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EDITORIAL

Mail-in voting

Mail-in voting Don’t be fooled by those who wish to mislead on voting security

Posted 8/12/20

Minnesotans shouldn’t let themselves be fooled by a White House and an Attorney General who are intent on misleading the country about the security and safety of voting by mail. President Trump …

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EDITORIAL

Mail-in voting

Mail-in voting Don’t be fooled by those who wish to mislead on voting security

Posted

Minnesotans shouldn’t let themselves be fooled by a White House and an Attorney General who are intent on misleading the country about the security and safety of voting by mail. President Trump has repeatedly stated in tweets that mail-in voting will guarantee massive fraud. Attorney General William Barr has suggested that foreign countries would almost certainly attempt to submit large numbers of fraudulent ballots in hopes of swaying the election. Mr. Barr said such concerns are simply “common sense.”
In fact, the claims of both the president and the attorney general are simply nonsense.
As we reported last week, St. Louis County has used mail-in balloting for years for many of its unorganized townships without incident. The checks and balances that are in place for mail-in balloting make it virtually impossible for widespread fraud, or foreign interference. President Trump, who regularly reveals himself as one of the most uninformed Americans on a whole host of subjects, may not know this. Attorney General Barr certainly does, which makes his statements all the more egregious.
President Trump and his enablers make it sound as if ballots are simply being mailed out to millions of people at random. This, of course, is false. In St. Louis County, as is the case elsewhere in the U.S. where there is automatic vote by-mail, ballots are sent to registered voters in each county, addressed based on the addresses listed on their voter registration forms.
Those addresses each have a unique bar code included with them, which county election officials use to match that ballot with the address to which it was sent. If someone attempts to forge ballots, there is no way they could determine the correct bar code so any such ballots would be rejected. Further, the county election officials who administer elections everywhere in the country, know the exact number of ballots that they send out and the number that come back in. As they arrive, the names of the individuals who are submitting ballots are checked off the voting list to make sure they can only vote once.
Absentee ballots are treated similarly, which makes them just as difficult to forge.
Anyone or any group or country attempting to engage in a successful and statistically significant voter fraud effort would have to know how many ballots to return in each county to prevent more ballots coming in than went out (which would be an obvious tip-off of fraud). They would also need to know the addresses and the randomly-generated bar codes for each voter who failed to return a ballot— information that would be impossible to obtain.
And what President Trump and his enablers seem to forget is that the presidential race isn’t the only race on the ballot. Each county, and even different portions of counties, have their own individual races for everything from city council to school board, county commissions to races for Congress. That means the ballots are different in every jurisdiction. As we found out in Tower in 2018, when election officials handed out the wrong ballots in one of the city’s two precincts, it’s difficult enough for local officials to keep track of which ballots go where. To suggest that some group or country is going to perfectly forge unique ballots for hundreds of different jurisdictions (which they would have to do to have any statistically meaningful impact on a race) and correctly match them with the right voters, their addresses, their bar codes, and a signature that’s a close approximation of that voter’s prior signatures in each of these jurisdictions is ludicrous.
It’s also dangerous. President Trump is reading the same polls as everyone else right now and is obviously worried about the prospects for his re-election. Rather than trying to reach out in a positive way to voters as most politicians do in such circumstances, he and his attorney general appear intent on undermining faith in U.S. elections, as part of a political strategy to suppress the vote in November. At the same time that Trump is discouraging his supporters from voting by mail (except in Florida where he needs mail-in votes from seniors), his hand-selected pick for Postmaster General has reportedly taken a number of steps to slow delivery of the mail, most likely in hopes that they can clog the system over the next three months and prevent large numbers of mail-in ballots from reaching election offices in time to be counted. If more of those ballots originate from Democratic voters, as is reasonable to assume, it could give Trump the edge he needs to eke out a narrow electoral college victory. At least, that appears to be Trump’s best hope. Unfortunately, for Trump, everything is about winning. The means to that end don’t matter at all.

Comments

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Steve Jacobson

My question is: If you won millions in the lottery would you take your ticket to the headquarters in person or would you mail it?

