Monday, September 7, 2020

How sure are Colorado voters their votes will be counted?

Updated 9/14/20 and 9/24/20 Colorado's Secretary of State, Jena Griswold,  won a restraining order against the USPS , the post office.. Friday, September 11, a USPS mailer sent to Colorado voters gave damaging and incorrect information. Colorado Public Radio September 15 reports: 
  • " USPS officials say 75 percent have already been delivered and that employees pulled about 330,000 flyers from processing after the ruling, but that a significant number is still set for delivery. "
  If you got it, ignore it. Here is what it contained that could hurt your vote being counted:/

 Here is my summary what is false about it and why it is harmful.
This mailer sent by the USPS could hurt your ability to get your vote counted. If you get the mailer, ignore it. It may apply to some states, but it does not apply to Colorado. For Colorado voters: You do not need to request an absentee ballot in Colorado because all registered voters will be sent one automatically October 9. You can mail your ballot in earlier than 7 days before the election, in spite of what the USPS mailer says.. Given the intentional mail delivery service slowdown, 7 days may not be enough to make it on time if you mail via the post office. Remember: the postmark date does not insure your vote will be counted. The only thing that counts is the date and time the county clerk receives it. You do not have to mail back your ballot as the USPS mailer suggests. You can drop it in special boxes or at the county clerk's office, You can still vote in person at a polling place on election day.
Trump's refusal in advance to say whether he will honor the outcome of the election and that"the only way he will lose the election is if the election is rigged"  would be ironic if it were not so scary.    
Trump himself is threatening insurrection, refusing to commit to a peaceful transition to power if he loses the election. This advocate of law and order is threatening violence. What is he planning to do? Summon his armed militias, unleash his "federal troops" a la Portland? Call for violent demonstrations by the right-wing advocates of violence and civil war? Then what. This may fit under the category of insurrection and the military may see this as intervening, not as intervening in domestic politics but permitted under their charge to intervene in an armed insurrection. with case law defining what it is.: Insurrection means “a violent uprising by a group or movement acting for the specific purpose of overthrowing the constituted government and seizing its powers. An insurrection occurs where a movement acts to overthrow the constituted government and to take possession of its inherent powers.” [Younis Bros. & Co. v. Cigna Worldwide Ins. Co., 899 F. Supp. 1385, 1392-1393 (E.D. Pa. 1995)]"
 He is the rigger.Donald Trump's initials stand for Dirty Tricks. The irony is not lost since he is the one trying to rig this election by voter suppression tactics aimed at assumed anti-Trump minority voters, by using administrative measures, intimidating in-person voters, limiting poll places in Democratic cities, and sabotaging the ability of US postal service to process mail in a timely way, including mail-in ballots.  The postal service's new head ceased doing more to curtail prompt delivery but left the automatic sorters disconnected, the corner post office boxes still gone,  and overtime limited.  These slow down steps were forced to be reversed by a federal judge injunction applied nationwide on September 17. That included restoration of automatic sorters and that mailed-in ballots were to be processed as First Class mail again, among other rollbacks of the slow down process that were instituted in July. However,  in September, the USPS head told a judge he could not restore the sorters because they had been sold for parts." Witnesses reported that many of the expensive machines were quickly dismantled and tossed into dumpsters as scrap. The injunction noted that 72% of the ripped out machines were in counties Hillary Clinton won in the 2016 presidential election."
 Remember that old joke about Chicago? Vote early and vote often? That is illegal in many states. The President has just urged voters to vote twice, by mail and in-person, in order to test the system in North Carolina, a battleground swing state.  In some states, voting twice is illegal. It is in North Carolina. The question is if these wilful lawbreakers try,  it is not that they can vote twice, it is if their vote would be counted twice. What it appears Trump is doing is putting up his loyal followers to provoke fraud and be charged with a crime in North  Carolina so he can make the case there is  fraud. 

  In Colorado, if you vote by mail and then show up to vote again in person, you can do it, but the mail-in vote will not be counted so.if there is a gap in the timing between the time the mail-in ballot is received and not yet marked off in the information the polling judge receives on election day, and you vote in person too, it will be caught anyway. However, in Colorado that has had mail-in voting since 2013,  where every registered voter gets a ballot in the mail, in-person voting on election day has dwindled to 3-4% percentage. Mail-in voting was popular and convenient even before COVID. This has reduced the chance of double voting to near insignificance. Thanks to the miracle of computerized voter registration methods that reflect the received ballot,  the ability of an election judge to check quickly if a person already voted is the usual way double voting is caught. The second backup is the ability in Colorado to compare signatures at the time the voter registered vs the signatures at the time the ballot is cast either at a polling place or by mail.  If there is a question, it will be considered a provisional ballot, and a bi-partisan panel will make the judgment call. Those who are concerned their mail-in vote did not make it in time or there is some hanky panky, they can trace their mail-in ballot online just as they can also trace the status of their UPS shipment. and nearly all states have this service. Trump, as usual, is displaying his ignorance or hoping voters are ignorant so he can manipulate them by spreading ignorance.

