Voting

The Election Could Be Chaotic. Why Is Trump Trying To Make It Worse?

America's general election is facing both logistical and political hurdles, creating a feedback loop that threatens to derail the legitimacy of the results.

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Held last weekend, the Puerto Rican gubernatorial primary may have raised the bar for the most turbulent election in a year already marked by plenty of baffling balloting. It's also a likely preview of what will happen across the rest of America in November.

Some Puerto Rico voters stood in line for hours to cast their ballots, risking exposure to the coronavirus and extreme tropical heat, The New York Times reported. The long lines were caused, in part, because ballots were not delivered on time to some polling places. Eventually, the territory's election commission stepped in and postponed the election until next weekend in areas where insufficient ballots were available—though the Puerto Rican Supreme Court will ultimately decide whether votes cast last weekend in those places will count or if they must be tossed, according to the Times. 

It is a mess. And not an isolated one. Georgia's June 9 primary election broke turnout records despite the pandemic but was marred by long lines and widespread voter confusion. Georgia poll workers were calling in sick and some polling places had to be relocated at the last minute to accommodate social distancing requirements. New York State is still not finished counting the mail-in ballots it received for its primary election, and two races remain undecided. The election was held on June 23.

Perhaps it is a blessing that this slow-motion election train wreck has so far had relatively low stakes—ultimately, there just aren't that many people who care about the outcome of the Democratic primary for New York's 12th congressional district. Former vice president Joe Biden, meanwhile, had the higher-stakes Democratic presidential primary race well in hand before the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

But as November's general election approaches, the above factors and many others could combine to make the almost inevitable post-election chaos seem even worse. Millions of Americans who haven't been paying close attention to messes that unfolded in New York and Puerto Rico this summer might wake up on November 4 expecting to know who won the presidential election. They are unlikely to have an answer, as it will take days or perhaps weeks to count all mail-in ballots and certify the results.

America's general election is facing both logistical and political hurdles. The two challenges reflect and enhance one another, creating a feedback loop that threatens to undermine the legitimacy of the results.

Both aspects have been on full display this week.

Puerto Rico's ballot-delivery disaster is close to a worst-case scenario for any state or territory—imagine if something similar happens in a swing state on November 3. States could avoid some of the in-person voting issues that the pandemic has created by expanding mail-in voting access, but that creates further logistical problems (see what happened in New York this summer) and has triggered political pushback. This week, for example, the Republican National Committee asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stop a decision by Rhode Island election officials that will allow more voters to use absentee ballots.

Previously, voting by absentee ballot in Rhode Island was ridiculously difficult. Voters had to have two witnesses sign their ballot and get the ballot notarized. State officials dropped those requirements for this year to allow more people to vote by mail, but it remains to be seen whether federal courts will allow it.

In other situations, the Trump administration has sought to withhold federal funds from states that try to expand absentee voting, a maneuver that raises constitutional issues regarding the separation of powers.

Those political hurdles create more logistical problems in part because a sudden increase in voting by mail requires an effective and efficient postal service. Some Democrats see Trump's recent overhaul of the U.S. Postal Service's leadership as a nefarious attempt to interfere with mail-in balloting. Trump could easily deflect that attack by pointing out that the post office is an inefficient, bureaucratic mess that's been crying out for reform—but he's chosen instead to all but confirm the theory that, yes, it's about the election.

As I wrote in a feature about mail-in voting last week, Republicans are wrong to worry about mail-in voting fraud or to fret that more absentee ballots will boost Democratic candidates this year. In fact, mail-in voting is generally more secure than in-person voting because there is a paper trail for the entire process—the biggest downside to mail-in balloting isn't fraud but the time that it takes to check and tally every vote.

Somewhat ironically, Trump's campaign to delegitimize mail-in voting might end up hurting Republicans more than Democrats. One analysis of the 2016 election found that the people most likely to vote by mail were white voters over the age of 65—a key Trump demographic, and a group most likely to be frightened away from the polls by the threat of the coronavirus.

Whether by suing over absentee voting rules, meddling with the postal service, or disseminating spectral fears of voter fraud, the Republican goal seems to be to create confusion and distrust ahead of the 2020 general election—either as a tactic to help Trump's chances of winning or to have an excuse if he loses.

It is a dangerous game. Elections only work if they are widely viewed as legitimate. The coronavirus is creating new and unexpected hurdles for election officials trying to meet that standard. The president (and his party) should stop making things worse.

NEXT: National Injunction Developments

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  1. Why should anyone pretend that democrats aren’t intentionally trying to sabotage the election then releasing demands? I don’t owe someone money to give me a crutch if they just took a hammer to my knee. That’s called extortion.

    1. This makes no sense. Perhaps you could think about what you are trying to say and rewrite the comment.

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    2. They could be doing that except not admitting to it on live TV like the president just did.

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  2. I’m pretty sure that Trump doesn’t have a problem with absentee voting. It is the mailing of ballots to all voters, without them being requested, that is the problem. Get the TDS out of your system Boehm.

    1. Mailing ballots to all registered voters is not a problem. Do the math and you will see that changing an election is not really possible.

      1. New Jersey says hi. Literally from this year.

        1. New Jersey says “what the fuck are you looking at?”

          Hi? SMDH.

