Election 2020

How to Hold Elections During a Pandemic

Joshua and Rachel Kleinfeld offer some ideas about how to avoid a replay of the Wisconsin mess

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

Here in Ohio, Governor Mike DeWine and Secretary of State Frank LaRose closed polling places on primary election day to prevent the spread of Covid-19 at polling places, and the state legislature agreed unanimously to extend absentee voting and virtually eliminate in-person voting this spring due to the pandemic. Voters in Wisconsin were not so lucky, and there are good reasons to worry about this fall's general elections if continued Covid-19 fears still produce some amount of social distancing. Trying to hold in-person elections during a pandemic risks suppressing turnout or greatly spreading the disease, if not both.

Joshua and Rachel Kleinfeld have a proposal for how to address these concerns that seem eminently reasonable and doable: expanding absentee voting (or other mail-in voting) and drive-through voting. As they explain on NRO:

Neither requires unrealistic procedures. Drive-through voting, which parts of Wisconsin already use, lets citizens vote from the safety of their cars, using machines that have been disinfected. Voting by mail is already the voting system in Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Utah, and Hawaii. Expanding absentee voting in other states would require simply setting aside — for one election — requirements to request a ballot in advance or to provide specific justifications for not voting in person.

But these changes in voting procedures do require political action now. First, Congress needs to approve funding. States that already are cash-strapped from the pandemic's economic fallout will need money to cover expenses such as printing and mailing excess ballots. The recent stimulus was a good, bipartisan start — but provided less than a quarter of what is likely needed.

States need to take political action, too. Those that require a special justification to receive an absentee ballot need to make a one-election exception. States that do not allow absentee ballots to be counted until Election Day need to modify their rules so as not to slow counts and leave the election result in doubt. Most states need to ramp up capacity, or they may be swamped with more requests than they can handle. And because not everyone can vote by mail, states need to modify their polling places for drive-through voting, expand early voting hours, and implement similar innovations. This can all be done in time — but only if action starts now.

One reason this should be a viable strategy is that it's not entirely clear which party would be most helped by such measures. And while it is true that the risks of voter fraud from absentee or mail-in voting are higher than with in-person voting, there is little evidence of significant voter fraud in jurisdictions that use more widespread vote-by-mail or absentee voting, and greater use of things like signature matching can further reduce that risk.

Elected officials should focus on these issues now, both so that election administrators are prepared for the fall, but also so that the country avoids the sort of brinksmanship and last-minute wrangling that infected the Wisconsin election fight.  Voter confidence in election results is as important as ever, and it's important for political leaders to take action now to ensure there are not more Wisconsin-like election snafus going forward.

UPDATE: Here's more from Henry Olsen in the WaPo, and an earlier piece on how to ensure a "healthy and trustworthy" election from Nathaniel Persily and Charles Stewart, III and Rick Pildes on reducing one potential source of an election meltdown, both at Lawfare.

NEXT: Polls Show Americans Are Souring on Trump's Response to COVID-19

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  1. “States that do not allow absentee ballots to be counted until Election Day need to modify their rules so as not to slow counts and leave the election result in doubt.”

    It’s important not to let this be used as an excuse to blow up a bunch of ballot security features. For instance, not counting absentee ballots until election day prevents fraudsters from knowing how many votes they need to manufacture.

    1. For instance, not counting absentee ballots until election day prevents fraudsters from knowing how many votes they need to manufacture.
      Just keep enough boxes of votes in a location you can conveniently find if you are behind on election night.

      1. “keep enough boxes of votes in a location you can conveniently find”

        Boxes of votes “left behind” just happened in Wisconsin in a Dem area. Such a surprise.

        1. In 1948, extra ballots were found in Box 13 in Texas. They were just enough to get LBJ the win.

          1. Interestingly (at least to me), Coke Stevenson won an injunction from the federal district court, and it was overturned by SCOTUS also.

      2. It just makes the logistics of cheating easier if you know in advance how many extra votes you need to manufacture, (And who voted!) it doesn’t make cheating impossible if you don’t.

        The point here is that a lot of the more inconvenient aspects of our election system are there for a reason. Let’s not permit this pandemic to be used as an excuse to remove all the safeguards!

        1. Have you opposed the absentee ballots that have been offered — and used mostly by people who misrepresented their eligibility — for decades, or the mailed ballots routinely circulated to foreign residents or military personnel?

          If not, how would more mailed ballots be distinguishable?

          1. The military ballots thing is particularly instructive. Because in 2000, the positions of the parties totally reversed on unpostmarked military ballots, with Republicans (successfully) arguing they should count despite fraud concerns, and Democrats asking for a strict interpretation of election law.

            And that, at bottom, demonstrates the entire problem with this area of law. Each side looks for partisan advantage while pretending they are espousing neutral principles. We should have, a long time ago and before anyone knew what the 2020 election would look like, figured out a set of procedures if an election could not be held in person. Because once you are outside the Veil of Ignorance, everyone argues their partisan position.

    2. On the long list of reasons to abolish the electoral college, one that frequently doesn’t get mentioned is that if somebody wants to steal an election, it is far easier to come up with a fraudulent 80,000 votes across three states (which would have changed the 2016 election results) than it is to come up with 3,000,000 fraudulent votes nationwide. So in addition to all of its other problems, the EC actually makes fraud easier.

      1. Really? In a close election you’d rather recount the entire country, instead of just Palm Beach?

        1. Brett: If you’re trying to steal an election, which is harder: 80,000 ballots across three states, or 3,000,000 ballots nationwide?

          1. James Garfield and Winfield Scott Hancock say Hi!

        2. And in further response, I think that what happened when they counted just Palm Beach is a perfect example of (1) why you don’t just count Palm Beach and (2) why the EC is a bad idea. Had it been by popular vote, we’d have known who the winner was without a few hours of the last polling place closing, and we would have saved the political and judicial misery that followed.

          Of course, conservatives wouldn’t have liked the election results, but I don’t find that enough of a reason to keep it.

          1. You understand why they were doing just Palm Beach, right? Typically a manual recount picks up some more votes that the machine missed, but in generally the same ratio as the machine count. By waiting until the last minute, and then just asking for recounts in a few areas he’d done particularly well in, Gore was expecting to boost his count more than Bush’s, without Bush having the time to pull the same stunt in areas where HE had done well.

            IOW, it wasn’t an effort to get a more accurate vote, (As it would have been if he’d asked for a state-wide recount.) but only to game the system a bit.

            And if it had been by popular vote, nobody knows what would have happened, because the candidates would have run different campaigns, and the voters would have reacted differently to those campaigns.

            1. The 2000 election was one in which I agree there were shenanigans on both sides. But I’m not persuaded by the argument that we can’t know what would have happened if the campaigns had been directed toward the popular vote. Most voters in most places make up their minds without paying much attention to the campaigns. Would Hillary really have picked up that many Wisconsin votes if she’d visited? I doubt it.

              Plus, with no EC, if Gore had won it’s doubtful there would have been an Iraq war or a 2008 recession.

