Patterico's Pontifications

11/8/2022

Constitutional Vanguard: Is Democracy on the Ballot Today?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:43 am



Technically, no — but people who are openly threatening to take democracy from you are. Which is pretty much the same thing.

In this shorter-than-usual newsletter, free for all to read, I examine the debate over whether democracy is on the ballot. The MAGA and anti-anti-Trump types love to shake their heads and chuckle at the hysteria of those who suggest that the future of democracy could depend in part on certain votes in this election. They are the adults in the room, or so they see themselves. In the post, I quote from an editorial from a German Jewish newspaper in 1933. They, too, were the adults in the room, calmly reassuring everyone that the Jews were going to be Just Fine. It makes for sobering reading.

BUT TRUMPS IS NOT THE HITLER!!!1!! True enough. Plus he is not on the ballot today anyway. So why worry?

The central thesis of the post is: it’s not hysteria to worry about politicians tearing down institutions when they have told you that’s what they’re going to do. That, to me, is what makes this election Different. There are folks on the ballot today who explicitly tell you they would not have certified the 2020 election. This election is the first time the issue of the validity of the 2020 election has come up. When people running for office say they would not have certified Biden’s win in 2020, that means they are saying they will not certify an election in 2024 if they disagree with the result. I cite historian Timothy Snyder a lot in the post, and he figures into this excerpt:

In a separate lecture of his, on the genocide in Ukraine, Snyder makes a very good point: when someone lies about a past atrocity, they are signaling that they would like to see it happen again. Why does Holocaust denialism bother us so much? Because those who deny the Holocaust are really saying they would like to see another one. As Snyder says, the victims of atrocities understand this only too well.

In the video I linked above, Snyder extrapolates that principle to election trutherism. When Kari Lake and her ilk say they would not have certified the election in 2020, they are saying that they will not certify an election for a Democrat in 2024. It looks like she will win today. Lake may not have the authority to reject the voters’ will on her own as governor—but as I understand it, the governor in Arizona has the power to call the legislature into special session. For example, after the election, she could ask the legislature to send a new slate of electors to Congress if she doesn’t like the slate the public chose (i.e. if voters chose a Democrat). I personally don’t think that would be a constitutional act, but it’s potentially enough to create a constitutional crisis. What happens then? Are you ready to find out?

Links in the newsletter.The quote from the German Jewish newspaper, which I got from Snyder’s book On Tyranny, caused Snyder to make this observation about the error of the “don’t worry be happy” crowd:

The mistake is to assume that rulers who came to power through institutions cannot change or destroy those very institutions, even when that is exactly what they have announced that they will do.

THE LAST TIME

I’ll close with an observation that did not make it into the newsletter. The Stoic popularizer Willam Irvine urges his audience to contemplate that every action they take could be the last time they perform that act. And you don’t always know it’s the last time even when it is. Mrs. P. and I have seen more than one favorite restaurant close due to the pandemic, and have thought about the last time we ate there. Did we realize it would be the last time? I doubt we ever did.

In On Tyranny, Snyder adopts this rubric to voting. He notes that democracies that go fascist or into dictatorship have a last time when citizens have a free and fair election. For Russia, it was in the early 1990s. Did they realize that vote would be the last election in which their vote would actually count? Probably not.

There is a not-outlandish scenario in which today is your last free and fair election. All that has to happen is for enough GOP members in 2024 to go along with a grab for power that a vocal minority, which is on the ballot today, has already signaled that they are willing to undertake. Again: it’s not hysteria when they tell you they’re going to do it, and as I argue in the piece, when they say they would have done it last time, that’s their way of saying they will do it next time.

Take responsibility. Vote as if it’s the last chance you’ll ever get to vote.

Read the post here. Subscribe here.

53 Responses to “Constitutional Vanguard: Is Democracy on the Ballot Today?”

  1. As I wrote to you, Patterico, I agree with you.

    I suspect that Yeats poem will be a response from many.

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    I am in your camp, sir.

    Thank you.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  2. Feverish one-sided insanity.

    Just two years ago, heading into the Donald Trump-Joe Biden election of 2020, the Democrats were sounding the alarm that if President Trump were to lose the vote, he might cling to power through violence. (It is worth remembering that — hyperventilation about January 6 and the Big Lie™ aside — Trump did leave office. It wasn’t pretty; very little is when Donald Trump is involved. But he left, and pursued the matter further in the courts, and with the public.)