      2. Bush won Florida in 2000 by about 500 votes. There are countless election fraud cases where clerks and candidates have cast false absentee ballots. Even in the smallest cases, one person can cast tens of fraudulent votes. Keep in mind that these are just the 100% factually proven cases where people have been removed from office, convicted of crimes and sentenced. We’ll never truly know just how widespread the fraud was in these cases, never mind fraud that hasn’t been discovered yet or was too difficult to prove.

        Changing an election is possible. Stop pretending it isn’t.

        1. I am not aware of cases were clerks or candidates were shown to have cast additional ballots. Can you site a few?

          1. Al Franken on line 2…

          2. I did it myself once. The running public counter was 1 short of the number of tickets we gave out. Probably someone left the polling place and dropped it, without voting, and it was picked up from the floor or a table. We talked about what to do for a couple hours. So I cast a vote just for the Libertarian ticket for presidential electors, which incremented the public counter by 1.

            Could you not easily imagine a deliberate concerted effort by insiders to stuff the ballot by similar means?

          3. Just start reading the Heritage Voter Fraud Map list. You can sort by state, year, case type and the nature of the fraud.

            Here’s a local story from my area about recent voter fraud carried out by an election clerk.

            https://www.inquirer.com/news/voter-fraud-philadelphia-ward-leader-judge-of-elections-domenick-demuro-guilty-plea-20200521.html

            I definitely am not a fan of certain national Republicans who try to suggest that there’s widespread voter fraud to the point that tens of thousands of votes can appear out of thin air, but in terms of realistic voter fraud, individuals have enough control to affect a close race. One of the things I learned in our ethics training when I worked in municipal govt is that the appearance of unethical behavior is just as bad as actual unethical conduct. A corrupt clerk casting 30 or 40 votes that don’t alter the final outcome can be easily downplayed, but a leaky faucet doesn’t have to be a cataclysmic flood to make wood rot. If it’s happening at a local level, the same loopholes exist elsewhere. If individuals can get away with it and we can prove they padded some votes, it is a great cause for alarm because we don’t know what we don’t know. It seems like every time the national voter fraud conversation happens, there’s this ridiculous narrative that voter fraud does not occur and that’s supposed to be an argument against investigating it or taking precautions against it. If a small town didn’t have any homicides in the past 50 years, do they not need murder laws?

            Here’s a sort-of local story (Lackawanna is a bit north of where I am) about a councilman who committed fraud, was removed from office and jailed for 10 months.

            https://www.wnep.com/article/news/local/lackawanna-county/taylor-councilman-charged-with-forgery-in-alleged-vote-scam/523-278e831a-fe31-4a5d-a74b-65682f3f6792

            1. I would just start spamming links, but the algorithms don’t like that and think I’m one of those Indian spam bots, so I’ll just briefly summarize a few more local examples that I read up on.

              Richard Allen Toney was the police chief of Harmar Township (Allegheny County just outside of Pittsburgh) and he not only committed voter fraud by illegally filling out absentee ballots, but also used his office (once he won the election) to prevent investigation and prosecution of the involved parties. He eventually got busted by the FBI and was convicted of committing a conspiracy against the US. He got 3 years of probation.

              As part of the larger ACORN scandals, several ACORN employees were sentenced to several years probation for making false voter registrations. Their names are Eric Jones, Alexis Givner, and Mario Grisom. These guys were also based in Allegheny county.

              The more you start reading about these cases, an alarming trends becomes clear; regardless of the party, fraud occurs more often in strongholds. By stronghold, I don’t just mean a place that votes overwhelmingly one way. That usually is the case, but they’re also large population centers. I believe a lot of our population centers need to be investigated in more detail in anticipation of the 2020 elections.

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        2. Washington had a governor who won an election by 129 votes after the democrat counties scoured every rejected pile, broom closet, and warehouse for ‘overlooked’ ballots.

          Of course, it is hard to decide whether they outright stole the election or the counties are just so badly run that the issues with ballots not being counted only comes to light during a close election. Six-of-one/half-a-dozen of the other I guess.

      3. 223,000 ballots were returned in the low density (population wise) state of Nevada. With no chain of custody, it would not be difficult for collusion between some postal employees and instant votes for Biden (or Trump). Lack of a chain of custody disqualifies evidence in criminal cases and computer forensics cases. It should apply to ballots as well.

        You assertion that it isn’t possible is pure BS.

      4. It’s not his business. The Constitution gives most power of the election process to the states. There are 5 states that already send mail-in ballots to all of their registered voters. It is because their state legislatures have decided this is the best way to do things.

    2. Mailing ballots to all voters, regardless of whether they requested them, happens in multiple states around the country without a problem.

      1. Here in California, where there at least was an attempt to verify mail-in ballots, after my wife and I retired to a house we had rented out while we were still working we had ballots come to the house for three people who had rented rooms there. Two of them had left the state a year previously, and one had moved south.
        We could have just voted for them. Probably there are random signature checks, but I doubt the chance of getting caught that way is greater than a lightning strike.

        1. the latest Democrat bill dissallows signature verification.

        2. Also here in california, I received the ballots of the previous owner and threw them away.

          How would ballots going to the wrong house lead to fraud? Let’s say I opened them up and voted for Trump. Those ballots would be thrown out if the actual citizens voted manually. They would be thrown out if my signature didn’t match theirs.

