merely reaffirmed that it was already illegal under state law, and declined the Democrats’ request to rewrite the law to the party’s preference. Here is what the court said about that:

    Petitioners’ request that voters be permitted to obtain third-party assistance in the
    return of mail-in ballots is DENIED. It has long been the law of this Commonwealth, per
    25 P.S. §3146.6(a), that third-person delivery of absentee ballots is not permitted. See
    In re Canvass of Absentee Ballots of Nov. 4, 2003 Gen. Election, 843 A.2d 1223, 1231
    (Pa. 2004) (“Section 3146.6(a) unequivocally provides that ‘the elector shall send [the
    absentee ballot] by mail, postage [prepaid], except where franked, or deliver it in person
    to the board of election.’

    JVW (ee64e4)

  8. Although I suppose it is a small victory for separation of powers that the PA court didn’t overturn that law as well in the name of COVID relief.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  9. Isn’t PA one of the states that that Trump supporting ballot printing company didn’t manage to print absentee ballots for? I wonder if that might have influenced things too.

    Nic (896fdf)

  10. The important thing is to have a peaceful transfer of power after they’ve stolen the election in a mostly peaceful way.

    beer ‘n pretzels (042d67)

  11. Patterico used to say that government breaks your leg and gives you a crutch. Trump’s government breaks its own leg and sues you for not carrying it to where it wants to go.

    nk (1d9030)

  12. Seriously, what degree of incestuous effeminacy does it take for the President in charge of making damn sure elections are not rigged to go around saying an election is rigged?

    nk (1d9030)

  13. Seriously, what degree of incestuous effeminacy does it take for the President in charge of making damn sure elections are not rigged to go around saying an election is rigged?

    Yep, exactly. It’s kind of like Barack Obama assuring us four years ago right at this time that foreign agents would not be able to influence our election, only to see his party craft a narrative where Russia delivered the electoral college to Donald Trump.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  14. @10. Don’t think that’s going to be an issue; it makes for great cable news drama theatre- like all the world’s computers were going to crash at the turn of the century. Cable news, social media platforms, etc., are so in need of a regulated framework a la the Fairness Doctrine and Equal Time. Too many utlets have become about as informative as a bathroom stall loaded w/graffiti. It speaks volumes that the BBC – TV and shortwave radio- is a calmer, more civil and objective information source that the unregulated cacophony in America.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  15. Murder hornets are still stuck in traffic, this is florida supreme court stupid.

    Bolivar di griz (7404b5)

  16. I vote in Washington and they count ballots arriving several days later. And it’s never been a problem except for people who seem to believe there is some kind of natural law / constitutional right to have elections decided election night.

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is where one would normally look for a definitive interpretation of Penn state law, at least if you’re a federalist.

    Why shouldn’t the presumption be that somebody voted on time, as opposed to a presumption against it? If you can show the ballots were voted late, fine, disallow them. But this eagerness to invalidate votes that people attempt to cast properly, just because a third party, the post office, doesn’t postmark is ridiculous.

    Victor (00af29)

  17. I would add that it is increasingly clear why Trump/McConnell really want Amy in sooner than later. They are hoping to have a Court happy to replay Bush v. Gore for the delight of those into political nostalgia.

    God help the U.S. if a 5-4 majority of a Court keeps Trump in office in face of a decisive loss of the popular vote and an EC victory secured only by disallowing votes in some state.

    Victor (00af29)

  18. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is where one would normally look for a definitive interpretation of Penn state law, at least if you’re a federalist.

    If you read my post, you will see that my problem with this is that the Pennsylvania Legislature — who after all is tasked with writing “Penn state law” — did in fact write an election law. And the Democrat majority on the Penn supreme court took it upon themselves to rewrite the law according to their own political whims. So you can forget your nonsense about my “eagerness to invalidate votes that people attempt to cast properly” and maybe join in a discussion of the doctrine under which the Pennsylvania court takes it upon themselves to act as a supra-legislature. It seems that the best the court can do is claim that the Democrat Secretary of State asked us to “asking this Court to exercise extraordinary jurisdiction over Petitioner’s petition for review.” In other words, a Democrat politician didn’t like a bill that the Republican legislature had written one year ago and the Democrat governor signed into law, so she invited the court to rewrite it and the court was happy to comply.

