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Monday, December 09, 2019

Tag: vote by mail

Cheney Backs Voter Suppression Bills Based On Trump’s Big Lie

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) has been an outspoken critic of Donald Trump and her fellow Republican lawmakers who have lied about voter fraud in the 2020 election — so vocal, in fact, that she lost her position in House GOP leadership over it.

Yet in an interview with Axios that aired on Sunday, Cheney said she supports the voter suppression legislation Republicans have pushed across the country in 2021, even as the same lies of fraud are being used to justify those bills.

In the interview with Axios' Jonathan Swan, Cheney denied that the hundreds of voter suppression bills — some of which have already become law — were based on Trump's voter fraud lies.

"I will never understand the resistance, for example, to voter ID," Cheney told Axios' Jonathan Swan. "There's a big difference between that and a president of the United States who loses an election after he tried to steal the election and refuses to concede."

However, many of the more than 360 pieces of voter suppression legislation Republican state legislators have introduced this year attack the very same methods of voting Trump has falsely blamed for his loss.

For example, GOP-controlled state legislatures in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, and Iowa have all passed laws making it harder to vote by mail — a method of voting Trump falsely said is rife with fraud and demanded be scaled back in future elections.

Arizona's Republican governor recently signed into law a bill that purges the state's Permanent Early Voting List of voters who do not vote in two straight election cycles. The list allowed voters to opt to receive absentee ballots for every election, and the change could purge more than 125,000 voters from the list.

Georgia and Florida also now require ID to vote by mail, and both cut back on the use of ballot drop boxes — which Trump falsely said could lead to fraud.

Voting rights advocates say the changes are directly aimed at making it harder for voters of color to cast ballots. It's led voting rights experts to describe the GOP voter suppression effort as Jim Crow 2.0.

What's more, states like Georgia took away power from Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger — who refused to follow Trump's demand to steal the 2020 — and instead gave it to GOP state lawmakers who could use it to overturn elections.

"Had their grand plan been law in 2020, the numerous attempts by state legislatures to overturn the will of the voters would have succeeded," Stacey Abrams, the former Georgia state representative who now runs a voting rights organization, told the New York Times in March.

Ultimately, Cheney's refusal to fight back against voter suppression efforts shows she is still a Republican, even though she's bucked her party on support for Trump.

And the Republican Party has been the party of voter fraud lies and voter suppression even before Trump's 2020 effort to steal the election.

For example in 2019, conservatives in Wisconsin sought to purge more than 230,000 people from the voter rolls ahead of the 2020 election. The effort failed; however, a report showed that the purge would have affected Black voters at higher rates — a group that backs Democrats by wide margins.

Meanwhile, in 2016, Republicans in North Carolina passed a voter ID law that was struck down by a federal court, which said the law targeted "African Americans with almost surgical precision," and that it would "impose cures for problems that did not exist."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Biden Nominees Poised To Take Control Of Postal Service, Oust DeJoy

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

A Senate committee voted in favor of President Joe Biden's three nominees for governing board overseeing the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).

According to the Associated Press, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Wednesday approved the president's three nominees: "Ron Stroman, a former deputy postmaster general; Amber McReynolds, who leads the nonprofit National Vote at Home Institute; and Anton Hajjar, the former general counsel of the American Postal Workers Union."

The vote comes as lawmakers train their focus on restoring public confidence and trust in the U.S. Postal Service. Since last year, the postal service has undergone a number of drastic changes under the leadership of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a known supporter of President Donald Trump and a major donor for the Republican Party.

In a matter of months, DeJoy implemented a number of overhauls that subsequently led to weeks-long delays in mail processing and transit. If Biden's nominees are approved, they would give Democrats a majority on the board. Amid the announcement of Biden's nominees, Democratic lawmakers are pushing back against the ten-year strategy introduced last month by DeJoy and board Chairman Ron Bloom.