              1. Oh, no, there would have been a 2008 recession for sure. It just might not have been in 2008. It wasn’t Bush inflating that particular bubble.

                Anyway, you’re ignoring half the equation here. If there were no EC, Republicans and Democrats would run very different campaigns. There would be no reason for Republicans to leave votes on the table in California, for instance. Without an EC, they still wouldn’t carry California, but, so what? The extra votes would still help.

                1. Bush took away the regulations that might have prevented that particular bubble from getting as big as it did. And I note that you haven’t disagreed with me that electing Gore would likely have saved us from the Iraq War.

                  We’re both speculating, and the only way to know for sure which of us is right would be to actually abolish the electoral college and see what happens.

                  But I remain skeptical. In 2016 the Democrats won the popular vote by about 2.5 million, while losing the electoral college. In order for your theory to be correct, not only would there have had to have been 2.5 million votes left on the table nationwide, but all of them would have had to have been Republican votes in order to change the outcome. That strikes me as unlikely. I don’t doubt that there are people of both parties who don’t bother to vote because in their state, the other party is going to win. But are there really enough of them to swing a national election? And since the electoral college benefits Republicans, is it really plausible that the Republicans would gain enough of an advantage from votes left on the table to make up for what they would be losing by giving up their EC advantantage.
                  One thing getting rid of the electoral college would do is increase voter participation, since people would feel that their votes actually count. But then, I favor increasing participation, and (cough, cough) not everyone else does.

                  1. In part it would be the parties picking up votes formerly left on the table, but in part it would be the parties changing, because they’d have to care about the opinions of people in places they currently have no chance of carrying.

                    The parties are shaped by the populations they appeal to, and don’t bother to appeal to. Both parties are. They tune their positions to win the in the places they’re competitive, at the expense of doing worse where they aren’t.

                    If they had to care how the vote went outside their strongholds and maybe some swing areas, they’d have different positions, and would appeal to different people.

                    It would be an entirely different politics, not just Hillary being President because she’d gotten exactly as many votes as she did trying to win the EC.

                    1. Brett:

                      Suppose I agree with everything you say. Wouldn’t it be a good thing for the two parties to have to care about voters outside their strongholds? If Republicans had to care about California and New York, and Democrats had to care about Texas and Alabama, wouldn’t that be a positive result?

                      Over the years I’ve acquired probably a dozen reasons to despise the electoral college, and one of them is that it produces parties, and candidates, who simply do not have to care about the views of large numbers of voters. Since it sounds like we agree that that would be one consequence of abolishing the electoral college, why wouldn’t you want to abolish it as well? Wouldn’t enhancing party accountability to the voters be a positive result?

                      I understand the historical reasons for why the electoral college was created. I get the concept of federalism. I just don’t think it serves us that well and that it has far and away outlived its usefulness.

                    2. Of course it would be a good thing. Now, the question is, what good things would you lose to get that particular good thing? Life is trade offs, after all.

                      I personally advocate a form of proportional representation for legislative seats, and this, too, would motivate parties to appeal to voters outside their strongholds. More strongly than getting rid of the EC, in my opinion.

                      But PR is inapplicable to executive offices, (Unless you’re going to a parliamentary system.) and the EC does effectively punish parties with merely local appeal, however intense. Which is also an important consideration, in, yes, a federation.

                      The elements of our electoral system, (Equal votes in the Senate, the EC) that Democrats find objectionable, are in my opinion sufficiently central to the bargain that created the US in the first place, that you’d have to let any states that didn’t agree to changing them peacefully secede, rather than compelling them to remain on terms they didn’t enter under.

                    3. I might be more inclined to agree with your last paragraph if the Constitution were relatively recent, but we’re talking about an agreement that was made 230 years ago under circumstances vastly different than today. So I think the question is whether it continues to serve us well today, and I don’t think it does.

                    4. the EC does effectively punish parties with merely local appeal, however intense.

                      But you can’t pretend that a party has no appeal somewhere because it didn’t carry the state.

                      Just because a majority of Californians/Texans are Republicans/Democrats doesn’t mean the parties don’t have any appeal in the states where they are a minority.

                      Trump got more votes in CA than in any other state except TX and FL. Clinton got more votes in TX than anywhere except CA, NY, and FL.

                      And I point out yet again, while you worship geographic diversity I rather imagine you would oppose measures that encouraged parties to seek ethnic diversity among their supporters. Say we counted each black vote as 1.1 votes. Well, that would certainly punish parties which didn’t appeal to black voters, wouldn’t it?

                  2. “Bush took away the regulations that might have prevented that particular bubble from getting as big as it did”

                    Actually, it was Clinton who signed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.

              2. Counterfactural “history” is a waste of time.

    3. A better question is why do votes need to be counted quickly. Does it matter if we have to wait a week or two to know the outcome? What are we kids who can’t wait to open the Christmas presents?

      1. Right. Releasing the results later also ensures that there isn’t a more concerted effort to declare elections stolen after a candidate gained the lead over night by counting mail-in ballots. There was a sort of half hearted attempt to do that to Sinema in AZ but luckily their governor squashed that nonsense. If it comes down to something like that in AZ again for the EC and Trump is leading at say midnight EST but then is behind by midnight Wednesday it could cause a real nightmare if he insists that it was stolen because a winner wasn’t declared until the next day.

    4. “States that do not allow absentee ballots to be counted until Election Day need to modify their rules so as not to slow counts and leave the election result in doubt.”

      Election security is way, way more important than getting a quick count. Our fascination with various methods of machine-assisted voting and counting have led us away from the most secure form of voting, which is on paper ballots counted by human observers.

      1. I’m not sure said fascination isn’t just an excuse on the part of the people actually making the decisions, who aren’t all that concerned about ballot security.

  2. For November, why don’t people who are worried plan to shop for groceries three times instead of four, and devote the “saved” excursion to voting? How is waiting in line six feet behind the person in front of you different from waiting in line two feet behind them?

    1. I have not left my home in nearly three weeks. Your points are unpersuasive and difficult to ascribe to good faith.

    2. John,
      How is 2 feet distance any different from 6 feet difference?????

      Well, at least the anti-science voice is represented here at the VC.

      1. Not merely represented . . . championed!

        1. I thought t pretty obvious he meant that people wait in line 2′ apart before, it adds no burden to have them wait 6′ apart now.

          But hey, he says things you disagree with so he must be an idiot, right?

          1. *waited* in line 2′ apart before…

            1. I don’t think he was saying what you claim he was saying. And I’ve gone back and read it again. If you are correct, then you’re right–it was fine. But if he was really saying, “If 6 feet is safe, then 2 feet should also be safe.” . . . yeah, I think that’s pretty stupid. (Note: I did not call the poster an idiot; merely what was written. I know lots of bright people who sometimes say/write dumb things. I include myself in that group.)

          2. I was responding to the ‘going out is no big deal’ assertion, which was stupid.

    3. “How is waiting in line six feet behind the person in front of you different from waiting in line two feet behind them?”

