Voting in the general election, 2020 edition

I voted. I did early voting, although I would have preferred to have voted by mail. However, my state’s Republican dominated legislature did everything they could to prevent that. The state only offered mail-in voting after they lost a lawsuit, and then only for relatively narrow cases. To do it, I would have had to lie, claiming to be in a high risk category for the virus, which I’m not. And, living alone, I would have had to find a signing witness, which would have been a hassle. All that’s in addition to the shenanigans going on with the US Postal Service.

So, early voting it was. I showed up right at the opening time, and still ended up waiting in line for over an hour. My state is only gradually and belatedly acknowledging that early voting is a thing a lot of people want to do, and they still don’t put nearly the resources into it as in election day itself. Granted, staffing these polling centers for over a week costs more, but that’s the rules that have been set out. It would be a lot cheaper for everyone involved if, well, everyone could vote by mail without obnoxious requirements.

At least voting early, the crowd was obviously more left learning. So everyone was wearing a mask and observing social distancing. There were a couple of self entitled assholes, one who had his mask on under his chin, the other who ripped it off as soon as he could. I’m sure it’s only a coincidence that both of these guys were older white males (I observe as an older white male). But I would anticipate there will be a lot more like them in the election day crowds.

It continues to be a source of aggravation to me that we can go online to pay our bills, do banking and investing, pay our taxes, and do many other things requiring rigorous security, but we can’t vote. Of course, there are plenty of political reasons for this. Everyone bemoans the low participation of voters, but for many traditionalists, it’s in their interest that it remain so. Convenient voting would mean wide scale participation, and probably a major shift in the political tides. So the act of voting remains a hassle.

Not that my state is the worst by any means. The secretary of state, despite being a Republican, at least tried to offer more expansive voting options. He just couldn’t get them past a recalcitrant legislature. And the governor, a Democrat, did his part to make sure at least the limited vote by mail options were available. From what I’ve heard, there are far more regressive states out there.

Anyway, those of you who’ve known me for a while won’t be surprised that my vote went to Joe Biden and the Democrats. I’m not going to rant about Trump. I can’t really offer anything you haven’t already heard many times. If you think your interests are aligned with keeping him in the presidency, I can’t imagine what I could say at this point that would make a difference.

There’s been a lot of news about who’s ahead in the polls. Don’t depend on that. Remember 2016. The outcome is not guaranteed by any measure. If you have any preference, be sure to vote, particularly if you live in a swing state, which just happens to be a much broader list this year. Heck, even in my state, which is solidly red, the margins are thinner than I would have imagined. A lot will depend on turnout of the different demographics.

So do your part. Find a way to vote. If you don’t, your opinion literally won’t count.

83 thoughts on “Voting in the general election, 2020 edition

  1. I finally got my mail-in ballot on Thursday. It was supposed to come two weeks ago, but… gee, I don’t know, maybe something’s wrong with the postal service. Anyway, I’m delivering my ballot in person to my local elections office today. I don’t want to take any chances of it getting lost somehow in the mail.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sounds like a good idea. I would have liked to have had even that option, to just walk up and drop my finished ballot in a dropbox or something. Good luck. Hope you’re not in a state where there’s only one drop off location per country or something.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I dropped my mail-in ballot off at the County seat last Tuesday. It was a replacement ballot I had to request, since the original never showed up. (The replacement showed up in two days.) So I don’t trust the Post Office right now, either. (I also get a fair amount of mis-delivered mail and never got a couple bills. The whole system is feeling shaky these days.)

    One nice thing, no signature required. Apparently some combination of being a registered voter (who always votes) and the COVID.

    FWIW, voting online, or even just electronically, has some major issues. With something as important as elections, a recountable auditable paper trail is a good thing. There is also the fragility of technology, that software always has bugs, and hackers are always an issue.

    I very much echo the sentiment of: Be Sure You Vote!! This election, one way or another, is a statement about who we really are as a nation and culture. It’s also a mandate for our future. We’re down to that final scene in the story…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No signature required? I like the sound of that. My state requires a signature from the voter, and from a witness. Most of the ballots that get rejected are because the witness signature is missing, indicating that it’s a hassle for significant number of people. Yet it persists as an additional obstacle.