How secure are our elections nationwide? Fraud everywhere... claims the Trump folks.
It is not because they found any proof of widespread voter fraud already.  Trump set up a partisan dominated commission to find it.  They couldn't so it was disbanded:  

The question has been why has Trump made such an issue of mail-in ballots being fraudulent when there is little evidence of that happening in the past.. The answer was made clear in the timing of filling the Supreme Court seat left vacant with the passing of Justice Ginsburg. While it is possible the anti-Roe v Wade justice confirmation could be made in the lame-duck session, there is a reason Trump wants to have the entire bench filled before November 3. Having a friendly Supreme Court in place and making the issue of mail-in ballots is a strategy many had suspected was his scheme to steal the election all along if he fell behind Biden in the electoral college total. Now, he openly admitted that was his plan. At a rally Monday, Trump himself confirmed his reasoning, per an NBC report. "Trump suggested that he wants to fill Ginsburg's vacancy as soon as possible because he anticipates having legal issues surrounding the election and doesn't want the possibility of a 4-4 Supreme Court ruling if that is the case." Trump has been spending the past many months laying a groundwork to challenge the vote outcome in the courts, crusading to claim mail-in ballots are a fraud before the vote has even happened. Now you know why.

To compound matters, the President is threatening to not step down if he loses the election because he "believes" these mail in ballots are fraudulent.  When pressed for a second time if he would "commit to making sure that there's a peaceful transferral of power," Trump again turned to ballots.

"We want to have -- get rid of the ballots and you'll have a very peaceful, there won't be a transfer, frankly," Trump said. "There'll be a continuation."id=73205708&cid=social_fb_abcn&fbclid=IwAR09eLcO_oyCMrdzFPqpC5IbvCYHnE0KrASlQKVrg2XGKLXdsmEGND-f  trackId=59f46ed8ae7e8a2d8f8a4a21&s=5f6e590b9d2fda0efb346989&linknum=4&linktot=41

And how do you think Trump plans to get rid of the ballots?  His plan being discussed per various sources would be in swing states with the legislatures controlled by the GOP would be for them to choose loyal Trump supporters to cast the votes in the electoral college, ignoring the state's vote by the people entirely.  The Constitution only delegates leaving the choice of electors to the state legislatures. By customs and state laws, the process has been for the electors to represent the majority vote in that state.   Most of the swing states on which Trump depends to win have both houses of their state legislatures in the hands of the GOP.   The Atlantic also has reported this possibility. The article is available to subscribers.   If this is challenged at the Supreme Court, remember what just happened: His appointment to fill the vacancy will tilt the Court to the extreme right if he succeeds in filling the seat before Nov. 3.

Now there is a sense of urgency because state elections officials need to make changes soon to be ready for November.  There are two reasons for urgency:  predictions that by November a second wave of COVID-19 in the fall will mean all voters required to appear in person to vote will be risking their lives and the Russians are ready to create chaos to damage any trust in our kind of democracy.  It also opens the days after November 3 to possibilities of violence since we will not know the outcome for weeks or months.…/elections/electionInfo.html…. Early in-person voting in Colorado begins October 19.   First day ballots go in the mail to voters is October 9. As soon as you get your ballot, vote, and put it in an official drop box or mailbox or deliver it to your county clerk. For an extra sense of security, you can track it online like a UPS delivery in most states, and for sure in Colorado..


I served as an election commissioner in Denver for over 7 years as part of my duty as Clerk and Recorder, 1983-91. We used the old New York lever machines that left a paper trail and in every step of the process, both a Democrat and a Republican double-checked each other. Computers were a new thing then, but we rejected them because they could have been easily hacked..thinking that maybe someday they would be more secure. Intelligence reports disclosed that Russia was able to hack into 50 state official systems, though they changed no votest tallies in 2016. Secretary of States have upped their cybersecurity game since then. In some states, national guard cyber experts have been called in to help counties without resources to scan for hacking.  I am satisfied that having signatures checked by both D and R panels, running election registration against Social Security data files to discover who is still alive, is as reassuring as you can get. They do that in Colorado. Having actual mail-in paper ballots in hand or a paper trail of votes for scrutiny in audits and recounts after the elections is as foolproof as you can get. Russians cannot hack paper. There will always be crooked fools and foreign actors who try, but if the system set up as it has been for years in Colorado leaves an evidence trail in actual ballots, that is the best deterrent to election fraud.…/elections/electionInfo.html…. Early in-person voting in Colorado begins October 19.   First day ballots go in the mail to voters is October 9. As soon as you get your ballot, vote, and put it in an official drop box or mailbox or deliver it to your county clerk. For an extra sense of security, you can track it online like a UPS delivery in most states, and for sure in Colorado..

 Colorado deadlines, registration, ID requirements, vote by mail or dropoff;…/elections/electionInfo.html…. Early in person voting in Colorado begins October 19. "Review your voter record to make sure your information is up to date. October 9 - Counties will begin mailing ballots for the November 3 rd General Election. October 26 - deadline to register to vote or update your registration and still receive a ballot in the mail. In Colorado, you can register to vote and vote in person up to 7 PM on Election Day.

 Colorado deadlines, registration, ID requirements, vote by mail or dropoff;…/elections/electionInfo.html…

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