    The dissent isn’t filed on the PA website along with the opinion, and I frankly don’t care enough to track it down, but apparently the dissenters disagree with PART II of the majority opinion, which is the part where the court explains why it is totally cool for it to intervene here.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  19. I don’t know why the link to the PA court decision in my comment above won’t render correctly, but here it is if you want to follow it:

    http://www.pacourts.us/assets/opinions/Supreme/out/j-96-2020mo%20-%20104548450113066639.pdf#search=“%27Supreme%2bCourt%27″

    JVW (ee64e4)

  20. Oh, it’s a crappy link to a search URL, that’s why. This one might work:

    http://www.pacourts.us/assets/opinions/Supreme/out/j-96-2020mo%20-%20104548450113066639.pdf#

    JVW (ee64e4)

  21. Well perhaps Pennsylvania works differently than the states I am familiar with but my experience is that state supreme courts interpret state law all the time. And often the state legislature gets peeved at the result and changes the law in reaction. This is considered the normal consequence of judicial review at the state level.

    Since when did it become a part of conservative orthodoxy that state supreme courts are forbidden from issuing definitive interpretations of state statute? Oh right, Scalia in Bush v. Gore, which he couldn’t even get a majority to agree with.

    And Bush v. Gore identified itself as a precedent that had no precedential value.

    Victor (00af29)

  22. Ah yes, Bush vs. Gore. The major issue with that case, you may have forgotten, was that there really was no controlling state law in Florida stating how a recount would be handled. So each county was in essence doing its own thing, which meant that your ballot being figured into the state’s total depended heavily upon in which county you resided. The Bush vs. Gore case was an effort to try to bring all of that under control and provide some guidance so that all votes counted equally.

    In Pennsylvania, on the other hand, the legislature had written and passed and the governor had signed a law into action to ensure that the state handled these special election circumstances in a consistent manner. Without so much as an election precedent by which to judge the law, the court decided that it was not adequate to the task. Sorry there, Victor, but that’s the worst sort of judicial activism.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  23. Sure but it’s judicial activism at the state level, which if I understand the crystalline pure ideology of federalism correctly is the state’s own damn business.

    A

    Victor (00af29)

  24. John Roberts is like the closer who comes into a game and blows a five run lead.

    beer ‘n pretzels (042d67)

  25. If you read my post, you will see that my problem with this is that the Pennsylvania Legislature — who after all is tasked with writing “Penn state law” — did in fact write an election law.

    From reading the actual PA court opinion, I think the situation is not quite as simple as you suggest.

    For one, the Trump campaign and Republican party also went to court in a bid to overturn the law passed by the legislature to allow “no excuse” mail voting. The law in question (“Act 77″) was passed a year ago, before the pandemic, and not in response to it.

    Second, as the opinion emphasizes, PA law has a provision (“The Declaratory Judgments Act”) which say the PA Supreme Court

    may, on its own motion or upon petition of any party, in any matter pending before any court or magisterial district judge of the Commonwealth involving an issue of immediate public importance, assume plenary jurisdiction of such matter at any stage thereof and enter a final order or otherwise cause right and justice to be done.

    They argue that due to the large number of court challenges in different jurisdictions within the state, there is insufficient time before the election for the normal litigation process to proceed. Moreover, this intervention was requested by Republican Party of PA, the (Republican) Senate President Pro Tem, the (Republican) State Senate majority leader, and Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.:

    Faced with a national election scheduled to occur on November 3, 2020 and substantial legal issues that required the highest court of Pennsylvania’s analysis and response to ensure a free and fair election, on September 1, 2020, this Court granted the Secretary’s Application and set forth a schedule for supplemental briefing and filings.10

    Later, on September 3, 2020, this Court filed an order granting the motions to intervene filed by the Republican Party of Pennsylvania (hereinafter, “Respondent”) and Joseph B. Scarnati III, Pennsylvania Senate President Pro Tempore, and Jake Corman, Senate Majority Leader, representing the Republican Senate Caucus (hereinafter, “Caucus”). Applications to intervene filed by Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., and the RNC; Common Cause of Pennsylvania, the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania, B-PEP, Make the Road PA, Patricia M. DeMarco, Danielle Graham Robinson, and Kathleen Wise were denied without prejudice to the parties’ ability to file briefs as amicus curiae pursuant to Pa.R.A.P. 531.

    The court’s decision on the deadline of receipt is that “as applied” the law would violate the state constitution:

    In support of its as-applied challenge in regard to the upcoming General Election, Petitioner recounts this Commonwealth’s recent experience during the June Primary. It emphasizes that, during the Primary, the Boards were inundated with over 1.8 million requests for mail-in ballots, rather than the expected 80,000 – 100,000, due in large part to the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused many voters to be wary of congregating in polling places. Petitioner’s Brief at 2, 51. Petitioner asserts that “[t]his crush of applications created massive disparities in the distribution and return of mail-in ballots.” Petition at 24, ¶ 70.