      You are probably about 9 times less likely to get the virus if you stand 6 ft from somebody vs. 2 ft.

      1. In most places there is a finite amount of physical space that the line has to occupy. If people have to stand farther apart you reduce the total number of people who can be standing in line.

  3. Don’t worry your pretty little heads. There will not be a legitimate election. Republican officials are already engaging in open voter suppression; the lawfare is going to hit a fever pitch, and the courts are stacked.

    Land of the free, baby.

  4. They could have also avoided the mess in Wisconsin by not having Robin Vos, a person with documented moral deficiencies, lead the legislature into a fight with the Governor over delaying the primary.

    1. If “documented moral deficiencies” invalidate a politician, we won’t have many politicians left.

      1. Perhaps. But I think disallowing a paralyzed Assemblyman with other major health issues from participating in committee meetings by phone, then conditioning a rule change on unrelated but politically advantageous rule changes, and then accusing him of grandstanding when he objected is a level of moral odiousness that is pretty shocking. You would only act that way if you felt you had zero moral duties to anyone but yourself.

        So perhaps I should have clarified it as “major moral deficiencies” or perhaps just simply, “noted bad person Robin Vos.”

        1. Was Vos the imbecile who declared worries about in-person voting ridiculous — while wearing head-to-toe protective gear and looking like something out of a ’50s horror movie.

          1. Yes.

            1. I would wager several cases of good beer Vos’ district is 95 percent white, poorly educated, and economically struggling.

              1. Wisconsin Assembly District 63:
                84.8% white
                Median household income: $63,500
                56.4% high school diploma
                35.9% post-secondary degree

                Please make it two cases of New Glarus Wisconsin Belgian Red. Thanks!

  5. “Welcome to drive-in voting, can I take your order?”

    “Yeah, I’d like to order several discredited hacks.”

    “Please fill in your preferred hacks on the form provided.”

    “All right, got it.”

    “Now please drive around and give the form to the lady in the hazmat suit. Thank you – next!”

    1. “Will that be an orange pussy grabber, or vanilla?”

      1. “I’d like to order a Libertarian.”

        “Certainly, just place your ballot in that cylindrical basket over there.”

  6. “One reason this should be a viable strategy is that it’s not entirely clear which party would be most helped by such measures.”

    What an … interesting post. No one possibly has any idea what party continually opposes any and all efforts to increase voter turnout, and what party also engages in any and all efforts to suppress voter turnout.

    IT’S A TOTAL MYSTERY!

    It’s these “I don’t know, both sides do it”* posts that completely miss the point.

    Wisconsin was not a snafu. It was a completely foreseeable consequence of having a gerrymandered GOP legislature.

    (That said, credit is always given where it is due; the efforts of people like Governor DeWine show that there are still a very few people who put common decency and the welfare of their people ahead of base political concerns, which … well, I guess that’s surprising, today.)

    *See also the long and proud history of Prof. Adler posting about, I mean, really, both sides care about judicial nominations, and, really, it’s the Democrat’s fault to begin with, look at Bork, so … you know, it’s really hard to say that there is any difference, so c’mon guys!

    1. I know, right? For 200 years Democrats conducted scrupulously honest elections with everyone allowed to participate – you think they’d have earned some trust instead of having to deal with so-called ballot security laws.

      1. “I know, right? For 200 years Democrats conducted scrupulously honest elections with everyone allowed to participate – you think they’d have earned some trust instead of having to deal with so-called ballot security laws.”

        Hey look, a 200 year old squirrel! Wait, are you about to say, “Did you know that Lincoln was a Republican?”

        By the way … ballot security laws? Go ahead and drink some more of the Kool-Aid they keep giving to you.

        1. Democrats gave up on vote fraud after Lincoln was elected.

          1. “Although Jones used poisoned Flavor Aid, the drink mix was also commonly (mistakenly) referred to as Kool-Aid.”

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonestown

            1. Help yourself to a nice, big cup!

      2. In some big cities controlled by Democrats, even dead people got to vote and people got to vote multiple times. That’s the ultimate in voter participation which should be championed.

        1. How many times has this lame joke been made on this thread?

          1. Not as many times as the dead have voted Democrat!

            1. The dead aren’t fooled by Republican campaign lies,apparently.

    2. I think Wisconsin is a special case. The current leadership of the Republican legislature clearly cannot accept the legitimacy of Democrats at all, so they will do anything and everything to oppose everything the Governor wants to do.

      Also, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos is possibly also a sociopath, as evidenced by his treatment of Jimmy Anderson, his recent comments about how it’s safe to vote while covered in full PPE, and actually saying this with an apparent straight face: “If you took Madison and Milwaukee out of the state election formula, we would have a clear majority — we would have all five constitutional officers, and we would probably have many more seats in the Legislature,”

      1. “I think Wisconsin is a special case. The current leadership of the Republican legislature clearly cannot accept the legitimacy of Democrats at all, so they will do anything and everything to oppose everything the Governor wants to do. ”

        Not that special a case, since NC is exactly the same. When a D won the governorship, the R’s in the legislature voted to strip a number of powers from the governor.

    3. Not doing anything to improve a bad situation, if it can be called “voter suppression” at all, is mild compared to what the Democrats in Wisconsin did. Milwaukee (run by Democrats) made the decision to close 175 polling stations, guaranteeing that people would have to crowd into the remaining 5 (yes, FIVE stations for a city of 600,000) polling stations and wait in line forever. That action (as well as failing to follow state law requiring returning an absentee ballot when one is requested within one business day) is the real voter suppression in Wisconsin.

      1. Woah. I mean, it’s really impressive that you are able to spout off such nonsense. Is a brain injury responsible for your inability to disambiguate cause and effect?

        What could possibly have caused polling stations to close? I feel like …. hmmm… man, there has to be a reason for it, other than those Curiously Obtuse and Vapid Idiotic Democrats.

        What could it be? I do give you points for the great attempt at being the Next OANN Anchor. Kudos to you, my friend. Kudos.

        1. Except that the next largest city in Wisconsin – also run by Democrats – had zero problems keeping the vast majority of their polling stations open. Milwaukee also has about 7,000 employees, many of whom are furloughed or have significantly less work to do who easily could have been directed for one day to go man the polls. Milwaukee had hard decisions to make, yes. But they chose basically the worst possible ones instead of doing what would have been quite easy to assure that these problems weren’t problems.

        2. Wisconsin had 1850 of the 1852 municipalities pull of their elections safely and efficiently, including Madison, the 2nd biggest city. Milwaukee and Green bay closed most of their polling places, causing huge problems for their voters. Both locations had help available thru other furloughed city employees (there are a lot of public school teachers) and the National Guard, who trained their members on voting procedures the weekend before.
          Milwaukee and Green Bay were failures of leadership, the rest of the state did just fine.

      2. They didn’t have enough poll workers to open keep all those stations open. Guess why.

        They didn’t get the absentee ballots out in time because they were swamped with applications. Guess why.