Thursday, August 13
Steve Jacobson

I know that if I was worried about my all important vote being counted I would march out to the polls and vote in person. Then I have no one to blame which you can count on that one party or the other is going to claim.

Thursday, August 13
Andy McKibben

Vote early. Don't let the b*stards grind you down.

Thursday, August 13
ReidCarron

My question is: If you were the current president of the United States would you vote by mail? And if the answer is yes (which it is), if it's good enough for you why isn't it good enough for the rest of the voters?

Friday, August 14
Mark Josephson

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-countrys-future-could-hinge-on-postal-workers/2020/08/16/c0f7b97e-dfca-11ea-8dd2-d07812bf00f7_story.html

Monday, August 17
Snowshoe2

Look at other states where income is low. They have like 6 voting machines for like 6000 people and Republicans in a richer area will have numerous voting machines and no lines. Recent elections in Florida some people wait in line like 6 hours. That is fraud in its own.

Many townships in Minnesota which in past were open for voting in person are closed this fall and voting will be done by the County automatically sending ballots out to the residence this coming month. Already did it for primaries.

Many Townships voting clerks are staffed by older people who said no this year.

Voting depression has been the key by one party for years.

Monday, August 17
Scott Atwater

The country locked down so that the pandemic wouldn't overwhelm the healthcare system..............but because of the same pandemic, mail in ballots won't overwhelm the postal system. Yeah, right.

If you can make your way to the supermarket during the pandemic, you can make your way to the polling place.

Monday, August 17
bonfire

Atwater. evidently you are are still mobile enough to get yourself to your polling place and you aren't worried about yourself or the poll workers getting covid 19. Even trump and many in the WH, legislators vote by mail.

We all benefit from having the ease of mail-in voting.

Seniors in senior living, seniors without transportation and other disabled/immune compromised Americans.

Our military based overseas.

The deliberate slowing down of our mail is criminal. Trump donor, now Postmaster Dejoy, has no experience with USPS just like majority of incompetent, inexperienced WH staff under trump. DeJoy can't/won't explain how removing and dumping lock boxes, cutting overtime for hundreds of thousands of employees, hiring freezes, reshuffling, displacing over a dozen postal executives, sorting machines being removed and new policy to no longer treat all election mail as first class will "improve" USPS.

DeJoy still has at least $30 million in holdings in his former company XPO Logistics, a USPS contractors. DeJoy also purchased stock options giving him the right to buy news shares in Amazon in June. Under federal law, it's illegal for federal government employees or spouses to have financial interest in companies that intersect with their official duties.

Trump says USPS needs money for mail-in voting but will not approve $25 billion in emergency funding for USPS or $3.5 billion in supplemental funding for election resources.

There are small business people selling their products and sending through the mail that are having much difficulty maintaining their businesses with the delays.

Veterans are not getting their medications on time by mail including retired Lt Gen. Russell Honore. Many, many senior citizens get their Social Security checks in the mail. These groups know the day their meds and checks should arrive in the mail and if they have not arrived, they are angry and soon know where the blame lies.

Rural residents really depend on the post office and won't suffer their mail being delayed and unreliable. They will know where the blame lies.

This should not be partisan. USPS is a beloved institution for the majority of Americans.

Monday, August 17
Snowshoe2

Most of us are lucky, walk to your polling place and vote in a minute. Watched a recent election in a black district 6 hours in a line and one woman was 96 years old and she stayed to she voted. No one young or old should have to do that. Yes it is another Republican move to impede voters who don't think like them or don't look like them. I am surprised like in the past at one time Blacks had to determine how many jelly beans were in a jar.

Why is it Trump said Republican states can have mail in ballots but sues Democrat states whom want the same. Trumps answer Republicans are honest so it should be allowed in Republican controlled states.

Yes Donald you told on TV for Russia to keep interfering in our election. Yes Donald you are dismantling the postal system more tonight in Michigan where you took down double digit number of sorting machines this last hour. That means a minimum of 370,000 letters and medical needs not delivered. Yes Donald that means some people will probably die because of you. Oh wait 170,000 died already and you dismantled the the CDC emergency disease response team two months before the epidemic saying you could handle any problem that we faced. You lied.

