Trump's campaign against mail-in voting is backfiring by discouraging Republican absentee voters

Trump has been railing against the idea of mail-in voting for a while now, even as he claims that it's fine sometimes, like when he does it, and even though there is no substantial body of evidence that anyone has ever seen to suggest any kind of pattern of rampant individual voter fraud. Of course, reality itself has never been enough to stop the fury of the Great Orange Beast.

But once again, his own steamrolling arrogance may be his undoing. As the Washington Post reports, Trump's frequent tirades against mail-in voting have thus far only succeeded in discouraging Republican voters from using the option:

In Virginia, 118,000 voters applied for absentee ballots for Democratic primaries June 23, while only 59,000 voters did so for the Republican primary — even though Republicans voted in a statewide Senate primary contest, while Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) was unopposed for his nomination.

Mail voting also soared in Kentucky’s June 23 primary; only about 10 percent of Democratic votes were cast on the day of the election, while 20 percent of GOP votes were.

Similarly, in Georgia’s June 9 primaries, about 600,000 voters cast mail ballots in Democratic primaries, while about 524,000 did so in Republican contests, according to the Georgia secretary of state’s office.

This is particularly notable because, as NBC News previously reported:

Until now, the main factor as to whether a state embraced vote-by-mail was not its partisan lean, but its geographical location. West of Colorado, 69 percent of ballots are cast by mail, compared to only 27 percent of ballots nationwide, according to the National Vote at Home Institute.

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California Republicans sue to stop mail-in voter ballots

In a continuation from Trump's Do-As-I-Say-Don't-Say-As-I-Do approach to mail-in voter ballots, the Republican National Committee has sued the state of California in an effort to stop their vote-by-mail outreach ahead of November's election.

From CNN:

The suit comes after California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, announced this month that the state would move to encourage all voters to cast their ballots by mail in November -- the most widespread expansion of vote-by-mail that has been announced as a result of the pandemic and in the nation's most populous state.

The RNC's lawsuit challenges that step, marking a significant escalation in the legal battles between Republicans and Democrats that are currently being waged in more than a dozen states.

"Democrats continue to use this pandemic as a ploy to implement their partisan election agenda, and Governor Newsom's executive order is the latest direct assault on the integrity of our elections," said RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel in a statement.

"Newsom's illegal power grab is a recipe for disaster that would destroy the confidence Californians deserve to have in the security of their vote."

To be clear: encouraging people to vote is not a power grab. Nor is it illegal. It is, in fact, a core tenet upon which the foundation of a functioning democracy — even a Representative Democracy! — is built. Curiously, it's also one of the only issues that make Republicans err on the side of extreme caution, infringing on clearly-stated Constitutional rights just in case a single vote ever goes awry. Read the rest

Trump calls mail-in ballots "corrupt" but reiterates that it's fine when he does it

During the White House press briefing on Tuesday, April 7, Trump was asked about mail-in voting. He answered

Early this week, the Supreme Court had rejected a request to extend the mail-in ballot deadline for Wisconsin's primary election. With coronavirus shelter-in-place policies in effect, in-person voting is potentially dangerous, especially for people who are already immunocompromised. As a result of the chaos of the last few weeks, people who requested mail-in ballots may not have received them; and some ballots that were mailed ahead of time may not have reached polling office in time, thanks to the general shipping slowdowns affecting everything right now.

In the Press Room exchange, Trump said:

Mail-in voting is horrible. It's corrupt. […] You get thousands and thousands of people sitting in someone's living room signing ballots all over the place. No, I think that mail-in voting is a terrible thing.

In reality, mail-in voter fraud like the kind that Trump described is only slightly more common than in-person voter fraud, which has by all estimates happened less than 100 times total in the last 20 years. Across all elections, across the entire country. Which makes it pretty much a moot point. Individual people are not directly frauding elections; and considering that only about 60% of people even vote in US Presidential elections, there is absolutely no logical reason to make it even harder to get people to vote, "just in case" these next-to-never instances of so-called voter fraud ever actually occur. Read the rest

Boston city council election decided by a single vote

The final spot on Boston's city council race for at-large councillors went to Julia Mejia, who edged out her opponent Alejandra St. Guillen by a single vote (22,491 to 22,492). Both were in the running to be the first Latina elected to council. Read the rest

Find your polling place! Then vote!

It's election day. Your vote fucking counts. In. Every. Single. Race. Here's how to find your polling place. Remember this important phrase: "Give me a provisional ballot with a receipt as required by law when requested." (Image: Mrs. Gemstone, CC-BY-SA) Read the rest

A message to the kids from America's gerontocracy: DON'T VOTE

"Everything’s fine the way it is. Trump…that was us. He’s our guy. Tax cuts for the rich? Hell yeah, I’m rich as fuck. Climate change? That’s a “you problem”…I’ll be dead soon. Sure, school shootings are sad, but I haven’t been in a school for 50 years." Voter registrations close soon in many key states. Register here. (via Kottke) Read the rest