      I’m aware of the electronic issues. But I think that’s down to an industry-government incompetence complex. Somehow when actual money is on the line, we always manage to figure out the security and make sure nothing untoward happens. (At least most of the time.) There are powerful vested interests in making sure the processing is handled right, with auditory controls to ensure it. Much of the economy would crash if people didn’t have faith in it.

      But with voting, we have companies who apparently can’t figure out how to secure anything. That kind of consistent and persistent incompetence usually means there are vested interests in keeping it that way. If the states buying this technology don’t hold vendors to account, it’s not in their interest to spend the extra money to secure their stuff.

      It just means we have to run the obstacle course in order to vote. But I totally agree this is not the year to decide it’s too much trouble.


      1. Sorry, no witness signature required. Mine certainly is! But that was a nice perk, not having to have a witness.

        “But I think that’s down to an industry-government incompetence complex. Somehow when actual money is on the line, we always manage to figure out the security and make sure nothing untoward happens.”

        I dunno. We never get software (completely) right, and some believe it’s not possible to get it completely right at all (almost kind of a Gödel or Turing thing).

        Getting it as solid (as say banks — which still sometimes have problems) requires a great deal of time, effort, and knowledge — i.e. lots of money and skill. (Note that banks are rolling in cash.) There is little incentive for the government to spend that kind of money (with no ROI) on something for a slanted playing field — certainly not everyone can access online voting.

        And I really do believe strongly in a physical paper trail. I think that’s crucial.

        I’m inclined to think we need to improve the system we have — much of the problem comes from people with vested interests — exactly as we’re all talking about here — making it really hard to vote.

        I quite agree there are people trying to mess with the system in all sorts of ways (which is why adding online voting doesn’t seem wise to me). Fortunately there are also people trying to set it right.


        1. As I noted to James, we actually already vote electronically in Louisiana. No paper ballot or trail involved. (It’s actually been like that my whole adult life.) We just have to go to a particular location to do it. But there’s nothing save security audits on the voting machines providing any assurance that the votes are accurately tallied.

          An online system, for people to have faith in it, would likely need an adversarial auditing process, with each major party being able to have their own firms do the auditing. It would help if the system code were widely published, so there could be wider reviews. You’re right that it would take money, money which state election offices don’t have. And of course, we agree they don’t have it because people have an incentive to make sure none of this happens.

          But I’d be satisfied with just universal main-in voting. Well, along with a functioning postal service. But many people have an incentive to make sure that doesn’t happen either.


          1. I completely agree with your last paragraph there!

            The e-voting you’re talking about is a closed system, as you say, at a (one hopes) internet-isolated location. One also hopes the data is on (multiple) disk drives and physically carried to secure tabulating locations. Everything should be entirely air-gapped.

            We also sign a pre-printed label in a book (but use paper ballots), so I think those are separate systems (I’d hope so).

            What can I say. I think paper ballots are better. I like our system which requires inking in circles on a heavy-paper ballot. For something as crucial and involving as elections, I’m totally a low-tech Luddite. Simplest, least easy to break, is best here in my view.

            But I can be very old-fashioned on some things. 😀

            Liked by 1 person

      1. I think we’re in the middle of a Great Filter. The 2016 election, to me, proved true about humanity concerns I’ve had for over 40 years (and I take no comfort in having been right). The 2020 election, to me, will show if there’s any hope left for our culture or if the Great American Experiment is over. Rome fell. It may be that the USA is on the brink of the same.


          1. It’s a very long discussion, but basically since the 1970s I’ve seen a rejection of intellect and excellence in favor of feelings and acceptance of mediocrity. Post-modern deconstruction has resulted in a cynical mindset without faith, trust, or foundation. Thought has essentially become unmoored.

            Which is fine when there’s an analytical approach that can sort fact from fancy. But in disdaining education and intellect, more and more people lack that approach and have gotten lost in fantasy. (I don’t mean just ultra-conservatives; I mean nearly everybody. The huge popularity of comic book movies and movies based on toys, games, and amusement park rides, says something about our culture. In general our storytelling, books, movies, and TV, says a lot about our culture.)