        Look. There’s a pandemic on. It’s a real emergency. And Republicans, in the legislature, on the state supreme court, and on the US Supreme Court, saw it as an opportunity to keep people they don’t like from voting.

        Pretty straightforward, if you care about the facts.

        1. “Pretty straightforward, if you care about the facts.”

          MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  7. One reason this should be a viable strategy is that it’s not entirely clear which party would be most helped by such measures.

    Let’s see which party supports these ideas, and which opposes them. There seem to be some early indications.

    That said, congratulations to DeWine for his actions, and to NRO for publishing a pro-voting opinion piece.

    1. Looking at the proposals across multiple states, one and only one pattern emerges. The changes are opposed by the party in power. It does not matter which party that is. Incumbents prefer the status quo.

      1. “Looking at the proposals across multiple states, one and only one pattern emerges. The changes are opposed by the party in power. It does not matter which party that is. Incumbents prefer the status quo.”

        Um, do you want to source that thoroughly? This is not, in fact, an “incumbent” issue.

        As a general rule*, the Democratic party is in favor of rules and measure that increase the franchise (whether that means increasing the ease of ability to register, ease of ability to vote such as by getting rid of onerous ex-felon disenfranchisement, increase in absentee and/or early voting, more funding for more polling places, or other mechanisms that might provide for easier voting for more people), and the GOP is against it.

        The primary difference is that the strength of the GOP opposition to voting had noticeably increased over the past, oh, I’d say 15 years or so. It used to be much easier to agree on general changes to voting in order to make it better, while agreeing to concessions to ameliorate concerns about “fraud” and so on. Now the GOP is hiring academics to write articles decrying anything other than same-day voting (on a Tuesday) and getting rid of absentee voting entirely (something they used to champion, given the age group of their electorate).

        *I am speaking about today, but this can be generally applied to approximately the past three decades, at a minimum.

        1. Loki,
          I’d just add to your post: Look for Republicans arguing against allowing members of the military to vote absentee, or for Democrats arguing against allowing the military to vote absentee. These do not happen. Republicans think it’s great that the military are allowed to vote without being there in person (the military are reliably favorable to more conservative candidates), while the Democrats think it’s great that the military are allowed to vote (while away from home, risking their lives to protect our country), even though Dem candidates will be harmed at the ballot box by doing this.
          A pretty clear example of Dem politicians acting honorably and Republicans acting, well, not not much.

        2. “As a general rule*, the Democratic party is in favor of rules and measure that increase the franchise (whether that means increasing the ease of ability to register, ease of ability to vote such as by getting rid of onerous ex-felon disenfranchisement, increase in absentee and/or early voting, more funding for more polling places, or other mechanisms that might provide for easier voting for more people), and the GOP is against it. ”

          Whole classes of people who don’t turn out reliably tend to support the D’s. Thus, not surprising that D’s want to make sure people who often don’t bother to turn up at the polls can, if motivated properly, show up and have their votes count.

    2. “Let’s see which party supports these ideas, and which opposes them. ”

      GOP opposes because it benefits Dems, bad.

      Dems support because it benefits Dems, good.

      1. Um, how about:

        “Make it easier for eligible voters to vote.” Good.

        1. Motives only matter for my opponents. My actions are always altruistic.

          1. Unless you happen to be an Objectivist…

          2. Not a question of altruism, Bob. It’s a question of which self-interested position is justifiable.

        2. How about we do a balanced job of making it easy for eligible voters to vote, and difficult for ineligible voters to vote? Instead of putting all the weight on avoid type 1 errors, at the expense of enabling type 2?

          Step one: Thoroughly purge the voter rolls. Sure, send out registered letters to everyone on the rolls, but failure to respond just triggers a physical check, not removal. And physically check a random sample of those who do respond, to make fraudulent responses risky.

          Step two: Send absentee ballots only to those who indicated a desire to vote in step one. Ballots sent to people who don’t intend to vote can be cast by somebody else.

          Step two A: Allow people to change their minds about that, up to election day.

          Step three: NO BALLOT HARVESTING PERMITTED. Either postal service, or a separate pick up option that includes election observers.

          Step four: Ballots are not opened until election day.

          1. Where’s the fun in all that?

            1. Where’s the evidence that significant numbers of ineligible voters are casting ballots?

        3. “Make it easier to commit voter fraud.”

          Fixed it for you. That’s what you meant right?

          1. No, asshole, that’s not what I meant. Go wave a Confederate flag or something.

          2. “Make it easier to commit voter suppression”

            That’s what YOU meant, right?

      2. Bob,
        As I posted elsewhere in this thread.
        Rep strongly support allowing the military to vote remotely.
        Dems ALSO support this, even though every single person agrees that the military vote reliably supports Rep candidates.
        So, an exception to your “Dem support b/c it benefits Dems” premise.

        1. Indeed, Trump Himself strongly favors absentee ballots for the military and the elderly. But mail-in ballots are an abomination, per Trump. What a joke.

          Here is an explanation of the differences between the two.

  8. Only going to quibble with one point in the article. Absentee-balloting-for-all does not require any additional funding. Yes, there are some printing and mail costs. But the experience of Oregon and other jurisdictions that have implemented it show that those costs are offset (sometimes, more than offset) by the savings in in-person facilities and equipment.

  9. “— for one election —“ “one-election exception”

    Painfully naive. Left activist groups and lib judges only believe in the one way ratchet.

    Ohio wanted to reduce early voting by 1/5 [a week] and years of litigation followed.

    1. “Painfully naive. Left activist groups and lib judges only believe in the one way ratchet.

      Ohio wanted to reduce early voting by 1/5 [a week] and years of litigation followed.”

      Who is painfully naive, Bob? You’re in Ohio, right? That’s in your name. So, when you say that they wanted to reduce early voting by a week, it wasn’t …. actually … a week, was it?

      No, instead they wanted to get rid of early voting on all Sundays, and get rid of early voting hours (after work) during the week, and get rid of two of the four Saturdays.

      So, they get rid of six full days (one week) plus any after hours voting. Which means that early voting becomes substantially harder for people that voted on Sundays, and people who have jobs that do not release them for voting.

      So yes. I mean, someone is definitely naive. Anyone who accepts what you say without requiring further explanation.

      1. So, it was one week.

        If they eliminated it entirely it would have been fine. There is no Constitutional requirement that you have any early voting.

        1. Just because there isn’t a constitutional requirement doesn’t mean it would be fine. It would be a logistical nightmare. If it was nationwide, we’d be having hundreds of millions of people try to vote in the span of 12 hours on a weekday. That’s not a smart thing to do in a democracy…unless you deliberately want less people to vote.

          1. Early voting only started this century. We had elections before that somehow.

            1. Yes. With less voters. The question isn’t whether we had elections. We had elections during slavery and Jim Crow and before the Nineteenth Amendment. The question is whether the elections are any good. An election with long lines and people who can’t vote because they can’t afford to take off of work, or are too sick, or have to watch children, or any of the other obligations of modern life isn’t a good election. A good election is one in which the preferences of as many voters as possible are accounted for in the most convenient fashion.

