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Sun May 24, 2020, 09:29 PM

Key swing state warns of November election 'nightmare'

Politico

The outcome in Pennsylvania could remain up in the air long past Election Day.

By HOLLY OTTERBEIN

05/24/2020 07:00 AM EDT

Updated: 05/24/2020 07:20 AM EDT

PHILADELPHIA — Pennsylvania could determine the presidency. But it might not be clear for days who won the state on Nov. 3.

Election officials throughout the critical battleground, which is implementing no-excuse mail-in voting for the first time ever amid a pandemic, say they are unlikely to finish counting those ballots the night of the general election.

If the race is close enough — as it was in 2016, when Donald Trump carried the state by only 44,000 votes — that could mean the status of one of the nation’s biggest swing states could remain up in the air long past Election Day.

“My nightmare is that on Election Day in November, you're waiting for Montgomery County's results to declare Pennsylvania to declare who wins the White House,” said Montgomery County Commissioner Ken Lawrence, a Democrat who chairs the Board of Elections there. “The reality is that all of our counties are going to be in that same situation, and it will take a while to actually count the ballots.”

snip


much more at link

32 replies, 2092 views

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Arrow 32 replies Author Time Post
Reply Key swing state warns of November election 'nightmare' (Original post)
JoeOtterbein May 2020 OP
elleng May 2020 #1
flying rabbit May 2020 #2
BComplex May 2020 #12
DURHAM D May 2020 #3
TexasBushwhacker May 2020 #9
Ms. Toad May 2020 #4
DavidDvorkin May 2020 #5
FakeNoose May 2020 #20
DavidDvorkin May 2020 #23
DeminPennswoods May 2020 #24
FakeNoose May 2020 #30
Hortensis May 2020 #25
EarlG May 2020 #6
Frances May 2020 #7
Wounded Bear May 2020 #18
Retrograde May 2020 #29
stopdiggin May 2020 #8
LisaL May 2020 #10
Demsrule86 May 2020 #15
LisaL May 2020 #16
Demsrule86 May 2020 #27
FakeNoose May 2020 #21
Mike 03 May 2020 #22
LisaL May 2020 #31
FakeNoose May 2020 #32
Seasider May 2020 #11
gristy May 2020 #13
Brainfodder May 2020 #14
Hermit-The-Prog May 2020 #17
Wounded Bear May 2020 #19
EndlessWire May 2020 #26
Retrograde May 2020 #28

Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Sun May 24, 2020, 09:32 PM

1. No surprise, might not be the only one.

Wisconsin???

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Sun May 24, 2020, 09:35 PM

2. As long as it gets done right.

I dont see a delay as a nightmare.

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Response to flying rabbit (Reply #2)

Mon May 25, 2020, 02:18 AM

12. I am so with you on that!! Just count the ballots. It's the republicans that want to cheat.

The rest of us believe in democracy.

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Sun May 24, 2020, 09:43 PM

3. That is not a nightmare.

We use to wait days/weeks for the final results. What changed? Television. More specifically cable news.

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Response to DURHAM D (Reply #3)

Sun May 24, 2020, 10:47 PM

9. Exactly

With the 24 hour news cycle, all the cable news stations want to the the one to call it first. That's just not important. We had to wait in 2000. We might have to wait this time too.

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Sun May 24, 2020, 09:47 PM

4. That's not generally the way it works.

I don't specifically know Pennsylvania, but I do know the law in many states. Most states permit scanning absentee ballots prior to election day, but prohibit hitting the tally button until the day of the election. Becuase the slow physical process has been completed largely as the ballots arrive, the tally is instantaneous - so the first returns on election night are typically the absentee ballots. The comment in the article matches what I know about other states - can't start counting = can't push the tally button.

Delays in final tallies more typically result from military ballots, provisional ballot processing, etc. - which can leave things up in the air in close races.

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Sun May 24, 2020, 09:51 PM

5. I'm still hoping that there will be such a Blunami

That Pennsylvania won't be up in the air, and it won't matter, anyway.

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Response to DavidDvorkin (Reply #5)

Mon May 25, 2020, 11:07 AM

20. I'm in PA and I don't think it will be that close

Chump will lose big here, regardless of how much time it takes to count the mail-ins.

My take is that the GOP has their own agenda, they want to make as big of a mess as they can so that we'll NEVER do another mail-in election. Well guess what? This is the future - in a few years we'll all be voting by mail and everything will seem normal. Oregon and Washington state have been doing it for 20 years.



