Just As The Postal Service Is Being Dismantled To Prevent The Handling Of Mail In Ballots, It Tries To Patent Blockchain Voting By Mail

from the i...-uh...-what? dept

We are living in truly dystopian times. As you may have heard, this week there have been a bunch of stories regarding the somewhat systematic dismantling of US Postal Service operations in what appears to be a coordinated effort by this administration to foil the process of sending and collecting mail-in ballots. But, apparently, rather than ensuring its own ability to handle mail-in ballots for this election, the US Postal service is trying to… patent blockchain-based voting?

As you almost certainly know, President Trump has been — without any factual basis at all — decrying mail-in ballots, despite the fact that they have been proven safe and effective. As we’re in the middle of a pandemic — made significantly worse by this administration’s own incompetence — whose main mode of transmission is gathering indoors, the need for more mail-in ballots is obvious to anyone who cares about a functioning democracy. Instead, the President has apparently focused on making it impossible. While that seemed like a conspiracy theory to many, he admitted he was holding up funding for exactly that reason:

“They want three and a half billion dollars for something that’ll turn out to be fraudulent, that’s election money basically. They want three and a half billion dollars for the mail-in votes. Universal mail-in ballots. They want $25 billion, billion, for the Post Office. Now they need that money in order to make the Post Office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots,” Trump said, repeating his false claims that mail-in voting would be “fraudulent.”

“But if they don’t get those two items that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting because you they’re not equipped to have it,” Trump added.

Except, again, there is no evidence to support the claims of mail-in ballot fraud. Indeed, Trump and the first lady themselves have requested mail-in ballots in Florida (where he does not reside) and when questioned as to why it was okay for their to be mail-in ballots there, has said it works in Florida because there’s a Republican governor.

So Florida has got a great Republican governor, and it had a great Republican governor. Ron DeSantis, Rick Scott, two great governors. And over a long period of time, they?ve been able to get the absentee ballots done extremely professionally. Florida is different from other states.

He’s also supported mail-in ballots among his supporters in North Carolina. Of course, it’s notable that North Carolina is basically the one place where there was some evidence of mail-ballot fraud… conducted by Republican operatives.

At the same time, however, beyond just blocking funding for the USPS, other efforts have been made to harm the ability to handle mail-in ballots. The Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, who was only just appointed in May, fired a bunch of top USPS execs in a “Friday Night Massacre” a week ago. And this week, it seems like there’s been a new story every hour or so. All over the country, the USPS started removing and dismantling expensive postal sorting machines for now clear reason.

There have also been reports in places like Montana and Oregon that the familiar blue postal boxes were being removed for unclear reasons.

To drive all of this home, the USPS has directly warned 46 states (and Washington DC) that it may have delays in handling mail-in ballots.

But have no fear (or, really, have lots and lots of fear), because in the midst of all of this, a USPS patent application for blockchain-based mail-in ballots has been released. Applied for back in February, but just now revealed, the patent application first noticed by Jamie Love is for:

A voting system that can use the security of blockchain and the mail to provide a reliable voting system. A registered voter receives a computer readable code in the mail and confirms identity and confirms correct ballot information in an election. The system separates voter identification and votes to ensure vote anonymity, and stores votes on a distributed ledger in a blockchain.

Of course, as we’ve highlighted in the past, while some people keep pushing for blockchain-based voting it solves none of the problems of actual online voting, and leverages none of the benefits of the blockchain. Indeed, basically every blockchain-based voting system to date has been a dumpster fire of security concerns and, given everything else discussed above, you can bet the same would be true for any USPS-based blockchain voting system.

Even so, the timing of this release of this patent, in the midst of everything else going on with the USPS and efforts to suppress mail-in ballots (well, at least from those who don’t support the President) is the kind of coincidental timing that even the worst Hollywood writers would reject as just too on the nose. Alas…

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Comments on “Just As The Postal Service Is Being Dismantled To Prevent The Handling Of Mail In Ballots, It Tries To Patent Blockchain Voting By Mail”

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That One Guy (profile) says:

What you get when corruption goes unpunished...

It looks like the republicans covering for him during his impeachment has removed all hesitation in engaging in open and blatant corruption, as he’s not even trying to pretend that he’s not trying to steal the election through whatever means he can.

I’ve seen it said before, and with stories like this I can’t help but agree, this is shaping up to be the most openly corrupt election in US history, and the fallout is sure to be one hell of a mess no matter what happens.

As for the patent, yeah, both it and the timing positively reek of ulterior motives. Attacking a system that has so far not been found to be as vulnerable as claimed, only to put forth one with a history of the exact opposite, during an election where one side is demonstrating that they will do anything to win? What could possibly go wrong there?

Douglas says:

Re: Re: What could go wrong ?

… BlockChain is merely one minor aspect of the Grand Conspiracy Theory being presented here.

If we indeed have a thoroughly corrupt dictatorial Stalin-like US President — then we have MUCH bigger problems than the procedural trivia of this November’s election.

Of course, extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 What could go wrong ?

USPS is an independent agency — TRUMP has no say in their daily operations or equipmeent choices.

Congress has the ultimate control over the Post Office accoding to Article I, section 8, Clause 7 of the United States Constitution.

If you don’t like what’s going on in USPS — your beef is with the USPS management and Congress.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6

USPS is an independent agency — TRUMP has no say in their daily operations or equipmeent choices.

Which is why he installed a Postmaster General who is a Trump donor: He gets to have someone on the inside who will do the bidding of the president, even if Trump never outright orders anything. (Michael Cohen confirmed that Trump does the mob boss–style "I’d love to see this happen” thing to keep his ass away from accountability.)

Congress has the ultimate control over the Post Office

Can Congress uninstall the Postmaster General by a simple majority vote or punish him in some other way for what he’s done to the USPS? If not, the “ultimate control” remains in the hands of the Postmaster General (and thus Trump).

If you don’t like what’s going on in USPS — your beef is with the USPS management and Congress.

No, the beef is with Donald Trump, who outright said that he is holding up the next COVID relief bill specifically because it has funding for the USPS as part of the deal and that he thinks widespread mail-in voting across the nation will ensure his loss in November. The current state of affairs at the USPS is the direct result of an underboss doing his best to please the Godfather. You wanna fix what’s happening at the bottom? Start at the top.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8

he has since said he will not veto a bill over USPS funding

Of course he won’t. But if Democrats won’t take it out of the COVID relief deal…well, that’s not his fault, now is it. (I can all but guarantee he said he wouldn’t veto a separate bill for USPS funding only so he could give himself some form of leverage in the relief deal negotiations.)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

Congress designed this widely used system of independent federal agencies with lead appointments by the sitting President — if you don’t like it — it is 100% th fault of Congress.