              1. With less voters, and less polling places, and less election workers. It doesn’t actually get harder as you increase all the numbers together.

                1. I suspect it does as population density increases. Especially when densely populated areas don’t have enough polling places and equipment to let the process go smoothly, with minimal delays.

                  It is fundamentally disgraceful, IMO, for voters to have to wait in line for hours to vote. Figuring out how many machines, etc. are needed to avoid that is no great mystery. The calculations are routinely done when designing telephone systems, for example, and in a host of other situations. That we can’t do it for voting is shameful.

                  1. You’re assuming that the people who arrange elections WANT to count all the votes or hear from all the voters.

              2. A good election is when my side wins.

                Seriously, voting hours are from early morning to mid evening. Plenty of time.

                People who don’t vote are making the rational decision that it is a waste of time.

                1. Yeah, you know not everyone has 8 hour a day jobs, right? Or whose work will allow them to be near the polling place.

                  “A good election is when my side wins.” Why even both then? You can get the same result by dispensing with them and having your favorite politician declaring themselves dictator for life.

                  1. ” you know not everyone has 8 hour a day jobs, right? Or whose work will allow them to be near the polling place. ”

                    An amazing number of people don’t have jobs to be at right now.

                2. “A good election is when my side wins.”

                  Good for who? is the key question

            2. “Early voting only started this century. We had elections before that somehow.”

              Via the simple expedient of sharply restricting the franchise when only 30% of the adult population gets to cast a ballot in the first place, it’s way easier to get their votes counted. How many Consitutional amendments involve extending the franchise?

  10. Going all absentee securely is definitely possible, no question. But, due to the break in chain of custody, it’s more difficult than for in person voting, not easier. But we do have time before November to design a secure system, and implement it.

    Unfortunately, predictably, every last security measure will be fought to the death by Democrats. So I expect this is going to be one of the least secure elections in American history. It better be beyond “the margin of fraud”, or else things are going to get tense.

    1. From the NRO article:

      Oregon has mailed out about 100 million ballots since 2000, with only about 12 cases of proven fraud.

      I know. That just proves how clever the fraudsters are. Right?

      Meanwhile, while you’re busy carping at Democrats, we have:

      House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Thursday harshly criticized Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for suggesting that vote-by-mail should be expanded during the coronavirus pandemic, arguing that elected officials should instead be focused on combating the virus and reopening the economy.

      “That’s disgusting to me,” McCarthy said on a conference call with reporters when asked about Pelosi’s efforts. Lawmakers should “worry about what’s in front of us, and that’s the health of the nation” and economy, he said, adding that there is “a lot of fraud when you vote by mail.”

      and

      “I think a lot of people cheat with mail-in voting,” [Trump] said last Friday, without providing any evidence to support his claim. “People should vote with ID, voter ID. I think voter ID is very important. The reason they don’t want voter ID is because they intend to cheat.”

      1. “I know. That just proves how clever the fraudsters are. Right?”

        Nope. It just demonstrates they set up a system where fraud can’t be detected and proven. You can make anything appear to be nonexistent by making a point of not looking for it.

        1. It must be there, right? You’re just dead certain. And it’s all Democrats, right? You’re just dead certain.

          I mean, even Jon Husted couldn’t find any significant problem in Ohio, and he had every motivation to look. And what that committee of vote-fraud grifters Trump set up produce?

          Meanwhile, Brian Kemp managing an election in which he is a candidate is just fine with you. Pro-GOP gerrymandering is just fine. Fudging the census is just fine. Shelby County (“Close the umbrella, the rain isn’t make me wet.”) was a fine decision. You’ve got it all rationalized. And some how the effect is always the same.

          1. You really think voting is the one solitary human activity where people don’t cheat? Really, you’re going with that?

            1. No. I think he’s saying, “Doing illegal voting is a federal crime. And in the vast vast vast majority of elections, with zero or little hopes of benefit. I think that we should expand voting, since the possible harm is greatly outweighed by the benefits of having a more-engaged voting population. We should not focus on Mrs Suzy Jones of Mississippi casting an extra vote, or Mr Bobby Smith of San Diego casting an extra vote…instead, we should focus election fraud investigations on *organized* attempts to cast (for example) 2,000 illegal votes…that is the sort of thing that can swing elections.”
              The fact that 5 states have allowed mail in ballots and no one has come up with even a ghost of a suggestion that there is widespread election fraud should calm your fears a bit. (And you certainly will grant that Republicans have a HUGE incentive to find such fraud, and have had taxpayer-funded investigations to try and find such fraud…and have found nothing.)

              It’s sorta like a Democrat saying, “There is not widespread abuse of handguns. But we can certainly point to many many individual cases where people misused handguns. So, we want to take them all away. And certain don’t want to expand the ease to obtain a handgun.” You would, I assume, oppose such an effort. I know I would.

              1. “The fact that 5 states have allowed mail in ballots and no one has come up with even a ghost of a suggestion that there is widespread election fraud should calm your fears a bit. (And you certainly will grant that Republicans have a HUGE incentive to find such fraud, and have had taxpayer-funded investigations to try and find such fraud…and have found nothing.)”

                Oregon has had exclusively vote-by-mail for around a decade, and the only vote-fraud conviction I was aware of was a Republican poll worker who added votes for the R candidate in races where the voter didn’t mark a choice.

                1. ” Republicans have a HUGE incentive to find such fraud”

                  They don’t actually have to find it. They just say it exists and their base believes it. Finding it in reality takes too much effort and wouldn’t be any more convincing to the people who already want to believe it’s real.

            2. As santamonica says, people cheat when there is something to gain.

              How many voters do you think imagine that if they could just vote twice they would swing the election?

              And assuming there are some individual cheaters, how much is it worth to catch them? Remember, your fraud prevention methods are going to stop some legitimate voters from voting, unless you think there’s no such thing as a false positive, which you don’t. And lots of fraud prevention is open to abuse. It’s no accident that after Alabama started some sort of ID requirement they suddenly closed DMV offices in predominately black areas “to save money.”

              You do’t have to believe that cheating is nonexistent to believe that is trivial. I mean, if there really were a lot of it then some of these vote fraud Sherlocks running around would have found some. They didn’t. Of course people like Kobach and Von Spakovsky are incompetent grifters, so you’ve got that argument.

              Of course, what I imagine you think – correct me if I’m wrong – is that the Democrats are the beneficiaries of widespread fraud, and that Republicans hardly ever vote illegally.

              1. “It’s no accident that after Alabama started some sort of ID requirement they suddenly closed DMV offices in predominately black areas “to save money.””

                I remember analyzing that at the time. They actually closed DMV offices in strict order of the amount of business they did, starting with the least busy, and the only exceptions to that rule were actually offices in predominantly black areas that were kept OPEN despite having little traffic. And some of the offices closed were actually in the most lily white areas of the state.

