Here’s How It’s Working In Minnesota
Contributor: Wy Spano
Thoughtful publications (The Guardian, The Atlantic) among many others are predicting Republicans and Trump will try to steal the election, regardless of the number of votes cast for the two sides. Indeed the process of getting ready for the thievery has already begun in Minnesota.
Early in the pandemic, many states, including Minnesota, saw that the huge increase in turnout, coupled with people’s desire to not get sick while voting, mixed in with the Trump administration’s operating plan to slow mail delivery so the election would be screwed up, was going to produce lots and lots of ballots not getting counted. So, Minnesota and other states, in order to make sure that every vote got counted, extended the time properly filled out ballots could be delivered by USPS to vote counters. Minnesota now allows ballots to be postmarked up to 7 days after the election. It used to be 3 days.
Republicans, and Trump in particular, don’t share the goal of counting every vote possible. Their plans always include counting as few possibly Democratic voters as possible. Trump loudly and often campaigns against mail-in balloting, calling it ripe for fraud. As with many Trump assertions, the truth is 180 degrees away. Mail-in balloting is actually the least susceptible to tampering of all available methods.
SO… Republicans went to court. They maintained that the extension from 3 to 7 was illegal. The first judge said the people seeking the suit, a state legislator and a big party contributor, who were on the list to be Trump electors in the electoral college, didn’t have “standing" to sue in the matter. The case then went to a 3-judge panel of the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, where one Trump and one Bush appointee tossed out the “standing” claim and then went on to rule that just in case ballots postmarked after election day are ruled invalid, they should be separated from other ballots in case someone, somewhere, rules them not proper.
Usual judicial procedure would have called for the Appeals Court to rule on the “standing” issue only, sending the case back to the initial judge to rule on the questions surrounding whether or not taking ballots in after election day. But since the whole case was so late, the ruling issued only 11 days before the election, it’s easy to see why the Republican Appeals Court judges wanted to get the separation task taken care of. The task or similar ones are being accomplished in other states so that the new Supreme Court, with three Trump appointees, will be ready to toss out a few million Democratic votes.
It all matters only if the election is close, of course. On Thursday, Oct. 30, Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon said there were 400,000 ballots not yet returned. Impossible to know how many get returned by election day, and how many people just don’t use, either because something happened to stop their participation, or they decided to go in person to a voting station.
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