Congress could change the USPS any way they want tomorrow with a two-thirds vote.
That’s how the constitutional federal structure works, but apparently is unsatisfactory when your guys do not fully control the Exexutive and Legislative branches.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8

Congress designed this widely used system of independent federal agencies with lead appointments by the sitting President

The people who designed and implemented that system likely never considered the idea that a sitting president would nominate people so unqualified for their potential jobs Congress would refuse to approve those nominees for those jobs. The idea that the president would route around an “uncoöperative” Congress by installing “acting” appointees who ostensibly answer to the president rather than to Congress probably never crossed their minds, either.

Oh, and Congress can only do so much when both chambers of Congress can’t (or won’t) override a presidential veto.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

"That’s how the constitutional federal structure works, but apparently is unsatisfactory when your guys do not fully control the Exexutive and Legislative branches."

Well, no. It’s only unsatisfactory when potus is trying to dismantle the system required to hold an honest election and his part of congress and senate backs him 100%.

It’d be interesting to see what Reagan and Eisenhower would say about the way the current republican party appears hell-bent on demolishing the US electoral process all the way down to where the elections have as much validity as in a tinpot banana junta from the 70’s.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 What could go wrong ?

"USPS is an independent agency — TRUMP has no say in their daily operations or equipmeent choices."

He truly does not – which is why he appointed one of his known stooges as postmaster general just now. Louis DeJoy has personal vested interests in the post office taking a dive, owning a LOT of stock in it’s competitors (which already should be "No, Hell, no" rather than just a mere red flag). And his first acts in office appears to be to have the post office dismantled and under reorganization at the time of the election.

"If you don’t like what’s going on in USPS — your beef is with the USPS management and Congress."

And USPS management now is one of Trump’s hardcore adherents. Louis DeJoy is one of Trumps major fundraisers and campaign donors. Appointed in may this year against concern of conflict of interest.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: What could go wrong ?

"If we indeed have a thoroughly corrupt dictatorial Stalin-like US President — then we have MUCH bigger problems than the procedural trivia of this November’s election."

We have about 4 years worth of evidence that the current potus wants to be a Stalin-esque dictator, or at least that he sucks up in abject admiration quite a lot to the genuine examples of such that he has found. We have little evidence suggesting that he actually has the balls and charisma to put real teeth behind that desire. Preponderance of the evidence suggests Trump is ambitious minion material, not dictator material.

"Of course, extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof."

Well, we do have extraordinary evidence that potus is doing his best to dismantle the postal system before the election at a time where this will harm the people opposed to him far more than the ones supporting him. That in itself is beyond just irresponsible. He is factually flat-out repetitively peddling lies about how mail-in voting can’t work against a backdrop of history debunking that assertion.

What we do not have direct evidence for is that his actions are compelled by malice rather than outright ineptitude. Your call whether a wannabe Stalin is worse as a leader than the only logical alternative of the incompetent clown.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: What you get when corruption goes unpunished...

idk … correct me if I am wrong – but it seems to me that corruption has been given the green light worldwide for some time now. It is what makes the world go round, nothing happens until I get a piece of the action – right?
It used be covered up by people who were good at it, now it seems they have become complacent and lazy.

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David says:

Re: Re: Re: What you get when corruption goes unpunished...

America has been a hidden secret dictatorship for six decades. You new?

If you refer to executive power creep, it’s been a downward traverse, yes. But the presidents, while taken from an oligarchy class that has little to do with working people, were able to garner a majority of actual votes (of course, with a lot of shenanigans attached, and some even intentionally in the constitution to keep rich classes better represented than poor people).

And for better or worse, the decisions were based by different desires of dealing with the facts. But the last few decades have seen the info wars: the populace does not just have different feelings about how to best deal with the facts, they have different facts.

Nobody wants to share his cities with lunatics, rapists, murderers, thieves and extremists, but exactly that is what people are now required to do since part of the political discourse means teaching people that they are surrounded by people who are out to get them, their cars, guns, daughters, bank accounts and what not.

That’s one of the things that have gone downhill significantly. Another is that Trump now actively sabotages mail-in voting (as well as lowering the expectations of its veracity), and the explanation making most sense for that is that he is dependent on significant amounts of in-person voting on voting machines produced by donors to the Republican party and not leaving a verifiable paper trail.

The upcoming election has to become the most fraudulent election in U.S. history to guarantee his reelection, and mail ballots are not suitable well enough for covering his tracks as they leave too much of a trail.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: What you get when corruption goes unpunished...

"Trump has all but declared himself President For Life. You are well and truly a dictatorship."

Not really, no.

There are a lot of limits as to what Trump can and can not do. He can’t write an order and have people shot or thrown in jail for disrespecting him – no matter how much he wants to. He can’t abolish elections – no matter how much he wants to. He can’t even have a military parade where he can stand and proudly look down on the armed forces parading past – no matter how much he wants to.

What he CAN do is bad enough though, and the real issues of his legacy are in the various budget cuts he’s made to essential service no president so far was dumb enough to simply gut. One of those cuts alone has cost the US – today – roughly 160k lives in pandemic victims.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: What you get when corruption goes unpunished...

An American institution set up in Article I of the Constitution. You’d think the hardcore Constitutionalist conservative law and order GOP would revere it more than the 2nd Amendment.

ECA (profile) says:

Re: Re: What you get when corruption goes unpunished...

Old comment..
Follow the money.
He does little, without money.

Who has the most affect on our society? And doesn’t really want to be part of it.

Once you kill off the Laws to control and regulate certain aspects of the World, it leads us astray of the founding ideals. Of every nation, If you dont let the Nation control you, you can find a way to control the nation. Who wants to control the World, no one. You want to control Each nation, from behind. Then there are few ramifications.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I doubt it. Putin may be playing Trump like a fiddle – because Putin’s job was always to play dumb western politicians like fiddles – but that doesn’t mean Trump works for Putin.

Just that if Putin wants trump to do something Putin can get trump to do that with a few flattering words and a promise of getting his name on a building.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: What you get when corruption goes unpunished...

Himself. Always, invariably, for himself.

Trump has few real secrets when it comes to his motivation. We’ve known for forty years or so that he’s a shameless grifter with no real end to his ambition and no skillset except bullshitting too fast for everyone else to keep up with him.

David says:

Re: What you get when corruption goes unpunished...

