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October 01, 2020

There Are Problems with Mailed-In Ballots

Don’t let Trump have that excuse.

Nearly 100,000 New York City voters have been sent invalid absentee ballots, with wrong names or addresses” – headline in the NY Times debate day, Sept. 29. Apparently Donald Trump does not think this is false news because he quoted the number accurately in the debate.

On August 3rd another Times headline read: “Why the Botched N.Y.C. Primary Has Become the November Nightmare.” The story goes on to say: “Nearly six weeks later, two congressional races remain undecided.”

According to the Times today, many more Democrats than Republicans have requested mail ballots (perhaps because Trump doesn’t want them to). This scares Republicans, according to the story, but it is beginning to scare Democrats as well. “This year, with a huge increase in mail-in ballots, and slowdowns in mail delivery, experts have estimated the number of mail-in ballots that are disqualified may exceed one million. While more than 140 million Americans are expected to vote, the discarded ballots could make a difference in competitive states.” Even in a normal year, the rejection rate is one to two percent. This is not a normal year, in case you haven’t noticed.

The Times comforts itself by repeating its mantra that Trump is making “false claims” about mailed ballots as if you could actually make a false claim about something which hasn’t happened yet even if you’re a pathological liar. But the twin dangers that many mailed ballots will be rejected and that an unprecedented wave of mailed ballots will actually leave the election result in doubt through many court cases (which both sides are gearing up for) are very real.  It is possible that mis-mailed ballots or ballots sent to people who didn’t request them and don’t intend to vote could be harvested by others; we haven’t sent out unsolicited ballots before. To some extent, that’s bound to happen. The worst case is that Trump has an excuse or even more a reason to contest the will of the voters. It also won’t be good if Democrats think the election was stolen from them because of contested ballots being decided by Trump-appointed judges. Many Democrats have yet to accept the 2016 election.

So it’s up to us. I’m 77 and have some other Covid comorbidities.  At first I thought I’d vote by mail as I did in the primary. My intent now is to vote in person against Trump. I don’t want any doubt about my vote even though there is no doubt where solidly blue Vermont’s three electoral votes will go. Please consider voting in person yourself if you are physically able. Consider it an act of protest. Consider it an act of resistance. Or consider it thanks for having the privilege of voting for our leaders and an acknowledgement that this privilege  and all our freedoms are fragile and under attack from both the left and the right.

See also: Trump-Proof the Election

We Need Massive Turnout and Unambiguous Results from the November Election

I Voted for Donald Trump

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