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Response to FakeNoose (Reply #20)

Mon May 25, 2020, 11:43 AM

23. God, I hope you're right about him losing big there

We've been voting by mail in Colorado for a few years, and there are no problems. It works very smoothly. A lot of people still prefer to vote in person, but I suspect that will change this year.

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Response to FakeNoose (Reply #20)

Mon May 25, 2020, 11:48 AM

24. I agree

Anyway, we'll have a dry run next week in the primaries. I am voting in person, though.

FTR, where I am, there are 129 precincts, all but 1 will be open as usual and the 1 is just moving to a different location. The usual poll workers are all planning to show up and work.

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Response to DeminPennswoods (Reply #24)

Mon May 25, 2020, 02:49 PM

30. I could easily vote in person because my polling place is 2 blocks from my house

However I wanted to support the Vote-By-Mail effort, so I have done that for the June 2 primary.
Not sure about November yet, I'll wait to see how badly they mess it up next week.




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Response to FakeNoose (Reply #20)

Mon May 25, 2020, 12:11 PM

25. Our intelligence services say Russia's been working on stealing

this election for years. The GOP's redoubtable, Russia's nation-state powers are more so, and they're both working on the same goal. Also, presumably, China and Iran, also with very powerful abilities.

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Sun May 24, 2020, 10:01 PM

6. Well, it's not a race, so...

I don’t really mind if it takes a few days to produce an accurate count

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Sun May 24, 2020, 10:10 PM

7. I think Oregon is all mail in

And People in CA can vote by mail if they want to
That’s why it took so long to tabulate the primary votes
I don’t mind waiting because I like the convenience of voting by mail

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Response to Frances (Reply #7)

Mon May 25, 2020, 10:56 AM

18. OR and WA are all vote by mail. Have been for years. CA is always slow...

it's not just the mail in thing. I don't think they count the mail in ballots until election day. In WA they count the early mail in ballots before hand. Haven't seen any leaks yet, they do a pretty good job. Not sure about OR or the other VBM states.

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #18)

Mon May 25, 2020, 01:57 PM

29. There's some preliminary processing

They (at least my CA county) verify that mail-in ballots are valid as they're received (check the signature, make sure it's not a duplicate). Most of the delay comes from processing ballots turned in on election day, ballots mailed by the deadline but not received by election day, and provisional ballots. The latter tends to be a big category because we have this quaint notion that all valid votes should be counted. By law, counties have about 30 days to get their final results in, and some of them seem to want to use all that time.

The SoS's election website usually has a page showing the status of unprocessed ballots by county. I'm impressed that Los Angeles can process over 4 million ballots as quickly as it does.

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Sun May 24, 2020, 10:37 PM

8. apparently quite a few see this the same as I do

Last edited Mon May 25, 2020, 03:37 AM - Edit history (1)

Might make for an interesting result. But I think I (and the union) will survive.

(I actually kind of doubt a scenario where everything hinges on a few counties in PA. On the other hand .. could also well be that PA is not alone in some delayed results?)

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Sun May 24, 2020, 10:52 PM

10. Ohio has a rule that they don't even start counting absentee ballots

until 10 days after the election. If most people vote absentee (which is allowed in OH for any reason), it's going be a long wait to find out results.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #10)

Mon May 25, 2020, 07:58 AM

15. That is not true more recently, we voted absentee in the primary and received notice that our

ballot had been counted.

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #15)

Mon May 25, 2020, 08:02 AM

16. That rule is for general election.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #16)

Mon May 25, 2020, 01:20 PM

27. Actually it is up to the county...but they may not reveal the winner for a week as they did in the

primary. Or is it obvious who won...they may tell us on election night.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #10)

Mon May 25, 2020, 11:26 AM

21. A mail-in vote isn't the same thing as an absentee vote

That's what is different about the 2020 election. There will be so many mailed-in votes that are NOT absentee. The voters are staying home rather than go to the polls because of the pandemic, or another reason.

In previous years voters had to QUALIFY for an absentee ballot for a specific reason - either you were traveling outside the state, or you were serving in the military, or you're a student at a far-away college, etc. Voters who qualified needed to apply for the absentee ballot 30 or 60 days in advance, and they had a certain window in which to mail back their ballots. The rules were so arcane and tricky so that many of the ballots could be discounted/disqualified if it turned out to be an embarrassing loss for the incumbents.