Well, lowering voter turnout in Democratic-led states and raising it in Republican-led states is not per se going to swing the election (unless you also get more Republicans to vote in poll stations) since it would not significantly affect the electoral college. But it might help to get a less abysmal popular vote for Trump than last time and thus help a bit with perpetuating the "voting fraud" narrative in case he loses.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: What you get when corruption goes unpunished...

Oh they have multiple ways to ensure the plans of Paul Weyrich father of conservative evangelism such as gerrymandering i. Registered voter purges. And some old fashion voter intimidation via GOP poll monitors for those that remain.

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Pixelation says:

Supposedly, Democrats are more likely to vote by mail than Republicans. The funny little Orange in Chief is scared he won’t be reelected.

Shit like this only makes it more clear than ever that he needs to be voted out and dragged from the White house, if required.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"Supposedly, Democrats are more likely to vote by mail than Republicans."

Democratic voters – who have been targeted by many attempts to suppress their votes with anything from gerrymandering to poll station closures – are more likely to use a vote by mail system that leaves an actual paper trail than use electronic voting machines that have been shown to "accidentally" change the vote selection halfway through the process? Democratic voters who take the pandemic seriously are more likely to use a method that presents zero infection risk than the one that involves hundreds of people gathering together (assuming that the poll workers actually volunteer to run them in the first place)?

I wonder why that is?

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Democratic voters who take the pandemic seriously are more likely to use a method that presents zero infection risk than the one that involves hundreds of people gathering together (assuming that the poll workers actually volunteer to run them in the first place)

And therein lies the reason Trump is attacking mail-in voting, because while his cultists have shown that they are more than stupid enough to vote in person during a pandemic he’s banking that those opposing him won’t be willing to put their lives on the line to boot him out, and/or that he can sabotage the method used so that their attempt to do so fails.

David says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

And therein lies the reason Trump is attacking mail-in voting,

I am not convinced. There has been a lot of trouble with voting machines without paper trails, and they are produced by Republican supporters and whenever things went wrong, they tended to go wrong in one particular direction.

I don’t think Trump wants to forego their support. Mail-in votes have too much of a verifiable paper trail.

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Anonymous Coward says:

I’m somewhat puzzled by delivery delays, since I get less than half the mail I used to, but, well, at the same time it makes sense doesn’t it.

Anyways, the country should riot over this. And it’s actually worse than this. At one point he said something to the effect of, "if you don’t vote for me, you won’t get money".

Mind blowing.

ECA (profile) says:

Re: Re:

As some have noted…
The Mail company Seems under attack, because SOME GROUP thinks privatization is a GOOD THING. But Every other Major shipper will tell you, They CANT compete with the USPS, so they dont. They take the mail USPS dont.

If I did to you WHAT they have done to the USPS, you would be Broke,and trying to sell your kids.
If you did this to ANY corp?? If you did this to the rest of the Gov.??
Then stick someone from the repubs in charge.,,,

Love the thought that the GOV. is incharge of the USPS, but ISNT. but they have the Abilty to DEMAND From the USPS what they want..
Its abit stupid…Normal Gov.

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Anonymous Coward says:

So, then, nothing to see here except another biased article on Techdirt. Here’s a report from CBS News (hardly a conservative outlet) showing the pitfalls of mail-in ballots: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/covid-19-vote-by-mail-ballot-counted-election/

“ Out of the initial batch mailed a week earlier, 97 out of 100 votes had arrived. Three simulated persons, or 3% of voters, were effectively disenfranchised by mail by giving their ballots a week to arrive. In a close election, 3% could be pivotal.”

I’m really getting sick of false narratives promoted by fake news sites like this one with an obvious agenda.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I’m really getting sick of false narratives promoted by fake news sites like this one with an obvious agenda.

Las Vegas called, they said something about how some of the casino lights were on the fritz and were wondering if you could put your projection talents to good use.

I do so love bluff posts like yours though, as you either didn’t read your own source or you were really hoping that other people wouldn’t because that article does not say what you are portraying it as saying, with the actual points being that if you want to increase the odds of your vote being counted don’t send it in at the last minute, and that much like any other system there are occasional hiccups which is only a smoking gun if you want to argue that non-mail in ballots don’t have their own issues(and by all means please try that argument, I could use another laugh).

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Bluff posts? You can’t even read the article without twisting it to your own point of view? How about this one from another source which is also not considered a conservative outlet:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/nevada-county-mailed-1-3-163800955.html

"A Nevada county mailed out 1.3 million ballots for its primary election but 1 in 5 were never delivered"

I find it astounding that you can’t admit that mailing in your vote is rife with error.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Guessing you didn’t read that one all the way through either, or you were hoping that I wouldn’t.

Even with the undelivered ballots, Clark County had better voter turnout than in past primaries, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported shortly after the election. The County received and verified about 305,000 ballots, per the Review-Journal. Earlier this month, Nevada announced a plan to mail presidential election ballots to all its voters in November, per CNN.*

If one in five ballots weren’t delivered but the voter turnout was still better than past primaries then it would seem that even a system that still needs to work the bugs out worked better than the previous one, or at the very least will be better to have in place than not.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

As I noted in another comment recently please clean up any mess from the strawman you’ve just constructed so as to be considerate to other posters.

Unless the state makes it illegal to vote in person nothing prevents those stupid enough to do so from doing so, mail-in simply provides another avenue to vote, and the fact that even with a twenty percent loss there were still more voters would seem to suggest rather strongly that those who hadn’t voted before didn’t abstain because they simply chose not to but because of circumstances that mail-in voting eliminated or bypassed.

In addition if someone’s not going to vote anyway what does it matter that their paperwork gets lost, are they going to be sad that they don’t get to personally throw it in the trash or something and have to be protected from suffering such a dire fate?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

You really are a halfwit. You fail to have the insight to recognize that lost ballots can happen in both directions, if it’s so clear that they happen in one. As in, they don’t get returned to the polling place because they get lost in the mail. It’s obvious to the most casual observer that the mail system just isn’t good enough when something as important as voting is at stake. Holy hell, they’re not even capable of delivering postcards from my many vacations or my father’s VA medicine with tracking! You may as well rely on smoke signals.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

So those that are worried about their ballot being lost in the mail can vote in person, which of course has no issues whatsoever, problem solved.

No one’s saying that mail-in is perfect and that votes aren’t going to be lost thanks to an imperfect system, but that’s a significant difference than the fraud that Trump is constantly going on about, and as the very example above showed even with those losses the amount of voter participation increased.

