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Thursday, October 18, 2018

Voting Early (and Often?)

I am not a great fan of the spreading contagion of early voting. In them-thar olden days, you voted on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, and that was basically it--except, of course, for  absentee ballots generally reserved for military serving overseas or people in hospitals or with other medical excuses. No more. Early and absentee voting have been dramatically loosened, and one needs have no particular excuse for either. One can also register and vote on the same day--that's made for abuse.

OK. Despite my antipathy to it, I took advantage of early voting here in North Carolina. It began on Wednesday, October 17 and will run through Saturday, November 3.

I showed up before 8 am on the 17th, and was surprised to find a considerable crowd. I was also surprised to find lots of campaigning right up next to the voting station--this despite signs prohibiting such beyond a certain point. To get into the building, one had to run a gauntlet of people handing you  filled-out recommended ballots, a variety of materials on one or another ballot proposal, and information on candidates for a variety of jobs. Everybody, I want to note, was friendly, and I felt no intimidation. I, however, noticed that ALL of this campaigning was coming from the Democrat side. There was none, not one, pamphleteer supporting Republican or conservative candidates and issues. The ballot itself, I quickly saw, also reflected a lack of Republican ground game. Many slots for local positions, including judges (voting for judges, I find an odd thing) had only a Democrat candidate. Even the sheriff slot had only one candidate, a Democrat. On one judge slot there was one Democrat and two Republicans running--nice way to split the vote, fellows.

To cut this boring story short, I voted only Republican, leaving "D Only" slots blank, and voted exactly opposite of the recommendations for other issues that the pamphleteers had made. One pamphlet had been specially designed to "trigger" me: it was labelled, "For a Progressive North Carolina Vote . . . " and then the recommendations.

As an old election observer, with many elections around the world under my belt, there is no way I could certify our election process as free, fair, and open. Inside, for example, the voting office I was never asked for an ID of any kind--it's expressly prohibited--and merely had to state my name and address, and sign an affidavit that I was who I said I was. The clerk checked my name against the address I gave, and handed me a ballot. That was it.  When I got home, I had in my mailbox an absentee ballot from my old address in California; I added that document to one I had gotten a couple of days earlier from my old address in Virginia, and a voting reminder notice I got last week from my old address in Florida. I did not avail myself of these ballots.

This system is broken, and badly so. It clearly comes from an earlier age when we all knew our neighbors and didn't move so much. It is clearly early 20th century at best. As noted above, it's made for abuse.

33 comments:

  1. I know I should post this on the previous blog post sir, but it needs to be seen and disseminated.

    https://bar.baen.com/index.php?t=msg&th=148151&start=0&

    The Song of Lieawatha
    By Tom Kratman

    Part the First

    By the banks of the Charles River,
    Right across the shining gilt dome,
    On the application job-worth,
    Near the old prestigious brick yard,
    Lieawatha, also known as
    Spreading Bull and Fauxcahontas,
    Filled her out the little boxes
    Checked she off the lie, "Cherokee."
    Never thinking she'd be found out
    Thinking much of salary bloated
    Contemplating huge fees speaking
    Prestige endless, public office.
    Thought she, "What's one little white lie;
    Lesser still one little red one?"
    In she turned the application.
    Made she Harvard swoon in virtue
    "Have we now our red professor!
    Better still, red not in one way,
    But in two, with massive virtue,
    From her ancestors oppressed."
    Drew she then the massive salary
    As her students became debt-slaves.
    Ran she then for public office,
    With her resume of virtue,
    And she won but still some noticed
    That her story didn't add up.
    Yet lived she in Massachusetts
    Where the palatable lie is
    Infinitely preferable
    To the truth, hard and unvarnished,
    Just provided that the students
    And the professoriate loony
    Can still feel their wondrous virtue,
    Signaling it to the whole world.

    Part the Second

    Never ended then the questions
    And the snickers from the knowing.
    While the President, he pointed,
    Laughing loudly, too, and sneering
    At the worse-than-dumb presumption
    That this white bitch was an Indian.
    Then had she an idea brilliant;
    "I shall take a DNA test,
    Which will prove beyond a shadow
    That my family's half-remembered
    Poorly researched anecdotals
    Were still true and I am truly
    Of the blood of Great Sequoyah."
    Then took she the DNA test
    And released the answers given
    To the fawning lefty papers
    Globe and New York Times and WaPo
    Whereupon those selfsame papers
    Wrapped themselves in shrouds of virtue
    Saying loudly, each and every,
    That this proved beyond a single
    Little nagging doubt forever
    That our professorial injun
    And our senatorial redskin
    Was exactly what she had said,
    And, in truth, a real live Indian.
    Then the libertarian dummies,
    Hating Trump beyond all reason
    Loudly echoed just that feeling
    Because even like the papers
    The illiterate motherfuckers
    Never realized that there is no
    Possible test that could prove that
    Anyone in any position
    Was indeed a fucking injun.