Absentee ballot management has not been a pretty story in the USA over the last 100 years. Many of those absentee ballots were ignored, lost or mishandled. All THAT needs to change! The tsunami of mailed-in ballots this year are finally shining a bright spotlight on how the local election boards are handling the entire situation in each county and each state.

Your comment about Ohio may have been true until this year - but I'm sure it's going to change, or it already has changed.



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Response to FakeNoose (Reply #21)

Mon May 25, 2020, 11:35 AM

22. Thanks for this info.

This is exactly what I was going to ask about.

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Response to FakeNoose (Reply #21)

Mon May 25, 2020, 02:50 PM

31. Not accurate for every state.

In OH you didn't have to qualify, you could request an absentee ballot for any reason.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #31)

Tue May 26, 2020, 12:41 AM

32. Yes that's true

When you request a mailed ballot, and if you're not an absentee voter, then it's not an absentee ballot, it's a mailed-in ballot. The rules have changed this year.

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Sun May 24, 2020, 11:18 PM

11. My big concern about states switching to all mail-in voting

is that Trump will use the delay time in voting results to rile up his base against the legitimacy of the election process. Heck, he's already throwing a fit over mail-in voting despite the fact that he voted by mail himself. The last thing we need is another Bush V Gore situation with Trump shooting his mouth off 24/7. My hope is that Biden will rack up enough electoral votes in other states that Pennsylvania won't matter as much. The sooner Trump can be declared the loser of this election, the better.

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Mon May 25, 2020, 04:30 AM

13. Not a nightmare

Sheeesh, I was afraid to even click on this OP. Time spent to count the votes is not a nightmare.

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Mon May 25, 2020, 04:47 AM

14. In other words? HOLLY says make sure you VOTE!

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Mon May 25, 2020, 10:15 AM

17. I'd rather have a correct number than a fast one.

It's the tee vee that wants instant results. Voters can wait for their votes to be counted correctly.

A real election nightmare is the use of electronic voting machines to get instant numbers that are completely abstracted from actual votes.

With paper ballots (physical tokens):

* Paper ballots allow the voter to verify that the ballot represents the voter's vote.

* The general public can verify that the voter cast a ballot, without having to know the vote.

* The general public can verify that the paper ballots are not tampered with while waiting to be counted.

* The general public can observe and verify the count of the ballots.

In electronic voting (abstractions, not physical tokens):

- The voter cannot verify that the internal state of the device represents the voter's vote. (This is true no matter how many pre-election or post-election tests are performed on the device).

- The general public cannot observe or verify that the voter cast a ballot. (The electorate has a critical, prime responsibility to observe and verify this).

- The general public cannot observe or verify the (abstract, invisible, electronic) ballots are true to the forms (state) they were in when cast.

- The general public cannot observe or verify the (invisible, electronic) count of the (abstract, invisible, electronic) ballots.

Elections are far more important than the check-out line at the grocery store, bank or Amazon. Verification is needed by the individual voter, by the rest of the electorate, and by the general public while still maintaining a secret ballot. Physical tokens that human beings can perceive are required.

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Mon May 25, 2020, 10:59 AM

19. I'm not terribly worried about PA. I think we got it if we continue the GOTV efforts...

2016 was a disappointment and a wake up call. Regardless of 2016 I think PA is blue at heart. If they have some delays, it'll be worrisome, but not panic time. I'm hoping it's enough of a landslide that it won't matter all that much.

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Mon May 25, 2020, 12:17 PM

26. If the Chief Asshole

privatizes the PO, we probably won't have confidence in the process.

Also, I think that sometimes the winners are announced before all the votes are counted. I don't think there are any take backs if that happens.

I do like the idea of eliminating polling places by enabling people to vote by mail. This would end that trickiness of moving the polling place or getting rid of it in areas that they want to obstruct the People's right to vote.

C'mon, Biden. Get here.

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Mon May 25, 2020, 01:45 PM

28. Only a nightmare if

you want to be the first media organization to "call" the election. My own state gets flack for its "slow" counting process, because we have this quaint notion that all ballots - including provisional ones - need to be treated fairly.

C'mon, media - it's a solved problem. If western states can handle all or majority by mail elections, why can't Pennsyllvania?

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