If the concern really is that people’s vote/voice might not be heard then adding a system that increases the number of people voting, even if some of those votes are lost, is still a net gain, and is really only a problem if the concern is really that the ‘wrong’ people might be more likely to vote, like, oh let’s say ‘democrats in Pennsylvania’ as a completely random example.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

"You fail to have the insight to recognize that lost ballots can happen in both directions"

Of course they happen in both directions. They do not however happen equally. These things are designed to get lower voter participation in certain groups who tend to vote a particular way, like minorities or people with enough intelligence to understand medical data.

"It’s obvious"

Yet, you guys never seem capable of providing actual data from states that already have mail in voting.

"Holy hell, they’re not even capable of delivering postcards from my many vacations or my father’s VA medicine with tracking!"

So, clearly the answer is to defund them and block them from doing their jobs even further!

Who do you suggest do those things instead, by the way… companies like UPS, DHL and Amazon, all of whom use USPS for last mile delivery services?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

It’s obvious to the most casual observer that the mail system just isn’t good enough when something as important as voting is at stake

It is even more obvious, especially with a raging pandemic, that postal voting will increase the turnout, even if a few percent of postal votes are lost in post. The result will be a better representation of the electorates desires, even f those who use postal votes are mainly from one party.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"Here’s a report from CBS News (hardly a conservative outlet) showing the pitfalls of mail-in ballot"

It shows that the USPS is currently not operating at full efficiently, due mainly to a decade of Republican attacks that have left it both with extraordinary mandatory costs and no ability to control pricing to make up the shortfall. It doesn’t show a problem with the concept of mail in voting, it shows that your mail system is crippled for political reasons.

"Out of the initial batch mailed a week earlier"

OK… Why did they choose a week as a cut off? USPS is usually quoted as taking up to 10 days under normal circumstances. If it’s the USPS recommendation that’s the only reason for that, all voters need to do is send it earlier if possible rather than waiting till the last minute.

When does the cut-off for the vote to be counted take place? Are they still counted if they were posted before a specific date, or do they only count if they arrive before a specific date?

Again, all you’ve really shown is that voters need to stop being complacent and not wait until the cut off day to send their ballot. In some areas, this is way more preferable than waiting for hours in a crowd of people they may have had to spend hours travelling to in the hope that the polling station doesn’t close before they’re able to cast their vote.

"I’m really getting sick of false narratives promoted by fake news sites"

Then, start questioning the actual facts rather than just lazily posting the first Google result that meets you preconceived ideas and pretending you’ve done research.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Well, apart from the misinformation, it also removes common sense and proactive thought. If you individually are concerned about the time your vote is received, you can pay for quicker service. Poll taxes are a problem, but I don’t think that a one-off voluntary payment in the middle if a once in a lifetime global disaster qualifies. Or, again, don’t just leave it till the last possible moment.

On the other hand, if you’re on the government side there lots you can do. Apart from the obvious stop defunding the post office option, you can send out ballots earlier, arrange secure local pickup locations so you don’t depend on USPS and so on.

Then, there’s factual history. Several states already have mail voting, and there’s been no concerns raised about them being secure or efficient until now.

But no, an early test by a third party suggests that there might be problems if nothing is changed, so obviously it can’t be done.

OGquaker says:

Re: Re: Re: magic lists, missing names

In 2016 & 2018 i ran (Inspector) two poling precincts in Compton, CA. 25% of the voters, many middle aged, drove up to vote, walked in, AND WERE NOT ON THE ROLLS.
My Wife Clerked in a polling precinct within USC in 2016, and 70-80% of the students claimed they had Registered to vote AND WERE NOT ON THE ROLLS. Trust me, most are all dumb fucks or liars. She walked out, but the County sent her a check anyway.

"Inspectors’ were eliminated in LA County’s last election (2020), all Voting was on a new StarTrek stand-up plastic-shield-over-your-head I-pad device, 18 of the 28 stations were out-of-service in my polling location.
This County closed 4,000 of their 5,000 poling locations but hired more than a thousand wet-behind-the-ears precinct workers on late Monday for the Tuesday morning vote & ran a few precinct 24 full hours. Many workers were figuring out their task by Tuesday afternoon, sort of.

Waiting times were over 2 hours in line AC (After Covid). I was working there from 6am through 9pm, and the click for your party's President was the last item on a long, confusing new-page, new-page, new-page. I doubt if most LA voters ever got to the one reason they showed up.

Of course, anyone was allowed to vote on their cell phone in LA County, so there's that.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Out of the initial batch mailed a week earlier, 97 out of 100 votes had arrived.

It takes a deliberate distortion to represent that as 3% lost votes, as 97% of the votes arrived, and most of those would be lost without mail in votes.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

You also have to do the follow up. OK, that sounds bad when 3% might be lost in postal voting. But how does that compare to the figure of people who can’t physically vote for any reason, be it disenfranchisement, work schedules or not wanting to get infected? If voter participation is 20% higher (random figure for illustration) because they have mail in options, the 3% is not as concerning as if you assume the same participation.

ECA (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Agenda..
To many trying to do THEIR THING, to control the gov. Any way they can.

The UPS/others will tell you they cant compete with the USPS for what they do..
Not for the Time frame of the (daily delivery).. NOT for the amounts of mail They do deliver.

For all thats been DEMANDED for retirement funds for the next 75 years. For the Incharge persons, that Fire everyone. For the LOSS of machinery..(which was paid by the Citizens.NOT CONGRESS)
Many nations Would love to have our Mail system.

I love the thought that SOMEONE created the idea that the Gov. does to much, and is to big. PROVE IT.
Every dept was created after the fact.
After the fact it WAS NEEDED.
But a bunch of idiots thought Giving them power to DO THEIR JOB, was to much. removed it.. Including the few sections designed to TELL YOU HOW THINGS WORKED. Like cellphones and computers.
When was the last GOOD upgrade to the IRS?? evne the pentagon is suffering from 386 syndrome.
Keep knee capping the Nation and what are you going to have.
Ask the food industry. 8% inspections for Food contamination and Cross contamination, food poisoning, Chicken at the store that has so much water in it, you cant FIND the chicken.
(someone gave a food taste test, and had REAL chicken, and the people could NOT believe that Chicken had FLAVOR)
WE SHIP better food, for FREE, to other nations. And still get pissed because the BRITS dont want our chicken, because we BLEACH OUR CHICKEN.
Our corps are so Ignorant, they think they know everything, but cant find a CHEAP way to make things work, unless they have another nation do it. We have had the Same internals in EVERY DVD player for YEARS, and its $5 worth of hardware SHIPPED. Our OWN corps dont even give us FAIR products for Fair money..
Look at your current electonics, like $100+ headphones, and Microphones…the wire breaks inside, because you CHEAP OUT on $0.05 of wire,. I get better products DIRECT from China.
Iv got a pair of 40 year old Sony, inear headphones, STILL WORKING. My friend LOVES them.
What respect DOES the USA get(?) when even the CRAP we sell to the citizens, Dont even compare to what we had in the past.
If we had wages EQUAL/comparable to what was had 40 years ago, we could/should afford the SAME quality as then.,..but CANT. What ever happened to he 4 head VCR?? I know ALLOT of people that would by one for $100.(I know, its now $300) Back 40 years ago, $100 was 2 days wages. AND NOW its about the SAME wage. but the item COSTS MORE.