          And let’s just say I *was* able to get the ballot accepted. Ok, I have just gotten 2 ballots for Trump…and the liberals down the street got 2 ballots fraudulently voting for Biden. *Shrug*

          The problem in California, which already has mail in voting, is ballot harvesting. And there, the Democrats just have a better ground game than the GOP. During the last elections when Dems turned Orange County Blue, the republican volunteers came numerous times to my house asking me if I voted yet, and asking me to remember to vote. Meanwhile the Democrat volunteers were going door to door, taking peoples’ sealed ballots and delivering them to the precinct.

          1. Yes, imagine the ballot harvesting when clueless individuals have Democrats show up at the door and have them assist in filling out this ballot that they were ignoring. Enough with the hackery, Boehm.

          2. Damn, that reads like straight propaganda

            1. In some states the Democrats are making it legal to “assist” people with filling out the ballots. Your comment reads like someone who is either happy with corruption as long as it favors his party of you are outright stupid.

              1. I think you misunderstood.
                The way overt’s comment reads is the way leftist propaganda reads

        3. Same things happens in the old system. When I first moved to FL from AL, my poll information from AL was sent to me (via forwarded mail) to my FL address. I live about 50 miles from there. It would have been very simple to have voted in both places, since AL, at that time, didn’t require voter ID.

      2. Define problem. Have any audits been made? Are people who didn’t vote verifying they didn’t show up as having voted? Is this one of the close your eyes type of problems?

        1. Just consider for a moment that you are the one who is declining to look hard.

          I volunteer in Orange County. The county supervisors, the election commission, everyone is GOP. And yet the GOP got their asses handed to them in 2016. This didn’t happen because of fraud- if there had been fraud, the GOP operatives up and down the line would have been able to find some form of irregularity. No, we lost the OC because Democrats have been slowly moving south, and because they had a superior ground game for harvesting ballots. While the GOP candidates were walking to Republican houses and reminding them to vote, the Democrat candidates were going to the houses and picking up their ballots. They didn’t need to cheat. They just did way, way better by going door to door among registered Democrats, and collecting their ballot then and there, rather than hoping those people would show up on election day or mail the ballots on their own.

          1. Ugh, asses handed to them in 2018. Sorry.

          2. Except many of the good operatives were combining precisely of the newly implemented ballot harvesting. What steps did they take to ensure vote accuracy? You’re claiming they made the steps, so what audits were taken?

            1. gop operatives *

            2. When a vote is received it is checked as I noted above- have I voted already, and does my signature match. As an individual voter who mailed in a ballot, I can go to a website and check the status of my ballot.

              The concern with mail in voting (not absentee) is that there will be a stack of stolen ballots that show up to be counted. That would be caught as the votes had non-matching signatures or they had a high discard rate due to people who never received their ballots going and voting in person, or re-requesting a ballot that then caused the same problem.

              Other problems such as the post office losing ballots or ballots suddenly disappearing after arriving at the precinct are the same problem you have in Absentee and/or In person voting. And the fact that I can check the status of my vote at any time allows the public to likewise lodge complaints.

              1. As noted earlier, the latest Dem bill prohibits signature matching. Because how are they supposed to cheat if they can get caught?

      3. Objectively false propaganda. Cite a state that you think has no problems and I’ll start listing cases of proven voter fraud with trials, convictions and sentences to back it up.

        1. The Heritage database you mention, with 1,296 verified cases as I write this, lists no cases for Delaware, DC, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island and Vermont. Vermont I might almost believe:-) The others speak to the spottiness of the data (which kinda makes one of your points), as does the disparity between NC and SC (32 cases vs 1 case).

          (It only took 2 or 3 minutes, given a list of USPS state code and URL editing, to skim through all the states + DC & PR)

      4. It took those states 5 years to develop a way to secure their voting. They keep their voting rolls purged with one way being the post office sending them information on people moving. They also have tracking for every ballot mailed.
        Expecting the states switching to mail in vote to accomplish what they took 5 years to do in 5 months is impossible. New York is still trying to get results for their June 3rd primary with over 20% of the mail in ballots rejected and court fights over it all.
        My wife and I applied for and recieved absentee ballots for the primary this year. We mailed them back together and only one made it. 50% is not a good track record.
        Now imagine a general election with the same problems and think of the rioting and looting and shooting if it takes months and President Trump wins.
        Read the study done in 2005 chaired by Jimmy Carter and James Baker about raising confidence in our election which would increase voter turnout. Mail in voting was the worst idea they found.

    3. Then you haven’t been listening to him. He’s been very open about his “problem” with absentee ballots for years. He just didn’t try to do anything to sabotage it in 2018.

  3. “The Election Could Be Chaotic. Why Is Trump Trying To Make It Worse?”

    It’s because he’s evil.

    He’s evil, and he stays up late at night trying to think up new and better ways to make the world awful.

    Is that what you believe, Eric?

    1. I leave it as he is evil. I don’t think he spends too much time thinking about anything.

    2. The world is a simple place: all problems are because of Trump or are made worse by Trump. He is the root of all problems. No need to look any deeper than that. Ever. Everything will still be his fault once he’s gone.

      1. +1

        They start with Trump’s evil as a given premise rather than end with it as a reasoned conclusion even.

        They don’t see anything but evil in Trump because they doesn’t want to see anything but evil in Trump.

        When I used to talk to a lot of O people, I got so I’d start asking them to say something critical about Ayn Rand. If they couldn’t think of anything, I’d cite a criticism of my own–and then I’d point out that if you can’t think of anything to criticize Ayn Rand about, maybe you’re not objective on the subject of Ayn Rand. How can you be an objectively thinking person who doesn’t disagree with Ayn Rand about anything–and why would I want to reason with someone like that?