While DeJoy and Bloom insist their plan would save the postal service from substantial losses of approximately $160 billion loss over course of the next decade, Democrats strongly disagree.

The sweeping plan would relax the current first-class letter delivery standard of one to three days to a benchmark of one to five days for mail going to the farthest reaches of the postal network. Postal leaders have said 70% of mail would still be delivered within three days. The plan also includes investments in a new fleet of delivery vehicles and a proposal to consolidate underused post offices and hints at a potential postage rate increase.

The controversial strategy has led to renewed calls for DeJoy's resignation. Last summer, those calls began when DeJoy's drastic policy changes led to slowed mail in the midst of the election. As a staggering number of American voters across the country prepared to vote by mail, there were widespread concerns about ballots being received and processed in a timely fashion.

Once Biden's nominees are confirmed by the full Senate, they can officially take their positions.

What To Do If You Change Your Mind About Voting By Mail

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox.

If you've received a mail ballot but have changed your mind and want to vote in person, there's some good news: You probably can do this.

The details differ from state to state. In some, you'll be allowed to cast a regular ballot, and in others you'll cast a “provisional" ballot, to be counted once election officials determine you haven't already voted.

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America Can And Will Defeat Trump's Scheme To Tamper With Our Votes

Many Democrats are getting nervous about the upcoming presidential election. Ominous, extensively reported articles by two of the best in the business—the New Yorker's Jeffrey Toobin and The Atlantic's Barton Gellman—outline Boss Trump's plot to keep control of the White House in 2021 no matter how the American people vote.
Trump is hardly making a secret of it. He's pointedly refused to commit to "a peaceful transfer of power."

"Well, we're going to have to see what happens," is how he answered the question. He added that after we "get rid of the ballots"—presumably mail-in ballots he's been whining about for weeks--"there won't be a transfer, frankly. There'll be a continuation."

Of course, Trump himself has always voted by mail, but then brazen hypocrisy is his standard operating mode. If you haven't noticed, he also lies a lot. Without prevaricating, boasting, and bitching, he'd be mute. And even then, he'd still have Twitter. He recently tweeted that the winner "may NEVER BE ACCURATELY DETERMINED" because mail-in ballots make it a "RIGGED ELECTION in waiting."
Gellman gets this part exactly right in The Atlantic: "Let us not hedge about one thing. Donald Trump may win or lose, but he will never concede. Not under any circumstance. Not during the Interregnum and not afterward. If compelled in the end to vacate his office, Trump will insist from exile, as long as he draws breath, that the contest was rigged.
"Trump's invincible commitment to this stance will be the most important fact about the coming Interregnum. It will deform the proceedings from beginning to end. We have not experienced anything like it before."
No, we haven't. However, it's important to remember that Trump makes threats and promises almost daily that never happen. Remember that gigantic border wall Mexico was going to pay for? Trump has built exactly five miles of the fool thing, leaving roughly two thousand to go.
His brilliant cheaper, better health care plan? Non-existent.
On Labor Day, Boss Trump boasted of his unparalleled success in strong-arming Japan into building new auto-manufacturing plants. "They're being built in Ohio, they're being built in South Carolina, North Carolina, they're being built all over and expanded at a level that we've never seen before."
Not a word of that is true. Two new plants, one German, another Swedish have opened in South Carolina, but construction began before Trump took office. Auto industry investment during Barack Obama's second term far exceeded Trump's. His version is sheer make-believe.
But back to the GOP scheme to steal the election.
First, it's clear that even Trump understands that he has virtually no chance of winning the national popular vote. He's been polling in the low 40s, with no sign of change. To have any chance of prevailing in the Electoral College, he's got to do the electoral equivalent of drawing to an inside straight all over again—winning a half-dozen so-called battleground states where he defeated Hillary Clinton in 2016 by the narrowest of margins.
At this writing, that looks highly unlikely. The latest polling in must-win Pennsylvania, for example, shows Trump trailing Joe Biden by nine points. That's a landslide. Trump's down ten in Wisconsin, eight in Michigan. And so on.
So spare me the screeching emails in ALL CAPS, OK? Polls were actually quite accurate in 2016. Trump narrowly defeated the odds. It can happen. But he's in far worse shape this time. Furthermore, early voting turnout is very high, with Democrats outnumbering Republicans two to one.
Hence, The Atlantic reports, "Trump's state and national legal teams are already laying the groundwork for post-election maneuvers that would circumvent the results of the vote count in battleground states."
The plan is clear. Because more Democrats than Republicans are choosing mail-in voting during the COVID pandemic, Trump hopes to prevent those ballots from being counted. Assuming he'll have a narrow "swing state" lead on election night, he'll declare victory and start filing lawsuits. "The red mirage," some Democrats call it.
"As a result," Toobin writes, "the aftermath of the 2020 election has the potential to make 2000 look like a mere skirmish." With Trump in the White House urging armed militias to take to the street.
Mail-in votes take a long time to count. Things could definitely get crazy.
True, but filing a lawsuit to halt a Florida recount was one thing. Filing suits against a half dozen states to prevent votes from being counted at all is quite another. Public reaction would be strong. Also, winning such lawsuits requires serious evidence of fraud. Trumpian bluster ain't evidence.
The Atlantic reports that GOP-controlled state legislatures are thinking about sending Trumpist delegations to the Electoral College regardless of the popular vote winner—theoretically constitutional but currently illegal.
Fat chance. If that's the best they've got, they've got nothing.
Anyway, here's the answer: Vote early, and in person*.