DUMP this economy.. LET it hit the bricks.. QUIT forcing it up and up.. you think its MORE Profit..IT ISNT. because the PEOPLE cant buy anything,.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"Here’s a report from CBS News (hardly a conservative outlet) showing the pitfalls of mail-in ballots…"

So, mail-in ballots, securely used in the entire world is a technology the US is still too primitive to manage? Is that your takeaway? That your nation is such an ass-backwards place that former soviet satellites in rural europe have you beaten not just in broadband access but in centuries-old established communications infrastructure as well?

The US used to brag about their "can-do" attitude. Today, apparently, the entire right wing is focused around whining about "Can’t do".

If you can’t make mail-in ballots work you’re a fucking joke as a country. Own it or get your screaming white house orange to fix it – or at least stop dismantling the stuff you need to make it work.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

That link was gold, Stephen…just a few of those quotes breaks my heart for the truth in them;

"…The dirty secret of “No We Can’t” is that lots of other countries do take collective action, and so they already enjoy the nice things Americans can’t have."

"…Only in America does increased GDP not lead to increased life expectancy."

"Our “free market” system provides the most expensive cellphone service in the world."

The US, not too long ago the "land of opportunity" is today the land where you pay more for less and pin all your hopes of having a future on the one in a million chance you’ll make it big by winning the lottery or a sufficient number of lawsuits.

And every vision of making it better is met with, rather than the hearty "Can Do" of 1960’s republicans , a bunch of dour fatalists from that same party whining about how nothing can be better than it is right now, in a manner of style which would bring tears of pride to the eyes of any old soviet commissar used to telling the proles why they couldn’t have nice things.

What. The Fuck. Happened?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Out of the initial batch mailed a week earlier, 97 out of 100 votes had arrived. Three simulated persons, or 3% of voters, were effectively disenfranchised by mail by giving their ballots a week to arrive. In a close election, 3% could be pivotal.

Are you upset that 3% weren’t counted?

Or are you upset that those 3% could represent republican votes?

I’m not certain why you have any concern at all, since any real republican would certainly opt to vote in person. Shouldn’t matter if they’re in nursing homes or otherwise unable to stand in line like the rest of us.

Why you worried, bro?

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Russia is afraid of China. They always have been. Apparently, US and Russia are just close enough to take on China together. And that is where we are heading. This chopping off the USPS is just another thing to shore up all the costly expenditures these administrations keep putting the kibosh to. It pisses me off, but WW3 is coming. So it doesn’t surprise me.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

And if Trump looks over Russia’s way… what would happen, exactly? Trump’s been given full rein to go after his enemies – and not only is Hilary Clinton not in jail, Trump’s managed to have a bunch of his closest allies tossed in the slammer.

Not to mention the joke he tries to pass off as a full length border wall…

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

"Did he ever get even one Peso from Mexico who Trump declared would foot the bill for that obscene wall?"

Not yet but with the US currently being plague central Mexico has closed part of its border to US visitors.

So perhaps ironically Trump may indeed get Mexico to foot some border enforcement costs – when they try to stop americans from coming into Mexico.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

" I think they might not be so happy if he ever gained complete control over the government and decided to look their way."

You must be joking. Looking at the way Trump sucks up to Putin, Kim Jong-Un – the real hard-boys of dictators – the only thing for them to be unhappy about will be the way he’ll want to join their exclusive club.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Can’t speak to the mail sorting machine issue. But briefly looking at the "mailboxes are being removed" thing … The Oregon story described that they were removing redundant mailboxes from places that had more than one, and that no mailbox location was having all of them removed.

Kinda hard to get alarmed about that, unless you don’t click through and actually read the story involved. "Fake?" Maybe, but only to the extent that it leads a person to make incorrect assumptions. They call that… what, spin?

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re:

The Oregon story described that they were removing redundant mailboxes from places that had more than one, and that no mailbox location was having all of them removed.

That explanation might hold water if the timing didn’t make it suspect. Why is the USPS removing these drop-off boxes, which apparently weren’t a problem for the USPS until this week, less than 90 days before an election — one widely expected to have far more casting of mail-in ballots than usual? Given the changes to USPS operating procedures that seem to have handicapped mail delivery for the similar timeframe and Trump’s explicitly expressed desire to either slow down or altogether eliminate mail-in voting nationwide (even if he says “absentee voting is great” despite it also being mail-in voting), the removal of those drop-off boxes at this time comes off as the Postmaster General — a huge Trump donor handpicked by Trump to run the USPS (into the ground) — doing everything he can to help Trump rig an election.

And before you even say “hE’s NoT rIgGiNg ThE eLeCtIoN!”, consider the following:

  1. Trump has suggested that he might not respect the results of the election if he loses. He did this in 2016, when he likely expected to lose. He is doing it now, when polling shows that he might lose, to rile up his voting base ahead of a possible loss (and a possible legal battle to overturn that loss) in November.
  2. Trump has said that he would like to stay in office past his constitutionally mandated term limits. He and his sycophants may claim he is joking, sure. But he wouldn’t float the idea in public if he didn’t believe in it.
  3. Trump suggested that he could delay the election. Congressional Republicans thankfully found their spines in the dumpster behind the Capitol and said “no, you fucknugget, you can’t do that”. But his suggesting it speaks to Trump’s fascist tendencies and love of authoritarians such as Putin, Erdoğan, and Kim Jong-Un.
  4. Trump has stacked the government with handpicked “acting” heads of certain agencies and institutions. Those people don’t have to make promises about their job performance in front of Congress; that would mean they were confirmed for the job. Those people answer only to the person who gave them their job.
  5. Trump has made sure the Supreme Court leans conservative. If he loses in November and launches a legal battle to overturn the result, he has the Supreme Court leaning in the direction of “keep conservatives in power”.
  6. Trump has both authorized and celebrated the presence of unidentified federal law enforcement officials in American cities. He did this ostensibly to stop violent rioting, but it was also done to provoke a violent reaction. Escalation is what he wanted because it would let him present an image of cities burning and “thugs” looting to his largely White voting base and say “Black Lives Matter did this, so keep me in office and I’ll take out those terrorists”. And if he needs to deploy his secret police to intimidate “cheaters” on Election Day…well, that’s just common sense, right~?
  7. Trump has done nothing, and will do nothing, to either protect or expand voting rights for Americans. Has he spoken out against the closing of polling places, Voter ID laws, and gerrymandering that makes sure Republicans stay in control of state legislatures? No. Will he speak out against those things? No.
  8. Trump has done nothing, and will do nothing, to prevent Russian interference in the 2020 election. Enough said.

