Ballots are coming to your mailbox soon! And since this is such an important election, we need to ensure that we vote in overwhelming numbers, and do so mindful that unscrupulous political operatives are working hard to prevent that. This week’s Monday Morning sketch session was all about that. Highlights below the video.
- Voter registration deadline: October 19
- Vote by mail registration deadline: October 27
1) At the polls on November 3. If you have applied for Vote-By-Mail, you can still vote in person if you change your mind. You must take your mail in ballot to the polls and give it to the workers, who will invalidate it, then you can vote regularly.
2) By mail. Ballots will arrive in the next week or so. Best to fill them out right away, and either mail it back (you can track progress of your ballot at votespa.com) or take it to Voters Services at the courthouse.
3) You can vote early in person: just go to Voters Services, where you can request a mail-in ballot and fill it out, all in one stop. This is an option many are unaware of!
When You Vote By Mail
Make sure you: a) use a blue or black pen; b) place the ballot in the smaller security envelope and seal it; c) place the security envelope in the outer addressed envelope and seal it; d) and sign your outer envelope. Missing any of those steps will mean your ballot can (and probably will) be tossed. Your vote wouldn’t count.
Legal battles, Blue Shifts, and Right-wing Shenanigans
At the moment, mail in ballots must be postmarked by Election Day, and can arrive after November 3. The vote-suppressing alt-right majority has appealed this to the US Supreme Court, however. (Yeah, really…because suppressing voters is their plan to hold the White House, apparently).
The legislative right-wing majority has also been blocking reasonable plans to let election boards begin pre-canvassing mail-in ballots early. The Governor requested a 15 day pre-canvass (this is when the envelopes are opened and prepped for scanning, but not actually counted). The alt-righters would only accept three days, and only if drop boxes were prohibited…because, again, helping people vote easily is apparently their greatest fear. And overworking county elections boards and forcing them to process massive numbers of mail-in ballots in short order, well, I guess the alt-righters are into that.
The counting of mail-in votes cannot begin until Nov. 3, even though other states safely allow for counts to begin earlier. That means, without extensive precanvassing, we likely won’t have returns on election night, and we’ll see what’s called a “blue shift.” Since many more Democrats vote by mail than do Republicans, the counting of those ballots shifts the vote tallies toward blue. Neither suspicious nor rocket science but…
…in an atmosphere of cultivated mistrust (ahem, the Prez…and alas, our incumbent state rep), that shift might be spun as “suspicious.” This could be one of the ways those who wish to undermine faith in our election will raise spurious claims of “fraud.” Look how the vote totals changed in totally predictable ways! Let’s call that fraud! For a terrifying, illuminating read, have a go at this article in the Atlantic. It posits several ways the delay of vote counting might be seen as an intentional gambit to set the stage for accusations of a “stolen” election, as a way to steal an election.
To be clear: mail-in voting is reliable and safe…both in protecting the integrity of our elections and in keeping people healthy as we continue to face the coronavirus pandemic. Curious how the same people who call Covid a hoax perpetuate the hoax of fraudulent voting, isn’t it.
Above all else, don’t let your vote be taken away this year. Make a plan for how you’re going to vote. And if you hear anyone making stupid claims about how vote-by-mail is a scheme to cheat, talk back. Let them know how dumb they sound, and how we’re not going to be intimidated away from an overwhelming repudiation of the ugly, harmful politics that have taken rotten root.