        I’m pretty close to treating Trump’s critics that way. Not all of them are like that, but for a lot of them, they can’t think of anything good to say about President Trump–not one thing. It isn’t just that they’ll denounce him for cowardly abandoning the Kurds in Syria by withdrawing our troops from harm’s way and then denounce him as a warmonger for not withdrawing them completely. It’s that some of them can’t think of anything good to say about him at all.

        At some point, our credibility goes down the shitter like that.

        If Adolf Hitler was always kind to his grandmother, then that’s what he was–even if he was evil in every other way.

        If they can’t think of anything good to say about President Trump, it’s because their objectivity is shot.

        1. If they can’t think of anything good to say about President Trump, it’s because their objectivity is shot.

          All of it. Even musingly. And it’s got as much to do with their politics as his.

          More than once I’ve heard that Obama seemed to be a better father and a better ‘family man’ than Trump from people who voted for Trump. People that will tell you how much they hate Obama will talk about how, politics aside, congenial he is, and how they could have a beer with him or play a pickup game of basketball against him.

          The other way, IME, you can’t even get dismissive consideration of tangential compliments like ‘Melania and Ivanka are/were way hotter than Michelle and Malia.’ Lot’s of them can’t even cede the underlying ideas of sexual attraction and personal taste.

        2. He just admitted that he’s trying to sabotage the election. Evil is as evil does.

    3. his article was funny… lists all sorts of problems that have already been realized… then says trumps fault.

    4. The post office has been a mess for decades.
      President Barack Obama’s not-so-subtle dig at the U.S. Postal Service—”UPS and FedEx are doing just fine. … It’s the Post Office that’s always having problems”—has sent his cheerful relations with America’s postal unions to the dead letter office.
      Obama advocated cutting 12,000 more jobs from the USPS which had eliminated over 250,000 over the last 20 years and he also wanted Saturday delivery stopped and promoted privatizing it.
      The Democrats know the condition of the USPS and after pushing for mail in voting are now attempting to prop up the USPS with 25 billion for an election in 3 months? With all the negatives concerning mail in voting they have a good reason to insist on it. Or a nefarious one.

  4. >>risking exposure to the coronavirus and extreme tropical heat

    everyone is at risk of exposure to cold viruses everywhere they go, and Puerto Ricans know it’s hot in Puerto Rico

    1. Clearly the extreme tropical heat is Trump’s fault.

  5. Voting imploding!

  6. Trump is making the process by which Putin selects our President worse? Does not compute.

  7. Trump is losing as it stands (note that may change) and he does not seem the type that is a good loser. We know that he cheats in golf (see Rick Riley’s 2019 book) which suggest he does not like to lose. When the election is decided and that will likely be after November 3, he will walk away telling everyone he was cheated. Frankly he can tell himself (and that is what he will be doing) whatever he wants. Biden/Harris and the rest of us will need to concentrate on picking up the pieces.

    1. This is probably the most ignorant comment I have seen today. Trump is the sore loser? Haven’t I had to sit through years and years of the Democrats telling me the elections were rigged by 100K in facebook ads? muh Russians!

      Weak

      1. Just because Hillary was a sore loser doesn’t mean that somehow Trump won’t be one (or that he wouldn’t have been one had he lost in 2016). I anticipate whoever loses in November wil; be a sore loser.

    2. Biden will not be picking anything up. His visiting angel does that for him (along with many other things).

    3. You may want to look closer at that light at the end of the tunnel. What you see is the Trump Train gaining momentum and it will be bearing down on you in November.

    4. Get those tears ready goober.

      Like in 2016, the Trump landslide is gonna make you lefties cry your eyes out.

      1. There wasn’t a Trump landslide in 2016. He lost the popular vote, meaning he just barely won.

  8. Orange Man Bad leads to dumb commentary.

  9. Mail in ballots are only secure until the inner envelope is separated from the outer envelope. At that point, the paper trail for the ballot is lost. Someone flooding the system with fraudulent ballots will try to have that stage passed quickly; then it is impossible to figure out which ballots were in the outer envelopes that are determined to be invalid.

    1. Simply trashcan the ballots where the outer envelope is from a registered Republican or vice versa depending on which single party is controlling the local election district.

    2. Obviously you have not processed absentee ballots. It is a very complicated process. Absentee ballots have to be signed witnessed and sealed. If the voters signature, the witnesses signature is missing or if the seal is broken the ballot is voided. At the polling place the ballots are opened and assigned a number (just like other ballots), the ballot is then counted. All this takes place at a polling site in public and a place that any party can send an observer. The process is checked hourly with number of ballots that can be counted. Any rejected ballot must be saved to be checked in a recount. The idea of slipping in a bunch of extra ballots is a fantasy or an episode of MI (1970 version, not the Cruise version)

      1. Isn’t it funny how even though we keep being told fraud doesn’t happen and it’s too difficult and impossible, it keeps happening? People forge signatures. They illegally notarize documents. Why are you so naive? This isn’t a partisan issue. It isn’t about one party or the other. It’s about how insecure and fundamentally flawed our mail-in and absentee ballot systems really are. Even the Times doesn’t agree with you.

        nyti.ms/3chkRZS

        1. I am not suggesting fraud does not happen, what I am suggesting is to do it on a scale large enough to affect a national election would be impossible. In 2016, MI was the closest state with Trump and Clinton separated by over 13000 votes. That’s a lot of votes to forge just to 16 electoral votes. It would require a large conspiracy and so it would be difficult to hide. Look at it this way, people can disagree about the effect of Russian interference in 2016, they can not disagree that the Russian’s foot prints were evident. The foot print of any large scale fraud would be evident.