            We’re lost in high-tech fantasy bubbles of our own creation, and we’ve reached the point of no longer being able to agree on facts. Differing worldviews is one thing, but disagreeing on facts is dangerous and insane.

            The result, which I’ve watched happen these past 40 years, is increasing ignorance, polarization, and nationalism. And we’ve squandered some of the small progress we had made with racism and sexism. The wingnuts on both the far left and far right have gotten louder, and consensus and compromise have given way to winning no matter what.

            We climbed out of the darkness of the middle ages with rational thought, intellect, and science, and the curve seemed always upwards until about four decades ago. Now we seem to be sliding back down into the dark.

            So I see an inflection point in the last election and this one. The last one was the result of understandable but very foolishly directed anger, and some genuinely thought him capable of the job (how they thought that I can’t imagine, but they did). But now we’ve seen that miserable excuse of a POTUS in action, and if the choice isn’t very clear, then, to me, this culture has seriously lost its way — perhaps permanently.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. This is quite elaborate and thanks.
            I was reading an essay by Bertrand Russell on free thought and propaganda and some of the things you point out are in that article.
            Maybe we are not as rational as we think .


          3. Those are weird times, I agree. I grew up in the Soviet Union. Now I live in the infamous Portland, Oregon. The only alternative to the toothless Democrat mayor of Portland who is hated equally by the far left protesters and the conservatives, is a lady who openly supports Antifa and was photographed wearing a skirt decorated with portraits of Mao, Stalin, Che, and other mass murderers. She calls it “pop art”. My grandfather died in a famine caused by one of these people. Now I hear the same rhetoric that brought to power Bolsheviks in Russia in 1917. “Factories – to the workers, land – to the peasants, power – to the people.” I know from my experience of living in the Soviet Union: if your opinion is aligned with the mainstream media, most likely, you are brainwashed. So, I’m highly skeptical of all the Trump-bashing. I voted for Hillary in 2016 and used to hate Trump. Had high hopes for the Mueller investigation which ended in a very disappointing way. In 2018, I watched first hand how Democrats treat people who disagree with their policies in Oregon. Changed my registration to Republican last year. 2020 and the events in Portland since May only affirmed my decision. If I lived in a Red state, I might vote for Biden. But not in Oregon. If Oregon turns overwhelmingly Red, I may consider voting for Democrats. But that doesn’t sound too realistic now.


  3. Well done sir. Voting by mail-able ballot is straightforward in Michigan, so I did that, bypassing the mailing and dropping in a drop-box at the election clerk’s office. I’m not sure how the Republican-dominated Michigan legislature allowed this — but they did manage to put a crimp in it by not allowing the ballots to be opened until 10 hours before election day, and not counted until election day. Then everyone will hear the news media try to call the election on election night, while lots of mail-in ballots remain uncounted. That will discourage mail-in voters from repeating their “offense”, which I think is the Republican strategy here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m jealous of how straight forward it is there. Just looked up my state’s rules for counting of mail-in ballots. Apparently in Louisiana they can start the day before. There is some peace of mind knowing my vote is locked into the tallies already. Still, not so much that I wouldn’t have done what you did in your state.

      The truth is, even the mail-in process we do have is an “emergency” measure that expires after the election, and even that only happened after the lawsuit. So, unless the pandemic is still happening by the next election, I see this process disappearing completely here.


    1. I heard Texas was one of the, “We just need one dropbox per country,” states. It never even occurred to me to take pictures. The line and all the PPE that election workers were wearing would have made for interesting imagery.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Just got my ballot in the mail yesterday. (No need to request it). Will be dropping it off in a drop box (one of many) today. [Sorry, piling on a little bit here.]

    Given the predilection for interference by foreign powers, I, like others, think online security technology has a long way to go before the advantages of convenience outweigh the problems of security.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think there are solutions to the issues, but I agree it needs a lot of work.

      What’s interesting is, in Louisiana, we vote electronically already. We just have to go to a particular location to do it. There’s no paper ballot anywhere in the process. The tabulation happens electronically. I hope none of it is exposed to the internet, but they pulled my name from a database and printed a label which they affixed in a book for me to sign. I’d be very surprised if pulling voter info doesn’t happen through a VPN connection over the internet. Or that the results from the actual voting machines are turned in through a similar mechanism.

