2020 US Presidential Election

   #767  

dieseldub

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I personally like mail-in voting, but there for sure should be measures put in place to ensure it's very difficult to perform any kind of voter fraud with that system.

California has a difficult to duplicate water mark on their ballots as a start. Then of course there's the signature authentication on the envelope. And if you try to show up to vote in person, you are given a "provisional ballot" that also gets put into an envelope and signed, then gets set aside to be counted at a later date to ensure you did not also send in your mail-in ballot. Though surrendering your mail-in ballot might also allow you to use a normal ballot, but at the same time, if you bothered to go all the way to the polling location with your mail-in ballot, they do have a drop box specifically for those at polling locations along with other city and county buildings.

Or, if we still feel mail-in creates too much of a risk (even though up until this election, the instances of voter fraud by mail were insignificant and members of our military voted absentee all the time for many decades now) then can we allow more early voting? And have it all weekend before election day.

The biggest reason the democratic party is interested in making it easier to vote is because they believe they have the numbers advantage if the working class that has difficulty taking even a small bit of time off on a Tuesday to go vote has options that don't conflict with their work schedule. Continuing to make voting that little bit more challenging for the working class tends to favor republicans, who have the tendency to show up in consistent numbers every election. But it's the democrats who have proven to be more fickle, and if they aren't particularly motivated by their candidate (as was the case with Clinton 4 years ago), many of them just don't bother expending the energy to vote.

Also given that democrats tend to much more easily fracture within their ranks than republicans, you will see this pattern repeat quite often. Republicans are very good at rallying around a set of core ideals, whereas with democrats, they're always coming up with a new set of goals, but not everyone in the party wants to go along with parts of that. There's a lot more in-fighting and if one side doesn't get their way, some of them get apathetic and don't bother showing up at the polls.

I suspect that if Biden decides to run again instead of committing to being a 1 term president and then allowing the primary process to select a different candidate to run in 4 years, I don't think a Biden presidency is going to be exciting enough for the average younger, more progressive voter to really want to turn up to vote for him again. The main reason so many were fired up this time was more of a vote against Trump than it was a vote for Biden, such is how divisive a character he is. With that said, I think if Biden runs for re-election, I think he loses, unless the republican candidate is as equally polarizing as Trump and it motivates the left to come out to vote against the republican candidate once more.
 
   #768  

Uwe

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California has a difficult to duplicate water mark on their ballots as a start.
That's nice, but first you have to ensure the list of eligible voters is kept current. When people die, they must be removed. When people move, they must be removed. You also need to figure out how to keep ballots from being stolen out of people's mail boxes.
Then of course there's the signature authentication on the envelope.
Is there?
the working class that has difficulty taking even a small bit of time off on a Tuesday to go vote
Why not make Election Day a national holiday? Many (most?) other countries do this.

-Uwe-
 
   #769  

Jack@European_Parts

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Hey what do you know the COVID vaccine released and right after election, the market on fire, huh?
 
   #770  

Mike@Gendan

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There's one thing I don't understand about Trump / the Republicans consistently complaining about mail-in ballot fraud.

I've not heard anyone (correct me if I'm wrong) allege that the Democrats openly encouraged their supporters to exploit loop-holes / failings in the system in order to get an extra vote.
All the rhetoric has seemed to be the GOP (that's the right slang term isn't it?) encouraging their supporters NOT to use mail-in ballots, and to vote in person.

Presumably the system is equally open to abuse by both red and blue supporters if the death records are to blame, or people are registering for absentee ballots and then also voting in person?

So if both sides could have "stolen the election" with mail-in ballots, wasn't it counter-productive for Trump to encourage his voters to vote in person?
He couldn't openly say "beat them at their own game - commit election fraud", but he could not have so openly instructed his supporters not to do so.

I'm not saying voting fraud should be encouraged, but if you're convinced the only way you'll lose is if the other side cheat, and if the only way such cheating would be discovered is if your side expose it, then why encourage your own supporters not to do the same? I can't imagine it's a morality call where Trump's concerned... :confused:
 
   #771  

Jack@European_Parts

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I'm not saying voting fraud should be encouraged, but if you're convinced the only way you'll lose is if the other side cheat, and if the only way such cheating would be discovered is if your side expose it, then why encourage your own supporters not to do the same? I can't imagine it's a morality call where Trump's concerned... :confused:
No it was encouraged by Trump directly was it not and as reported by Fox Nazi news?