    Yet even as Democrats moaned in 2020 that Trump and his Republicans might not concede if they lost the presidential election — they were loudly declaring their own intention not to concede if Biden and his Democrats lost!

    “Joe Biden should not concede under any circumstances,” said Hillary Clinton at the time.

    Under any circumstances!

    Clinton said this in August 2020, three months before the vote, and at the end of a summer of rioting in the wake of George Floyd’s death, rioting that had killed many innocent people and left cities in flames.”

    https://mattbivens.substack.com/p/why-i-wont-vote-tomorrow

    It’s amazing the willful blindness of so many conservatives.

    Obudman (a1c23a)

  3. Tearing down institutions? Which party wanted to pack the Supreme Court (in 1937) and again in 2022 (over the Dobbs decisin overturning Roe v. Wade). Yes that’s “what about” but both parties are guilty. And as for “election deniers’, I give you Al Gore, Hillary Clinton and Stacey Abrams.

    Comanche Voter (a15ae2)

  4. ” the governor in Arizona has the power to call the legislature into special session. For example, after the election, she could ask the legislature to send a new slate of electors to Congress if she doesn’t like the slate the public chose (i.e. if voters chose a Democrat). I personally don’t think that would be a constitutional act”

    as opposed to (from google)

    What does Article 2 Section 1 Clause 2 of the Constitution mean?
    Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress

    While there may be a response from the voters who would be upset by that….it does seem very constitutional.

    Does this end after this election?

    Joe (89b9cf)

  5. It’s been done before. In 1876. And in 2000. And both times in Florida. 1876 was settled by lifting Reconstruction. 2000 by SCOTUS giving the Presidency to Bush.

    nk (bb1548)

  6. The GOP has pretty much given up on the duty of elected officials to uphold the constitution. Trump and his supporters barely understand it, and only value it to the extent it helps them do what they want. The Dems are terrible, but at least they’re not openly advocating to refuse to honor the results of fair elections as a major part of their “policy” goals.

    Time123 (c94a62)

  7. As nk states; in 1876 the courts and legal processes similarly failed. A compromise was struck in Congress similar to the one that was being sought on Jan. 6th, 2021. But that didn’t happen.

    ingot9455 (8e82a1)

  8. I agree with Joe that it would be *constitutional*.

    It would also be an immediate crisis — the legislature of the state overriding the will of the people to install a government the people do not want. An utter and complete disaster and an abrogation of the claim that our government represents the governed.

    There’s a reason no state has done it since well before the end of the nineteenth century.

    —-

    As I said elsewhere, I’m reluctantly voting for a couple Republicans for statewide office because the Democrats running for those offices need to go and the offices are not offices that can impact this kind of policy decision.

    But overall — if you can’t forthrightly say that the election of 2020 was not stolen, then you are (best case) complicit or (more likely) active in *undermining the legitimacy of our entire political system*. The end result of everyone believing elections have been stolen isn’t that we reform the system to make them harder to steal — it’s that we change the rules to make elections no longer matter, because they can’t be trusted anyway, so we should just line up behind a good man who understands what the people want and let him run the country without the trouble of farcical elections that don’t capture the will of the people the way he does.

    This is by far the worst threat to the Republic since the civil war, and quite possibly *since the inception of the Republic* — the Republican party has lined up behind a rhetorical program which will undermine the public’s faith in electoral democracy and create the conditions to legitimize the installation of a strongman.

    I do not know if they *want* that outcome, or they’ve decided that it’s an acceptable risk, or they’re just blind to it.

    But honestly, I think it’s too late, and they’ve already won, and the options left to us are (a) fight expecting to lose, (b) find a way to compromise with and accept the end of democracy, or (c) flee.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  9. How the 1964 Republican Convention Sparked a Revolution From the Right

    ‘At the ugliest of Republican conventions since 1912, entrenched moderates faced off against conservative insurgents’

    https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/1964-republican-convention-revolution-from-the-right-915921/

    “These are the stakes…”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=riDypP1KfOU&t=3s

    DCSCA (da0134)

  10. There were two deniers on my ballot — the GOP SoS candidate and the Libertarian candidate for Governor. The latter, polling at 3%, suggested that she was being cheated and if the polling machines weren’t rigged, she would be the clear winner.