          1. This is the point that really makes me want to beat my head against the wall as I listen to the gasping hysterics about the likelihood of vote fraud around here — these people have no grasp of the logistics that would need to be involved in pulling off a large enough vote fraud scheme to reliably swing any sort of statewide vote. Even in a small population state, it would be necessary to get tens of thousands of fraudulent votes cast to be confident of changing the outcome. These dipshits act like parties know in advance that particular states are going to come down to very narrow margins such that “every [fraudulent] vote counts,” but it’s impossible to count on that when a two percent margin of error in polling equals 270,000 votes in a place like Florida.

            1. i will agree with you that in most cases voter fraud is insignificant. However, look up the 1960 election. It is widely believed that Kennedy won that election through voter fraud. It is real easy to look up and is well documented.

      2. Absentee ballots have to be signed witnessed and sealed.

        I’ve voted absentee many times, and that is absolutely false. There is no witness requirement.

        1. There is in Wisconsin.

        2. Required in my state but special COVID rules permit you to forego the witness or notary part and attach a photocopy of an ID.

        3. Absentee ballot procedures varies state to state. In FL, we can request one for any reason (and can request them for the next few elections). Back when I was a student in AL (late 1980s), and lived out of state, I had to explain why I needed an absentee ballot to get one, and it could have been refused.

      3. Signed by a witness? that is not at all true in Illinois

      4. And again, eerily similar to legal vs. illegal immigrants, the Dem symps blur absentee ballots vs. mail-in ballots. Just stop trying, you’re embarrassing yourself.

        1. How do you think absentee ballots get counted? Are you in favor of sabotaging those too in order to sabotage mail-in?

    3. In 2018 in Broward County, Florida they lost over 2000 rejected ballots. It was finally found they had mixed them into the valid ballots and counted them and there was no way to undo it. They found poll workers in back rooms unsupervised “correcting” ballots and mixing them in. A judge finally stepped in when Governor Scott took it to court and stopped them from overturning the close elections that were won on election night. By continuing their count with no estimated time of completion they had narrowed the election for the Senate and Governor and others. This was all done with provisional ballots in one county. This is one of the county’s that attempted to take the win from Bush in 2000.

  10. The Election Could Be Chaotic. Why Is Trump Trying To Make It Worse?

    Summary of the article: “Trump is making voting more chaotic by not opening the federal money spigot and by not loosening voting regulations.”

    Neither of those makes voting more chaotic. It’s the job of states to prioritize their own budgets so that they can carry out their elections properly. Neither should elections be an excuse to re-open the money spigot for the post office. And, if anything, insisting on voting rules that make the outcome more trustworthy is a good thing; there is no reason to believe that that causes chaos.

    I see Reason continues to push the Democrat’s talking points and keeps blaming Trump for failures at the state level. Some “libertarian” site this is.

    You know what a libertarian approach to mail-in voting would be? Allow delivery of mail-in ballots by UPS and Fedex, with tracking numbers and delivery notifications. Maybe even make a special deal with them to offer it at lower cost, and maybe transfer funding from the post office to make it happen.

  11. This whole article cites example after example of why mail in balloting is terrible only to hit trump over the head for also suggesting it’s terrible and trying to prevent it from being more widely used.

    1. and also for not spending money.

    2. Well, if he’d stop trying to help Joe Biden win by taking Kamala Harris’ side against him, this whole thing wouldn’t be so confusing for people like Boehm.

    3. Throw federalism on the pyre, another worthy sacrifice to the godlike radiance of the Trump.

      Hail Trump! He really shakes things up.

  12. Want to vote? Show up at the polling place. Our ancestors did, in greater percentages than today, even if it meant hitching up the wagon and driving ten miles to the county seat in dicey weather.

  13. Rs lose when voter turnout increases. The end.

    Great to see the “libertarians” here defend attempts to sabotage democracy though. Keep it up cultists.

    1. Each election since the 80s has had greater voter turnout in numbers. Want to try again?

    2. Deadbeats vote Democrat. In other news, water is wet.

    3. America is a constitutional democratic republic.

      Democrats are liars and lost the civil war trying to push your bullshit.

  14. In fact, mail-in voting is generally more secure than in-person voting because there is a paper trail for the entire process—the biggest downside to mail-in balloting isn’t fraud but the time that it takes to check and tally every vote.

    This isn’t what you were saying when you were defending ID-less in person voting. THEN it was ‘what little vote fraud there is, and there isn’t much, is usually committed with mail-in voting’.

    But being lying leftist hypocrites seems to be all the rage at Reason these days, so I guess I should have expected this.

    1. “THEN it was ‘what little vote fraud there is, and there isn’t much, is usually committed with mail-in voting’.”

      This is exactly what was reported when there was a push for Voter ID requirements 4+ years ago.

  15. Eric is incapapble of rational thought with any topic that is even remotely related to Trump.

  16. The Election Could Be Chaotic. Why Is Trump Trying To Make It Worse?

    Because he can’t shut the fuck up for two goddamned seconds.