Tuesday, August 18
Scott Atwater

Well I see that the resident idiots don't have a clue.......as usual.

Bonfire, how is it that you don't know the difference between the mail in voting proposed and absentee ballots? Didn't CNN tell you? People that can't make it to the polls can request absentee ballots. This option has always been available, it's easy to do and reliable, unlike the mass mailings suddenly favored by your corrupt and desperate political party of choice.

And since you brought it up, let's put the B.S. narrative about Trump withholding funding for the post office. The money is in a Pelosi led congressional bill with so much pork that it is un-signable.

As stated earlier, all those that seem to be able to overcome their fear of COVID-19 to get to the supermarket, should damned well be able to make it to their polling place.

Just a thought.......but maybe this year people could cast their ballots in the supermarket checkout line. I mean the grocery workers are there anyway, risking their lives to help feed your big butts.

Tuesday, August 18
jtormoen

Seems a sample of ... 4th and 36 to go ... punt ...

Tuesday, August 18
bonfire

Atwater, if nothing else, you are consistent with parroting trump trash talk, bless your heart.

Trump has been raging against mail-in voting saying, "rigged, corrupt, fraudulent", threatening to withhold funding for PO so Democrats "won't steal the election" which you probably believe 100%.

There really isn't any difference voting by absentee ballot or mail-in voting but trump is trying to convince Americans that absentee voting is good and mail-in voting is bad. Fraud is incredibly rare in US elections but when it does happen, it disproportionately involves absentee ballots and corrupt vote-collecting schemes, "ballot harvesting" which happened in North Carolina, benefiting Republicans, with arrests.

Trump has voted and praised absentee voting yet the trump campaign is suing Nevada for planning to send absentee ballots to voters this year, essentially adopting universal vote-by-mail. At least 41 states and more likely 45, will permit their voters to cast ballots by mail, either through absentee voting or "universal vote-by-mail."

Our soldiers overseas, many in war zones, vote by mail. No one that I know of would call their votes rigged or fraudulent.

The new Postmaster General DeJoy is sabotaging, slowing down our mail even though our US Postal Service has over 90% approval of Americans. I've seen the reporting, photos, and videos of the mail sorters and drop boxes being dismantled, trashed and sold for the metal. DeJoy said a few days ago there would be no more removal of sorters, drop boxes until after the election but in the House hearing today, he is getting grilled about not restoring the sorters and drop boxes already removed that needed for this election. He won't reveal the analysis for the changes.

It's no secret that the GOP has wanted to privatize the USPS for decades. That would be like advocating privatizing our military. By the way, over 18% of USPS employees are veterans. It's not hard to imagine how expensive, slow and unreliable mailing and receiving mail and packages would be and rural, small town Americans would be the most harmfully impacted.

Sen Rand Paul not in favor of providing additional funding to USPS, saying USPS is not "redeemable" and must lower employees by a third and less services. Paul said "people who live 20 miles down a gravel road, if you told them to get mail twice a week vs 6 times a week, I think people could live with that." How galling that man is along with all the other Republican grifters who passed two gigantic tax cuts for the wealthy and tell the rest of Americans to go eat dirt.

Friday, August 21
Scott Atwater

Dumbfire, you are without doubt the most ignorant person I've encountered is some time. Apparently the significant difference between the tried and true practice of requesting an absentee ballot and the mass mailing of unrequested ballots to "registered" voters is beyond your grasp. The only party interested in sabotaging the postal system is the Democrats.............by overwhelming the system with millions of ballots. I love how you Democrats always downplay voting fraud too. In most cases precincts always investigate themselves, I have to laugh when voter turnout is 120%.........nope, no fraud here, we've investigated it!