    It explains that, while some Boards were able to process the requests within the statutory requirements established by Act 77,16 other boards, especially those in areas hard-hit by the pandemic, were unable to provide electors with ballots in time for the electors to return their ballot in accord with the statutory deadline. Petition at 23, ¶ 66. Indeed, it avers that in Delaware County, thousands of ballots were “not mailed out until the night” of the Primary, making timely return impossible. Petition at 26, ¶ 77. Bucks County apparently experienced similar delays.

    In that case, state courts extended the deadlines in six counties, as long as ballots were postmarked by the date of the Primary. The court notes that based on the experience from the primary election, the possibility of disenfranchisement is not speculative.

    There is extended discussion of evidence presented that the election boards and postal service would struggle even more to handle the November 3 deadline of the general election, when twice as many ballots are expected. The law designates 5pm on Tuesday, October 27 as the deadline for honoring mail-in ballot requests. A statement by the USPS that ballots mailed back to voters on Wednesday, October 28 would likely not be returned by mail in time to meet the statutory deadline was offered in evidence as well:

    Even if a county board were to process and mail a ballot the next day by First Class Mail on Wednesday, October 28th, according to the delivery standards of the USPS, the voter might not receive the ballot until five days later on Monday, November 2nd, resulting in the impossibility of returning the ballot by mail before Election Day, Tuesday November 3rd. The USPS General Counsel’s Letter, instead, advised that voters should mail their ballots no later than October 27, 2020 in order to meet the received-by deadline. USPS General Counsel’s Letter at 2. “This mismatch [between the USPS’s delivery standards and the Election Code deadlines] creates a risk that ballots requested near the deadline under state law will not be returned by mail in time to be counted under [Pennsylvania’s Election Code].”

    Finally, they note there is ample precedent for granting judicial relief when natural disasters interfere with elections, under the state constitution’s requirement of “free and equal” elections.

    Here is one of the conclusory paragraphs regarding the deadline for receipt, which I think is rather better supported than your partial quotation suggests:

    In light of these unprecedented numbers and the near-certain delays that will occur in Boards processing the mail-in applications, we conclude that the timeline built into the Election Code cannot be met by the USPS’s current delivery standards, regardless of whether those delivery standards are due to recent changes in the USPS’s logistical procedures or whether the standards are consistent with what the General Assembly expected when it enacted Act 77. In this regard, we place stock in the USPS’s General Counsel’s expression that his client could be unable to meet Pennsylvania’s statutory election calendar. General Counsel’s Letter at 2. The Legislature enacted an extremely condensed timeline, providing only seven days between the last date to request a mail-in ballot and the last day to return a completed ballot. While it may be feasible under normal conditions, it will unquestionably fail under the strain of COVID-19 and the 2020 Presidential Election, resulting in the disenfranchisement of voters.

    Dave (1bb933)

  26. Victor (00af29) — 10/19/2020 @ 9:19 pm

    Even before amendments things like The Guarantee Clause and The Supremacy Clause mean there are some limits on a state’s own business.

    frosty (f27e97)

  27. Note this well: Roberts serves the Court not the Law. This may be good if they come to expand it to 103 justices, but we will see this kind of thing time and again. Just as in the Obakmacare case, Roberts will not take an action that will get the press angry at the Court. He will side with the conservatives when they are going to lose anyway (e.g. Obergefell), but it will not be his vote that makes the conservative bloc look like a bloc.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  28. So, Roberts is willing to be part of a conservative 6-3 vote, or the liberal side of a 5-4 (or 4-4) vote. But he will refuse to be that 5th vote for the Constitution, for fear of harming the Court.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  29. Second, as the opinion emphasizes, PA law has a provision (“The Declaratory Judgments Act”) which say the PA Supreme Court

    may, on its own motion or upon petition of any party, in any matter pending before any court or magisterial district judge of the Commonwealth involving an issue of immediate public importance, assume plenary jurisdiction of such matter at any stage thereof and enter a final order or otherwise cause right and justice to be done.

    Boy, that seems pretty broad. Might even touch upon the Guarantee Clause, which is hard to do. What are the limits to seeing “justice to be done”?

    For example, could the court, seeing that PA narrowly voted for Trump, and its electoral votes would put Trump over the top despite losing the popular vote handily, just say that Biden gets PA’s electors?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  30. Note that this is how Florida’s Supreme Court got between the dog and the hydrant in 2000.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  31. And, btw, this is why the national electoral vote is such a crock. CA sends out ballots to everyone and,even barring fraud, will get a much higher “turnout” than in states where people have to go to the polling place. A form of Gresham’s Law: Ill-considered votes drive out considered ones.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  32. The PA Supreme Court decision was a 4-3 majority opinion on five specific questions:

    1) County election boards may setup official ballot drop boxes (permitted)
    2) 3-day extension on receipt of ballots mailed by election day (permitted)
    3) Allow voters to cure minor disqualifying technical defects like not signing declaration or using wrong color ink (denied)
    4) Allow counting of “naked” ballots not returned in security envelopes as required by statute (denied)
    5) Confirm statutory requirement that poll-watchers are qualified registered electors in county they will serve is constitutional (granted)

    All seven justices agreed with the decisions on items 3, 4 and 5, and five agreed with the decision on item 1.

