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Old 11th August 2020, 08:21 AM   #1
rockysmith76
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Mail in Ballots

What are the thoughts out there about Mail in ballots? Will it open the door to Voting Corruption or is it just another manifestion of Covid 19?
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Old 11th August 2020, 08:27 AM   #2
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Going by Trump's reactions to mail-in voting in Florida and Nevada, it appears that it's a good thing if it encourages voting in Republican-majority states, and a bad thing if it encourages voting in Democratic-majority states.
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Old 11th August 2020, 08:28 AM   #3
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Absentee ballots have been used for years - why would it become a problem now?
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Old 11th August 2020, 08:28 AM   #4
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I think it's the only way to counter the Right's attempt to shut down and suppress in person voting in traditionally Left Leaning urban areas. The Right is absolutely terrified of having to fight on an even playing field.

Wide spread voter fraud (hell any statistically meaningful amount of voter fraud) is an absolute myth that multiple studies (including from the Right, the George W. Bush administration launched one of the biggest investigations into and found nothing) have proven false, kept alive as a narrative by the Right only to justify their voter suppression efforts.

It's also just a good idea separate and distinct from any of that. We're a democracy. What possible (not made up) reason is there to not make voting as easy as possible?
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Old 11th August 2020, 08:31 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
I think it's the only way to counter the Right's attempt to shut down and suppress in person voting in traditionally Left Leaning urban areas. The Right is absolutely terrified of having to fight on an even playing field.

Wide spread voter fraud (hell any statistically meaningful amount of voter fraud) is an absolute myth that multiple studies (including from the Right, the George W. Bush administration launched one of the biggest investigations into and found nothing) have proven false, kept alive as a narrative by the Right only to justify their voter suppression efforts.

It's also just a good idea separate and distinct from any of that. We're a democracy. What possible (not made up) reason is there to not make voting as easy as possible?

It's a Republic.
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Old 11th August 2020, 08:34 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by rockysmith76 View Post
What are the thoughts out there about Mail in ballots? Will it open the door to Voting Corruption
It doesn't appear to have done so in the more than 150 years they've been used.

It seems to me that stuffing ballots at polling stations and tampering with electronic voting machines would be effective ways to corrupt the vote.

Originally Posted by rockysmith76 View Post
or is it just another manifestion of Covid 19?
Not unless Covid 19 has been around 150 years

That said, it seems to me that making it as easy as possible for the maximum number of people to vote securely is a good way to protect democracy. OTOH requiring people to vote in person, and making as difficult as possible for some people in some neighbourhoods to do so is IMO a backdoor way to disenfranchise certain groups within the population.

Last edited by The Don; 11th August 2020 at 08:35 AM.
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Old 11th August 2020, 08:35 AM   #7
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false dilemma

Originally Posted by rockysmith76 View Post
Will it open the door to Voting Corruption
No. A bunch of states do 100% mail voting, and just about every state does mail-in absentee voting already. The FBI literally trains people to evaluate the signatures on mail-in envelopes in some places.

Originally Posted by rockysmith76 View Post
or is it just another manifestion of Covid 19?
No. The number of people voting by mail will definitely be a LOT higher this year, but mail-in voting is not a new thing.
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Old 11th August 2020, 08:38 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by rockysmith76 View Post
It's a Republic.
The states are democracies.
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Old 11th August 2020, 08:40 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
What possible (not made up) reason is there to not make voting as easy as possible?
As Trump himself admitted, if more people vote, then Republicans can't win.
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Old 11th August 2020, 08:41 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by The Greater Fool View Post
The states are democracies.
And Commonwealths, but that's definitely not racist...
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Old 11th August 2020, 08:42 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by rockysmith76 View Post
It's a Republic.
The little tips on the end of your shoelaces are called aglets.