Because of your willful ignorance, I'm tempted to vote with any ballot that I, my dog, my cat, or my deceased uncle Joe receive......and then put on a mask and head over to the polling place and vote again. Don't worry about it though dumbfire, voter fraud is extremely rare! One more thing, dopey, it was the Obama administration that removed 14,000 post office drop boxes. I suspect that you photos/videos are of the same era when children were put in cages at the US/Mexico border.......the Obama era.

Saturday, August 22
jtormoen

I always enjoy reading the plethora of sources offered by those who speak on this page. I won't name names, as seems name calling is now in full swing. But then, when facts seem hard to find, and opinion is offered in abundance ... then a little attempt at diversion from reality perhaps makes sense.

Or doesn't

Sunday, August 23
bonfire

It's utterly predictable that Atwater and guys like him resort to junior high school boys' name calling and insults when confronted with facts and data they don't want to believe. After all, they are just emulating the behavior of their idol trump. (I just wonder how many gullible trump supporters have asked their doctor for hydroxychloroquine or researched how to inject disinfectant in their bodies.) The USPS is being sabotaged right out in plain sight but trumpers refuse to look. It seems that trumpists admire authoritarians, bullies, grifters more than anything else and will believe any crazy, farfetched conspiracy bunk on Fox, far right social media without question. I always wondered how Hitler and the Nazis were able to cow and deceive the German people. I don't wonder anymore.

Republican legislators who all knew who Trump really was...before he was elected:

Lindsay Graham: To Trump supporters, I don't know why you like this guy. He's a kook. He's crazy. He's a race baiting xenophobic bigot.

Ted Cruz: Whatever trump does, he accuses everyone else of doing. He cannot tell the truth but he combines it with being a narcissist, a narcissist at a level this country has never seen. He lies with everything that comes out of his mouth.

Rand Paul: My concern is that he will grab up that power and treat the country as his bully fiefdom. He's a delusional narcissist and an orange faced windbag.

Nikki Haley: Donald Trump is everything I taught my children not to do in kindergarten.

Marco Rubio: He's been exploiting working Americans for 40 years. He's a con artist.

Kellyanne Conway: He says he's for the little guy but he's actually built a lot of his businesses on the backs of the little guys.

Rick Perry: He's a toxic mix of demagoguery, mean-spiritedness and nonsense.

They knew who trump really was then and they know now but they capitulated after he got in the White House.

The Cut and Run Crowd: Republican legislators, Republican operatives, trump supporters.

Make a speedy or sudden departure from an awkward or hazardous situation rather than deal with it responsibly.

Sunday, August 23
Scott Atwater

The thing is, campfire, it's you who is confronted with facts and data that you don't want to believe. Voting by absentee ballot is simple, but apparently not simple enough for the likes of you. Hypocrisy is when you can make your way to the supermarket weekly, but can't make it to the polling place one time in November to vote.

Since you brought them up, here are a few more facts that seem to be out of your reach:

1. The use of hydroxychloroquine, a drug with a 70 year history that was perfectly acceptable until Trump mentioned it, has been politicized. No matter what anyone's opinion is on the drug, shouldn't that decision be between a patient and a doctor?

2. Trump's comments about "disinfectant" were taken out of context when he meant to say antiseptic. He was referring to possible treatments discussed by the Faucci/Birx pandemic team involving aerosol antiseptic and UV treatments for intubated COVID patients. The word's "injection" and "Lysol" were concocted by the media, not from President Trump.

You Libtards will never win a fact based argument, that's why you always resort to demonizing Trump and his supporters. You own the media, academia, Hollywood, and a huge percent of government workers. You've politicized science, your cities are burning, and your educational system is failing. You moved COVID patients into nursing homes and you've let rioters rule the streets. You even screwed up trying to rig a presidential election. Everything you touch turns to crap.

If you are genuinely interested in the tactics Hitler used to control an entire population take a look at who controls the media in this country, take a look at who controls the educational system, take a look at those that desperately believe every word of the anti-Trump propaganda, take a look at who is demonizing who, and then take a look at yourself.

