As the coronavirus pandemic has upended normal balloting, more than half of voters under the age of 35 say they don't have the resources or knowledge they need to vote by mail in November, according to a new poll.
The poll was conducted by Global Strategy Group for NextGen America, a group that is focused primarily on engaging and turning out young voters.
"The problem is we've never voted in a pandemic before and some of these young people have never even voted before," said Ben Wessel, NextGen America's executive director. "And so when we look at the information about how to print out or, do you have the ability to print out a ballot request form or do you know how to get stamps or do you even know where to find more information? We're really understanding that we have a big job to do."
“Managers have told postal workers that under DeJoy, the post office is about to embark on what's been called a long-overdue "operational pivot." It means that among other things, late-arriving mail will now be left behind by carriers and delivered the next day. Overtime will be eliminated.
Those moves upset some workers, who take seriously the unofficial motto of the Postal Service that holds: "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds" — a phrase from the Greek historian Herodotus chiseled into the granite of New York City's general post office.”
“The court's most visible decision on voting this year came in April, when, on the eve of the Wisconsin primary election, the five conservative justices voted to reverse a federal judge's order to expand the state's window for receiving absentee ballots.
That lawsuit was brought in response to the coronavirus pandemic, as voters fearful of voting in person unleashed an "avalanche of absentee ballots," in the words of the federal judge, that threatened to overwhelm the state's election system. Thanks to the Supreme Court's decision, thousands of ballots were thrown out for arriving too late.”
“So, we have about five times more people in our jail with serious mental illnesses just in Miami-Dade County than at any state psychiatric hospital in Florida. And it’s not that they just get arrested more, they stay four to eight times longer than someone else for the exact same charge because the courts don’t know what to do with them.
“The Constitution — which empowers Congress, not the president, with final authority over the census — requires a once-a-decade count of the "whole number of persons in each state" to determine how to reapportion congressional seats and, by extension, Electoral College votes.
Trump, however, has ordered information to be produced that would allow him to exclude the number of immigrants living in the U.S. without authorization from the latest state population counts that the president is legally required to deliver to Congress after the census is complete.
Trump now faces a total of three new federal lawsuits that are joining ongoing legal challenges surrounding the 2020 census. A fourth lawsuit may be coming from California State Attorney General Xavier Becerra's office, which is planning to file a complaint against the Trump administration, Sarah Lovenheim, an adviser to Becerra, tells NPR.
Groups led by Common Cause, a government watchdog group, launched the first federal lawsuit this week. Their complaint was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Thursday, two days after Trump issued a memo calling to exclude unauthorized immigrants from the constitutionally mandated count of every person living in the country that is used to redistribute seats in the House of Representatives.
On Friday, a New York state-led coalition of 20 states, plus some cities and other localities, filed a challenge in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. In their complaint, which cites NPR's reporting, the challengers allege constitutional violations, as well as a claim that the administration violated the Administrative Procedure Act by making an "arbitrary and capricious" decision to exclude unauthorized immigrants from the apportionment count when they don't have the data to reliably do so.
In this week's third complaint, which also cites NPR's reporting, immigrant rights groups represented by the American Civil Liberties Union and New York Civil Liberties Union argue that the directives of Trump's memo also violate administrative law by effectively ordering the Census Bureau to produce population data in a way that has not gone through the proper rulemaking process.”
“"History clarifies that the threat of foreign electoral interference is a threat to our nation, not any one political party," said Shimer, author of Rigged, a recent history of modern election interference. "The Soviet Union worked on several occasions to tarnish the campaigns of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, Republicans, long before Russia worked to help a Republican. Putin's objective here is to direct, disrupt, and delegitimize our process of succession, and that should alarm all Americans."”
“Former Pennsylvania governor, Republican Tom Ridge, first secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, joins Judy Woodruff to discuss why he disavows Trump's action.
Tom Ridge: "It's a reality TV approach to a very serious, serious problem. You need sustained commitment. There are economic and social issues involved. And you cannot address them, let alone resolve them, unless you have the kind of partnership and the collegial and the cooperation that is so critical. And that's why the federal government exists.
And, by the way, I must say, when we were leading DHS, it was my great pleasure to connect with governors and with mayors and to have different law enforcement agencies work together to combat certain threats in their communities.
And, by the way, the last time I checked, that worked out pretty well."”
“About four out of 10 homes have not been counted yet. And it has given itself until October 31 to try to complete this count. It's trying to send out door-knockers to do in-person interviews with households, because, at this point of the census that, historically, these are households that are less likely to fill out a form on their own, and they will require convincing and person-to-person interaction.