Oh I'm sorry I thought you were starting a "Name the fact that's the least relevant to the discussion" battle and I'm competitive by nature.
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Old 11th August 2020, 08:42 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
The little tips on the end of your shoelaces are called aglets.
.
Their true purpose is sinister.
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Old 11th August 2020, 08:43 AM   #13
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I could see attempts at "Overwhelming the System" by simply sending in vast numbers of unmarked ballots. I don't know if this would avoid "voter fraud" charges if they're unmarked or not, but it would certainly delay results, causing uncertainty as to the actual winner is on election day, which is never a good thing.
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Old 11th August 2020, 08:44 AM   #14
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I think the primary Avenue to corruption would be the ballot counters 'accidentally' losing ballots and not counting them, claiming they were lost in the mail, etc, with little proof of the ballot being received and recorded. That's pretty far-fetched tho. It would require a well-coordinated network of profoundly un-American criminals.
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Old 11th August 2020, 08:46 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
I think the primary Avenue to corruption would be the ballot counters 'accidentally' losing ballots and not counting them, claiming they were lost in the mail, etc, with little proof of the ballot being received and recorded. That's pretty far-fetched tho. It would require a well-coordinated network of profoundly un-American criminals.
Aren’t there ways of checking your voting attendance, but not who you actually voted for?
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Old 11th August 2020, 08:50 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by kookbreaker View Post
Aren’t there ways of checking your voting attendance, but not who you actually voted for?
Yes, assuming maybe bi-partisan verifiers of the mailed ballots. I was thinking more along the lines of caging, where the vote counter trashes ballots from zip codes known to vote opposite how the tabulator wants. But again, not realistic.
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Old 11th August 2020, 08:50 AM   #17
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FWIW, the Opening Arguments podcast today goes into Trump's suing of Nevada to try to stop their bill allowing mail-in voting.

There are essentially two counts on which they believe it should be disallowed. The first is claims of discrimination against various non-protected classes (for example, they claim it would disproportionately negatively affect people who live in rural areas). None of those are supported by law at all.

The second is extraordinary.

The way mail-in voting works is that the letters have to be postmarked by the date of the election. There is a provision in the extant law (because absentee voting is already a thing, as it is in all states) that if letters whose postmarks are obscured in some way (say through water damage) and the date cannot be read on it, then they will also be accepted so long as they are received within 3 days of the election.

Trump's suit argues that this is the key to widespread fraud. The idea, presumably, being that Democrats won't bother to vote because they believe that they'll win, but if the election comes out in favour of the Republicans they'll then vote and then a little bit later break into the post office (or whatever the US equivalent is actually called) and deliberately damage the postmarks on their letters in order to make those votes count and thereby change the results.

As opposed to, you know, just voting Democrat in the first place.
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Old 11th August 2020, 08:52 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
I think the primary Avenue to corruption would be the ballot counters 'accidentally' losing ballots and not counting them, claiming they were lost in the mail, etc, with little proof of the ballot being received and recorded. That's pretty far-fetched tho. It would require a well-coordinated network of profoundly un-American criminals.
That, or setting a date for when they must be received by to be counted, rather than by when put in the mail.

Then just ensure late delivery, especially from targeted areas.

Or, just postmark many of them as late, change the rules for what counts as on-time.
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Old 11th August 2020, 08:52 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by kookbreaker View Post
Aren’t there ways of checking your voting attendance, but not who you actually voted for?
I could give you some publically available (My First and Last Name and birthdate, no SS#, no middle name, no address) and if you could narrow down where I leave to the county you could easily learn:

- My physical, registered mailing address
- My party affiliation (if any)
- Which absentee ballots have been sent to me
- Which absentee ballots I have returned and have been processed

But not who I vote for.
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Old 11th August 2020, 08:54 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Finster View Post
Absentee ballots have been used for years - why would it become a problem now?
Much of the US military has always used them, as they are frequently stationed elsewhere besides their official state of residence.
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Old 11th August 2020, 09:30 AM   #21
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It appears that slowing down the mail will be a Republican strategy. Hopefully people will be aware of that and submit their ballots early.
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Old 11th August 2020, 09:33 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
The little tips on the end of your shoelaces are called aglets.

Oh I'm sorry I thought you were starting a "Name the fact that's the least relevant to the discussion" battle and I'm competitive by nature.
Alternative spelling: aiglet.

I prefer aiglet because it's Frenchier and therefore more high-toned. In fact, SIR, until you introduced your rather Albionized usage, I had never heard the rather amusing "aglet."

As for the republic for which the Birchers* stand, that's a dimwitted quibble over words they've refused to understand since the 1950s. The argument isn't just irrelevant, it's fossilized.


* Yeah, they're still a thing. They've been called the seed bed of the American right. You and I can no.doubt think of more accurately pungent similies.
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Old 11th August 2020, 09:44 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by rockysmith76 View Post
It's a Republic.
So is China…

Democracy is the only successful way to make government a matter decided by the public (AKA a Republic). A Republic that isn't also a Democracy is a Republic in name only like China.
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Old 11th August 2020, 09:50 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Finster View Post
Absentee ballots have been used for years - why would it become a problem now?
I've haven't corroborated it but, I recently heard a podcast make the claim that between 10 and 20% of absentee ballots end up getting thrown out on account of being incorrectly filled out but that it hasn't been an issue because absentee ballots aren't that significant a portion of the vote. 10 to 20% of 5% not being enough to be all that big a problem.