    The dissent with regard to the three-day mail-in deadline, authored by a Democratic justice, and joined by the two Republicans, begins:

    With respect to [the deadline for receipt], I agree that Petitioners are entitled to relief, but I distance myself from the Majority’s analysis to reach this conclusion as well as the specific relief granted.

    And its conclusion opens with:

    In summary, I agree with the Majority that the received-by date for ballot applications in light of the deadline for submission of ballots to the county boards of election is unworkable under current circumstances.

    This kind of shoots down the narrative of a partisan court spinning chaotically out of control. All seven justices agreed there was a problem requiring judicial relief in regard to the deadline for receipt of mail ballots. They split on whether to allow mailed ballots to arrive up to three days late, as long as not postmarked after election day, or to require voters to request those ballots five days before the deadline set by the legislature.

    The dissenters argue that the deadline for requesting a ballot should have been moved five days earlier, rather than the deadline for receipt being moved three days later. They hold that this better preserves the intent of the legislation, although one could retort that making the deadline to request a ballot earlier would have made the information in voter outreach and information documents already circulating invalid and misleading.

    Dave (1bb933)

  33. This is not 2000 even joe biden isn’t al gore. The democrat party will not stand for another bend over and say thank you very much sir may I have another. The deep state, intelligence community and even the military has hitched their wagon to the biden train. Voter suppression is out in the open this time with phony mail in ballot boxes being set up and now setting fire to real post offs mail boxes to destroy votes.

    asset (7ccfe6)

  34. And, btw, this is why the national electoral vote is such a crock. CA sends out ballots to everyone and,even barring fraud, will get a much higher “turnout” than in states where people have to go to the polling place.

    Since what you describe are the consequences of the duly-enacted will of the state legislatures involved, wherein the constitution reposes sole authority for the manner of selecting presidential electors, it seems your objection is not based on any procedural defect, but simply that you are unhappy with the anticipated results.

    I do agree that a popular vote for president would ideally be protected by enforcing uniform voter registration, ID and ballot handling standards nationwide.

    Dave (1bb933)

  35. What I remember about Bush v Gore is geeky Republicans storming the polling places where the votes were being counted, banging on doors and windows, demanding to be let in. That delighted my mother. She said, “Finally, the Republicans have grown some balls.”

    The problem, as I recall, was with the paper ballots. Apparently, in Florida they have to be punched out with a pen or stylus, not checked off. Some were not sufficiently punched through, hence the term “hanging chad.” County boards were having difficulty determining the voter’s intention on these ballots, and that’s what delayed the vote tally. Then madness ensued.

    Gore conceded, then withdrew his concession and sued. That was foolish (and desperate), because in not one vote count did he ever win the majority, not one. But it was his prerogative to challenge the tally in court.

    In this case, what the Supreme Court actually ruled was that the state of Florida had a Constitutional deadline to report its vote tally, which is six days before the electoral college meets, so that electors know who to cast their vote for. The justices didn’t vote for Bush or Gore; rather, they decided that Florida had to record its vote tally by a specific date. The final tally had Bush ahead by a little over 500 votes, and the rest is history.

    Trump v Biden is going to be a lot worse than that. Trump is already questioning the integrity of the election, calling on his cultist legion to monitor the polling places (as if they had any authority whatsoever to do that), threatening to call out the police and the national guard (as if he had any authority whatsoever to do that).

    It won’t be election day that is chaotic, JVW; it will be the aftermath. Trump is not going to go gently into that good night. He is highly litigious. If he loses, which I think he will, he’s going to sue. He’s going to call out his legion to disrupt counting of mail-in ballots in every state, and his deranged supporters will respond. There might even be violence on the streets.

    Biden will concede if the final tally shows he lost the electoral college. Trump won’t. He is going to fight tooth and nail to cling to power.

    Trump v Biden is going to be much more contentious than Bush v Gore. Biden is not going to concede until all the votes are counted. Trump will not concede even after all the votes are counted. So if you want chaos, you got it.

    It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad World. That a hilarious movie, by the way. Only this time around, I don’t think it will be so funny.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  36. But I fail to see what is to stop a ballot harvester from collecting ballots and then simply dropping them off at a collection box before Election Day.

    Same thing that stops them from dropping them off at a variety to post office boxes around the area. It’s not as if the logistic of getting ballots mailed is what was stopping harvesting.

