Tuesday, June 02, 2020

If The Republicans Could, They Would Eliminate Voting In General, But They Can't-- Yet-- So They Just Keep Chipping Away At The Franchise


John Oliver should have a canned laugh track until the pandemic is over. But he's still the best of the TV news and opinion shows even without the laughs.

As you know, we've been writing a lot about vote by mail, but not as well as John Oliver has this week. As he notes, Missouri Governor Mike Parson (R) is an asshole.

This morning, the NY Times published a piece by Trip Gabriel, Republicans Fear Trump’s Criticism of Mail-In Ballots Will Hurt Them. Who could possibly think the party of suck-up enablers doesn't deserve it? "Republican officials and strategists," he wrote, "warned that if a wide partisan gap over mail voting continues in November, Republicans could be at a disadvantage, an unintended repercussion of the president’s fear-mongering about mail ballots that could hurt his party’s chances, including his own. In Pennsylvania, Iowa, Indiana and New Mexico, all states voting on Tuesday that broadly extended the option to vote by mail this year, a higher share of Democrats than Republicans have embraced mail-in ballots."
Seventy percent of the 1.5 million requests for mail ballots in Pennsylvania came from Democrats, ahead of a Primary Day now overshadowed by nationwide protests of police misconduct, which could keep voters away from polling places not already closed because of the pandemic.

The president’s baseless claims that mail voting leads to widespread fraud are working at cross-purposes to the state Republican Party’s efforts to increase mail voting.

“Democrats will use the new mail-in ballot to greatly increase their turnout,” the Republican Party of Pennsylvania says on its website. “Republicans would be smart to do the same so that we have the advantage.”

...“Republicans are constantly being warned that mail-in voting leads to vote fraud,” Mr. Landi said. “My concern is sometimes people think, ‘All right, I’m going to go to the polls,’ and then something comes up and they don’t make it to the polls.”

The same partisan divide is at work in other states voting on Tuesday that sent applications for mail ballots to all registered voters as a response to the coronavirus outbreak. In New Mexico, 71 percent of mail ballots returned as of Monday were from Democrats, according to the secretary of state. In Iowa, Democrats requested 56 percent of mail ballots, in a state where Democrats make up 50 percent of the voters registered by party.

In Indiana, which loosened its rules to offer no-excuse voting by mail, 350,000 Democrats requested mail ballots, compared with 268,000 Republicans, according to the secretary of state. Other states voting on Tuesday are Maryland, Montana, Rhode Island and South Dakota.

Iowa expects to have competitive races in the fall for a Senate seat and potentially for all four of its House seats. A Republican strategist who works for candidates in Iowa and other battleground states said if Mr. Trump continued his attacks on mail voting, it would significantly damage many of his clients in tough races.
Last week, the U.S. Postal Service sent out suggestions to state officials about how to run an election by mail. I bet Parson doesn't bother reading it.
How Election Mail can be Sent

As an initial matter, the Postal Service offers a variety of mailing services that voters and election officials may utilize to transmit Election Mail. The two main classes of mail that are used for Election Mail are First-Class Mail and USPS Marketing Mail, the latter of which includes the Nonprofit postage rate. These mail classes have different delivery standards and price ranges, and are subject to eligibility requirements that include the volume of a given mailing and the mailpiece's contents, weight, and size. As a general matter, all Election Mail (including ballots) mailed from individual voters to state or local election officials must be sent by First-Class Mail. Election materials (including blank absentee ballots) mailed from state or local election officials to voters may generally be sent by either First-Class Mail or Marketing Mail.

Mail Processing Times Need to be Considered when Communicating Deadlines

It is important to note that First-Class Mail and Marketing Mail have different delivery standards, and that delivery times further depend on the origin and destination of a given mailpiece. Most domestic First-Class Mail is delivered in 2-5 days. Most domestic Marketing Mail is delivered in 3-10 days. However, the Postal Service cannot guarantee a specific delivery date or alter standards to comport with individual state election laws.

To account for delivery standards and to allow for contingencies (e.g., weather issues or unforeseen events), voters should mail their return ballots at least 1 week prior to the due date established by state law. Similarly, for election materials (such as blank ballots) sent to voters, the Postal Service also recommends that state or local election officials use First­ Class Mail and allow 1 week for delivery to voters.

It is critical that the Postal Service's delivery standards be kept in mind when informing voters how to successfully participate in an election using the mail, and when state and local election officials are making decisions as to the establishment of deadlines and the means used to send a piece of Election Mail to voters. Voters should be made aware of these transit times when offered the opportunity to request that an absentee ballot be mailed to them, and when deciding when to mail a ballot back to election officials. For example, if a state law requires completed ballots to be received by election officials by a specified date (such as Election Day) in order to be counted, voters should be aware of the possibility that completed ballots mailed less than a week before that date may not, in fact, arrive by the state's deadline. Similarly, if a state law allows a qualified voter to request an absentee ballot shortly before Election Day and requires the state or loc al election offic ial to mail that ballot to the voter, voters should be made aware that the absentee ballot may not reach the voter before Election Day if requested less than a week before the election.

Proper Labeling Helps Avoid Delivery Delays and Increases Mailpiece Visibility

The Postal Service is committed to the efficient and timely processing and delivery of Election Mail in ac c ordanc ewith its delivery standards, and has developed labeling to provide greater visibility for these mailpieces during processing, including the Official Election Mail logo, which is used on all Election Mail, and Tag 191, Domestic and International Ballots, which is used specifically for ballots. Neither Tag 191 nor the Official Election Mail logo is mandatory, and they do not upgrade service or substitute for postage, but they help to alert the Postal Service of the presence of Election Mail in the postal network and distinguish Election Mail from the millions of other mailpieces that are moving through the network. The Postal Service further recommends that election officials use Intelligent Mail barcodes for their Election Mail. These barcodes are used to improve a mailer's ability to track individual mailpieces and gain greater mailstream visibility. The Postal Service also offers an Intelligent Mail barcode identifier specifically for ballots that increases mailpiece visibility within the processing system, is used by the Postal Service to sort individual mailpieces, and can be used both by the Postal Service and by the mailer to track the delivery and return of ballots.

Consult with Election Mail Coordinators BEFORE Printing Mailpieces

In addition, the Postal Service has assigned election mail coordinators to each locality that stand ready to assist and consult with state and local election officials concerning the logistics of their mailings and the services that are available. A list of election mail coordinators may be found on our website here. Also, mailpiece design analysts will assist election officials in designing and preparing envelopes that are consistent with postal regulations, increase mailpiece visibility, facilitate the application of postmarks, and allow officials to receive available postage discounts. You may reach a mailpiece design analyst by calling the MDA Customer Service Help Desk at 855-593-6093 (between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Central Time, Monday through Friday) or by sending an email lo MDA@usps.aov. Mailpieces that do not adhere to the Postal Service's requirements may experience longer processing times or other delivery problems. To avoid incurring delivery delays and unnecessary costs, the Postal Service strongly recommends that state and local election officials work with the Postal Service before designing and printing any mailpieces for use in elections.

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At 6:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Nazis don't really have to fear mail-in except maybe for this one time.

Once the democraps take power (or have we forgotten 2008) and do precisely nothing with it (except serve the money that pays them, or have we forgotten 2008), the Nazis will slaughter the hapless worthless feckless democraps (or have we forgotten 2010).


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