    Obviously I didn’t vote for either one.

    The GOP Congresswoman, formerly in my district but no longer so, is also a denier. She’ll win because a lot of her constituents out in the desert are deniers too.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  11. My basic problem with all this is that I do not see the Democrat Party as any special fount of virtue. THey get maybe a default benefit o/ doubt, but their reapportionment behavior in my state was atrocious. The Democrat state senate leader stated they had to gerrymander because otherwise getting their progressive agenda through would be difficult. So, at least here in NM, the Dems are just as terrible about free and fair elections.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  12. From the Smithsonian piece on 1964:

    “The “stench of fascism is in the air,” Pat Brown, California’s liberal Democratic governor, told the press. His view was widely shared. The political world’s near unanimous judgment was that Goldwater’s landslide loss to LBJ that November was a disaster for all Republicans, not just conservative Republicans.”

    https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/1964-republican-convention-revolution-from-the-right-915921/

    And yet here we are, 58 years later: Election Day, 2022.

    DCSCA (da0134)

  13. Elon Musk Puts His Own Politics on Display on Election Day

    Elon Musk put himself and his politics center stage on Twitter on Election Day. The world’s richest man began his day on Tuesday by tweeting to his 115 million followers that they should vote Republican in the midterm elections. He said he was not being motivated by criticism that he has faced from Democrats over his $44 billion purchase of Twitter, which he completed last month, along with his other business dealings.

    “While it’s true that I’ve been under unfair & misleading attack for some time by leading Democrats, my motivation here is for centrist governance, which matches the interests of most Americans,” Mr. Musk said.

    His posts about politics and the midterms followed several tweets on Monday, when Mr. Musk urged his followers to vote Republican because “shared power curbs the worst excesses of both parties.” His remarks were immediately cheered by those on the right and criticized by the left. Mr. Musk added later that he was an independent and was open to voting for Democrats in the future.’ – NYTimes.com

    DCSCA (da0134)

  14. > My basic problem with all this is that I do not see the Democrat Party as any special fount of virtue.

    They aren’t.

    The problem is that the Republican party is now led by people who are either actively trying, or who are passively colluding, in the destruction of the legitimacy of the system. The Democrats aren’t there currently — although we may very well find in 2-6 years that neither party will stand for the legitimacy of the system.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  15. @14. Neither parties are. It’s why this current crop of populism keeps rooting deeper and deeper. And it’ll be around for several cycles. The wise party will recognize the necessity for change and absorb the key populist elements into it– which usually brings down the boil under the cauldron and cooks the ‘angrier birds.’ But you’ll always have a small clique of ’em nesting in either party.

    But it doesn’t help when a tone deaf pol (a NY state D BTW) tells citizens to battle inflation by eating Chef Boyardee canned pastas– when the cheap food is up 30% or more in price due to inflation as well– and his own party leaders crowed it was ‘transitory.’

    DCSCA (da0134)

  16. The whatabouts are particularly sad and unconvincing today.

    Behind Door Number 1 we have a precious example of a concerted effort to steal a presidential election with coup plotters lying incessantly about election results, gathering and stirring up a violent mob to storm the seat of government, and people on the ballot pledging to do the same next time but more effectively. This, we are told by Very Honest People, was “not pretty” but mostly no big deal.

    Behind Door Number 2 we have admittedly stupid but fairly typical whining by dishonest people on the other side, with absolutely none of the actual dangers just described. This, the Very Honest Whatabouters tell us, is basically the same thing.

    If you’re making these arguments, you ought to be embarrassed but likely are not capable of shame. You have lost all sense of perspective and are some combination of fascist and hopelessly lost hyperpartisan.