    Also, once you allow drop boxes you have to drop the post mark as a requirement since none of the ballots returned that way will have a post mark. So some other mechanism to determine that the ballots were returned on time.

    Time123 (b87ded)

  37. Dave,
    Thank you for the additional context you’ve added to this post.

    Time123 (b87ded)

  38. Democrats had a tantrum that was the problem in 2000.

    Bolivar di griz (7404b5)

  39. Republicans sought the emergency stay, arguing that it is up to the state’s legislature — not the court — to set rules for how elections are conducted.

    In particular, anything related to choosing presidential electors, not constrained by the 15th, 19th, 24th, 26th, and maybe 14th amendments, or by Article II, Section 1, clause 2, and 3.

    The Democrat majority on the court justified this questionable power grab on the basis that the legislative deadline, while reasonable under normal circumstances, “will unquestionably fail under the strain of COVID-19 and the 2020 presidential election, resulting in the disenfranchisement of voters.”

    The Republican position is: That’s OK. The state legislature sets the rules, and if the rules need changing due to exigent circumstances, only the legislature is in a position to change them. And they are still setting an arbitrary deadline.

    JVW (ee64e4) — 10/19/2020 @ 6:15 pm

    I kind of doubt that there is going to be someone there on duty checking to make sure that each person only puts in one ballot.

    They may very well have cameras.

    But what are they going to do about it, if it happens? They are still going to have to count all the votes put in there, although signatures may be checked more carefully. Democrats, presumably will attempt to prevent prosecution by not having a through investigation. But there may not be an intention to do something obvious like that.

    Democrats complain about Republicans, in some of the states that have drop boxes, limiting them to one per county.

    Sammy Finkelman (fb61e5)

  40. But no– the selfish interests of the slighted few, fevered over Trump, are as bad as the unmasked amidst Covid.

    The unintentional self-own involved in comparing those who detest Trump to those who selfishly refuse to wear masks is art.

    (Not That) Bill O'Reilly (6bb12a)

  41. Gawain’s Ghost (b25cd1) — 10/20/2020 @ 3:12 am

    The problem, as I recall, was with the paper ballots. Apparently, in Florida they have to be punched out with a pen or stylus, not checked off.

    They got rid of those punch card ballots in the years after the 2000 election.

    It had been developed by IBM, but was found defective, and some salesmen left IBM and sold them to election officials across the country, more Democrats than Republicans. I think it was used in Chicago. Votes were always lost with this system, so the Chicago democratic machine was harming itself in statewde elections.

    Gore conceded, then withdrew his concession and sued. That was foolish (and desperate), because in not one vote count did he ever win the majority, not one. But it was his prerogative to challenge the tally in court.

    He had a strategy. At the start, he was trying to have the vote recounted (which would result in added votes) only in counties where he had a big majority.

    He also lost votes in Palm Beach County, which had a bad ballot design (by a Democrat) and in Jacksonville, where the local party had encouraged people to vote on every page but those votes couldn’t be recovered. And he would have gained by counting people who both write in his name and punched it out. James Baker (for Bush and working as a lawyer) famously said “we cannot guess” how someone intended to vote.

    In this case, what the Supreme Court actually ruled was that the state of Florida had a Constitutional deadline to report its vote tally, which is six days before the electoral college meets, so that electors know who to cast their vote for. The justices didn’t vote for Bush or Gore; rather, they decided that Florida had to record its vote tally by a specific date. The final tally had Bush ahead by a little over 500 votes, and the rest is history.

    The lawyers had delayed things by ping ponging things back and forth.

    The AP or others found later (the ballots were preserved and made available) that a recount carried out according to the rules laid out would still have given a victory to Bush.

    Gore lost the election between the time voters in Florida entered the polling booth and the time they left. (Bush also lost some military ballots but the ‘butterfly ballot’ and the Jacksonville fiasco probably outweighed that, plus the fact that a higher percentage of votes for Gore than Bush were cast in counties that had the punch card system so Gore lost more votes that way than Bush.

    Trump v Biden is going to be much more contentious than Bush v Gore. Biden is not going to concede until all the votes are counted. Trump will not concede even after all the votes are counted.

    Unless it is hopeless. He might conclude it is hopeless sooner than you think.

    One thing he might try to do is prolong the recount in California long enough so that California is missing from the Electoral College and then, even if Biden still has majority of the remaining 483 electoral votes, argue that majority of 538 is necessary, and throw the election into the House.

    But even if he prevents the House from deciding because too many states are divided equally, the Senate can easily decide and if the Republicans have 49 Senators or less, it’s Acting President Harris. (if they have 50 or more it’s Acting President Pence. We won’t have acting President Pelosi unless the House fails to decide how electors have voted.)

    I don’t think he’ll get much help from the Republican Party following along a path like that.

