Republican voter suppression tactics

Trump and BergerMoore whine to Supreme Court about ballot extension

They're just throwing shit against the wall to see what will stick:

President Donald Trump’s campaign and North Carolina’s Republican legislative leaders asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday to return the state to a shorter deadline for accepting late-arriving absentee ballots postmarked by Election Day.

The legislative leaders argue in their appeal that the longer deadline, which was extended after early voting had begun, will result in unequal treatment of voters and dilute the value of ballots cast before the rule was changed.

What? Seriously, what? Even if those later ballots somehow did "dilute" the value of earlier votes cast, refusing to count the later ballots makes their value absolutely zero. But of course there is no dilution, this is just another "divide and conquer" tactic by Republicans. Trying to pit voters who mailed their ballots in early against those who didn't. Create a conflict where one doesn't exist, and then ask the court to settle that conflict. It's a variation of a strawman logical fallacy, but in this case, the strawman is the victim, not the antagonist. I agree with Josh Stein 100%:

Analysts: Trump can't win without North Carolina

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Which is why we've been "blessed" by so many visits:

President Donald Trump’s frequent visits to North Carolina are a sign: the state and its 15 Electoral College votes are critical to his effort to win reelection. He has made seven appearances here since July 27 — four in September alone.

Biden leads Trump by a slight margin in North Carolina, which Western Carolina University political scientist Chris Cooper called the most-important swing state in deciding the election. “I think there is a path to victory for Biden that doesn’t go down Tobacco Road, but I don’t think the same is true for President Trump,” Cooper said.

While I find it frustrating we still need to worry about Trump winning North Carolina (WTAF, people), it's somewhat comforting to know Biden can still win without us. Just like Obama did in 2012 with 332 Electoral votes. But (once again) it's the suburbs in NC that will determine the outcome:

Today is the last day for voter registration for 2020 Election

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Unless you're planning to one-stop early vote:

Applications received after 5 p.m. Friday will be timely if postmarked on or before Oct. 9. If a postmark is missing or unclear, an application will be processed if it’s received no later than 20 days before the election. Otherwise, the application won’t be processed until after the election.

Faxed or emailed applications must be received by 5 p.m. Friday, and hard copies must be delivered to the Board of Elections by 20 days before the election.

Understand, if you have moved since you last registered to vote, even if you're still in the same voting precinct, your registration is no longer valid and must be updated. You can check your voter registration status right here just to make sure. If you miss today's deadline, you can register and vote the same day at an early voting site. But you will need to provide proof of residence when doing so. Here are some other qualifications to consider:

Trump's voter suppression machine kicks into high gear

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And harassing election officials is one of their weapons:

The strategy was on display last week when Trump tweeted about nine “discarded” ballots in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. Then this week the hot spot was a Philadelphia fight over whether Trump campaign poll monitors could be allowed into newly opened satellite election offices.

Trump poll monitors requested entry, but city election offices said neither party's observers had a legal right to access the buildings. Under state law, poll monitors can only observe live, in-person voting and not places where people can register, fill out early ballots and drop them off to be counted weeks later. The campaign sent observers to the sites, and in one case, they were turned away by a Republican on the city election commission. The campaign sued the city Thursday night in an effort to gain access to the sites.

After tearing apart the Postal Service to slow down the mail (and make people fear mailing in their ballots), of course they're going to haunt boards of elections sites where people go to drop off their absentee ballots. All it takes is a few high-profile incidents and people will be afraid to do that, too. Wisconsin's Election Commission developed guidelines for poll watchers in 2018 that is a good model:

Here they go again: Republicans try to block App State voting site

Hat-tip to Jerry Wayne for keeping an eye on these vote suppressors:

Eric Eller and Nancy Owen, the Republican members of the Watauga County Board of Elections, have filed a complaint in the Wake County Superior Court seeking to block an early voting site in the Appalachian State University student union.

Eller and Owen are represented by Boone attorney Nathan Miller, who has a long history of bringing suits to suppress the student vote. Eller and Owen are asking for an expedited hearing on their complaint. Early voting is due to begin October 15.

It appears that Eric Eller tried a few months ago to get local police to "gear up" for potential black protesters at the App State polling place:

Trump doesn't want to "test" the system, he wants to de-legitimize it

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And increase unnecessary crowding and confusion at the polls on Election day:

N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein reminded people they cannot vote twice, again rebuking President Donald Trump’s telling North Carolinians to vote by mail and to try again in person. It is illegal to vote twice.