    Part the Third

    "Opps," she said, when it was pointed
    Out, in every nook and crannie,
    That the test so widely vaunted,
    Not just failed to prove her truthful,
    But made her and all the others
    Look most stupid and dishonest,
    And the best that she could hope for
    Was that she might be an Inca.
    "Oops," said she, again, as soon as
    She came to the understanding
    That her highest aspirations
    Had just disappeared in thin smoke,
    And she'd given ammunition
    In the form of sundry jokings
    To whoever might oppose her
    From the now to the forever.
    Worse and worse it now did turn out
    Or, more truly, was more noticed,
    That her family's sole connection
    To the people called "Cherokee"
    Was her multi-great grandfather who,
    In manner most SS-like
    Herded men, women, and children
    Of the people called, "Cherokee,"
    To the concentration camp whence
    They were marched to Oklahoma
    On the rout of which they perished
    Men and women, little children,
    In huge numbers all uncounted,
    Buried by the trail unmarked
    With their spirits long now fuming
    That this white bitch with no linkage
    Except that of crime and murder
    Should still profit from their suff'ring.
    Then the spirits laughed,
    "Hahaha."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heir Direktor!
      Here ist zee accompaniment
      Das indigneous Fraulein ordered!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfTORdsPspw

      Delete
    2. Love Tom Kratman. This piece is also found here:

      https://accordingtohoyt.com/2018/10/18/the-song-of-lieawatha-by-tom-kratman/

      Delete
    3. He really should stick to sci-fi, though.

      Delete
  2. It would be nice if the election lists were cleaned up, with outdated entries removed, but the technical ability to do so isn't there in the town clerks' offices. List matching is not simple, though it might sound so. And it isn't cheap to do it right.

    So unfortunately, we will have to deal with what we have.

    Green Bear

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    Replies
    1. ..."So unfortunately, we will have to deal with what we have."

      Photo ID works for me, GB! At least until the progressives and their media-mavens demand we submit to being implanted with microchips and plastic smiles!
      On Watch~~~

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    2. They do try. But it takes time. A lot of time.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/11/us/politics/supreme-court-upholds-ohios-purge-of-voting-rolls.html

      Delete
  3. Mark Twain on Democrat Style Voting.

    Where did all these Democrats come from? They grow thicker and thicker and act more and more outrageously at each successive election. Now yesterday they had the presumption to elect S. H. Dwinelle to the Judgeship of the Fifteenth
    District Court, and not content with this, they were depraved enough to elect four out of the six Justices of the Peace! Oh, 'Enery Villiam, where is thy blush! Oh, Timothy Hooligan, where is thy shame! It's out. Democrats haven't got any.

    But Union men staid away from the election - they either did that or else they came to the election and voted Democratic tickets - I think it was the latter, though the Flag will doubtless say it was the former. But these Democrats didn't stay away - you never catch a Democrat staying away from an election. The grand end and aim of his life is to vote or be voted for, and he accommodates to circumstances and does one just as cheerfully as he does the other.

    The only man I ever knew who could counteract this passion on the part of Democrats for voting, was Robert Roach, carpenter of the steamer Aleck Scott, "plying to and from St. Louis to New Orleans and back," as her advertisement sometimes read. The Democrats generally came up as deck passengers from New Orleans, and the yellow fever used to get them right and left - eight or nine a day for the first six or eight hundred miles; consequently Roach would have a lot on hand to "plant" every time the boat landed to wood - "plant" was Roach's word. One day as Roach was superintending a burial the Captain came up and said:

    "God bless my soul, Roach, what do you mean by shoving a corpse into a hole in the hill-side in this barbarous way, face down and its feet sticking out?"

    "I always plant them Democrats in that manner, sir, because, damn their souls, if you plant 'em any other way they'll dig out and vote the first time there's an election - but look at that fellow, now - you put 'em in head first and face down and the more they dig the deeper they'll go into the hill."

    In my opinion, if we do not get Roach to superintend our cemeteries, enough Democrats will dig out at the next election to carry their entire ticket.

    - Mark Twain; Early Tales & Sketches, Vol. 2 1864-1865, (Univ. of California Press, 1981), pp. 313-14.]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Investors Business Daily says there are 3.5 million more registered voters in US than living adults. Huston, we have a problem ...