                The state is black enough that that, inevitably, resulted in closures in majority black areas. But you could easily see that the only race based application there was keeping DMVs OPEN in black areas, once you analyzed the data.

                1. Well, the Washington Post (Fake News media!!) does tell us that the governor reversed the closings after about a month, so it’s largely moot.

                  1. Yes, but a relatively moot lie.

                    1. How intriguing. Usually, you’re a source of those, not the recipient.

          2. Not finding people doing a thing that is hard to detect doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen or isn’t easy. In a 2013 the NYC Department of Investigation sent undercover investigators to see if they could impersonate ineligible voters who remained on the rolls without being stopped by poll workers. In 62 of 63 tries, they succeeded.

            They succeeded almost 99% of the time in perpetuating a double fraud. They voted impersonating a person (no verification), and they impersonated a person who shouldn’t have been eligible to vote. The system is systemically weak. The only defense of it appears to be, “its impractical”.

            1. While this exposed administrative problems, it didn’t provide any evidence that fraud was common. It says nothing about how often people actually tried to vote fraudulently and succeeded.

              You might find https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/6/30/15900478/trump-voter-fraud-suppression-commission>this interesting.

              1. Sorry.

                This.

                Preview, anyone?

            2. Allutz: I was an election judge in Maryland for 35 years. To impersonate another voter in Maryland, you have to memorize that person’s street address and birthday. Also, you have to know that the person hasn’t already voted, or requested an absentee ballot. Then the biggest challenge. The vast majority of election judges in a precinct are local, so you have to hope none of them know the person you are impersonating. And all that for what? To get one extra vote.

              But yeah, I’m sure it’s happening millions of times all over the country.

            3. “They Sosucceeded almost 99% of the time in perpetuating a double fraud. They voted impersonating a person (no verification), and they impersonated a person who shouldn’t have been eligible to vote.”

              So they started with a list of voters they should be expected to impersonate, and managed to successfully impersonate them?

        2. “You can make anything appear to be nonexistent by making a point of not looking for it.”

          The R’s aren’t looking for it, either, their base are already as convinced as they’re going to get.They’ll actually buy the claim that their guy lost the popular vote for President by 3,000,000 votes but actually won because there were 3,000,000+ illegal immigrants who cast ballots for Shrill Hill, and those ballots don’t count.

      2. “I think a lot of people cheat with mail-in voting,” [Trump] said last Friday, without providing any evidence to support his claim.

        By “cheat”, he means voting for candidates who aren’t him.

        1. At the same time he sang the praises of absentee voting, apparently not understanding that the two are the same thing.

          1. Discovering that Mr. Trump has no idea what he’s speaking about shouldn’t be a new experience.

    2. Office gab just today (docs with masks on in the break room) on this subject:
      person 1: her grandmother is illiterate in both english and her native tongue, is assisted by my peer in voting the absentee ballot. Grandmother has no inkling of american politics, but granddaughter knew what her intent would be.
      person 2: her mother-in-law’s ballot obtained while in nursing home had answers that did not comport with her personal belief; ballot trashed.
      person 3: his adult child in persistent vegatative state was able to vote absentee with the parent completing the ballot with what he knew his child would have wanted.

      All incredulous when I ask how this is not the very fraud that their political foe (republicans and you-know-who) have suggested might be part of a liberal agenda.

      1. Cool story that just perfectly aligns with your existing biases and definitely happened.

      2. LawTalking
        I think there is a better response.

        I am sure things like this happen. BUT, just as often to benefit Republicans as it does Democrats. *Of course* an adult child will help out an infirm parent in filling out an absentee ballot. But just as often in a R household as in a D household. A perfect technical example of improper voting that does not benefit either political party.
        On the other hand; the bullshit about not allowing a student ID to count as a valid ID is done to deliberately harm Democratic candidates. (If there was an effort to say, “Military IDs are no longer valid forms of identification for voting purposes…if you wanna vote, just apply for a state ID from Afghanistan, where you are fighting to protect America. No state ID? Sorry, no vote for you in this year’s election.”…can you imagine the howls of outrage from Republicans? And those howls would be well-deserved, of course.)

        1. On the other hand; the bullshit about not allowing a student ID to count as a valid ID is done to deliberately harm Democratic candidates

          I’m not sure how it is in Wisconsin but in Minnesota, Student IDs weren’t (and possibly still aren’t) considered valid IDs for voting purposes because they don’t have the address of the student’s legal residence on them. So a student ID may show that you’re “Bob Smith” but not that you live in the precinct where you want to vote. Which is kind of important in an election.

          1. “I’m not sure how it is in Wisconsin but in Minnesota, Student IDs weren’t (and possibly still aren’t) considered valid IDs for voting purposes because they don’t have the address of the student’s legal residence on them. So a student ID may show that you’re ‘Bob Smith’ but not that you live in the precinct where you want to vote. Which is kind of important in an election.”
            If “Bob Smith” registered in the precinct, then proving that you ARE “Bob Smith” ought to be sufficient.
            Voter ID fans tend to think that military ID is sufficient, and they didn’t have addresses on them back when I had one. But members of the military tend to vote Republican and students tend not to, I wonder if anybody else noticed these trends?

        2. What I think definitely did not happen is that three people at work just happened to describe outlandish scenarios in succession to Gasman, who came up with the perfect rejoinder that turned them into sputtering idiots.

          1. It totally coulda happened just like that.

        3. Typically student ID’s don’t count for these purposes, because the schools don’t make any great effort to make sure you’re who you say you are. They’re just trying to make sure nobody sneaks into a class they haven’t paid for, if the check cleared what do they care if your name and address are correct?

          1. You and I can have a good-faith disagreement about this. I, personally, don’t give a crap if you vote in New York state (where, hypothetically, you’re a student) when your home address is in Ohio or California. I do care if you try to vote twice. And I think a national “who voted?” database would be helpful in spotting the few (relatively-speaking) student or snowbirds who could easily vote in two locations, if they did decide to vote twice.
            My value lies on the side of encouraging millions more valid votes. But I think that many people who instead value preventing thousand of fraudulent votes at the expense of preventing those millions of other votes are doing this in good faith. Politicians who publicly proclaim how happy they are at suppressing the vote and how their side is gonna win more elections do NOT (IMO) fall into that good-faith group.

            1. I happen to think we’re far past the point where we can do without a national ID, and it should be made available without charge to everyone who’s a citizen, with major league penalties for falsifying it.

              Voter ID is a no-brainer, basically every democracy on the planet requires it.

              The voting rights community made a big mistake focusing on stopping voter ID rather than demanding that the ID be freely available.

              If you start out assuming the good faith of these people, sure, you can rationalize that decision. But if you don’t… It looks like somebody trying to clear away an obstacle to fraud.

              1. “I happen to think we’re far past the point where we can do without a national ID”

                It’s calld a “Passport”.

                “If you start out assuming the good faith of these people, sure, you can rationalize that decision. ”

                Similarly, if you start out assuming good faith, then requiring voter ID is common-sense. But the people advocating it aren’t acting in good faith. And if the required Id isn’t free, then voter ID is an unconstitutional poll tax.

