But Get Your Ballots In Early Anyway
Contributor: Wy Spano
A week ago reports of plans by Trump supporters to put the Trump/Pence ticket back in the White House, regardless of how the voting turned out, were appearing in many major media outlets.
How could an American presidential election be stolen, as seemed to be the Republican plan? And is it going to happen? (Remember, in all states you’re not voting directly for Trump or Biden, you’re voting for electors, people who gather every four years as the Electoral College to (hopefully) vote for the candidates they were chosen to represent. The Legislatures in the states are formally in charge of choosing the electors.)
One idea was simple. Throw enough fog at a state’s actual vote count to permit a Republican controlled Legislature to appoint Republican electors, no matter the outcome of the vote. Fog was necessary because Legislatures, though they have the “plenary" power to appoint whomever they want as electors to the Electoral College, correctly thought it bad form to appoint Republican electors instead of the Democrat electors chosen by the people unless they had some sort of semi-plausible excuse for doing so.
A second plan, like the first, depended upon mucking up the vote counting process. If enough states got to December 8, 2020, without a clear picture of who their electors were supposed to be—in other words if it was still unclear who won the election in that state—then the election could end up in the very Republican Supreme Court, or it could be sent to the U.S. House of Representatives. The latter choice is in the Constitution, with one funny hook: in the House each state has only one vote, no matter how many Representatives they have. Wyoming, with one Republican representative, equals, in presidential selection power, California, with 45 Democrats and 7 Republicans. Currently, Republicans control 26 states, Democrats 23, and one is tied, even though there are 35 more Democratic Representatives than Republican ones. Any election going to the House will see Republicans winning.
The New Reality
During the past week, a number of observers have speculated that the Republican steal-the-election plans might not work. Trump’s polling grows worse and worse, as do his rhetoric, tweets, and actions. Possibly the steroids he’s taking have put his ego in overdrive. In 2016 Trump lost the popular vote by 2.1 percentage points, around 3 million votes. If current polling is at all accurate, Trump may lose the 2020 election by 10 percentage points, as many as 10-15 million voters. At that level of difference between the candidates, outright theft becomes politically very difficult.
We’d Still Like You to Get Your Ballot In Early, If You Can
In nearly all states, but particularly in Minnesota, your ballot’s going to get counted accurately. Don’t worry about that. But Trump will undoubtedly play a public relations game on election night. Because 61% of Republicans plan to vote on election day, while only 25% of Democrats have the same plan, the vote reported election night should look very good for Trump. (Numbers from the Washington Post-ABC Poll published this weekend). Minnesota offers an opportunity to beat the hype, however.
If people who requested absentee ballots fill out those ballots and bring them in to their county’s early voting location, those votes will be tabulated and counted on election day, just like the votes of people who go to the polls that day. Mail-in ballots could be counted and reported days after the election. The master of goofy illusion, however, will say the ballots counted after election day are fraudulent, and he actually won the election. That’s why we want to make sure that, on election night in Minnesota, Trump is behind, not ahead. That might deter Republicans from trying to waste a lot of legal time and money overturning Minnesota’s results.
Vote (If You Can) to Make Sure Your Vote is Counted on Election Night
How? Bring in your absentee ballot filled out and give it to folks at your county’’s early voting election site.
If you’re registered to vote in Minnesota, but didn’t ask for an absentee ballot, you can go to the early voting sites in your county. In the Twin Cities area lines have begun to become shorter at these locations. One poll worker guessed total time at these locations would be less than 20 minutes for individual voters.
Plan to vote on election day. (Voting on election day is the only option for people who aren’t already registered to vote in Minnesota.) Because of the heavy use of mail-in and early voting, lines on election day shouldn’t be that long.
AND If you already mailed in your ballot, or don’t want to go to the early voting site, DON’T WORRY. Minnesota has the nation’s best voting system and most competent voting officials. Your vote will be counted and duly recorded.
A Quote About Seniors Voting
In the Washington Post-ABC Poll
"Likely voters 65 and older are much more likely to have already voted (15 percent) than voters under 65 (5 percent). A 64 percent majority of likely voters supporting Biden plan to vote early, and an additional 10 percent say they have already voted, leaving about a quarter who say they plan to vote on Election Day. Among likely voters supporting Trump, a 61 percent majority plan to vote on Election Day, while 33 percent plan to vote early, and 3 percent say they have already voted. Among senior likely voters, 23 percent who back Biden say they have already cast their ballots, compared with 6 percent of Trump supporters.”
*Restoring American Democracy