The president has appointed a new deputy director for policy and an assistant to that person. Some in the statistics community say they're not qualified. Can you talk about that appointment and why it is controversial?
Hansi Lo Wang:
The Trump administration, they think, these two brand-new appointments, two new top-level positions that never existed before at the Census Bureau, a deputy director of policy, Nathaniel Cogley, a political science professor, he's being appointed at a time where there already is a deputy director at the Census Bureau.
And it's still unclear to me and to the public exactly what does Nathaniel Cogley, this deputy director of policy, what he does at the Census Bureau, and also what his senior adviser, Adam Korzeniewski, what he does.
Both of them have qualifications that don't seem to quite match with what the Census Bureau does. It's a federal statistical agency focused on survey methodology, statistics, economics.
“Washington (CNN)Voting experts and political strategists from across the political spectrum are increasingly alarmed about the potential for a disputed presidential election in November, one in which one candidate openly questions the legitimacy of the results or even refuses to concede.
These experts are keenly aware of President Donald Trump's well-documented history of lying about voter fraud and claiming that elections were "rigged" when he doesn't like the outcome. They also see a Democratic base that is still burned from 2016, when its nominee was dragged down in part by Russian meddling operation, won the popular vote, and lost to Trump.
Interviews with nearly 20 election experts, former lawmakers, political strategists, legal scholars and historians indicate there are widespread fears of a nightmare scenario in November, where Trump's norm-breaking behavior -- coupled with the unprecedented challenges of pandemic-era voting -- test the limits of American democracy and plunge the country into a constitutional crisis.”
“(CNN)The strange and frightening images of unidentified military-looking men taking protesters off the streets of Portland, Oregon, and into unmarked vans may be headed to a city near you if that city is, as President Donald Trump declared Monday, run by "liberal Democrats."
This is sketchy stuff. And it's not a good look for a country that's supposed to be an open society. And it's particularly distressing that the President is openly threatening cities based on the political affiliations of their leaders.”
“Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, our democracy faced—and continues to face—serious challenges when it comes to voting, such as voter suppression, non-voting, and lack of trust in institutions. During this year’s primaries many of these problems have surfaced again and the pandemic has only exacerbated them. The pandemic will also speed up changes that were already in the making—changes that will pose huge challenges to those who administer elections. With a consequential national election just four months away and important primary elections before then, our voting systems must be pandemic-proof to ensure our confidence in the electoral process.”
George F. Will - Washington Post - Wed, Jul 15, 2020
“The nation’s floundering government is now administered by a gangster regime. It is helpful to have this made obvious as voters contemplate renewing the regime’s lease on the executive branch. Roger Stone adopted the argot of B-grade mobster movies when he said he would not “roll on” Donald Trump. By commuting Stone’s sentence, Stone’s beneficiary played his part in this down-market drama, showing gratitude for Stone’s version of omertà (the Mafia code of silence), which involved lots of speaking but much lying. Because the pandemic prevents both presidential candidates from bouncing around the continent like popcorn in a skillet, the electorate can concentrate on other things, including Trump’s selection of friends such as Stone and Paul Manafort, dregs from the bottom of the Republican barrel.
“Longing on a large scale is what makes history,” Don DeLillo wrote in his sprawling 1997 novel “Underworld” about the United States in the second half of the 20th century. Today, there is a vast longing for respite from the 21st century, which — before the pandemic, two inconclusive wars and the Great Recession — began with a presidential election that turned on 537 Florida votes and was not decided until a Dec. 12, 2000, Supreme Court decision. Given Trump’s reckless lying and the supine nature of most Republican officeholders, it is imperative that the Nov. 3 result be obvious that evening.
“The California secretary of state’s election data obtained by the AP showed 102,428 mail-in ballots were disqualified in the state’s 58 counties, about 1.5% of the nearly 7 million mail-in ballots returned. That percentage is the highest in a primary since 2014, and the overall number is the highest in a statewide election since 2010.
Two years ago, the national average of rejected mail ballots in the general election was about 1.4% and in the 2016 presidential election year it was 1%, according to a U.S. Election Assistance Commission study.
The most common problem, by far, in California was missing the deadline for the ballot to be mailed and arrive. To count in the election, ballots must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received within three days afterward. Statewide, 70,330 ballots missed those marks.
Another 27,525 either didn’t have a signature, or the signature didn’t match the one on record for the voter.
Kim Alexander, president of the nonpartisan California Voter Foundation that seeks to improve elections, called the uncounted figure discouraging.”