      That said, if the Washington state system went national, I’d be pretty satisfied with it.


    1. I considered waiting a few days in the hope the lines would die down. But that would have involved voting during the week and me taking off work. And towards the end, the procrastinators start showing up making the lines long again, which ruled out waiting until next Saturday. We only have early voting from 10/16-10/27 (Sundays excluded).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m flexible and could vote during the week. Still there were more people than I’ve ever seen during early voting which I have always done since it became available. The lines weren’t long and moved well.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I had the luxury of voting early at the town hall, Mike. It’s been open for early in-person voting since October 5th, and I went during the first week during lunch. There was no line. I feel kind of spoiled I guess. I think Maine and even the town in which I live is probably split pretty well between the two major parties, and closer to “independent” on average. I don’t know how many states have an Independent senator, but we’ve got one. (I did a search and discovered the only two are Angus King, from Maine, and Bernie Sanders from Vermont, who apparently is registered as an Independent as a Senator–which I didn’t know.) It was nice to see that despite all the hoopla in the media, the process felt very respectful and straightforward. I wish it were the same everywhere! It seems straightforward for the local town/city governments to chaperone the process like they do here, then no one has to drive more than ten or fifteen minutes to vote.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds like you had an ideal early voting experience. On having the local town or city government do it, it probably depends a lot on the population.

      I live in East Baton Rouge parish, and the elections are administered at the state and parish level. The parish has 440,000 people, and five early voting locations, one at city hall, but also at a motor vehicle office, a city park, and a couple of libraries. Mine was one of the library ones.

      The actual city I live in, Central, only has about 29,000 people. If there were an office dedicated to it, and only city residents could use it, it would likely make it a lot easier. As things stands, the library is within Central (it’s in fact the Central Branch Library), but since anyone in the parish can come, it has a much larger crowd.

      I think the bigger issue for us is only doing it from 10/16-10/27. If it were spread out over most of October, as many states do it, the crowds would be smaller on any one day.


  6. I’m a person who grasps the reality of statistics. This is why I have absolutely no use for putting money into slot machines, buying lottery tickets, and yes imagining that my vote itself is going to make things better for humanity, my country, or myself. The statistics say “bullshit” to all that. What I do consider to matter however, is that people who see things about the way I do have equal or greater potential to vote than those in opposition. This should be why Mike is so concerned about voting being easy — he considers people less adamant about personally voting to be more apt to vote the way he does. And in my case he’s mostly right. I probably lean a bit more “free market” than he does, but maybe not much.

    Out here in hippy California we were promptly mailed our ballots. (And if you’re somewhere else, rest assured that we’re going to pay the money required to save the world from global warming!) I mailed my choices back a week ago, essentially for fun rather than because I’d fallen for all that morality hype about making my voice heard. As I said, it only matters that people like myself have equal or greater ability to vote than those in opposition. Each and every one of us are self interested products of our circumstances. This is to say that we all believe what reality forces us to believe.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. On leaning more free market than me, you might be surprised. I’m a lot less anti-business than the typical liberal. Some of it comes from my background: a BS in accounting and six years as a business manager. I don’t romanticize business, but I also don’t see it as inherently evil.

      On my concern with voting being easy, I think you’re attributing too much calculation to me. I just want it to be easier for me, and one of the major obstacles I see to that is establishment concern about what the unwashed masses might do. I have know if higher participation would necessarily go in the direction I’d prefer. It might in some cases, but not in others.

      I don’t agree that voting is bullshit. It might be if you’re hoping that your personal vote will somehow be the deciding factor of the election. That’s extremely unlikely. (Although not impossible. There have been elections decided by only one or only a few votes.) What it does is allow you to add weight to the result that would be in your interest, or at least be less injurious to them. If everyone with your interests abstains because they’ve concluded their vote doesn’t matter, the people who haven’t concluded that will control the result.

      If 2016 should have taught us anything, it’s that elections matter.