    Patterico (aacd05)

  17. The problem is that the Republican party is now led by people who are either actively trying, or who are passively colluding, in the destruction of the legitimacy of the system
    aphrael (4c4719) — 11/8/2022 @ 11:54 am

    If democracy is on the ballot, then we’re going to have to wait a week or more to see if it was rejected or not, cuz all those ballots mailed today have to be delivered, then counted, then oh here’s a trove that just came in on Friday, then litigated about a partial date or a postmark, and relitigated, and whaddabout collusion, and voter ID ya right, etc.

    but I’m really glad a yay vote today on democracy retains the legitimacy of the system

    JF (5dc4b7)

  18. I mean, i think that the people saying it’s transitory are correct — covid lockdowns, both here and abroad, were an insane supply and demand shock to the system. most of the industrialized world cushioned the demand shock by propping up demand, but the supply shock was harder to cushion. there is *still* an absurd level of supply chain disruption effecting almost every industry, and it’s reflected in higher prices.

    this will pass as the supply situation works itself out.

    but the politics around inflation won’t wait that long.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  19. > cuz all those ballots mailed today have to be delivered

    Yes. Almost all jurisdictions — by which I mean to say all jurisdictions i’ve looked at, but i haven’t looked at them all — have rules which allow a ballot *postmarked* by today to be counted, and many places allow absentee ballots *turned in to a polling place* today to be counted. But *every single absentee vote*, before they can be counted, someone has to check and see if the person also voted in the polling place, and that takes time.

    The alternatives are to not allow absentee ballots at all (which is very, very bad) or to require them to be returned before the ballot books are printed (which is bad in other ways).

    >oh here’s a trove that just came in on Friday

    sure. the post office isn’t a teleportation device, and the post office like any large organization makes mistakes. those mistakes shouldn’t count against the voter.

    > litigated about a partial date

    If a rule requires that the ballot be dated, and someone dates it “Nov. 7” instead of “Nov 7, 2022”, should it be counted? I’m going to say it should — the omission is irrelevant, it’s clear from context that they mean Nov 7, 2022, and a *lot of people* date things this way and there’s no reason their votes shouldn’t be counted — while a lot of conservatives are going to say it shouldn’t. Since the legislature almost certainly both didn’t specify *and* had flavor text in the legislation about the importance of everyone voting, how do we resolve it without litigation?

    > a postmark

    If I drop my ballot in a postal mailbox and the post office doesn’t postmark it, should my vote count? I did everything that was required of me, delivering my ballot to a state actor, and the state actor f*cked up. Why should that disenfranchise me?

    Note, too, that if this *does* disenfranchise me, that it incentivizes bad actors within the postal system to systematically not postmark ballots from certain neighborhoods. There’s no evidence that’s happening right now, but surely it’s a security hole to consider as part of the system design.

    [This is why i don’t use the post office to return ballots, by the way; I walk mine to the drop box operated by the county elections department where the bar code on the external envelope gets scanned and tracked at every step in the process. It’s *far* more secure and reliable than the post office is]

    > but I’m really glad a yay vote today on democracy retains the legitimacy of the system

    point blank question: do you trust the vote counting system to accurately measure the vote of the electorate?

    if not, when did your lack of trust start, and when did it solidify, and what would it take to restore trust?

    aphrael (4c4719)

  20. @18. Well, war, peace and life are ‘transitory,’ too, aphrael. It’s a matter of metrics. People eat every day. Election days are less frequent. All politics are local and today ‘folks’ will likely vote their rage away by their priorities accordingly.

    DCSCA (da0134)

  21. aphrael, What do you think of this issue in Pennsylvania?

    Fetterman sues to have mail-in ballots counted even if not signed with valid date

    The Democrats don’t like the decision of the PA Supreme Court and want the U.S. Supreme Court to override that decision.

    JoeH (19a7e6)

  22. point blank question: do you trust the vote counting system to accurately measure the vote of the electorate?

    if not, when did your lack of trust start, and when did it solidify, and what would it take to restore trust?

    aphrael (4c4719) — 11/8/2022 @ 12:49 pm

    I don’t know why you’re asking me. Ask yourself that question circa 2016. What’s your answer? And, does your answer jibe with the ridiculousness that followed.

    You just commented @18 about the transitory nature of the covid response, but I guess somehow that doesn’t extend to the voting rule covid response, which is permanent. We vote now like no other western nation votes. Return to the pre-covid rules, pre mail in ballot, including voter ID and my trust is restored. But, we know that won’t happen.

    If someone wanted to come up with a system that minimized trust, I doubt anyone could do better than what we have.

    JF (5dc4b7)

  23. I have thought for some time that some (many?) Republican leaders have been lying, if only by omission, to stay away from trouble with Trump and Trumpistas.

    There are many precedents for those kinds of deceptions in US politics. (And other places, so I hear.)

    I can’t applaud such deceptions in this situation — but I might forgive them in the future, if they do the right things, later.

