Here to Stay

I started wondering if the mail-in voting will go away once the pandemic is over but then I remembered that it’s never going to be over because it’s so profitable and convenient. Plus, so many people clearly enjoy the feelings of importance it gives them to play at being in danger.

16 thoughts on “Here to Stay”

  1. Both parties are very afraid of populism. Mail in voting makes it easier to rig elections. So, even if the virus disappeared tomorrow with all appetite for lockdowns, vaccines, stimulus bills etc mail in voting would remain, because it is the mode by which populist politicians are to be suppressed.

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    1. “mail in voting would remain, because it is the mode by which populist politicians are to be suppressed.”

      Mail in voting will remain because it has been here for over a decade (see Washington State, Oregon, etc.). People just decided to care about it the last few months.

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      1. It’s incredible to see how easily Americans are allowing themselves to be stripped of the most basic rights. Gosh, people in other countries are literally dying today to get the right to vote. And Americans just shrug and hand it over. The same goes for the right to the free press or freedom of speech.

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        1. Clarissa, have you ever voted by mail? How do you know it’s so bad?

          I’ve voted by mail before and it’s an incredibly convenient way to vote. You get a pamphlet explaining all the candidates and their positions, ballot initiatives, etc. You sit down, do some reading and online research, sign the ballot and mail it or deliver it to the board of elections. There really is nothing terrible about it. It has been a way of Democratic life in several states for many years now without any problems.

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          1. I honestly can’t repeat the story about the former owner of my house who still receives mail at my address 6 years after selling it. I have been writing about it for years, so it’s not like I invented this story to rubbish the ballot dumping plan. Illinois is at the top of the list for people moving out of state. How is it not completely ridiculous to send out ballots to their former addresses?

            A real answer would help.

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            1. Did you get a mail ballot for him? It’s one thing to get junk mail for a previous owner, that happens all the time.

              Even if you did, you could not have simply filled it in and voted for him, there are security checks to catch that and you would have faced jail time for voter fraud.
              In addition, the fact that so many states permit it, and yet there is little to no evidence of voter fraud occurring, should tell you this is really not as bad as you’ve been thinking.

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              1. Which security checks, exactly? PA got rid of the signature verification.

                I don’t open the mail I get for these people, obviously. But then I’m not a Biden voter.

                We are going in circles, though. There’s no fraud because this exists and this exists because there’s no fraud. It’s a closed system of argumentation that has no space for evidence to come in.

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              2. I don’t know what PA did or did not do. I just know the courts and people in charge of making sure fraud does not happen, have not found anything problematic.

                There definitely should be signature verification and multi-layer checks for mail voting.

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              3. @ed: Suitcases from under the tables with ballots, while observers are asked to leave, are not indicative of fraud for you? Affidavits in the thousands from people discussing fraud are not proof? The USPS worker with ballots crossing the state lines should be harassed by the FBI, if indeed there was no fraud? Facebook’s CEO and his wife giving 300 million to courts does not make you wonder what the heck, if all was well with secure voting? Ballot dumps favoring Biden at 3:30AM (saw it with my own eyes), while vote counting was supposedly done for the night, is not proof for you? Unless mail-in ballots are notarized, they are not secure, at least not in this country if ‘a’ party wants to cheat.

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          2. “I’ve voted by mail before and it’s an incredibly convenient way to vote.”

            Elections are not about customer convenience – if you want convenience, patronize the 7-eleven.

            It seems you don’t understand the first thing about affirming the democratic sovereignty of the community through the collective act of voting on election day. The whole point of having a legislated election period with a fixed polling date is to allow all candidates an equal opportunity to be fully heard – arguments and counter-arguments – and to appeal for voters who might favour other candidates to change their minds right up to the time when they enter the polling booth. Denying them that right through soliciting early votes is designed to make party organizers more sovereign than individual voters. Rules in politics are never neutral, they construct outcomes.

            People struggled hard to liberate themselves from party machines controlled by notables/elites through achieving the universal franchise and secret ballots, simultaneous elections across all districts, scrutineers eyeballing the counting of the ballots placed in ballot boxes etc. – but it seems that you don’t care about any of that as long as rules and procedures are watered down so that your side can more easily win political power. Or is it just that you’re so gullible that you believe the rationalizing lies of party organizers?

            Convenience, my a**.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. And this whole thing with voting weeks before the debates are even over, it’s ridiculous. Why have debates at all if everybody has already voted? Why not start voting in the 2024 election today, then? That would be convenient.

              As a recently naturalized citizen, I treasure the opportunity to go to the voting poll on Election Day. The sense of citizenship must be cultivated. We need an opportunity to come together and to feel like it’s something special and important.

              Then there’s such thing as the sanctity of the voting booth. I went to vote with my husband but at the moment of voting I was alone. Many people need that to vote their conscience. There are all sorts of familial relationships that make it hard.

              I feel this acutely because I didn’t grow up in a democracy so I treasure this sacred right to go and vote.

              The feeling of togetherness is fragile and precious. We need rituals that foster it. Why is it not obvious?

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              1. “Why is it not obvious?”

                Because they are completely ignorant of the historical evolution of democratic voting rights and so are very willing to turn back the historical clock and surrender our democratic rights to notables in party machines in the belief/expectation that it will construct partisan outcomes they favour.

                Liked by 1 person

              2. “We need an opportunity to come together and to feel like it’s something special and important.”

                This is actually a very important point. Through the collective process of electioneering through a fixed electoral period along with all the many rituals that surround voting day, democratic legitimacy is symbolically renewed. Voters are sovereign for a brief period during election day, as no one can know for certain the outcome until the votes are actually counted, and then popular sovereignty is transferred within hours after the polls close to those politicians who are declared the winners of the election.

                We can see before us the high cost to system stability when the rules and rituals are messed with – losers don’t believe the election was free and fair and withhold assent/legitimacy from both the “victors” and the political system.

                Liked by 1 person

              3. Not only is there no democracy without shared rituals. There’s no country without them. Which is, of course, the goal of those who wage war on Thanksgiving and Christmas and turn elections into a joke.

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              4. In my experience, if there’s one thing about the Orthodox, it’s that they’re quite predisposed to arguments favouring the preservation of “shared rituals.”

                Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes. Worldwide, the ones who decided to care about it to a large degree are the parties who want to stop populists from winning elections.

        Generally speaking, populists are not in political parties, or are in small under-resourced ones. They generally cannot afford to go door to door talking individual people into filling out a mail in ballot to vote for them, and generally cannot afford vote harvesting.

        Large established parties, on the other hand, can afford armies of election helpers and will pay people per vote for their mail-in ballot.

        Liked by 1 person

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