    ‘You’re not wrong Walter, you’re just an asshole.’

    1. Thread winner.

  17. “…Elections only work if they are widely viewed as legitimate. The coronavirus is creating new and unexpected hurdles for election officials trying to meet that standard. The president (and his party) should stop making things worse.”

    For the past four years, we have been witnessing an attempt by high-ranking government people to de-legitimize the results of the 2016 election. If Trump is afraid of mail-in ballots, or any other means of casting one’s vote, that fear is entirely rational.

    1. For the past four years, we have been witnessing an attempt by high-ranking government people to de-legitimize the results of the 2016 election.

      This was what I was saying above, except you’re underselling it. We had legitimately documented overt internal attempts to de-legitimize the results *and the media supporting their narrative collusively*.

      The NYT, WaPo, HuffPo, etc., etc., and even Reason’s reporting over the last 4.5 yrs. has done more damage to an informed democracy than Trump or Putin could ever hope to achieve.

      1. The NYT, WaPo, HuffPo, etc., etc., and even Reason’s reporting over the last 4.5 yrs. has done more damage to an informed democracy than Trump or Putin could ever hope to achieve.

        And this doesn’t even touch on them running cover for socialist dictatorships.

  18. risking exposure to the coronavirus and extreme tropical heat, The New York Times reported.

    To think we just had an article here yesterday about media fear mongering and hysteria.

    1. The NYT makes it sound like heat in Puerto Rico is rare and that risking exposure to coronavirus rarely happens except in such cases as going to vote.

  19. Democratic candidates this year. In fact, mail-in voting is generally more secure than in-person voting because there is a paper trail for the entire process

    I this paper trail the reason signature validation is being banned in Pelosis new package? Why it forces states to allow ballot harvesters. What a paper trail!

    Do I really need to link to the stories of people finding out the state shows they voted when they didn’t? And this is people who actively sought to find out the information.

    New York times has even written articles on the fraud avenues exposed to this mess.

    Let me ask you Boehm… when you make a cash deposit, do you put it in an envelope and have it go through a few different people on the way to the bank?

    1. by the way… how is the paper trail improved? They take your name at voting offices. There is no improvement at all.

  20. The Election Could Be Chaotic.

    Whatever you say, Orange Man.

    1. Chaotic Good, Neutral, or Evil?

  21. ?Some Puerto Rico voters stood in line for hours to cast their ballots, risking exposure to the coronavirus and extreme tropical heat, The New York Times reported.

    Did the NYT really add the part about ‘extreme tropical heat’? Did they really? Tell me they didn’t say that. Tell me that the voting process they’ve been doing for decades didn’t magically become worse in the Puerto Rican weather because of Donald Trump. Tell me.

  22. After four years of listening to democrats say it wasn’t legit because of Russians or some other bullshit.

    Seriously fuck your tds. Elections are held by counties not the feds and you can drop your fucking ballot off at the box.

    1. I agree that it is best to skip the post office. My city, Madison, has numerous early voting sites where people can drop off absentee ballots or do curb side voting. I will be recommending this to everyone. Don’t chance the Post Office with a Trump appointee as its head.

    2. “Or some other bullshit.”

      You are welcome to read about what happened. It’s largely documented. No need to stay confused.

    3. And my ballot is ALWAYS dropped off this way and STILL returned for “unverified signature.” Because I don’t vote D! I don’t know any Demos this Ever happens to in my state.

      1. You can’t bitch about how it’s too easy to vote and then whine that it was a little inconvenient for you.

        Obviously you have absolutely no evidence for the partisan conspiracy theory you’re making up out of thin air.

  23. Can’t we just have. Ritual online voting? It works for teaching children.

  24. New York State is still not finished counting the mail-in ballots it received for its primary election, and two races remain undecided. The election was held on June 23.

    We should roll this out nationwide! I’m sure if Cuomo’s asked about this, he’ll say he was following Trump’s CDC guidelines.

  25. Safe or not, I am NOT trusting an organization so inept that they lose billions of dollars every single year with something as important as my vote. Much like Cosmo Kramer, in the “Seinfeld” episode, I have essentially quit the mail. I receive and pay all of my bills electronically.

    Furthermore, no matter who wins this election cycle, I will not believe it. And, as a matter of fact, I am stockpiling ammunition for the inevitable upcoming fight, which I believe will become even more violent than the numerous BLM “protests”, no matter who is declared winner.

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  27. Oh my god the butthurt on this thread.

    Trump and his front are sabotaging the post office and have admitted in English that the reason is to disrupt mail-in voting. It’s plain as fucking paper.

    Yet nearly everyone here is not bitching about the prospect of the election being rigged (as long as it’s being rigged by a Republican), they’re bitching about how mean everyone is being to Trump. What a pathetic bunch of sad cucks you all are. Is this just a Qanon hangout? Is that what this has become?

    Trump is not a good president! Sorry if that opinion is triggering.

    1. Trump and his front are sabotaging the post office and have admitted in English that the reason is to disrupt mail-in voting. It’s plain as fucking paper.

      I don’t have a problem with that. If you want to vote, go vote in person.

      Yet nearly everyone here is not bitching about the prospect of the election being rigged

      I don’t see any “rigging” in forcing people to go to the polls in person. Who do you think that “rigs” the election for?