      Anyway, I wish my state handled elections closer to the way California is doing it.

      Liked by 2 people

          1. Correction Mike: Churchill made that comment about our judicial system not democracy and second, our system is not a democracy, it’s a democratic republic. A democratic republic is a “blue print” for corruption and abuse of power. But at least a democratic republic gives its citizens some one to hate 😦



          2. Hey Lee,
            I’m not sure about the overall context of the quote, but here’s a fuller version:

            Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…

            According to this site, this was stated in Parliament in 1947.

            Certainly we’re not a pure direct democracy of the Athenian variety. Just about every reference to “democracy” today refers to the representative variety. Historically it was tough for direct democracy to scale to large populations. I think technology changes that dynamic, but it will take time for it to manifest in actual governments.

            It could be argued that a more direct democracy wouldn’t eliminate corruption, so much as allow a lot more of us to partake in it, whereupon it would no longer be referred to as “corruption.”


          3. I think usually democracy is given too much credit. There must be a form of government that allows the greatest benefit for the most of the people


          4. I don’t know that anything will ever be perfect. Part of the problem is that much of what some factions of the people want are incompatible with what other factions want, in utilization of limited resources if nothing else. Any solution will leave many dissatisfied. Democracy increases the chances that broader interests will be considered, but doesn’t guarantee it. Although in comparison to most authoritarian regimes, it’s usually far less awful.


      1. I realize that you’re not anti business Mike, which is why I said that I may only lean a bit more free market than you do. But as for you wanting all Americans to be able to mail in their ballots so that you personally would have this convenience… I’m not falling for that one. I suspect the main reason you support vote by mail is because you perceive that our idiot reality tv star president is more assured to not get a second term this way. Apparently that’s what his people think anyway. The proof is that if universal voting by mail would assure a second term for Trump, then I’m pretty sure that you wouldn’t be championing vote by mail merely for a bit of instant personal convenience. Apparently your purpose here is that he lose, and I doubt this would change even if “the unwashed masses” loved him.

        While I do consider one vote statistically more bullshit when in larger pools of votes, this doesn’t mean that I consider the institution of elections in themselves to be bullshit. Democracy seems to do pretty well (even if we must shake our heads at the political stench sometimes). My point is merely that it should tend to be better for someone if people who see things about the way they do have more ability to vote, and worse for them otherwise, rather than that they personally vote.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Eric,
          This thing where you dismiss what I say and tell me what I think, it’s pretty obnoxious. You can either accept my remarks were primarily related to spending 90 minutes of my Saturday morning doing something that, had I lived on the west coast, probably would have taken nine minutes, or insist on Machiavellian calculations.

          Certainly I want Trump to lose. I probably wouldn’t have spent those 90 minutes that way if I didn’t. But there were plenty of other people there equally motivated. It’s not clear to me that all of us being able to vote in some more convenient manner would have made that much of a difference. By comparison, note the difficulty the census has in getting people to respond, despite its relative convenience.

          On voting and statistics, I personally think that’s the wrong way to look at it. I see it more as being just one of many people helping to carry a heavy load. If there are a dozen people helping to carry, say, a large heavy machine, any one person’s efforts are not going to be crucial. But if any one person declines to help, it will be marginally more difficult for the remaining eleven. If too many decline, the task becomes much harder for the remaining people, until there aren’t enough to do it.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. So dismissing what someone says and telling them what they actually think, is obnoxious? I’d really like to dismiss that Mike, as well as tell you that you actually think something different… but I can’t… it’s just too sensible! People shouldn’t like being told that their beliefs are based upon self interested motivations, that is when they say otherwise. So here we agree. (And yes, in that vein I should try to be less obnoxious.)

            The issue I see with your communal lifting of a heavy load analogy for an election, is that the people who do vote don’t end up bearing a heavier burden when fewer participate. Their votes simply count more than they otherwise would. Trump voters weren’t burdened in 2016 when fewer people voted. They got what they wanted specifically given that the overall public did not.

            A better analogy might be a situation where people are in active opposition with each other, and thus some are lifting something up while others are pulling it down. So for an analogy, how about “tug of war”? And since interests are varied rather than linear or discrete as the game is effectively played, perhaps there could be ropes at all sorts of angles pulling the middle in various directions of space?

