Vote-by-Mail Fraud

“… you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.”

Twenty or so years ago, in California, I signed up for permanent absentee voting. A few years ago I moved back to Oregon, where all voting is by mail and has been since 1998. The Elections Division notify me by e-mail and text message when my ballot has been sent to me and again when they have received and counted my vote. This year, I even received a postage-paid return envelope with my ballot.

In these days of COVID-19 upheaval, the governor of California issued an executive order that all registered voters be sent mail-in ballots for the November election. The state will still have in-person polling places open, although they expect difficulty in staffing. The White House is outraged, stating that people cheat with vote-by-mail ballots and that it is a “corrupt” practice. The president’s re-election campaign sputtered that it is a “wide open opportunity for fraud.” A bedrock Republican principle is that voting fraud by Democrats is rampant. (As with the Republican belief that lowering taxes increases revenue, just because it’s never happened doesn’t mean it’s not true.)

The current occupant of the White House voted by mail. So did Melania. (Hers was not counted in the last election. She mailed it late.) The vice-president votes by mail. (Pence listed his address as the governor’s residence, where he hasn’t lived since 2017.) Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross mails in his ballots. Economic advisor Larry Kudlow and HHS Secretary Alex Azar also vote by mail. Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump cast their ballots by mail, too.
What’s fine for them is not OK for us. The problem is that the more people who vote, the worse Republicans do. In an inadvertent moment of candor the coWH said of mail-in voting, “… that if you’d ever agreed to it, you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.”

In actual fact, the only documented case of organized voter fraud was in North Carolina, committed by — surprise! — Republicans. (Technically, it was election fraud.) The state had to have a do-over election for the Ninth Congressional District.

For the upcoming, and all future elections, Republicans will step up their efforts to make it more difficult for citizens to vote.

Scenes from the Pandemic

Burglars recently broke into Tillie’s Cafe in Schulenburg Texas — halfway between San Antonio and Houston. After gaining entry they apparently had sanitized the place, using a can of Lysol they left behind. The intruders got away with $150 cash, some ice cream and a few checks. They exited through the front door, which they locked behind them.

The ongoing societal upheaval has become so desperate the state of Oregon has lifted the ban against motorists pumping their own gas. (Oregon is one of only two states prohibiting self serve. New Jersey is the other.) The easing of the restriction is temporary, until — for now — April 11, the day before Easter. “During this unprecedented time of state emergency, we need to ensure that critical supply lines for fuels and other basic services remain uninterrupted,” said the State Fire Marshal in a press release. Naturally, this has set off a new panic. “We were the only ones touching the pumps. Now if you let everybody touch the pumps, that’s a higher breeding ground to spread the virus,” said an attendant at a Chevron station near Portland.

An anti-gay activist and three Houston-area pastors have filed a petition to the Texas Supreme Court arguing that Harris County’s stay-at-home order violates the Constitution by ordering the closure of churches and failing to define gun shops as “essential” businesses. Because that’s what Jesus says.

And in politics…

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) blamed Democrats for the spread of the coronavirus. “And it came up while we were tied down on the impeachment trial. And I think it diverted the attention of the government, because everything every day was all about impeachment.”

In a rare moment of candor, the current occupant of the White House explained his opposition to vote-by-mail and other proposals for the 2020 election in response to the pandemic. He fears “…levels of voting that if you ever agreed to it you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.”

And now, this… click here