      Delete
  4. I've never lived in Minnesota yet I regularly get reminders to place my ballots in the trunk of Al Franken's car.

    ReplyDelete
  5. "it's made for abuse": ours was quite deliberately made for abuse quite recently by Mr Tony Blair. It's one of the many reasons he should be arrested, charged, tried, convicted, sentenced, and hanged.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But But, your Dearness, AntTONY has such a sweet ol'Lady! Can't you find it in your Black Heart to have the xPM serve his sentence at home, washing blankets and stuff?
      OW~~~

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  6. We only vote once...but do so vigorously!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ...and For this we pray with mucho gusto!
      OW```

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  7. Early voting is an abomination. Whenever possible, everyone should vote on the same day, based on the same available information.

    I can’t convince my wife of this — not that I’ve tried very hard thanks to the need for marital harmony. She mailed in her “absentee” ballot the other day. I’ll wait until Nov. 6, thank you.

    Still, it matters. I wonder whether Trump might have ended up winning a popular-vote majority if early voters had known that on Oct. 28, 2016, James Comey would announce the reopening of his Hillary Clinton email investigation.

    (It’s funny how Democrats now view Comey as an anti-Trump hero even though he, more than any individual, including Trump himself, probably ensured Hillary’s defeat thanks to his July non-indictment announcement and his October surprise,)

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  8. I've commented this before but it always needs repeating (sadly)…
    Their is no excuse to have ANY electoral position an auto-win because no Republican is on the ballot. You should make a copy of your ballot and circle these uncontested elections, then after the election put a checkmark next to all the Democrat wins. Then go to the local GOP headquarters and raise hell as to WHY they had no one on the ballot. The least they could do is get their interns to file so a name shows up. Who knows...they may even win IF the people actually had a choice.

    You are in a special position Dip, because you are likely not recognized. So you can use that anonymity to state your case and offer a plan and help, then at the right time disclose exactly who you are and your bonifides to a shocked crowd who had no idea someone of your qualifications and experience was sitting on their doorstep the entire time. Shoot, you could probably 86 the local GOP boss and take over the organization yourself and fix them.
    Any County Party Leader who allows uncontested electoral Offices to exist should be fired.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The answer might be, "if you want the position filled, you're welcome to fill it."
      I could only do a part-time elected job, as I am not willing to leave my current employer.

      Delete
  9. 1482?

    I noted your comment on the preceding post of October 17, 2018 at 8:54 PM. At that time wondering how I might offer some words pertinent without opening myself to any charges of betraying "confidences" (not to mention keeping my freedom in my elder years!).

    Anyway 1482, the opening 22 minutes of Episode 19 is a pretty good backgrounder:

    https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/national-review-2/the-mccarthy-report

    JK

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    Replies
    1. I've never envisioned green card status to extend anything to a person abroad on behalf of the US government. I've always viewed it as more of an extended visa, but I certainly have very little such experience compared to the people here. Yeah, green card holders aren't required to leave the country if they lose their job, but if they commit any serious crimes, they'll be yanked, afaik. I'm not even sure if we should care if a 'dual citizen' traveling under their non-US passport should gain much assistance from the US either... but I suppose that's more silly details. Want to be American and have the rights and privileges and backing of the US government? Stay here and get your citizenship, renounce all others.
      I see all kinds of problems with being involved in this khashoggi mess, no compelling reasons, and no upside.
      If foreign policy is to benefit the US, I can't imagine arguments other than very abstract, speculative, long term ones for why we should be involved.
      Should be able to look through that link tonight.. thanks!

      - reader #1482

      Delete
  10. I can totally understand why we *didn't* require ID to vote... heck, two hundred years ago, people could hardly read, and I'm not sure many people got birth certificates at all.
    It's a new day though, and now we have attacks both electronic and in person.
    I say: a) no early voting, b) no absentee voting but for those in the services, c) no electronics whatsoever.
    While the Bloomberg report on Apple/Amazon and Supermicro/China might be overblown or incorrect, the reason it surfaced so easily, was because everybody in the electronics industry *knows* there are huge gaps in the hardware supply chain-of-custody. We simply cannot trust chips and boards to not be tampered with either before, during, or after assembly. That's true for devices made in China, and that's true for devices made in the US.

    We can futz around with banking and cryptocurrencies, but to have any reasonable sense of security, voting is just that *one* thing that we absolutely must do the old fashion way.