            Let’s say that someone could personally control what happens in government by decree. In that case there should be significant incentive to do so. But when it’s a tug of war to influence what happens, and so a single voter’s positions are diluted by thousands or millions of others’, then the math may be difficult for a given person to justify. This is why the question of voting in America tends to take the form of “Good people vote, so do your duty and be one of the good”.

            It isn’t quite that I’m anti moral. I don’t mind that people have natural urges to promote various common beliefs. It’s instead that I also enjoy taking my own moral lenses off so that more effective reductions of human behavior might be developed. This is where psychology continues to fail, and I think largely given how difficult it’s been for the field in general to explore our nature in the amoral way that “harder” forms of science are able to.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Failing to participate faithfully in the country that affords you your very comfortable lifestyle is being a delinquent citizen. Living here imposes upon you a duty you should not shirk.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Eric,
            The tug of war analogy works for a particular election, since the outcome is typically binary. But even there, the group effort still applies to the side you want to win. And the magnitude of the victory (or defeat) also matters. A candidate who wins with a decisive majority is in a stronger position than one who only wins with a plurality. Someone who wins by 5% is stronger than someone who wins by 2%. So in that sense, every vote matters.

            When viewed over multiple elections, the tug of war can be seen as helping to set the political center of gravity for the country. Again, the magnitudes matter here, so every vote continues to matter.

            In the end, I think people make the effort to vote when they perceive their interests are at stake. It seemed like, in 2016, not enough people had that perception. At least this time, more seem to.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. Mike,
            You might be confusing our system with the ones that our friends over in Europe generally have. Over here things are more “winner take all”. For example even though he lost the popular vote, Trump has been able to implement a reasonably full breadth of his office’s power. Similarly in California Uber and other such businesses are trying to “take all” by preventing their gig employees from being paid various standard benefits. Apparently it’ll be very hard to reverse this law if it goes through.

            Even if we did have a parliamentary system over here however, and so my vote for Biden would technically help that cause beyond his clearly fated win in California, would this change things? If I were to realize how minuscule the parliamentary effect of my vote itself would be (given its statistical weakness), then I wouldn’t vote to the extent that this seemed too inconvenient for me to bother with.

            Thus for people who grasp the weakness of their votes we’re back to using moral proclamations to help encourage voting. For example as Wyrd just noted, some people enjoy comfortable lifestyles afforded by their countries, and yet are “delinquent” because they find voting too inconvenient to actually bother with. Thus for a person who would rather not be assessed in such a way (and it’s a popular sentiment well beyond Wyrd), there is greater incentive to indeed vote, or at least say that you do (and perhaps hypocritically castigate those who don’t). This can be strong stuff. I suspect that the social tool of morality evolved even before natural languages did. It seems to me that other primates and pack animals like wolves have generally also evolved this tool.

            Liked by 1 person

          5. Eric,
            As I noted back in 2016, Trump didn’t have a mandate. As bad as the damage he’s managed to inflict has been, it’s far more limited than it otherwise might have been. A good chunk of that is his own incompetence in working with others. But a significant portion comes down to that lack of mandate, a lack that existed because he lost the popular vote.

            Anyway, on the rest, I’ll let what I’ve said stand.


    1. I’ve learned things about Kenyan politics from reading your posts. I’m sure the problems we’re complaining about must seem amusing to you. Young democracies are often the most fragile. As the traditions set in, they become more robust. (Although as history shows, any democracy can regress.) The US has been at it for centuries now, and we inherited a lot of traditions from Britain from centuries prior to that.

      The Republicans perceive that they’d lose if voting were easier. Trump himself even admitted it outright in an interview. I think the reality is that they’d just recalibrate if that happened. But it would put more pressure on the tendency of both parties to satisfy their donor class’ needs over those of their voters’.


      1. Our politics is crazy,sometimes but we have gotten used to it. Sometimes there is drama. Britain left the worst of us to lead so they could continue to extract resources without paying a dime. Someday when we are gone I hope things will improve


          1. Well, we still have the problems we had in 1963; poverty, ignorance, unemployment and lack of access to health care. We have loans we can’t pay. Police still kill people. And much more. But that is good progress haha.