                1. You could make the same argument for not supplying free rides to the polls. But, note, I did advocate that it be supplied for free.

                  1. “You could make the same argument for not supplying free rides to the polls.”

                    You could, if you were a blithering idiot. So go ahead and make that Bec.

                    “But, note, I did advocate that it be supplied for free.”

                    Because that would be a Constitutional requirement, You don’t get credit for that.

            2. ” I think that many people who instead value preventing thousand of fraudulent votes at the expense of preventing those millions of other votes are doing this in good faith.”

              That makes a total of one of us who thinks that, out of two. What I think is they rationalize it by inventing reasons why those other people’s votes ought not to be counted. Which is not “good faith”.

          2. ” schools don’t make any great effort to make sure you’re who you say you are.”

            Your experience differs from mine. The schools used to get in trouble, because they used SS#’s to identify students, and they used student IDs as debit cards to provide access to the pools, dining halls, and copy machines.In my day, they issued physical keys to dorm residents but by the time my kid got there they had card readers that used student ID to control access. That sounds like a pretty good reason to make sure the address coded to the student ID is correct. If your address is Bigdonor Hall, you need to be able to open doors in Bigdonor Hall, and not Famousalum Hall.

            1. “The schools used to get in trouble, because they used SS#’s to identify students,”

              Well, yeah, there IS that law prohibiting using SS#s for any purpose but SS. Observed mostly in the breach these days.

              “That sounds like a pretty good reason to make sure the address coded to the student ID is correct. If your address is Bigdonor Hall, you need to be able to open doors in Bigdonor Hall, and not Famousalum Hall.”

              Sure, but as long as “John Doe”‘s check clears, they don’t much care if “John Doe” is really Juan Pérez. Even if they do care that John/Juan bunks in the hall he paid for.

              1. Since the originator of John Doe’s check is the federal government, they tend to care about identity, because all it takes is one case of identity theft involving federal student funds to allow the feds to disqualify the institution from receiving federal student aid funds for any students.

      3. The “Person 1” case could well be legitimate. Literacy or knowledge of English is not a requirement for voting. Being unable to fill out a ballot due to physical disability isn’t grounds for disqualification either. Not having an understanding of economics, politics, or human nature is not grounds for disqualification either (as evidenced by the number of people who voted for Sanders and Warren with their completely unrealistic ideas).

        If the granddaughter explained the candidates and issues to grandmother and asked which candidate she wished to vote for, that would not seem to be a problem — she was merely educating her grandmother and assisting her in filling out the ballot.

        “Person 2” case is a real problem – whoever filled in the ballot w/o the consent of the voter should be prosecuted.

        “Person 3” case should also result in prosecution. I recall a case a few years ago when such a prosecution occurred but can’t find it now.

      4. A few cycles past there was a case in Oregon of an election worker filling in “missing” votes on undervoted ballots.

    3. “Going all absentee securely is definitely possible, no question. But, due to the break in chain of custody, it’s more difficult than for in person voting, not easier. But we do have time before November to design a secure system, and implement it.”

      All voting systems that scale have a break in the chain of custody, as the vote leaves the custody of the voter and comes to the custody of the person doing the counting. There is no verification mechanism by which a voter can be sure their vote was counted correctly.

      1. “Chain” of custody doesn’t demand that there only the two terminal links. It merely demands that all the intermediate links be reliable.

        The biggest potential problem with absentee ballots is the possibility that the ballots might, for come crucial period, be unobserved in the hands of partisans. Ballot harvesting, of course, sees to it that this happens.

        When I lived in Michigan, we used scantron ballots; You filled them out manually, and then inserted them in a machine which would read them, or reject them if there was a double vote present, in which case you’d get a new ballot. If the ballot went through, it dropped into a locked ballot box. But the count was available electronically quite fast.

        I’d suggest there’s nothing stopping a state from putting polling places on trucks, WITH election observers, and having them drive around for a week on a published route. So that nobody has to travel more than a few hundred feet to vote.

        1. “The biggest potential problem with absentee ballots is the possibility that the ballots might, for come crucial period, be unobserved in the hands of partisans.”

          Yeah, we have secret balloting, which means we leave the ballots in the hands of voters unobserved. This is considered desireable.

  11. Have you seen how badly the USPS screwed up the mailing of absentee ballots in Wisconsin? Not sure that’s the right way to go.

    1. Oregon’s been running all of its elections by mail for several years now.

  12. The election is still seven months away. I know democrats are all excited about this, but if we’re still in a lock down with schools, business, etc closed then we have bigger things to worry about then democrat ballot harvesters going through homeless shelters and “helping” the residents vote for all the democrat candidates on the absentee ballots.

    1. Republicans and their apologists keep coming up with reasons why we ought not to count all the votes before we decide who won an election.

  13. Apparently, regardless of the conditions, the way to run an election is just constant, thinly based accusations of Dem voter fraud.

    Truly, a tactic for all seasons.

    1. That, and ignoring the opportunity for prudent preparation that could avoid problems.

      Republicans deserve everything that is coming to them.

      1. I mean, Republicans can certainly be criticized for not delaying the election, if you think the election should’ve been delayed (which I don’t agree with, but I don’t think is unreasonable). But calling it voter suppression is ludicrous.

        Now, what Milwaukee did? That is 100% voter suppression. They blatantly violated the law and unnecessarily crammed everybody into a tiny number of polling locations. That was absolutely unconscionable.

        Also, if you’re critical of Republicans for not delaying the election, and you want to call it voter suppression, then you need to be critical of the Democratic governor and accuse him of voter suppression as well. Because up until the literal day before the election, he AGREED with Republicans that the election shoudn’t be delayed (who was he trying to suppress?) and also agreed he didn’t have the power to do it himself. His desperate, last-minute attempt that he knew was doomed to fail was just a pathetic attempt to pretend like he did something.

    2. Also constant, thinly based accusations of Rep voter suppression.

      1. Uh, we have actual impactful policies (santamonica811 has a pretty good survey throughout this thread). And quotes.
        From Trump, most recently.

        Can’t bothsides this one.

      2. “Also constant, thinly based accusations of Rep voter suppression.”

        Consistently caused by (usually blatant) Rep voter suppression.

    3. Because millions of people couldn’t possibly have marked their ballots for Hillary instead of Trump, the only other explanation is vote fraud (although most of the actual convictions for vote fraud in recent years have been Republicans).

  14. Republicans weren’t the ones who wanted to cancel elections.

    1. No one wanted them canceled. They wanted them delayed or switched to all absentee/mail-in.

      1. An election delayed is an election cancelled and a new election held. Your electorate will be substantially different in the new election. That and there’s no way to be assured that if you reschedule the election later, things still won’t be bad and they’ll just delay them again, whoops!

        1. Even if that’s the case. It’s not true that Republicans didn’t want to move the election date. Wisconsin is the outlier (probably because their legislative leadership is composed of psychos)

          Republican Governors Eric Holcomb of Indiana and Jim Justice of W. VA., delayed their elections.