    Sammy Finkelman (fb61e5)

  42. 36. Time123 (b87ded) — 10/20/2020 @ 4:15 am

    Also, once you allow drop boxes you have to drop the post mark as a requirement since none of the ballots returned that way will have a post mark.

    The postmark on;y matters for ballots delivered by the Post Office. They are going to be segregated.

    Sammy Finkelman (fb61e5)

  43. Also, once you allow drop boxes you have to drop the post mark as a requirement since none of the ballots returned that way will have a post mark. So some other mechanism to determine that the ballots were returned on time.

    California law requires that drop boxes are locked immediately at the time the polls close:

    Upon the closing of the polls on Election Day, all drop boxes shall be locked and covered or otherwise made unavailable at 8:00 p.m. to ensure that no ballots are dropped off after the polls have closed. In the event there are voters in line at 8:00 p.m., or a court order has been issued extending the time for the closing of the polls, the drop boxes may remain open until those voters have cast their ballot or the court order extending time has lapsed.

    Dave (1bb933)


  44. Aaron Rupar
    @atrupar
    ·
    Deleted this because the quote reads too much like something Trump actually said to Exxon when he was talking about a hypothetical. I thought the “I’ll use a company” line nodded to that context, but it’s apparent folks are interpreting in a more literal way. That’s on me.
    __ _

    (((AG)))
    @AGHamilton29
    ·
    Can’t imagine Aaron Rupar posting a misleading caption to video that then goes viral, gets picked up by large left-wing accounts, and misinforms tens of thousands of people…

    Only happens once a week or so.
    __ _

    Stephen L. Miller
    @redsteeze
    ·
    Aaron Rupar will continue being able to tweet and the NY Post is still locked out. Only one of these things was proven to have tweeted false information.

    __

    harkin (7fb4c9)

  45. The orange baboon was bragging that he could do it and patting himself on the back for not doing it. Flush the mother-figure!

    nk (1d9030)

  46. San Francisco Chronicle
    @sfchronicle
    ·
    The Walgreens at Van Ness and Eddy in San Francisco is getting ready to close after months of seeing its shelves repeatedly cleaned out by brazen shoplifters.

    Even the jugs of clothing detergent on display were looped with locked anti-theft cables.
    __ _

    Beware what you flush for.
    _

    harkin (7fb4c9)

  47. Is filthy lie to call harkin Trump supporter, Comrades!

    Is only supporter of white supremacist Stephen Miller, who work for Trump at taxpayer expense!

    Dave (1bb933)

  48. I wouldn’t want Trump to be the San Francisco DA, either. He’d mess up the legal ways to do the job there too, and snivel that his subordinates and the police were not doing it in illegal ways to make him look good.

    nk (1d9030)

  49. No, it’s the bearded Stephen Miller that Harkin cites ad infinitum. That’s a little disingenuous, Dave.

    Well, regarding the SF shoplifting condition, I’m going to walk the same way my Cook Co relatives plan to walk, but they will damn sure be chewing gum at the same time (No More DA Foxx). Gonna go to a more reversely-edgy polling place than Lake Co Courthouse to e.v. to see if they’re being “monitored”.

    urbanleftbehind (973b55)

  50. Gotta keep your stephen millers straight.

    It’s a tough job copying all of twitter’s ‘pwn the libs’ conversations to share like it’s an important interruption to adults talking.

    I do agree with Dave that it is important to remember many of the people who appear to be Trump supporters, because they engage in support of Trump furiously and 22 hours per day, are not Trump supporters because they told us so. It will be even more important next year with Trump tweeting nuclear codes from Turkey and burning the flags of Virginia and Pennsylvania from his balcony.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  51. No, not disingenuous – a terrible mistake on my part for which I sincerely apologize.

    Dave (1bb933)

  52. As for Harkin’s defense

    Deleted this because the quote reads too much like something Trump actually said to Exxon when he was talking about a hypothetical.

    Maybe the way they posted it was bad, but if you watch Trump’s stump speech he’s clearly a corrupt SOB who wants to take bribes, and brags about how much he could get. Whembly said it was Trump warning us about how bad that would be, and that is simply not what Trump was saying.

    Every day Trump says something insane, and every day Trump fans insist, no no, it’s Trump who is the victim.

    I do not recall Obama saying anything like that, but I also don’t recall Obama getting impeached for asking for campaign favors in exchange for taxpayer money.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  53. When you take some twitter crap like that as tough it is a vaccine against criticizing what Trump really said, you’re no fan of fair dealing and the rule of law.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  54. Dave (1bb933) — 10/20/2020 @ 8:07 am

    Ah, I remember the days when personal insults weren’t the norm in comments. It was a simpler time. A bygone age.

    frosty (f27e97)

  55. Ah, I remember the days when personal insults weren’t the norm in comments. It was a simpler time. A bygone age.

    frosty (f27e97) — 10/20/2020 @ 8:27 am

    You have been focused on talking about people who disagree with you for 2-3 days, instead of what they are saying.