Trump tweeted: “NORTH CAROLINA: To make sure your Ballot COUNTS, sign & send it in EARLY. When Polls open, go to your Polling Place to see if it was COUNTED. IF NOT, VOTE! Your signed Ballot will not count because your vote has been posted. Don’t let them illegally take your vote away from you!”

Think about it. If his supporters follow this recommendation, there will be thousands of additional voters showing up at their polling places for no reason, asking poll workers for evidence that voter could easily get through the new NC Board of Elections BallotTrax portal. We're struggling as it is to have enough volunteers working the polls, the last thing they need is a steady stream of assholes who've already voted clogging up the process. Lines will already be long with social distancing, and this will turn even the least-crowded precincts into nightmares.

NC Board of Elections needs to help nursing home patients vote

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They are not convicted felons, although we appear to be treating them that way:

This year, what stumped Hutchins, despite all his resourcefulness, was how he was going to exercise his basic constitutional right to vote during a pandemic. The Davis Community nursing home in Wilmington, North Carolina, where Hutchins has lived for two years, has barred visitors since March. Margaret, still in the retirement community nearby, can’t help him, nor can their four kids and eight grandchildren.

Neither can the nursing home staff. A 2013 state law prohibits staff at hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and rest homes from helping residents with their ballots.

In truth, I hesitated writing this because I didn't want to add to the ReopenNC nonsense that still persists, even though NC seems to be faring better than other states during this pandemic. But this situation has deep, Constitutional implications, that simply must be addressed, and soon. Before proceeding, I need to bore you with another personal anecdote:

Protest held in front of Louis DeJoy's Greensboro mansion

Enemies of democracy will find no sanctuary:

Protesters gathered for about two hours Sunday along the streets below Louis DeJoy's gated property, which overlooks the Greensboro Country Club golf course. They chanted and held signs that read: “Sabotage of the USPS is un-American” and “Save USPS," among other messages, news outlets said.

DeJoy, a Republican fundraiser and major political donor named to lead the Postal Service in May, has sparked a nationwide outcry over postal delays and cutbacks just as millions of Americans prepare to vote by mail to avoid polling places during the coronavirus pandemic.

Methinks Aldona's next dinner party might be a tad uncomfortable. It's fine to punish the peasantry, but don't bring them into the neighborhood. The same thing happened on a larger scale at his DC residence:

Democracy is calling: Poll workers desperately needed for 2020 Election

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Add this to your list of critical essential workers during this pandemic:

Many county elections directors started recruiting poll workers earlier than normal, are using new recruitment strategies, have increased pay and are partnering with the North Carolina State Board of Elections, political parties and voter rights groups to find people to work the election.

Officials anticipate a shortage of poll workers could cause longer lines, last-minute precinct closures and voter confusion. That was the case in Georgia and Wisconsin, where poll worker shortages during primaries caused precinct closures, hours-long lines and disenfranchised voters.

While it's true that absentee by-mail voting is going to increase substantially this year (the more the better), we're still only talking about maybe 1/3 of all votes. We need, now more than ever, properly-staffed and prolific early voting locations, and poll workers for all the precinct voting sites. The fact that many county BOEs have had their budgets cut due to a major drop in local revenues merely exacerbates a problem we knew we were going to have, since elderly volunteers usually make up the bulk of election workers, people who are extremely vulnerable to COVID 19:

Voting during a pandemic: Hearings begin today on lawsuit to ease restrictions

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The differences between a genuine threat (Coronavirus) and a perceived threat (voter fraud):

U.S. District Judge William Osteen scheduled three days of hearings starting Monday involving a lawsuit by two voting advocacy groups and several citizens who fear current rules threaten their health if they want to vote. There's already been a spike in mail-in absentee ballot applications, presumably by voters who prefer not to venture out to in-person voting centers and precincts.

The plaintiffs want Osteen to block several voting restrictions like how mail-in ballots are requested, who can help voters with forms and the hours early in-person voting centers operate. They also want drop boxes for completed absentee ballots and later registration deadlines.

I find it almost absurd that groups have to file their lawsuits against the NC Board of Elections, and not the Republican lawmakers who put these roadblocks in place. The NC BoE has tried to get many of these changes done by asking those Republicans, and have been mostly rebuffed. Granted, if the court rules to do x or y, Republicans will have to comply anyway. But it just seems wrong. But I won't be surprised of those Republicans file their own lawsuit against the Board of Elections over this necessary policy order:

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