      Trump is not a good president! Sorry if that opinion is triggering.

      I agree that Trump is not a good president. But the choice isn’t between Trump and a good president, the choice is between Trump and a demented prick and his authoritarian sidekick-with-a-cervix.

      1. “If you want to vote, go vote in person.”

        Why? Mail voting is more secure and there is a pandemic.

        Explain why voting should be restricted, and if you posit any conspiracy to rig things, I want citations from reliable sources, and that doesn’t not include your asshole.

        My citation for how Trump is trying to rig the election can be found in this very article. And numerous quotes where he admits that he wants to restrict voting to hurt Democratic turnout. No concerns there? Nothing?

        1. My wife and I applied for and recieved absentee ballots for the primary. We sent them back on the same day. One made it. Is 50% good enough? No one has to convince me because I witnessed it.
          In New Jersey over 20% of the ballots were rejected for mistakes and in New York their primary on June 3rd is still not decided. Those are all facts. The state that have successfully went to mail in voting took 5 years to accomplish it and keep their voter rolls purged with some having the USPS report all exchange of mail address and other means. They have systems to track every ballot mailed out and in. Do you really think all of these states can do it 3 months what it took 5 years to do?

      2. And when I ask why you want to restrict voting and assuming that it’s not because you actually believe the self-serving bullshit Trump and anti-democratic Republican forces make up out of thin air, I’m respecting that you’re not a dumb sheep.

        I want to know the actual, pragmatic reason. No more lies. Why is it better for freedom when fewer people vote or when their votes don’t get counted?

        1. So, the talking point is, if you want verifiable or in-person voting, you want to “restrict voting”. Then you use the example of absentee ballots, which is a process completely different from en masse mailing of ballots to everyone with a zip code. Then you sneak in a new law prohibiting signature verification of ballots. Am I missing something?

        2. Over 20% of ballots were rejected in New Jersey primary for mistakes. The New York primary on June 3rd is still not settled. The election will be challenged in court in almost every state on close election and take months to decide.
          As far as your vote counting my wife and I applied for absentee ballots and sent them both back on the same day. One made it. That is 50% of them counted. A couple Christmases ago I sent my son and grandchildren cards and checks. The checks had to be cancelled and resent. The IRS advised if you send in tax payment to not use the USPS. Do you see where I am going with this?

          1. So you’re against all mail voting?

    2. The post office has been in trouble for decades. You have to be an uninformed and easily influenced sheep to believe the propaganda that President Trump is doing anything to the post office. Obama advocated cutting 12,000 more jobs after the 250,000 that had been eliminated over the last 20 years and stopping Saturday deliver rather then keep throwing money at the problem. He made the statement FedEx and UPS were doing a much better job and advocated for privatizing the USPS. Every President over the last few decades has tried to reform the USPS and they keep having to be funded. Do you really think a man appointed in June has had time to affect anything or that 25 billion 3 months before the election could cure all the problems? The left depends on the uninformed and easily influenced lefty sheep to believe all their lies and propaganda keep their minds closed to the truth and facts. You seem to be very dependable. Do a little research and stop embarrassing yourself.

    3. Liberal alert! Name calling when you can’t win an argument with facts is classic. Not classical liberalism: classic whining.

  28. Somewhat ironically, Trump’s campaign to delegitimize mail-in voting might end up hurting Republicans more than Democrats. One analysis of the 2016 election found that the people most likely to vote by mail were white voters over the age of 65—a key Trump demographic, and a group most likely to be frightened away from the polls by the threat of the coronavirus.

    So you’re saying Republicans are stupid for pushing back on the vote-by-mail scheme because it actually helps them and Democrats are stupid for pushing for the vote-by-mail scheme because it actually helps the Republicans? Yeah, I think they’re both stupid, but I’m a little skeptical that they’re that goddamn stupid. If the Democrats are for it, I’m petty damn sure it’s because the Democrats see it as in their favor to be for it.

    As I wrote in a feature about mail-in voting last week, Republicans are wrong to worry about mail-in voting fraud or to fret that more absentee ballots will boost Democratic candidates this year. In fact, mail-in voting is generally more secure than in-person voting because there is a paper trail for the entire process—the biggest downside to mail-in balloting isn’t fraud but the time that it takes to check and tally every vote.

    Yeah, see my reply to the above – if it made voting more secure you can bet your ass the Democrats would not be supporting it. Look, it’s just common sense even if you can’t prove it or can’t explain it and therefore technically can’t say that you “know” something is true, you still know it’s true. It’s like the man said, if some feller in a bar walks up to you and wants to bet you that he can take a brand-new sealed deck of cards out of his pocket, tap it three times, and a camel will jump out of the deck and spit tobacco juice in your eye, don’t take the bet because sure as hell you’re getting an eyeful of tobacco juice. You don’t know how it’s going to happen, but it’s going to happen.

    1. This is what gripes me the most about people airily dismissing the idea of wide-spread voter fraud – they can’t imagine how it would work and the experts all say it’s nothing to worry about, so they’re quite confident it doesn’t exist. But you know Twitter just recently got hacked, Experian has been hacked, Wells Fargo and Bank of America have been hacked – you don’t think they don’t use the best of anti-hacking protections? But you know why they get hacked? Because the people who hack them have a hell of an incentive to hack them – they have a greater incentive to hack them than the people paid to keep them out have an incentive to keep them out. What kind of incentive do you think people rigging an election have? You can’t possibly imagine the lengths they would go to, because you’re not planning on rigging an election and you have no incentive to spend more than about 5 minutes thinking about how you would go about rigging an election. Suppose I offered you the Presidency of the United States and control of trillions of dollars in budget allocations and the future direction of the most powerful nation in the world? Would you maybe have an incentive to come up with an idea to rig the election then?