Considering all of that combined with the USPS/mail-in voting stuff I already mentioned, I have One Simple Question for you. Yes or no: Do you believe Americans can expect to vote in a fair election in November?

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Funny timing for 'fiscal responsibility' to crop up...

Shortly before an election where massive numbers of people are going to be mailing in their votes, and which the USPS only seemed to care about after Trump replaced the head of the agency with a big fan of his and repeatedly attacked the idea of mail-in voting?

If you seriously believe that excuse I’ve got some positively stunning bridges and/or lunar land to sell you, and I’m pretty sure there’s a few prices in Nigeria that would love to get into contact with you.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Given that voting institution has been fucked with for at least the last sixty years and the nwo who is really running this shit show has been putting into office their groomed presidential candidates for more than five decades, this stunt is all for show. There has never been an independent way to verify vote counts anyway so there has to be mire to this.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: 'Really, no one uses parachutes so we're just cutting waste.'

Yeah, thing is the timing makes the excuse given a little flimsy.

When you’ve got a president openly attacking the idea of mail-in voting(well, at least for people not on his side) a semi-recent change in who’s running the USPS put in place by that president, and an upcoming election where a lot of people are going to be wanting to mail their votes removing mailboxes ‘because people aren’t using them as much’, ignoring that lots of people will be and it’s going to be important to make that as easy as possible, is just kinda hard to buy as honest and valid.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

The USPS’s financial issues aren’t due to COVID-19 alone. They’re not even due to Amazon or whatever. They are, in large part, due to the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 (PAEA). That partisan law¹ requires the USPS to prefund the health and retirement benefits of its retirees up to the year 2056. (Per Wikipedia: “Between 2007 and 2016, the USPS lost $62.4 billion; the inspector general of the USPS estimated that $54.8 billion of that was due to prefunding retiree benefits.”) No other entity, private or public, has such an obligation — and without it, the USPS (which receives no taxpayer subsidies) could turn a profit.


¹ — While PAEA was ostensibly a bipartisan effort thanks to Democrats co-sponsoring and voting for the bill, a Republican introduced the bill to Congress, Republicans held the majority in both houses of Congress at the time, and a Republican president signed the bill into law.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

In states where voting by mail is already a thing, there were no problems in 2008, 2012 or 2016 in the mail-in-voting system. Apparently that loss of funding wasn’t so catastrophic. The system still worked as intended. Holding the PAEA up as a reason we suddenly have problems in 2020 is more than disingenuous, it’s misleading and false. Just more partisan fake news.

The reason we have problems now is Trump’s appointee to head the USPS and his campaign to dismantle the institution from the inside. Trump is trying to create a self-fulfilling prophecy, using politics and corruption to back up his false claims. If the USPS survives this and we finally evict our future convict in office I hope the next president does everything possible to prevent a repeat performance in the future. I know… If wishes were horses…

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Holding the PAEA up as a reason we suddenly have problems in 2020 is more than disingenuous, it’s misleading and false.

I said that PAEA is largely (but not totally) responsible for the financial issues plaguing the USPS. I could make an argument about those financial issues and how Trump’s handpicked Postmaster General making “cost-cutting” changes to USPS operations are potentially meddling with the election. But I didn’t make that argument before and I didn’t say PAEA was responsible for all the problems within the USPS. So I’ll thank you to not shove words in my mouth that didn’t first come from it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

You mean these words?

They are, in large part, due to the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 (PAEA).

To which I replied

Holding the PAEA up as a reason we suddenly have problems in 2020 is more than disingenuous

"a reason", not "the reason".

I didn’t put any words in your mouth that didn’t first come from it.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3

Fair enough.

But to go back to your point: PAEA is a reason we “suddenly” have problems in 2020 because Trump is the president in 2020. He has mentioned before that he thinks the USPS is “horribly run” because it doesn’t turn a profit, but instead of pushing to have PAEA repealed, he starts fucking with the USPS (through his newly installed Postmaster General) because the pandemic made sure lots of people would be doing mail-in voting and Trump is scared of that.

And by the by, holding up PAEA as a reason we’re seeing the USPS getting fucked in a way that is slowing down the mail and ostensibly making harder the delivery (and pickup) of mail-in ballots isn’t disingenuous. It’s following this set of facts to a logical conclusion:

  1. PAEA’s “funding retirement benefits for the next 50 years” requirement, which no other business or government institution in the United States has to do, is largely (if not entirely) responsible for the financial issues that plague the USPS.
  2. Donald Trump claimed that he wanted to run the U.S. government as a business and “drain the swamp”, which ostensibly means he wanted to stop “wasteful” spending from government institutions (or sell off the “debt-ridden” ones to private parties).
  3. Donald Trump has, on several occasions, railed against the USPS because of its financial issues. (This LA Times article has an example of one such occasion.) A task force he put together in 2018 to study how to alleviate those issues suggested that the USPS should privatize some of its services. He has never asked for the repeal of PAEA (or at least its retirement funding aspect).
  4. The majority of the Postal Service Board of Governors is Trump-appointed. (They may or may not be more loyal to him than to the institution that is the USPS; we might never know the answer to that.)
  5. The new Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, is a Trump supporter and was approved for the job by that aforementioned Board of Governors.
  6. The COVID-19 pandemic has made in-person voting a potential public health hazard, so mail-in voting will undoubtedly become more widespread with the 2020 election.
  7. Donald Trump has said on multiple occasions that he feels widespread mail-in voting is rife with fraud (which isn’t true) and that Republicans — including him — would consistently lose elections if more Americans were allowed to vote by mail (which also isn’t true).
  8. In the past two months or so, Louis DeJoy has approved changes to USPS operations that have slowed down the delivery of mail. We can assume that he also signed off on the removal of dropoff boxes and mail sorting machines that have been reported in the past week or two.