    Instead of attacking Dave, to put him on defense, to stop Trump from being criticized like it’s the goal of your life, just talk about why you disagree with Dave.

    Or don’t. I guess I don’t care. The election matters but whether Trump fans like Dave and me doesn’t.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  56. You’d be happier though. That matters.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  57. Trump openly bragged about bribing politicians in return for business favors, so it’s little surprise he expects others to do the same to him:

    The ‘Anti-Establishment’ Candidate Boasts about His History of Bribing Politicians

    I’m not sure what is worse: Donald Trump bragging about paying off politicians, or the cheering by Republican-debate audiences when Donald Trump brags about paying off politicians. See, when I worked for the Justice Department, we didn’t just indict the slimy pols — from both parties — on the receiving end. We also indicted the deep-pocketed cronies who greased their palms, expecting top-shelf service in return.

    Even if you’re not the queasy type, how nauseating to watch a crowd of people, many of whom would tell you they’re strong law-and-order conservatives, giddily applauding as a guy confesses that he’s the corrupter who makes the corruption work.

    “I was a businessman,” Trump smarmed at a debate earlier this year. He was being pressed about the piles of dough he has deposited in Democratic coffers through the years — for his pals the Clintons (including the Clinton Ca-ching Foundation), Schumer, Reid, Pelosi, Cuomo, Rahm, and the rest of the gang.

    “I give to everybody. When they call, I give.” Yup, although more to the progressives, to implement the very policies he now complains are destroying the country.

    And why? Trump’s allocution continued:

    “You know what? When I need something from them, two years later, three years later, I call them, and they are there for me. . . . And that’s a broken system.”

    Well, yeah, when you spend years breaking something, it tends to get broken.

    Irony alert: That January 2016 article was written by born-again Trump shill Andrew C. McCarthy, whose own principles turned out to be for sale if the price was right…

    Dave (1bb933)

  58. Ah, I remember the days when personal insults weren’t the norm in comments.

    It wasn’t intended as a personal insult, but an ironic observation of fact.

    That I did not realize there are two different Stephen Millers shilling for Trump made it factually incorrect, for which I again apologize.

    Dave (1bb933)

  59. aaron ‘tractor’ rupar, is a moron, who works at vox, but I repeat my self, which is like the whole gang in deliverance,

    bolivar de gris (7404b5)

  60. they are all morons

    Dustin (4237e0)

  61. Dustin (4237e0) — 10/20/2020 @ 8:36 am
    Dustin (4237e0) — 10/20/2020 @ 8:37 am

    Relax, Dustin, no one is telling you or Dave to knock off the personal insults.

    frosty (f27e97)

  62. Relax, Dustin, no one is telling you or Dave to knock off the personal insults.

    frosty (f27e97) — 10/20/2020 @ 8:50 am

    Me calling you out for attacking Dave might come across as unfair to you, but again, I don’t really care if you want to continue being mad. I just recommend trying to talk about Dave or my point, instead of about Dave or me. I’m not a stoic. I can’t describe what you’re doing without describing what you’re doing. As the election approaches, Trump’s more devoted fans, especially the ones who insist they aren’t his supporters at all, will be more and more passionate. In a way that’s good. Stand up for what you believe in!

    But more and more, what you believe in is that I’m a bad person, and that’s just not helping you. It also doesn’t impact me in any way.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  63. frosty, if someone did approvingly cite Trump’s white supremacist speech-writer several times a day, while claiming not to support Trump, do you think it would be out of bounds to point out the incongruity?

    Dave (1bb933)

  64. It wasn’t intended as a personal insult, but an ironic observation of fact.

    Because “someone hacked my account” doesn’t fly anymore.

    https://imgflip.com/i/11pm2s

    beer ‘n pretzels (042d67)

  65. BNP, it’s crappy that after Dave apologized you and frosty keep hammering at him.

    Why did Trump employ the Stephen Miller racist guy? It seems to be that fact that frosty and you are running interference for. Dave did his research. Maybe Harkin’s tweets were a different guy, but it brought up the scandal.

    do you really want to vote for a white supremacist?

    Dustin (4237e0)

  66. this is who harkin accidentally brought up, the guy wasn’t this Stephen Miller I guess, but it’s twitter, so no one cares.

    Taylor frequently promotes ideas that are widely considered racist and cloaks them in the language of science. For example, he talks about black people having higher levels of testosterone and therefore being predisposed to commit more violent crimes — an idea that simply has no scientific support. In another email to McHugh, Miller suggested that she write about The Camp of the Saints, a French novel from the 1970s that depicts the destruction of Western civilization by immigrants. It has become a key inspiration in white nationalist circles.