      1. A competent government would be investigating actual attempts to hack the election and not make up self-serving excuses to rig it themselves.

        1. The New York primary on June 3rd is still not final. Are we willing to wait for months for results that will be contested in court in most states for a decision on who won? My wife and I applied for and recieved provisional ballots. We sent them back on the same day. One made it. We have no idea why the other didn’t or where it went. If it arrives after the deadline it will be thrown out. 50% good enough for you?

          1. Exactly. It’s cheat by mail

          2. So many assumptions wrapped up in this hodgepodge of excuses for why there shouldn’t be any mail in voting. What about the votes that aren’t counted because people can’t get to the polling place? Or don’t want to because of the risk of illness and death? Why are restricted votes on the front end better than problems on the back end? Spend more money and make the system better. Is that on the table?

            1. Tony, quit dodging the question. We have huge volumes of problems with mail-in voting. From simple observation, it appears to be orders of magnitude more than normal. At least two jurisdictions have had such hotly problematic primaries that there have been rational calls to redo the entire election (New Jersey and New York). This is only what we are aware of.

              Do you wonder why people are concerned?

  29. If you can loot and riot in person, you can vote in person. Stop the con.

    1. How hard is it to wear a mask?

  30. There is no way the USPS can gear up for this by election day. Also, the Dims are already looking for ways to hack and cheat the system.

    1. Easier to hack electronic systems than the paper-trailed mail-ins.

  31. If it was safe and did not contribute to the spike in Covid 19 to have tens of thousands of Democrats rioting in the streets protesting the Democrats they elected and their policies for over 2 months, because they wore masks, why can’t people vote with masks on?

  32. There is absolutely ZERO reason why we all need to SUDDENLY mail in our vote. I live in a mail in state and I do not vote D. ALL of my family members have had ballots returned for “unverified signature,” at some point. I have had this happen twice, once my ballot was returned after the election was OVER. Covid is NOT killing everyone and there is zero reason to do this, along with zero reason not to show ID to vote. Zero.
    -RN (I say that on my license)

    1. So you are content to vote by mail but other people shouldn’t be allowed?

  33. I’ll be voting by UPS. Pretty easily defeated ploy, it would seem.

  34. Lies from Boehm. Elections in Georgia went off without a hitch.

    Democrats faired poorly., so propagandists at unreason cover for them by lying that elections are in doubt in the peach state.

    Trump will carry Georgia. We will continue to have two republican senators.unreason staff have a sad.

  35. If democrats are legitimately for something, you can be assured its bad for America.

    1. Name one good thing Republicans have done at the federal level in 40 years.

      Every rime they are put in charge of the economy we get a depression-level event. The only culture war issue they have won is to maximize the number of schoolchildren being turned into splatter on the wall.

      They’re sabotaging democracy, so you’d think there was an important reason why they need to win by cheating.

      Come on, name one thing.

  36. It will be civil war 2.0 either way. Lefties wont accept Trump being duly reelected and most Americans wont accept Lefties trying to steal this election with Joe “party of slavery” biden and kamala rouge. Democrats dont understand that once the silent majority accepts that the constitution is not accepted by Lefties, lefties get no quarter.

  37. Did I miss something? Is there anything in the article that tries to answer the question in the headline?
    “Why Is Trump Trying To Make It Worse?”

  38. “In fact, mail-in voting is generally more secure than in-person voting because there is a paper trail for the entire process—the biggest downside to mail-in balloting isn’t fraud but the time that it takes to check and tally every vote.”

    I’d suggest readers (and Boehm) read former FEC Comissioner Hans von Spakovsky’s (who used to enforce federal election laws) articles on voter fraud over at the Heritage website. You don’t see Boehm reporting on the 60 or so lawsuits filed by Democrats against states to change their election laws, e.g., rather than discarding a ballot when the signature on the envelope doesn’t match the voter’s signature on file, they want to count the ballot. No one is going to convince me that won’t lead to fraud. Read Spakovsky’s articles detailing some of the election fraud that’s happened – it happens (contrary to Democrat talking points, and sadly some Reason authors who repeat those talking points without research).

    The biggest problem with mail in voting this year, is the states (who run the elections) that don’t have mail in ballots already, aren’t ready to do it. Consider the manpower and equipment needed to validate and count the ballots. Every ballot must be checked to validate that only the actual voter signed it – not a problem with in person voting where you are identified and put your ballot in the box under observation by officials. How long will signature validation take, especially when one party thinks the signature is OK while another no. This is worse than counting chads. Another big problem, is the disenfranchised voters with mail in ballots. About 8% of the ballots are disenfranchised for things like a missing postmark, witness signature or other defect. If the signature doesn’t match, AFAIK they don’t investigate for fraud or that they’re disenfranchising a voter – not enough time and resources to do it. So do we have valid elections when 8% of the ballots aren’t counted without followup for disenfranchised voters, or is in person voting better? I’d say in person is better.

    Further, Reason authors, please quit conflating absentee ballots with mail in ballots: rules and procedures are different in every state.

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