Again, I haven't corroborated it but it could explain how mail in votes aren't a problem unless suddenly most if not all the votes are mail in.
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Old 11th August 2020, 09:52 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by rockysmith76 View Post
It's a Republic.
Originally Posted by The Greater Fool View Post
The states are democracies.
It's a floor wax!
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Old 11th August 2020, 09:52 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by The Greater Fool View Post
The states are democracies.
They are both

Republic – A system where government is a public matter.
Democracy – A system that allows the public to control law, leaders and/or government.


All functioning Democracies are Republics by definition and in all of history there has been no examples of a functioning Republic that was not a Democracy.
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Old 11th August 2020, 09:56 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by kookbreaker View Post
Their true purpose is sinister.

As a left-handed person, I find this offensive.
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Old 11th August 2020, 09:56 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Much of the US military has always used them, as they are frequently stationed elsewhere besides their official state of residence.
Mrs Don is, and Daddy Don was, a dual US/UK citizen and both have voted by mail. IIRC the are around 3 million ex-pats who can vote by mail.
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Old 11th August 2020, 10:05 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by rockysmith76 View Post
What are the thoughts out there about Mail in ballots? Will it open the door to Voting Corruption or is it just another manifestion of Covid 19?
You've had it since the civil war, so no it doesn't lead to more corruption, statistically speaking, and yet Covid is making the option more attractive.




Oh, and orange man bad.
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Old 11th August 2020, 10:05 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by rockysmith76 View Post
It's a Republic.
Originally Posted by The Greater Fool View Post
The states are democracies.
Originally Posted by Regnad Kcin View Post
It's a floor wax!
Myanmar Shave !
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Old 11th August 2020, 10:06 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by rockysmith76 View Post
It's a Republic.
And in this sense, a subset of democracy. Democracy means power to the people. It doesn't say how. A republic is a representative democracy.

Look it up. Learn something.
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Old 11th August 2020, 10:08 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
They are both

Republic – A system where government is a public matter.
Democracy – A system that allows the public to control law, leaders and/or government.


All functioning Democracies are Republics by definition and in all of history there has been no examples of a functioning Republic that was not a Democracy.
There is also the alternate definition of republic which is "not a monarchy", but I doubt that's how he meant it.
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Old 11th August 2020, 10:09 AM   #33
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Whatever insignificant amount of fraud, delay, or miscount due to mail in voting is almost surely going to be less than the impact of requiring an in-person vote during an incurable pandemic.
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Old 11th August 2020, 10:18 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Mrs Don is, and Daddy Don was, a dual US/UK citizen and both have voted by mail. IIRC the are around 3 million ex-pats who can vote by mail.
I don't know about current times, but that used to skew heavily towards the military and their dependents - they just had better mail service. When I was in the Peace Corps those who requested absentee ballots mostly received them a day or two after the election. Not much use by then.

Overall, preventing valid votes seems an easier and more likely form of election manipulation than adding fraudulent votes.
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Old 11th August 2020, 10:30 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
There is also the alternate definition of republic which is "not a monarchy", but I doubt that's how he meant it.
Hey, some people want to have a Great Leader who is above the law.
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Old 11th August 2020, 10:40 AM   #36
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When I lived in Europe for seven years I voted absentee and it all seemed to work fine. In the US, when I lived in Washington State, we voted mail-in. There's something about sitting in your living room on a Sunday morning, in your boxer shorts going over the ballot while you have coffee that makes democracy very satisfying.
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Old 11th August 2020, 11:05 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
There is also the alternate definition of republic which is "not a monarchy",
A monarch that is a ceremonial head of state still leaves ultimate authority in the hands of the public, which is the core definition for a Republic. Hence the term “Crowned Republic”.

IMO any system where the public chooses the government is both Democracy and Republic. It’s a Democracy because the public is choosing the leadership and it’s a Republic because that leader is receiving their authority from the public and is ostensibly this makes them responsible to the public.

Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
I doubt that's how he meant it.
I doubt he meant it as anything more that "Republic" sounds like "Republican" so it must be better.
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Old 11th August 2020, 11:07 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by timhau View Post
Hey, some people want to have a Great Leader who is above the law.
I think there is a case to be made that the US isn't a Republic at this particular point in time. Even setting aside Trump, the excessive influence of special interest runs counter to what a Rpublic is supposed to be.
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Old 11th August 2020, 11:16 AM   #39
I Am The Scum
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Originally Posted by Regnad Kcin View Post
It's a floor wax!
It's a dessert topping!
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Old 11th August 2020, 11:23 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Regnad Kcin View Post
It's a floor wax!
Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Myanmar Shave !
Originally Posted by I Am The Scum View Post
It's a dessert topping!
*Runs in in a panic* It's a cookbook! A cookbook!
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