          2. Maybe I represent the cynical side. My views can be confirmed by looking at what the agenda of the present government is. There has been improvements on school attendance but just like it is many places, the masses are not well educated.

            Liked by 1 person

  7. I can not really imagine what it would be like to meet a Republican in the US these days. I don’t believe I would have much conversation to share. To say that your current president disgusts is an understatement.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As a progressive living in a conservative region, I actually get some insight into both camps. Most of my relatives are Republicans. In general, they’re just people, generally very nice people, as long as politics doesn’t come up. I imagine they’re similar to many Brexiteers.

      Trump is a nightmare I’m hoping we can wake up from on November 4, or at least begin the process of waking up from.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It has to be said I vote Conservative in this country – having no desire for communism, I have little choice. Thankfully these days Boris and his mates are pretty liberal. There is the occasional madman who flirts with the far right thugs, but then again we have delightful far left thugs also. If I lived in the US however nothing on God’s earth would make me vote Republican in the current environment. Needless to say all of my family are conservatives – its. Class thing as much as anything else. I fear my sort would eventually end up in the Gulag if thr extreme left got in. Privately educated, of a certain background, with a certain sort of accent and of a certain level of intellect. My reality is that I am apolitical and really have no interest in all that ghastly rubbish. I would however be forced to vote against bigotry, ignorance and racism.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. My knowledge of British politics isn’t deep. I used to think the parties mapped across the pond, but they really don’t. I do follow a lot of UK folks on Twitter, and occasionally see their political conversation, and of course I’ve heard a good amount about Brexit, but many of the issue controversies are just names for me. All of which is to say, I have no idea which party I would support over there.

          But I agree. The Democrats could have nominated a pile of manure as their candidate this time and it would’ve gotten my vote.


        2. The mainstream media is extremely unfair towards Trump. Perhaps, he is to blame for that. But, still, if you form your opinion based on mainstream media (a vast, vast majority – Washington Post, New York Times, LA Times, CNN, CBS, NPR, even the BBC or The Guardian), it’s likely to be extremely biased. I live in the U.S., and nothing would make me vote Democrat in the current environment. I’m still holding my pen over the dot next to Trump’s name.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. On my father’s side we are Jewish pogrom victims. I am against violence and extremism wherever and from whom it comes. Unfortunately by its very nature politics attracts the venal and the power hungry on all sides of the political spectrum. It is normally a question if voting for the least harm rather than the most good.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. I agree regarding voting for the least harm. These days I see much more violence from the left than from the right. The left pretend to fight racism, yet they attack Orthodox Jews in new York for not wearing masks and attending synagogues. Crazy confusing times.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Times are probably always crazy and confusing. I recent years I have become ever more convinced the Taoists had it right. And the Zen Buddhists. Largely I look upon life and smile at it. It does not bear closer examination.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. I think, quite to the contrary, the media has bent over backwards trying to be fair to an inhuman monster. I think it would be extremely foolish to vote for him for any reason. This election, as was the last one, not a choice between candidates so much as a repudiation of trumpism. That repudiation has become evermore urgent in the last four years. The left has a lot wrong with it, I agree, but the right at this point is time has lost its mind. You must not stand with them.


  8. All voting in Oregon has been done by mail for quite a few years now. I’m very happy with the process. Every registered voter receives a personal ballot in the mail 3 weeks before the elections, along with the bulletins about measures, candidates, etc. Then you can sit down in your home, do the research, read, then fill out the ballot, sign the envelope, and either mail it if it’s sure to be received by the election day, or drop it off into a ballot drop box. I always drop it off to assure delivery. The ballots are scanned by a machine, I believe, but there is also a paper trail that can be verified by humans or recounted by a machine. I don’t see many possibilities for fraud. Voter registration requires an Oregon ID, and they check the citizenship status at DMV. Oregon Democrat legislators have decided to give driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants last year, against the previous referendum on the issue. But DMV is supposed to check the citizenship. I don’t think illegals are really eager to vote, so I don’t expect this to be a wide-spread issue. I haven’t heard of any voting abuses in Oregon so far. No multi-hour lines. Dropping off the ballot is quick.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m jealous. The west coast definitely seems to have its act together on this front, at least much better than most of the rest of the country. I know you don’t like the Democrats, but you have to admit, where they dominate, voting tends to be a lot more convenient.