“With three months left in the government's fiscal year, the year's deficit of $2.7 trillion is already nearly twice as large as the previous record of $1.4 trillion, set in 2009 during the Great Recession.
While the government is spending heavily on the pandemic, tax collections in June were lower than usual. The filing deadline for 2019 income taxes was postponed until July 15.
Congressional forecasters expect the federal deficit for the full year to reach $3.7 trillion. With infections on the rise, Congress is expected to consider additional relief measures this month.
“LANSING, Mich. — Beyond being the women leading Michigan’s state government, Gretchen Whitmer, Dana Nessel and Jocelyn Benson have a lot in common.
All three are Democratic lawyers and part of Generation X, with long lists of accomplishments. Ms. Whitmer was the first woman to lead the Democratic caucus in the State Senate. Ms. Nessel argued before the Supreme Court and helped pave the way for the legalization of same-sex marriage. And Ms. Benson, a Harvard Law School graduate, was the dean of the Wayne State University Law School in Detroit.
By 2018, the three were swept into statewide office on a wave that flipped much of Michigan’s leadership from red to blue and put three women — Ms. Whitmer, the governor; Ms. Nessel, the attorney general; and Ms. Benson, the secretary of state — in charge of running the state for the first time.
Now these women share another distinction: They’re all targets of President Trump.
“"An American president commutes the sentence of a person convicted by a jury of lying to shield that very president," Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, tweeted Saturday morning, describing the move as "unprecedented, historic corruption."
The comments come less than a day after Stone received his reprieve from the White House. That call came down Friday night, when Trump abruptly relieved his close adviser of his 40-month prison sentence for lying to Congress, obstructing its investigation and witness tampering.”
Has Your Voter Registration Been Purged?
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What Are the Laws About Poll Observers and Vote Challenges in New Jersey?
There has been much discussion about whether votes in this next election will be counted securely.
Every state has rules about what poll observers can do at the polls and how votes can be challenged. Here are the rules for your state:
New Jersey The chairman of the county committee of any political party that has duly nominated any candidate for public office to be voted for at an election by all the voters within the county or any political division thereof greater than a single municipality, or where the election is within and for a single municipality only, or any subdivision thereof, then the chairman of the municipal committee of the political party making such nomination within and for such single municipality, or subdivision thereof, may appoint two challengers for each election district in the chairman's county or municipality, as the case may be. (N.J. Stat. Ann. § 19:7-1).
No person shall be allowed or permitted to be present in the polling place or polling room during the progress of the election except the officers connected with the election, persons connected with the operation of a simulated election for minors, the several candidates, the duly authorized challengers, such voters as are present for the purpose of voting and their dependent children, minors present for the purpose of voting in a simulated election, and such officers as may be duly detailed to be present, for preserving the peace or enforcing the provisions hereof. (N.J. Stat. Ann. § 19:15-8).
The members of the district boards and any duly authorized challenger, respectively, shall at any election challenge every person who shall claim to have a right to vote therein whom they or he shall know, suspect or believe not to be qualified or entitled to so vote, and said members of the district board or challenger shall have the power and right to ask all questions which are suitable and necessary to determine such person's right. (N.J. Stat. Ann. § 19:15-18. Also see 19:15-18.1, 18.2)
Has Your Voter Registration Been Purged?
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Mr. Palast sites several examples of what has happened before and is expected to happen again.
Greg Palast: “Purge” – remove, erase, disappear, vanish or otherwise screw a voter out of their registration. It’s the main, stealth means of fixing elections.
Example: in 2000, Governor Jeb Bush of Florida ordered the purge of 94,000 voters from Florida rolls, calling them “felons” barred from voting. I obtained the purge list for the BBC and The Guardian. What I found is that not one voter purged was illegally registered but most were Black. The result, Jeb’s brother George Bush was elected President by 537 votes in Florida. In other words, without the illegal purge, Bush would not have been elected.
And today, the story is worse as The Purge has spread to pandemic proportions nationwide…
In his new book, new book How Trump Stole 2020 he writes, “Between 2014 and 2016, the number of voters purged for moving their residence had soared to 16,696,470 — one in 12 registered Americans”.
That number is from the US Elections Assistance Commission the agency which tracks votes— and non-votes. It’s hidden in plain sight.
The dirty little secret of American elections is that we don’t count all the ballots — and we sure as hell don’t allow every citizen to vote. In total, no less than 5,872,857 ballots were cast and never counted in 2016. In addition, a minimum of 1,982,071 voters were blocked from casting their ballots.
That is a total of 7,854,928 votes and voters left uncounted in 2016. 2020 will be worse.