Monday, August 24
bonfire

US mail began slowing down in July. Crates of mail were not being shipped for delivery as usual. In a massive mail-sorting facility in Santa Clarita, workers fell so far behind that by early August, gnats and rodents were swarming around containers of rotted fruit, meat and baby chicks dead inside their boxes. Thousands of chicks ordered by farmers arrived dead in recent weeks. One farmer was stunned last week when all 800 chicks she ordered from a Pennsylvania hatchery arrived dead, saying "Usually they arrived every three weeks like clockwork and out of 100 birds you may have one or two die in shipping."

Last month letters from Postal Office General Counsel to states stated that the deadlines and rules the states have had for years might be "insufficient" for first time in history to deliver all ballots on time. A bipartisan group of secretaries of state tried to get a meeting with Dejoy when slowing of mail began but he was not responsive.

Louis DeJoy didn't do his homework/prepare when he went to the USPS hearing this week and couldn't/wouldn't answer majority of questions. He did manage to have correct answer for cost of first class letter is 55 cents.

Q: What is cost of postcard and square greeting card envelope?

A: I don't know.

(Just imagine any postmaster at any post office not knowing the cost of postage other than 1st class!)

Q: How many people, within a million or so, voted by mail in last presidential election?

A: No, I cannot.

Q: To the nearest 10 million?

A: I'd be guessing and I don't want to guess.

(33 million voted by mail/absentee in 2016)

Q: Will you put sorting machines, drop boxes back?

A: No, I will not. They are no longer needed.

Q: Have any USPS plant managers around the US requested mail sorting machines be removed?

A: How would I know that?

Q: Did you actually read and independently analyze the major overhaul plans (unplugging and destroying machines, changing employee procedures, locking collection boxes) before you ordered them to take effect?

A: I did not order major overhaul plans. The items you mentioned were not directed by me.

Q: Could you please tell me who did order the changes?

A: There are many, many executives at almost 30,000 within the organization....

Q: If you did not order these actions to be taken, please tell the committee the name of who did.

A: I don't know.

Q: Did you analyze these plans before they went into effect or as postmaster general, supervise whomever did?

A: The plans were in effect and being implemented before I arrived.

Q: Do you take responsibility for these changes?

A: I take responsibility from any service deterioration that has occurred.

Q: Will you commit to reversing these changes?

A: No.

DeJoy said he did not mandate removal of sorting machines, blue boxes, reduction of post office hours or elimination and cutbacks to overtime.

DeJoy did or he should know the somebody/somebodies who did.

In an internal memo, DeJoy admitted delays were the "unintended consequences" of his policy changes.

Tuesday, August 25
bonfire

Minnesota Reformer today:

20 mail sorting machines being taken out of service in Minnesota according to a new lawsuit filed in Washington.

7 mail sorting machines decommissioned in Minneapolis along with 13 more across the state.

Each machine can process 5 million pieces of mail a day.

Tuesday, August 25
Scott Atwater

https://www.vote.org/absentee-ballot/minnesota/

Any registered Minnesota voter may apply for an absentee ballot and vote by absentee ballot.

Minnesota absentee ballot directions

Use our Absentee Ballot Tool to prepare your application.

Sign and date the form. This is very important!

Return your completed application to your Local Election Office as soon as possible. We'll provide the mailing address for you.

All Local Election Offices will accept mailed or hand-delivered forms. Your Local Election Official will also let you fax or email the application.

Double-check the deadlines and be sure to cast your voted ballot on time to be sure it is counted.

Please contact your Local Election Office if you have any further questions about the exact process.

Tuesday, August 25
bonfire

Congratulations Atwater, glad to hear you are considering voting by mail.

We were mailed applications from St Louis County Auditor weeks before the Primary election. We helped a quite elderly senior citizen with no computer request an application online because he had not received one as we did. The ballots arrived in good time, we sent them in and then were able to verify our votes were counted on the MNSOS site. I talked to someone at MNSOS and was told that the General ballot forms will start going out in Sept. Returned ballots must be postmarked on or before Nov 3 and received by the county within 7 calendar days, Nov 10. Warning, there have been some ballots mailed to Minnesotans that are from other entities, not legitimate.