If PAEA weren’t a thing, would Donald Trump be trying to dismantle the USPS out of the fear that he will lose an election if more American citizens than ever before get to vote by mail? Possibly. But we’ll never know for sure because we don’t live in a timeline where PAEA didn’t financially fuck over the USPS.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

" Holding the PAEA up as a reason we suddenly have problems in 2020 is more than disingenuous,"

No, it’s not. Trump is directly using the fact that it’s losing money as an excuse to cripple it further. He’s literally telling you that he’s breaking it down because it’s losing money, and PAEA is the only reason it’s doing that.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3

Yes, I’m sure George W. Bush knew — with an inhuman precision no one knew about — that 14 years after he signed PAEA into law, Donald Trump would be using the PAEA-driven financial losses incurred by the USPS as an excuse to fuck with the USPS in an attempt to meddle in an election where Trump and Mike Pence will face Joe Biden and Kamala Harris admist the biggest American public health crisis in a century~.

…you know, it’s just easier to call you an idiot.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

"I believe this was all planned from the onset of that law being signed by bush."

The problem with conspiracy theories which require accurate predictions of the future is that they, like every other major conspiracy theory, rely on magic being real for the logic to work.

Bush was a complete tool Cheney, Rumsfeld and Ashcroft were swinging at a time when enough of the GOP was enamored in the neocon dream of american hegemony to briefly put actual policy into the GOP. It didn’t last long and fell on its own sword with even the original inventor of neoconservative philosophy backing away from it in the end. The only conspiracy from that time was that of trying to bring the US once more into a position of global dominance. A scheme which, uhh…didn’t exactly pan out well.

The only legacy they left was the current tendency of the US to curl up in a corner and holler "Stay Away!" at everyone, having shrunk into a wrinkled gnome afraid of The Bad Man <insert bogeyman of the month here>.

At some point you’d think even the broken pattern-recognition of conspiracy theorists would have to realize that the deep state bullshit is unlikely to be true unless they think the deep state actually works for China or Russia.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 'The theory/I can't be wrong so reality must be'

That’s where the defense mechanism of conspiracy theories kick in, where as contradictory evidence keeps coming in rather than being seen as evidence that the theory is wrong it’s instead treated as further evidence of how right the theory is, showing that They are even more powerful and able to manipulate the world than previously thought.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 'The theory/I can't be wrong so reality must be'

"…showing that They are even more powerful and able to manipulate the world than previously thought."

I know, I know…I just still have this vestige of wishful thinking of a world where, if a hypothesis demands a shadowy cabal of super-powered deities capable of mind control and time travel no one would willingly keep upholding that hypothesis as valid…

And yet all you keep getting from the conspiracy crowd is frothing at the mouth and another diatribe of the conspiracy apparently counting every person on earth among its members while still retaining absolute secrecy.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 'The theory/I can't be wrong so reality must be'

Not sure what "these people" refers to but if it’s the illuminati/lizard people/global jewish conspiracy/worldwide teletubby conference of doom…then there’s not much to know other than that their existence is…implausible.

If you’re talking about the way in which accreting swarms of opportunists and fearful bigots have gathered to consistently perpetuate the exact same sort of self-serving shenanigans in the body politic since well before the days of ancient greece and rome the preponderance of the evidence suggests the citizenry will calmly put up with said shenanigans until the effects start hittibng their bottom line, at which point yet another revolution happens.

But that’s just human nature. No conspiracy is needed to produce the pattern we keep seeing.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"Holding the PAEA up as a reason we suddenly have problems in 2020 is more than disingenuous, it’s misleading and false."

Well, yes and then again, no. The PAEA has hobbled the post office significantly, eroding their ability to operate. Previous postmaster generals have had to prep extensively just to deliver the mail properly for one week every four years, and so far that’s worked.

Now though, there’s Louis DeJoy as postmaster general, one of Trumps major donors and fundraisers, with ample incentive through his 30 million USD stake in XPO, to simply shank the post office to the point where it’s no longer able to muster delivery over the election.

Bluntly put any major reorg of a company is almost guaranteed to render said company dysfunctional over the reorganization period so you are correct the PAEA isn’t needed to screw the post office over a defined time period. But it certainly makes it a lot easier when the post office has already been teetering on the brink for some time.

" I hope the next president does everything possible to prevent a repeat performance in the future."

We can expect very little from Biden which wasn’t written by his campaign contributors or explicitly ordered by the democrat leadership. And even if he had items on his agenda there’s jack-all he’ll be able to do about it. Many effects of the current president’s actions will only happen in the next term – which is why Trump was able to take so much credit for the effects of Obama’s policies. Similarly the effects of Trump gutting a whole slew of government agencies and protections will come due in Biden’s term, making Biden look like a complete screwup almost no matter what he does.
It was a happenstance of fate which had Trump’s gutting the CDC turn out to be so perfectly ill-timed the chickens came home to roost within the same term – but the same creaking noises can be heard from a hundred other agencies pared down past the bone.

The next president will be very busy trying to deal with the fallout of this president. At which point there will once again be a lot of voter disillusion and the republicans may be presenting a real strongman rather than just a grifting minion who wishes he was one.

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Some Centrist Asshole says:

"President Trump has been — without any factual basis at all — decrying mail-in ballots"

Lets reword this:

"Mike — Having done no actual journalism since leaving DSLreports — accuses orange man of being bad"

Yeah lets just ignore the shit show in NY on mail in voting (is there fraud or just incompetent officials?) or the fraud in Patterson, NJ, changing ballots to republican in WV or even the official indicted in PA for fraud (to keep the list short). Clearly there is no evidence and these small samples won’t translate to a wide spread problem in the future ????

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

Clearly there is no evidence and these small samples won’t translate to a wide spread problem in the future

  1. How many elections have been run with mail-in voting since…hmm…let’s make this easy and say, the year 2000? (Not just presidential — I’m talking local and state as well.)
  2. How many ballots have been cast in those elections?
  3. How many of those ballots were determined to be fraudulent?
  4. How many elections (local, state, or federal) have had their results delayed, questioned, or thrown out entirely by possibly fraudulent mail-in voting (and only that reason)?

Answer those questions and maybe your whining about how people are mean to Donald Trump — who has admitted that he’s fucking with the USPS to hamper mail-in voting efforts — might hold more weight than a feather in a vacuum.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Well considering I am not talking about the past but the present since we live in "unprecedented times" with Covid, mail in voting will be occurring ALOT more, excluding Absentee ballots which have a separate process, than in the past 20 years… so no, not really a valid comparison with past elections. That being said, even MIT has noted that VBM has a "However, even many scholars who argue that fraud is generally rare agree that fraud with VBM voting seems to be more frequent than with in-person voting." (https://electionlab.mit.edu/research/voting-mail-and-absentee-voting). So now you have Covid, which will amplify this potential.