 
   #772  

PetrolDave

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Why not make Election Day a national holiday? Many (most?) other countries do this.
I like the sound of that - shame the UK don't make Election Day(s) a national holiday either.
 
   #773  

DV52

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Why not make Election Day a national holiday? Many (most?) other countries do this.
-Uwe-
My understanding is that some States already have a holiday. However, won't getting agreement on a nation-wide "Democracy Day" solely because of an election be an uphill challenge? Do you think this is achievable in the current political climate?

And maybe on another level, a national holiday might be a tad incongruous in a country that doesn't have compulsory voting? I don't want to get into a debate about compulsory voting - and purely IMO of course - but there seems to be kind-of a mixed message in the two principles; voting is so important that the country will forgo a day's national production (and pay workers for the holiday), but it's not so important that citizens actually need to vote!!

But perhaps a viable half-way solution might be to hold elections on a non-working day (i.e. week-ends)? At least that way there is no conflict between exercising the right to vote and a citizen's job - especially in those States where exercising said right results in lose of pay

Don
 
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   #776  

Mike@Gendan

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But perhaps a viable half-way solution might be to hold elections on a non-working day (i.e. week-ends)? At least that way there is no conflict between exercising the right to vote and a citizen's job - especially in those States where exercising said right results in lose of pay
But the more devout Christians are not going to want people to be required to vote on the Sabbath, particularly as it would require polling staff to "work" on the Sunday.
Saturdays on the other hand are still a work day for a considerable proportion of the population, and a lot of people not in work would baulk at the prospect of having their leisure time taken away from them to vote (even if it is only once every 2 or 4 years!)
Whatever day it falls on it's still going to upset some people.
 
   #777  

dieseldub

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That's nice, but first you have to ensure the list of eligible voters is kept current. When people die, they must be removed. When people move, they must be removed. You also need to figure out how to keep ballots from being stolen out of people's mail boxes.

Is there?

Why not make Election Day a national holiday? Many (most?) other countries do this.

-Uwe-
Yes, you are not wrong about the voter rolls needing to be kept up with more accurately. As for ballots being stolen out of mail boxes, this is also why signature verification is important.

As for the PA Supreme Court saying ballots cannot be rejected due to signature or other issues is misleading, because what democrats were advocating for was for the voter to be allowed the chance to correct detected problems with the ballot rather than throw it out entirely, which is reasonable considering this is the first time for a lot of people voting by mail and unfamiliar with the additional verification steps required. They weren't saying to still count an otherwise potentially fraudulent ballot NOR were they saying to NOT require signatures at all! VERY different things.
 
   #778  

DV52

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But the more devout Christians are not going to want people to be required to vote on the Sabbath, particularly as it would require polling staff to "work" on the Sunday.
Saturdays on the other hand are still a work day for a considerable proportion of the population, and a lot of people not in work would baulk at the prospect of having their leisure time taken away from them to vote (even if it is only once every 2 or 4 years!)
Whatever day it falls on it's still going to upset some people.
@Mike@Gendan Hi. Yes, all valid points.

Doesn't matter which solution is chosen (even if there is no change) someone is inconvenienced. This matter is a fundamental citizen right and my own personal view is that each eligible member of the community who enjoys the benefits of the democracy has a moral and an ethical obligation to exercise the right (regardless of whether voting is compulsory, or not).

So, as with all questions of inconvenience - it's simply a question of who pays? There is no perfect solution!
  • If voting happens on "Democracy Day", the public holiday means that the citizen right/obligation is funded by industry and the cost is IMO, an inappropriate lost day of productivity. Why should employers fund a fundamental citizen obligation?
  • If voting happens on America's normal voting Tuesday, who pays varies depending on the State rules; as I understand, either the citizen loses a portion of their wage, or the employer pays. In the former instance, the cost is inefficient and in the latter case, again the resulting cost-shift is inappropriate IMO.
  • If voting happens on the weekend, yes some are affected by your points - but I suspect that this is probably the best of the ill fitting solutions - i think.
As for "the Sabbath" prohibition - I mean no offense to believers, but I have absolutely NO sympathy for this reason (for not doing anything). Probably more a topic for @Bruce Belief-Systems thread - but why does an omnipotent being care? And even if the omnipotent being has human feelings (and is annoyed by something as banal as what her creations do on a particular day of the week) - why would she be annoyed by exercising the obligation to vote and not be annoyed by the myriad of other (far more trivial) tasks that these folk do on the Sabbath?