      Strangely enough, Alabama, which doesn’t even allow early voting, is letting people vote by mail this year. I noted in the post that my state (Louisiana) wasn’t necessarily the worst, but after perusing this site, I’m thinking it’s one of the worst.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Amazingly, despite Arizona being Republican, vote by mail makes things incredibly easy. That said, I was actually considering dropping off my ballot in person until Trump called on his supporters to show up at polling stations. There was some talk of having a police presence, presumably to keep the peace, but it was pointed out that that could scare away some voters and would probably not help keep the peace. Everything is so complicated!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good to hear you guys got usable mail voting. Hope you were able to get your ballot in. It sounds like Arizona is a swing state this year. It’s one of the states we’re supposed to watch tomorrow night for how the election is going, along with Florida, North Caroline, and Georgia.

      The word is if Trump loses any of them, game over. On the other hand, if Biden loses all of them, it would be a pretty bad sign.

      That said, all those metrics fell apart early in the evening in 2016. So we’ll see.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, they keep saying we’re a swing state, but I doubt it. My anecdotal sense is that those independent voters are probably mostly going for Trump. I spoke with two people here in my neighborhood who voted for Obama twice but switched to Trump and plan to stick with Trump again. It baffles me. One even called himself a lifelong Democrat. Also, I’m seeing a bunch of Biden signs go up here, but only one Trump sign. I know the Trump supporters are in the neighborhood, I’m friends with a number of them, but I suspect they’re ashamed to admit publicly who they’re voting for. I wonder if that’s getting factored into polling data. People might lie and say they haven’t decided. Anyway, after last time, I’m not trusting the polls.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Well, that’s sobering. Hope it’s not true for the other swing states. It’s worth noting that different regions in a state can have starkly different sentiments. I know southern Florida and northern Florida are two very different cultures. Northern Florida is very “southern US” in its orientation and a Republican stronghold. Southern Florida has a lot of immigrants and retirees from up north. It’s what makes Florida a swing state. Maybe there’s a similar dynamic in Arizona? Anyway, for whatever it’s worth, the polls have Biden marginally ahead in Arizona.

          I’m ready for this to be over. I sure hope it doesn’t turn into a weeks long circus. But in this miserable year, might be a forlorn hope.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Apparently Fox just called AZ for Biden, which is so weird. But I’m not getting too excited just yet. Early votes were counted in advance here. The votes coming in from now on will probably change things significantly. Lots of traffic today…republicans going out to vote, waving Trump flags.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. I went to bed last night once it become obvious this was going to be a long haul. Just woke up to find things still close. Not good. We’re down to varying bad outcomes now. If Biden squeaks out a win, that’s far less bad than a Trump win, but we can expect Trump to make this as awful as possible. (I see he already declared victory last night and started making accusations of fraud.)

            Arizona, if Biden wins it, might turn out to be crucial. Particularly with Nevada looking as close as it is.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Looks like the AP called it for Biden here. I’m pleasantly surprised, but it ain’t over yet. What ifTrump takes this to the Supreme Court? He’s been planning to steal the election for months. I don’t trust that Amy Coney Barrett will recuse herself. And Republican politicians have shown they’ve lost all sense of decency. We’re in for trouble.


          4. The Supreme Court seems to have signaled that they won’t intervene in any obvious heavy handed manner. They refused a number of last minute clearly ridiculous court challenges from the GOP on ballot deadlines and validity. However, if Trump finds a case where there is the slightest legal justification for putting their finger on the scale for him, I’m sure they’ll do it. We have to hope it doesn’t come down to anything like that. In any case, Trump is likely to file a slew of lawsuits hoping for a lucky blow.

            This is actually the election I was expecting before the pandemic. It’s sickening that the aggressively incompetent response hasn’t made any difference.

            Liked by 2 people

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