[Editor's note: In some states, receiving an absentee ballot means that a voter can no longer vote in person* or may have to surrender the absentee ballot, including the envelope in which it arrived, at their polling place. Please check with your local election authorities.]

Stop Spinning Doomsday Scenarios For Election Night

All this agonizing over what may happen if President Donald Trump tries to steal the election is highly annoying. It normalizes the idea that pure aggression can so easily steamroll the democratic process.

Here are healthier assumptions for those who value a fair election:

If Trump loses, he leaves the White House on Jan. 20, 2021. If, heaven forfend, he wins, then he stays.

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Biden Campaign Invests Heavily To Protect Mail-In Ballots

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Donald Trump is launching an unprecedented attack on the U.S. Postal Service to help boost his own election changes. That needs to be taken very, very seriously—and, Greg Sargent reports, the Biden campaign is doing just that.

The Biden campaign has taken a hard look at what Trump and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a major Republican donor, are up to. The conclusion, which other observers have also reached: It's not just the operational changes slowing mail delivery. While those could absolutely have an effect on an election where voting by mail is going to be of unprecedented importance due to the coronavirus pandemic, Trump's ongoing ranting against voting by mail is also a serious problem.

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Trump Illegally Registered To Vote In Florida Using White House Address

In September 2019, just as he was changing his domicile of record from New York to Florida, Donald Trump filled out a voter registration form in his new state in which he stated that his "legal residence" was 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C. Registering to vote in Florida using an out-of-state address is a violation of Florida law, the Washington Post notes.

Trump also listed his mailing address as his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, directing that election-related mailings should be sent to him there courtesy of "Sean McCabe." McCabe, the president and general manager of Trump Florida Properties, spells his first name "Shawn."

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Trump Wants Twitter To Spread Lies, Not Truth

For years, Twitter has been Donald Trump's big cargo hauler for getting his message to his followers. It lets him bypass the news media to communicate directly, as often as he wants, in whatever terms he chooses. Trump without Twitter would be Florida without the ocean.

For everyone else, his use of the social media platform has also served a valuable purpose: providing daily documentation of his inexhaustible rage, vanity, mendacity and lack of self-control. It's a real-time glimpse of his mental instability. Psychiatrists are reluctant to diagnose from afar, but they learn more from his tweeting than most of them ever get from listening to patients in person.

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