Don
 
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   #779  

Bruce

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Doesn't matter which solution is chosen (even if there is no change) someone is inconvenienced. This matter is a fundamental citizen right and my own personal view is that each eligible member of the community who enjoys the benefits of the democracy has a moral and an ethical obligation to exercise the right (regardless of whether voting is compulsory, or not).
I fully agree. It is our right and our obligation to exercise our right to select persons to govern. In this election, for the first time in a very long time, citizens in record numbers did vote and express their opinion. That is a good and right thing.

So, as with all questions of inconvenience - it's simply a question of who pays? There is no perfect solution!
  • If voting happens on "Democracy Day", the public holiday means that the citizen right/obligation is funded by industry and the cost is IMO, an inappropriate lost day of productivity. Why should employers fund a fundamental citizen obligation?
  • If voting happens on America's normal voting Tuesday, who pays varies depending on the State rules; as I understand, either the citizen loses a portion of their wage, or the employer pays. In the former instance, the cost is inefficient and in the latter case, again the resulting cost-shift is inappropriate IMO.
  • If voting happens on the weekend, yes some are affected by your points - but I suspect that this is probably the best of the ill fitting solutions - i think.
The only ones that can pay the cost are either the businesses or the taxpayer. In the end, the cost is born by all Americans in one form or another. When we have holidays, businesses plan for the costs of these. They pass the cost on to their consumers. In the end, the very people who will do the voting are the only source of funds. So all of the solutions are paid by the people who have the right to vote.

As for "the Sabbath" prohibition - I mean no offense to believers, but I have absolutely NO sympathy for this practice. Probably more a topic for Bruce's Belief-Systems thread - but why does an omnipotent being care? And even if the omnipotent being has human feelings (and is annoyed by something as banal as what her creations do on a particular day of the week) - why would she be annoyed by exercising the obligation to vote and not be annoyed by the myriad of other (far more trivial) tasks that these folk do on the Sabbath?

Don
Some religious organizations follow very strict rules about what is acceptable to do and what is not - what is deemed a day of rest and what is not - on the day of Sabbath. That you and others have different views do not give any the right to condemn the reasons of others. That you may not accept their ways is ok. They still have the right to believe as they do and to do as they have been taught and believe.

You are correct Don, that discussion should be taken elsewhere.

You are also right that there are no simple answers. No solution will be accepted by all. The solution that is best is the one that serves the most people and does it in a way that can be verified and certified to be true. And boy did I just open a can of worms, right? By whom and how and who's truth and, and, and....

There are many things broken that this election and these times have shown us. The means to fix those requires some really strong and great leadership that can bridge the divide. I hope we, "the people", have chosen leaders who can accomplish the fixes needed. Only time will tell.
 
   #780  

Uwe

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As for ballots being stolen out of mail boxes, this is also why signature verification is important.
That doesn't solve all the problems with stealing ballots from mailboxes. It is possible to suppress voting via targeted theft by stealing the ballots from people who have lawn-signs for the candidate you don't like, or who you suspect will vote for that candidate, while leaving those who you think will vote for your candidate alone.

As for the PA Supreme Court saying ballots cannot be rejected due to signature or other issues is misleading, because what democrats were advocating for was for the voter to be allowed the chance to correct detected problems with the ballot rather than throw it out entirely
That may have been the Dem's and the Court's intention, but I do not see how it's feasible to give voters who submitted ballots with questionable signatires via mail a chance to "correct" them in the time-frame available. So it seems to me that the actual effect of this ruling is that ballots are counted whether the signature matches or not.

If you really want secure not-in-person voting, signatures are a horribly unreliable method of doing this. I registered to vote at my current address in when I moved there 1988. I voted often enough to maintain my registered status for the next 20-some years, but due to me doing everything on a computer, my handwriting atrophied and my signature changed significantly. Yet every time I voted, by signature from 1988 was still in the book I had to sign. The folks who signed me in raised their eyebrows at the discrepancy more than once. Telling them that the reference signature was a couple of decades old and offering to show my ID was enough to placate them. This year, I re-registered (on-line) and the signature in the book now appears to be the one from my most recent driver's license renewal.

So instead of signatures, why don't we require re-registration on the same schedule that a person renews their driver's license? In PA that's every four years, and along with your driver's license, you're issued a set of 8 randomly generated six-digit codes printed on the back of your voter registration card, so one for each election in the next four years. When you vote by some means other than in-person, you must verify your identity using the code you were assigned for that election. That's just one idea.....

-Uwe-
 
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