    One very powerful motive: More and more Republican leaders have recognized that Trump is a loser in general elections, and are saying so. Latest big example: Mick Mulvaney.

    (Cross posted at Political Betting.)

    Jim Miller (85fd03)

  24. When I went to vote the nazis out at my polling place which was moved but I found the new polling place. I was approached by a rethugliKKKan trumpster. I was hoping he would try and stop me from voting ;but no luck. Instead he told me mark kelly was about to be arrested for child sex crimes! I said really I only thought rethugliKKKans like you were child molesters and he walked away.

    asset (91c3b0)

  25. I for got to add it took me forever to vote NO on all the judges. There must have been 30 or more!

    asset (91c3b0)

  26. Jim Miller,

    If they aren’t saying so to protect their own political security, then they are cowards. If they aren’t saying anything because they don’t want to rock the GOP boat, then they are cowards. And in my book, neither reason is worthy of my vote. And, if they do speak out after they are safely re-elected, then that would only confirm the cynical calculus they adopted to protect their political careers. It does nothing to bring the GOP back to its non-MAGA roots.

    Dana (1225fc)

  27. The way to reduce long ballot counts (those that take more than Election Day) is to reduce the number of voters. Fewer voters, faster results!

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  28. @TomBevanRCP
    My parents live in Mesa, just heard they went to two different locations and were unable to vote because the machines weren’t working.

    annnnd here we go…

    EPWJ (650a62)

  29. > Return to the pre-covid rules, pre mail in ballot

    A number of states, including Utah, Washington, and Oregon were using mail in ballots exclusively before COVID. California was moving in that direction (it was in the “study it” phase but everyone knew where it was going).

    Is there any evidence — not innuendo, but actual *evidence* — that this has been a problem in those states?

    > don’t know why you’re asking me

    because you’re spouting rhetoric which implies that you think the existing system does not accurately report people’s votes, and i’m not spouting any such rhetoric.

    so do you have the conviction to stand with what your rhetoric is implying?

    > Ask yourself that question circa 2016. What’s your answer? And, does your answer jibe with the ridiculousness that followed.

    The vote counting in 2016 was accurate. Unlike 2000, it was not within the margin of error of the system. It reported a clear and accurate signal.

    My complaints with 2016 are about the way the electorate was manipulated *prior to the vote*. I have no issues, and never have, with the actual conduct of the election by election office staff, poll workers, etc.

    These situations are *not comparable*. Saying a candidate colluded with a foreign power to influence the electorate in illegal ways is simply not the same thing as saying that the counting of the votes is fraudulent.

    > Return to the pre-covid rules, pre mail in ballot, including voter ID and my trust is restored

    The implication of this statement is that prior to covid, we did not use mail in ballots and we did use voter ID. That has not been true in any election in which I have voted for the entire thirty years that i’ve been eligible to vote.

    It’s totally fair to say that voter ID and abolishing mail in ballots are required for the restoration of your trust. The claim that doing so is simply returning to pre-covid rules is *wrong*, at least in many states.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  30. @27 When AOC becomes president rethugliKKKan enemies of the people/insurrectionists will not be voting. Rethugs will have to prove they are not trumpster insurrectionists.

    asset (91c3b0)

  31. JoeH, at 21:

    starting with the caveat that I don’t know Pennsylvania law, so i’m really only able to talk about what I think the right *policy* should be.

    As a policy matter, i think:
    * returned unsigned ballots, received before election day: the local elections office should be required to contact the voter and ask them to cure the defect, with a deadline of election day (if received before the sunday before election day) or this friday (if received yesterday). if cured on or before elections day, cure can include issuance of an entire new ballot and destruction of the unsigned one — if cured after elections day, cure must be only the signing of the existing ballot, no new voting can be allowed.
    * returned unsigned ballots received on election day: local elections office should be required to contact the voter and ask them to cure the defect, with a deadline of friday. cure at this point can *only be* to sign the ballot, they cannot change their vote.

    * returned undated ballots — if there is another evidence of date (eg, a postmark, or a tracking status showing it was accepted by the elections department on or before election day), count as normal. otherwise, use the same cure process as above.