    To Miller’s critics, the leaked emails — and the muted reaction on the right — suggest that the political dynamic around race and immigration has shifted to include ideas that were once beyond the pale.

    https://www.npr.org/2019/11/26/783047584/leaked-emails-fuel-calls-for-stephen-miller-to-leave-white-house

    Yeah don’t vote for this administraiton.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  67. BNP, it’s crappy that after Dave apologized you and frosty keep hammering at him.

    It’s crappy that a commenter who has been around for many years like harkin can’t be given the benefit of the doubt.

    Is the fact that this isn’t yet a hermetically sealed echo chamber just so unbearable? Inferring so cavalierly that someone is a racist or a racist sympathizer is an attempt to cancel. It should be beneath you.

    beer ‘n pretzels (042d67)

  68. Irony alert: That January 2016 article was written by born-again Trump shill Andrew C. McCarthy, whose own principles turned out to be for sale if the price was right…

    There’s still time for him to flip to Team Biden, after all he did star in 2 Weekend At Bernies films following his turn in a few Brat Pack staples.

    urbanleftbehind (973b55)

  69. “That I did not realize there are two different Stephen Millers“
    __

    No offense taken. IIRC you also thought Sean Spicier was Sean Spicer.
    __

    Still waiting for those who said I ‘adored’ and ‘idolized’ Trump more than any other commenter here to copy and paste my most Trump-adoring comments.
    __

    btw – still not one statement from Biden or his campaign saying the info on the laptop is not authentic.

    Imagine the media response to this if it was DT Jr.

    Exactly the same right?
    _

    harkin (7fb4c9)

  70. Daily Caller
    @DailyCaller
    ·
    “That Stuff Ain’t Happening With Kamala-Biden Ticket“': Troy Aikman And Joe Buck Caught Mocking Military Jet Flyovers On A Hot Mic

    __

    Not understanding that military flyovers give pilots the same required flying hours as a normal flight doesn’t surprise me.

    But Troy admitting that Kamala will be President did.
    _

    harkin (7fb4c9)

  71. I believe in ad hominem as a valid form of argument. A speaker’s words are often only as worthy as he is. The great Cato the Younger (the enemy of Julius Caesar not the enemy of Carthage) would start his defense at a trial with the prosecutor’s family history. 😉

    nk (1d9030)

  72. Well that’s weird, was that a snide putdown or did the entertainment side of Fox corrupt a football legend, albeit one dogged by homosexuality rumors and also one known to shoot his shot with black women.

    urbanleftbehind (973b55)

  73. Stephen miller takes shots at everyone, like iowahawk.

    Bolivar di griz (7404b5)

  74. harken @70.

    btw – still not one statement from Biden or his campaign saying the info on the laptop is not authentic.

    There were some things said by his partisans, or others hinting at that, including from Adam Schiff, but not from Biden, and always in general.

    BTW, everybody gets facts wrong. especially at the start.

    Here’s the New York Times’ Michelle Goldberg, printed where the unsigned editorial would usually go

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/19/opinion/trump-campaign-rudy-giuliani.html

    “The Russians have been cultivating Rudy Giuliani as an asset for over a year,” Chris Murphy, a Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told me. “Any information proffered by Rudy Giuliani is likely compromised.”

    That, of course, did not stop The New York Post from publishing a series of breathless articles about Hunter Biden purportedly based on a hard drive that fell into Giuliani’s hands. Some of the stories — like one about Hunter’s anguished texts to his father from rehab — seem intended to wound Joe Biden by humiliating his child. Others were meant to resurrect the discredited accusation that Joe Biden pressed for the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor to help Burisma, an energy company that had Hunter Biden on its board.

    What was discredited – what never had any credit in the first place – is the accusation that he pressed for the firing to help Burisma

    That he pressed for the firing at all should also be discredited because Joe Biden is the only source and you cannot place that anywhere in the timeline.

    Sammy Finkelman (a69e24)

  75. “They can only cheat you if the vote is close.“

    — Hugh Hewitt

    Look up Bob Dornan. Even Wikipedia has it right.

    Dornan lost by 979 votes.

    A thirteen-month House of Representatives investigation ensued, during which Sanchez was seated provisionally, pending the inquiry.[31] A task force found 748 votes that had been cast illegally—624 from non-citizens in addition to 124 that had already been thrown out by California officials. This was not enough to overturn Sanchez’s margin of victory and she was allowed to keep her seat.[32] However, in consultation with the INS, the House committee identified 4,762 questionable registration affidavits.[33]

    Tanny O'Haley (8a06bc)


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