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July 20, 2020

We Need Massive Turnout and Unambiguous Results from the November Election

In person voting

The last thing we need is an ambiguous or disputed election. Because the pandemic is unpredictable and may well be rampant in some places, we must prepare to vote by mail if necessary. If you are not highly vulnerable and/or are in a place where the flu is under good control come election day, you should vote in person. What demonstration of our values is more worth going to then the line at the polling place?

If you can march in a protest or a Fourth of July celebration, you can march to the voting booth.

We’ve already seen in primaries that mass numbers of mail ballots lead to long delays in tabulating results, especially if ballots which were mailed but not received by election day are allowed. A long delay in knowing who the next president is going to be would be a terrible event for the country. It may happen; but better if we can avoid the delay by voting in person.

Mail ballots are more vulnerable to fraud than in-person ones, if only because we’ve had less experience with the former than the latter. So far there has only been one egregious case of such fraud discovered (committed by a Republican). But we cannot be naïve about either the number of people who would like to hack an election or the ingenuity of hackers. Mail in votes will be subject to even more challenges than hanging chad; some challenges will be legit; all need to be heard. If you want to reduce the chance of dragged out election results, vote in person if you can.

Election safety

  1. States should require masks at indoor polling places. We don’t want this to be a federal requirement; we don’t want the feds under any president patrolling the local voting booths. We do want the polling place to be safe for poll workers and for those who do go to vote. No one is disenfranchised by this requirement so long as voting by mail is an option.
  2. States and cities must commit themselves to dealing effectively and sternly with any attempts from the right or the left to disrupt physical voting. People are afraid today that the use of federal officers in Portland is a portend of Trump-inspired interference in elections. I think (hope) the fear is overblown. However there is nothing either the reactionary right or revolutionary left would like more than a chance to claim the other side “spoiled” the election if they don’t get what they want – which may be neither Biden or Trump. IMO states and cities should immediately start sternly controlling violence from either side and not create any reason or excuse for federal interference now or on election day.

Please vote.

See also:

Trump-Proof the Election

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