    * votes returned without being placed in the inner secrecy envelope — these should be counted. if the voter isn’t preserving the secrecy of their vote, it’s on them, but it shouldn’t disqualify the vote.

    i don’t know PA law, so i can’t evaluate whether PA law requires this outcome or something different.

    i’m leery of fetterman’s campaign’s attempt to federalize this. the constitution doesn’t get into this kind of detail, and IIRC neither does HAVA, so what’s the ground for a federal claim? it’s obnoxious and bad policy to reject curable ballots without attempting to contact the voter and secure a cure, but i don’t see where it’s unconstitutional or a violation of HAVA; if Congress wants to specify that (and maybe they should), then Congress can do so.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  32. Aphreal, PA hasn’t historically disenfranchised voters for partial / missing dates on MIB.

    They have rules allowing voters to cure their ballots but IIRC those are at the discretion of the county. Some Counties do and some do not.

    But your policies are reasonable and would allow lawful franchise and not be likely to increase fraud.

    Time123 (c94a62)

  33. @29 Is there any evidence — not innuendo, but actual *evidence* — that this has been a problem in those states?

    no, nor has there ever been a comprehensive audit in those states, on which the evidence you ask for would be based

    These situations are *not comparable*. Saying a candidate colluded with a foreign power to influence the electorate in illegal ways is simply not the same thing as saying that the counting of the votes is fraudulent.

    if you’re going to question the legitimacy of an election victory, it matters little how you got there

    JF (34b255)

  34. #26 Dana – I appreciate your point of view, but I also believe that people can redeem themselves by what they do later in life.

    For example, Stephen Douglas ran against Lincoln for Senate in 1858, and then again for the presidency in 1860. But after Lincoln won, Douglas worked hard to rally support for Lincoln and the Union, in the few months before Douglas died.

    In a more recent example, many who joined America First and opposed our support for the democracies against the Nazis changed their minds after Pearl Harbor.

    (That doesn’t mean I would forgive election deniers preemptively and, for the record, I didn’t vote for any of them.)

    Jim Miller (85fd03)

  35. Arizona (maricopa county) 30% of voting machines not working. Voters told to find another polling place others told when they go there that they have already voted!

    asset (558781)

  36. Patterico’s on fire today. Two posts with which I agree on every word.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  37. I think that people tend to make decisions on real things that they can see and touch, rather than perceptions of evil behind the scenes. Something like Lincoln’s response to Grant’s drinking.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  38. Patterico,

    Suppose that Trump wins in 2024 with 51% of the popular vote and 280 EVs. However, the new electoral count act (draft) allows his votes to be discarded as an “insurrectionist.” Do you think this would be a good thing to try? If not, why did the Democrats write that into the procedure? And having done so, how does this inform you about their intentions to honor the vote?

    My problem is not that I think that Trump is a good guy, or that he should not be tried for insurrection. It’s that the Democrats are no better and you seem to be blind to that. Trump’s issue is that he’s not only dishonest, but he’s STUPID about it.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  39. The GOP has pretty much given up on the duty of elected officials to uphold the constitution.

    Perhaps. Show me where the Democrats — where it harms some advantage of theirs — have acted on this duty. Sure, they have defended it against Trump, but what about against Biden? Why did they all sign the New Green Deal, which treats the Constitution as a relic?

    You can focus all you want on Trump, and he sure deserves much of your ire, but you are ignoring what his opponents are doing while your eyes are averted, and not seeing it yourself you assume those who do see it must be lying.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  40. point blank question: do you trust the vote counting system to accurately measure the vote of the electorate?

    I believe that all votes cast are correctly counted. But Saddam Hussein also counted all the votes correctly. The devil is in the details of how votes are cast and what mechanisms are in place to validate ballots and voters.

    The current system for mail-in votes in many places is a kludge, patches on patches on patches on a 19th century method, and not up to dealing with the torrents of votes now arriving that way. It’s not that votes ARE being messed with, but that they can be and there’s no telling. Fixing the signature issues would be a great first step.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  41. aphrael, Thanks for your well-reasoned response.

    I agree in principle with your prescriptions for handling ballots without signatures or with invalid dates.

    I’m not surprised that the PA Democrats took it to the federal courts. I’ve always believed that the left is better at lawfare. But, that said, the Republicans would probably have done the same if the PA Supreme Court decision had gone the other way.

    Regardless, I don’t believe that this is a federal issue.