We will be carefully watching DeJoy and desperate trump carefully to see what else they have up their sleeves to keep Americans, Republicans and Democrats alike, from voting.

You don't seem to be aware that Hydroxychloroquine has been prescribed as an arthritis medicine and also used to prevent malaria. Hydroxychloroquine combined with Z-paks was tried with some Covid 19 patients early in pandemic but found to increase heart risks and not effective on the virus. Also trump pushing Hydroxychloroquine caused a shortage of it and other people suffered from not able to get their prescriptions filled for their health issues.

Trump clearly said, "I see the disinfectant that knocks it out in a minute, one minute". Turns to look at Dr. Birk who sits silently and looks uncomfortable, "And is there a way we can do something like treat by injection inside or almost a cleaning?" You can see and hear this on multiple videos including C-Span but you probably think C-Span is "fake" too. Here we go again with people ingesting bleach. This month, nearly 50 north Texans have ingested bleach and north Texan poison control had to put out a warning.

Trump is clearly seriously mentally ill. He's a massive narcissist, a self serving con man all his adult life and has no loyalty to anyone but himself. A lot of trumpers know everything that comes out of his mouth are lies but just don't care. Others actually believe everything he says. What I do know is that he is playing them all.

Wednesday, August 26
Scott Atwater

It's called an absentee ballot campfire, quite different than the mass mailing of ballots that the Democrats are proposing. Maybe have an eighth grader old explain this to you.

Stop lying about Hydroxychloroquine too, my wife has taken it for years. You should probably go sit in the corner with pointy hat on until a subject comes up that you actually know something about.........whatever that is.

Thursday, August 27
bonfire

Read again, Atwater.

It should have been clear there is a difference between using Hydroxychloroquine combined with Z-paks to treat Covid-19 virus, (doctors found it didn't work, increased heart risks) and people prescribed it by doctors for arthritis and other health issues which do work for many people, some of whom could not get their prescriptions on time after trump touted the medication.

Sheesh, Atwater, you are either being deliberately obtuse or truly don't understand. Either way, I will pray for you.

Friday, August 28
Scott Atwater

Campfire, I'm just going to write you off as hopelessly brainwashed without the ability to think for yourself. Virtually every prescription drug can have side affects, Hydroxychloroquine is no different. Does that mean that all patients will get the side affects? No!

Your statement that "doctors found it didn't work, increased heart risks" is a half truth. Some doctors found that it did work with their patients with no harmful side affects. Yale epidemiology professor Harvey Risch has good evidence of it's success, and supports it's use. You can listen to the "facts" that support your opinion, or you can consider all of the facts, process them, and then make an informed opinion.....it's up to you. I just have to wonder why anyone would discard any information on this subject without thoroughly evaluating it first.

Note to Brian LaFrenier of Embarrass - Since you have misrepresented my statements in your letter to the Cook Timberjay, I suggest that you formally retract them. My exact statement was as follows:

"Trump's comments about "disinfectant" were taken out of context when he meant to say antiseptic. He was referring to possible treatments discussed by the Faucci/Birx pandemic team involving aerosol antiseptic and UV treatments for intubated COVID patients. The word's "injection" and "Lysol" were concocted by the media, not from President Trump."

You stated in the letter that " His comments about Trump not saying the word injecting, as in injecting disinfectants for the treatment of the virus is blatantly wrong". As we can plainly see, that isn't what I said at all. You are doing the same thing that the media does, chop up a statement, select only the parts that fit your narrative, and then present it as fact.

The reality is that Trump misspoke by using the word "disinfectant" rather than antiseptic. Naturally the media showed edited versions of the press conference, tied the word "injection" to "Lysol" and did indeed concoct the narrative that Trump suggested that people inject themselves with Lysol. Bonfire believes that narrative to this very day! Of course this creation of a false narrative by the media didn't bother you as much as the fact that the media completely buried the possibility of new aerosol or UV treatments for patients on ventilators..................did it Mr. LaFrenier!

Show some integrity and admit your mistake publicly.

Saturday, August 29