I don’t give a fuck about people being mean to Trump, just get the facts straight, he does have a point and it needs to be addressed, whether it could come to pass or not.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

even many scholars who argue that fraud is generally rare agree that fraud with VBM voting seems to be more frequent than with in-person voting

When they say “more frequent”, do they mean the number of fraudulent votes are far higher for mail-in ballots than they are for in-person ballots, or simply that the percentage of fraudulent votes is higher for mail-in ballots because of differentials in how many people cast each type of ballot and the number of actual specific cases of fraud via mail-in ballots is low enough to be statistically insignificant? I notice that the article you linked to didn’t provide actual numbers in that regard, so maybe you can help me out with that. After all, you seem so knowledgable about this whole situation~.

I don’t give a fuck about people being mean to Trump

Could’ve fooled me.

he does have a point and it needs to be addressed

Then why isn’t he addressing it? He’s the fucking president of the United States; he could be approving funds for election security or ordering the Postmaster General to improve USPS’s operational security for mail-in ballots or something other than, you know, admitting that he’s fucking with the USPS as part of an effort to sway the election in his favor.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"Well considering I am not talking about the past"

Ah, so you’re not talking about evidence of something happening, you’re talking about what you imagine might happen?

"mail in voting will be occurring ALOT more"

It will. Do you have any evidence that this will actually be a problem, based say on existing states that already have 100% mail in voting?

"hat being said, even MIT has noted that VBM has a "However, even many scholars who argue that fraud is generally rare agree that fraud with VBM voting seems to be more frequent than with in-person voting." "

Strange how you deliberately omitted the sentence directly before that:

"As with all forms of voter fraud, documented instances of fraud related to VBM are rare."

Almost as if you’re trying to misrepresent what they’re saying…

"I don’t give a fuck about people being mean to Trump"

Nobody’s being mean to him, they’re simply noting his outright admission that he’s sabotaging the mail system for political gain at a time when democracy may well depend on it.

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nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

excluding Absentee ballots which have a separate process

There is not a separate process. When Trump says mail in voting is evil and absentee ballots are fine, he is lying to you (as always). The only difference is the rules on who is allowed to do it, which vary by state.

https://www.cnet.com/how-to/mail-in-voting-versus-absentee-voting-whats-the-difference/

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2

Worth noting: Numerous states have relaxed their absentee ballot rules in the wake of COVID-19 so anyone can request an absentee ballot. This is the primary reason why mail-in voting is expected to become more widespread this year.

In any case, I suggest getting an absentee/mail-in ballot and dropping it off at a proper ballot collection spot as soon as possible instead of mailing the ballot. You’ll bypass the USPS and know your vote will be counted, thereby giving a middle finger to Trump and his efforts to rig the election in his favor.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Like his COVID response, he’s gambling that what he’s doing will affect more blue states than red. If it were any other country dealing in such open and obvious election fraud, they’d be screaming to invade but since it’s their guy trying to be a dictator they’re fine with it.

Also, he’s just preparing his cult with excuses as to how they shouldn’t accept the election result if it goes against him. They will probably be further riots no matter how it goes, at minimum. If Trump wins, then there’s no way any sane person would not believe there’s been some fraud, and this will be the 3rd election in 20 years where the system has been gamed to get a Republican in office. There will be many problems. On the flipside, if he loses then the cult has already been programmed to believe that it was fraud (but, of course, they don’t mind if the fraud gets their guy in office). I’d be very concerned about what violence will occur between election and the day Biden is sworn in.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

Balderdash, I distinctly remember republicans denigrating and mocking non-republicans who were upset/pissed off when Trump got elected and telling them to stop freaking out and just accept the election, I’m sure they would never do a full 180 and hypocritically throw tantrums(likely violent) should the election not go their way and Biden wins.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Only a few steps from 'only my team can vote' at this point

While voting by mail generally has not been shown to benefit one party over the other, the issue has become partisan. In Pennsylvania most Democrats voted by mail in the primary, while most Republicans voted in person.

I’m sure it’s just a total coincidence that he’s suing to prevent mail-in voting in a state where the majority of people who vote that way vote for the other party…

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

How many other elections at all levels of government across all 50 states from 2000 to 2019 have had similar problems with fraud?

I’m not saying voter fraud isn’t real and doesn’t happen. I’m also not saying that the shitshow in Paterson isn’t a shitshow. But if you’re going to act like Paterson is the norm instead of the exception, you might want to back up that assertion with facts instead of baseless Trump-esque whining, lest you be mistaken for a MAGAt.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

"I’m not saying voter fraud isn’t real and doesn’t happen."

Fraud will happen. The question is whether it’s at a level that makes it an inferior choice to a system that already involves widespread disenfranchisement, electronic voting machines that are proven to inaccurately register results and now carries a significant risk of infectious disease.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"Yeah, I remember that time Nevada sent about 200K primary ballots to the wrong addresses"

Yes, their database really needs to be updated and this particular issue shows exactly how out of date their systems are. That doesn’t prove an issue with mail in voting, though, just that states need to encourage people to check they have the correct data before they send out ballots.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Yes.

I’m not sure it’s stupidity so much as denial and indoctrination(though I suppose one could argue that those both qualify), being told so often that The Other is the source of all your problems and that your tribe never does anything truly wrong that any problems that crop up simply must be caused by The Other, no matter how much you have to torture logic to reach that position.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

"Just ask the 170,000 people who died from COVID 19."

A recent poll counts them as…let’s see…"Not having any complaints about Trump". Well, there we go. 170k people who have every reason to complain but aren’t muttering the slightest about Fearless Leader.

/s because I know that somewhere some white house statistician will be using those dead people in exactly this way to prop up the flagging potus support numbers…

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restless94110 (profile) says:

Fraud

The USPS is not being dismantled. Mail In voting is pure fraud. It’s been proven every day, including 2 elections right now. Come on, man.

No one has received their Social Security since 2013. Remember Obama? And who removed the street mail receptacles? Obama.

What is wrong with you guys over there when it comes to these hoax talking points? You are so good on so many things.

But not when it comes to these things and free speech in the Commons.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Fraud

"Mail In voting is pure fraud"

Citation needed. Start with the states that have 100% mail in voting, it should be easy for you to prove something there rather than whatever your brainwashed little imagination is thinking of.

"No one has received their Social Security since 2013"

Erm, you usually come across as a true believer in some batshit stuff, but you’re kidding here right?

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Fraud

Mail In voting is pure fraud.

Not only can you not prove that, the opposite has been proven repeatedly.

No one has received their Social Security since 2013.

False.

And who removed the street mail receptacles? Obama.

Citation needed.

What is wrong with you guys over there when it comes to these hoax talking points?

You don’t even see the irony do you?

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