          Republican Governor DeWine and the Republican Ohio House agreed on a delay.

          The Republican controlled Pennsylvania Legislature passed a bill delaying the election which the Democratic Governor signed.

          Republican Sec. of State Brad Raffensperger delayed Georgia’s primary. As did the Republican Secretaries of State for Kentucky and Louisiana (with the cooperation of their Democratic Governors).

          Alabama’s Republican Governor Kay Ivey delayed a Senate runoff between Sessions and Tuberville.

          1. Absolutely valid examples, and it’s good that you mentioned them.

    2. Republicans are all in favor of free, fair elections, as long as they think they’ll win. If they’re worried about winning fairly, all bets are off.

    3. “Republicans weren’t the ones who wanted to cancel elections.”

      Just wait until it becomes obvious they aren’t going to be winning them.

  15. “Elections officials from all political stripes acknowledge that mail-in ballots are far more vulnerable to fraud. Stories of political operatives who routinely scam senior citizens out of their absentee ballots are so widespread that the term “granny farming” was coined. Even the New York Times, when reporting on suspicions of election fraud in North Carolina last year, noted that “absentee ballots are especially susceptible to manipulation.”

    And allowing third-party ballot delivery would do nothing to reduce that vulnerability. Recent history indicates it would make it worse.

    In Texas, paid political operatives known as politiqueras run rampant in the Rio Grande Valley, collecting ballots and manipulating electoral outcomes. In Florida, an elderly man who was blind swore an affidavit that an operative scammed him out of his absentee ballot.

    In fact, the concept of allowing a third party to deliver or submit a ballot on another’s behalf is known by election workers as “ballot harvesting.” While it has only been legal in a single state for one election cycle, its impact has already been profound.

    California became the first state to legalize the practice, and it was practiced there during the 2018 midterm election cycle. Following huge gains by California Democrats in those elections, political operatives from both parties agreed that the Democrats’ mastery of ballot harvesting led to seven GOP-held congressional districts flipping blue, including every seat in once reliably Republican Orange County. The provision on page 643 of Pelosi’s ACCESS Act bill would have extended this practice nationwide. . .

    Finally, how accurate are each state’s voter registration rolls? When the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Ohio’s efforts to clean up its voter rolls in 2012, the court’s opinion noted two Pew Center statistics: Twenty-four million voter registrations in the U.S. were either “invalid or significantly inaccurate,” and that “2.75 million people are said to be registered to vote in more than one state.”

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/04/09/eric-eggers-trump-mail-in-vote-fraud/

    1. Not sure how many folks you think you’ll sway, but citing breitbart will not help you succeed. It will however cause a good percentage to automatically reject your point and write you off as a knuckle dragger…

      1. Not sure how many folks you think you’ll sway, but being unable to make a substantive comment and instead employing ad hominem will not help you succeed. It will however cause a good percentage to (correctly) write you off as a knuckle dragger.

        There’s nothing wrong with Breitbart. And this passage in particular, which if you actually look at it, includes many hyperlinks supporting its points. The passage includes two cites to the NYT, media outlet which is just as politically and ideologically biased as Breitbart, but in opposition.

        1. I (Trump financial supporter and Republican) automatically ignore anything from Breitbart. Just too much dishonesty in its past. I have no doubt that lots of information there is accurate. But it’s been dishonest enough in the past that it is not worth my time to fact-check. Plenty of reliable conservative, neutral, and liberal media sources out there. For me. YMMV, obviously.

          1. ” Plenty of reliable conservative, neutral, and liberal media sources out there.”
            Either
            Ideally, news consists of facts, which lack partisan “spin”. although commentary on news offers plenty. I’m instantly suspicious of “news” that has a discernible party line. Either a D or an R can report on the weather. Did it rain yesterday? If so, how much, and what was the temperature? These are facts, and should be the same regardless of who’s reporting them.

          2. santamonica
            Can you point to some examples of the dishonesty? I’ve seen some supposed examples that were actually not so much. You may want to give it another look, simply because I’ve noticed there are occasionally factual stories of interest reported there that appear nowhere else. Sometimes it is as simple as pointing to the latest thing that some dumb Republicans or Democrats tried to slip in a bill that I never would have heard about otherwise.

            The political spin/commentary is also good. I prefer to read partisan/ideological spin on all sides. Supposed neutrality in media is fake.

      2. I have no need to write him off, again.

        1. Do you write off the New York Times? Do you agree that “ballot harvesting” should not be allowed?

          1. I don’t have a complaint about “ballot harvesting” if a few precautions are taken. For example, the harvester ought to be prevented from actually reading the ballot, both to preserve ballot secrecy and to keep them from “losing” ballots with votes on them that the harvester disagrees with.

            So, for example, party operator might get a list of registered party members who haven’t yet turned in a ballot from the elections office, and then try to contact those voters to turn in a ballot. theorizing that party members are likely to support the party’s candidates. But if they can check the ballots directly, those ballots that don’t have party-line votes on them are likely to become “lost” between the voter and the elections office. In Oregon, the libraries can accept ballots starting before ballots are due. The have huge containers for this, but the ballots are contained in envelopes

    2. “2.75 million people are said to be registered to vote in more than one state.”

      Of course, that’s a different claim than claiming there actually are that many invalid registrations…

      And trying to purge the voter rolls of actually invalid registrations is not the same thing as trying to purge the voter rolls of voters who vote for a different party than the one preferred by the one doing the purging.

  16. I am always amazed at the effort Republicans will put into decreasing the number of people voting. Rather than working to sell their ideas the Republican focus on limiting the voting to those they have already sold. It is the hallmark of a dying party.

    1. They target groups that tend to vote for not-Republicans, when they bother to vote at all. High turnout tends to correspond with Republicans losing elections. Their policies tend to favor entrenched interests over fringe constituencies, which is why so much of their electioneering consists of whipping up fear of “others”. When the “others” show up to vote, they outnumber the R’s.

  17. Seems to me, Oregon has a voting system that’s fairly resistant to pandemic.

  18. The biggest problem I see with “fraud” in default (or mandatory) mail in elections is households where this motivates the powerful entity (often the male husband) to monitor and require their spouse and any over 18 year old freeloading kids to vote a certain way.

    This can be blatant, or it can be demanding to “review” everyone’s ballot to make sure that its filled out correctly – no unintended overvotes or undervotes when everyone in the household knows how the powerful (likely sole income earner) would like to see the ballots filled out.

    1. I don’t see how this is much mitigated by in-person voting. Sure, someone could secretly go against powerful entity’s wishes, but that’s not really how that dynamic tends to work.

      1. Good comment. I agree.

      2. Seriously, you don’t see how filling out the ballot in private, where the “powerful entity” will never be able to see how you voted, mitigates “powerful entities” coercing votes?

        This is exactly the POINT of ballot secrecy, and you don’t see it?

        1. Brett doesn’t understand how oppression works. Shocker.

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