Kentucky Election Board conveniently cuts 3,500 polling stations ahead of primaries

A record-breaking number of Kentuckians have registered to vote this year, when Lovecraftian demon Mitch McConnell is up for another term in the Senate. A slight majority of those voters are actually registered as Democrats, too. In fact, only 9 percent of those registered voters are ineligible to participate in the state primary elections because they are not affiliated with either party.

Unfortunately, Kentuckians of all stripes will likely face some difficulty voting in the primaries this year, regardless of their political affiliation. As The Independent reports:

In a typical election year, Kentucky has about 3,700 polling sites, according to most reports. When Election Day arrives on 23 June, there will be just 200 polling sites across the state — with some of those sites having to serve upwards of 600,000 residents.

Voting rights expert Ari Berman wrote in a tweet: “There will be one polling place for 616,000 registered voters in Louisville’s Jefferson County, where half state’s black voters live.”

He added: “This is going to be a disaster.”

The State Election Board had previously postponed the primary election by a month because of coronavirus. But it appears they did not use that time to make any better plans for how to deal with the sudden increase in voters amidst a global pandemic.

Unless their plan was to sabotage the entire thing. Which is certainly possible, as Black voter disenfranchisement efforts have increased in recent years.

Mitch McConnell, whose approval rating after 35 years dropped down to an embarrassing 18 percent last fall, has 4 challengers in this primary: Nicholas Alsager, Paul John Frangedakis, Louis Grider, and Naren James. Read the rest

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

Wisconsin voters risked their lives last week — and voted out the party that made them risk their lives

Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown that's surrounding us and suffocating every moment of our lives, the GOP-controlled court system in the state of Wisconsin refused to postpone that state's primary election, or to even respect the sudden influx in mail-in ballots from people who didn't want to get exposed to a virus simply for exercising their right to vote. Read the rest