    JoeH (19a7e6)

  42. Is there any evidence — not innuendo, but actual *evidence* — that this has been a problem in those states?

    The LA Times ran an article a few days BEFORE the 2020 election, discussing signature validation issues and how difficult they were in certain cases: ancient registration signatures vs today’s signature, elderly arthritic signatures, even normal variations at times. The basic defense was that “well, few people try fraud” but that’s not wholly satisfying.

    ‘Ripe for error’: Ballot signature verification is flawed — and a big factor in the election (10/28/2020)

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  43. I agree in principle with your prescriptions for handling ballots without signatures or with invalid dates.

    That’s the Rule of Man vs the Rule of Law. The Law states a requirement. That it is stricter than may seem necessary is merely your opinion, but the Legislature may have had a rational reason for that rule (e.g. to prevent backdating fraud).

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  44. @43. The Rule of Reality rules the day: “Are you better off now than you were two years ago?”

    Nope.

    The Question that Terrifies Democrats: Are You Better Off Now Than You Were Two Years Ago?

    https://amac.us/the-question-that-terrifies-democrats-are-you-better-off-now-than-you-were-two-years-ago/

    DCSCA (da0134)

  45. How much of this problem is caused by one man? If he were to fall down some stairs, would things go back to normal?

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  46. point blank question: do you trust the vote counting system to accurately measure the vote of the electorate?

    The simple fact that this first world country- one that engineered putting men on the moon half a century ago- can’t manage to set up and operate a basic, efficient, glitch-free vote counting system for itself speaks volumes on how far it has fallen behind its own once vaunted future. And don’t think the rest of the world doesn’t notice this, nod knowingly– and moves on into the mid-21st century. As ol’Joe would crow, ‘For God Sake’s man, this is the United States of America!” The rest of the world answers: ‘Yes, we know. How sad.’

    DCSCA (da0134)

  47. @45. If you mean Joe, he’s not running the show; Susan Rice and her ‘central committee’ is. But he’s been set up to take the fall- be it down some stairs– or for the defeats tonight.

    DCSCA (da0134)

  48. Does California require voter ID? Well sorta. All California registered voters got a mail in ballot sent to them. There was a QR code on the outside of the envelope. YOu could vote by mail over a wide period of time–couple of weeks at least. I think you had to sign the outside of the envelope containing the mail vote ballot. You could put it in the mail or you could it in a drop box (don’t think anyone was watching the drop boxex). Or you could drop off your mail ballot at a drop box in a “vote center”. My wife elected to do that.

    I like to vote in person–and there was a “vote center” in my Los Angeles suburb. I think it was open for several days–at least 5 or 6. I went there on Monday and voted. I had my envelope with the QR code. I showed it to the person checking in. I was asked for my birthdate which I gave. I was then asked to sign a document–and they checked my signature against an image on the voter registration document I’d filed long ago–this was done electronically. Then I was given a blank ballot–actually a form to put in the electronic voting machine. I went ahead voted–the screen showed me a pdf of what purports to be my ballot (although all of this is contained in the machine itself. I “cast” my vote and left.

    Is there a chance for the machines getting hacked and electronic skullduggery going on? Yup there is. I’m not saying it happened or in fact will happen. I don’t know whether the purported paper ballot generated by the machine was actually filed or not.

    In Pennsylvania today the voting machines supposedly ran out of paper. In Maricopa County in Arizona there are reported problems with either 20 machines–or machines in 20 voting centers.

    I like the old paper ballots–don’t know about these new machines. I also like voting on just one day. There’s just too much chance to fiddle faddle around with voting taking place over two or three weeks. We’re making it “easy to vote” for people who just won’t get up off their dead dumb backsides to make it to the polls on election day. As Slow Joe would say’No joke”.

    Comanche Voter (a15ae2)

  49. Sure is. Every socialist state allows voting till they take over. I’m voting against socialism.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  50. If you mean Joe,

    Why would I mean Joe?

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  51. All this advanced technology since the Information Age came about, and it actually takes us longer to call an election now than it did 40 years ago when people were using punch cards. Talk about the collapse of complex societies.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  52. FWO,

    That’s because the technology isn’t trusted. Most people fear what they don’t understand. It’s not just MAGA that thinks voting machines are scary.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  53. It seems that the DNC plan to help Trumpies to be nominated worked out just fine. We should find a way to return the favor.

    Kevin M (90f346)

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