    - reader #1482

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    Replies
    1. @reader #1482-

      We are less literate now than we were back in 1800, when almost everyone could read, write and cypher. They didn't have Common Core back then!

      "The reason why American literacy rates were so high, [99.7%] according to DuPont, was because every morning fathers were waking up and reading the Bible to their children – and the newspaper. That was what was making America a literate country."

      https://visionofliberty.wordpress.com/2009/08/27/american-literacy-in-1800/

      Alexis de Toqueville also commented on the literacy found univerally in America: "There is hardly a pioneer's hut which does not contain a few odd volumes of Shakespeare. I remember reading the feudal drama of Henry V for the first time in a log cabin."

      Delete
    2. My point was mainly intending things like whether there actually was a 'valid ID' back at such point in time.. there wasn't a driver's license, or many of the other forms of IDs that we consider common today, so it's not a surprise that we *didn't* require ID in the past. But that doesn't make it a bad idea going forward with the changing times. Certainly there was something of the sort for land owners as documentation had to be maintained to pass down properties etc, but I'm not sure about everybody else.
      Here's one claim on the historical evolution
      https://nces.ed.gov/naal/lit_history.asp
      Parental involvement is undoubtedly the strongest indicator of literacy and eduction in general. As time has gone on, parents have been pulled from their children both by economic and governmental forces.

      - reader #1482

      Delete
  11. Diplomad -

    I'm also former resident of Santa Cruz and now a resident of Catawba County for the past 4 years.

    I voted this afternoon and saw the tabulation of voters: Between Wednesday & Thursday, a total of 1311 people had voted at *one* of the five early voting locations in Catawba County.

    In Catawba County, there's ~ 45k Republicans, 35k "Unaffiliated", and 25k democrats. That means that in just 2 days, 1.2% of all registered voters in this county have cast a ballot.

    I'll be interested in the vote totals at that location by Monday morning

    ReplyDelete
  12. https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/national-review-2/the-mccarthy-report

    Gollee Sarge, ya mean NRO still has a pulse?

    Granted, the #never Trump infestation/infection does appear to have subsided somewhat, most likely due to changes of personnel in the Emergency Room. I do get a kick out of Mac tho -- while his 'propping' style does get the motor running, he often seems to be one foot away from falling into the blade. Would agree with most of McCarthy's CONTEXT analysis of Jamals muslim BH affiliations etc, however Kevin just can't quite make it through, a reference to Trump's >demonstrated comprehension of realpolitick<, without going >>--->wide of the mark and regurgitate Progressive/GOPe anti-trump patter - which ends-up in his brown loafers. For my money Sultan Knish is much closer to the MOT viz Khashoggi. As for the actual-factual truth of the matter, it's a foregone conclusion that the American public, in general, under the spell of the Fake News Media can NOT process the TRUTH! Therefore they'll get the cup of soup they've been conditioned to swallow. The other 1/2 (+or-x%) of the electorate, Trump's Deplorables and such, they'll march on to the next field of battle, a little wiser and stronger still, I surmise!
    On Watch~~~
    "Let's Roll"

    ReplyDelete
  13. OT but I really want to bring this video to the attention of the Diplomad readers. It's an extended discussion with a really smart guy about the Iranian connection to the chaos in Latin America.
    Since I know that Central and South America were the Diplomad's bailiwick for many years and that he has some strong opinions on the region and the role of the U.S. I sure would love hearing what he thinks of this discussion.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dg_xr9WCwTk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice Catch babs, Mr Humire has obviously done his homework, as well as the legwork to recognize the horde of well financed beasts, coming across our penetrable bordersin droves... Tks! On Watch~~~

      "Born in Virginia of Bolivian-American heritage, Mr. Humire is a combat veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps with deployments to the Middle East, Africa, and a multinational training exercise UNITAS in Latin America and the Caribbean. After leaving the military, he earned a degree in Global Affairs and Economics from George Mason University, which is renowned for the quality of its economic scholars. Mr. Humire has a unique blend of military experience, education in economics, and expertise in asymmetric warfare—offering a fresh perspective to U.S. foreign policy and national security."

      http://cpac.conservative.org/speakers/joseph-humire/

      Delete
    2. Too Babs,

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_alleged_Iran_assassination_plot

      And that, I would humbly suggest could, serve as advice to my President on how to respond to the Swamp's demand he "Do something!" in regards to the present circumstance.

      Just this once he could say, "I followed Obama's playbook (doing nothing) why y'all keep whinging?!!!"

      JK

      Delete
    3. Yep Br'er jk, Sometimes too, dem Good Actors jest have to steal a few lines from the Bad Guys, and make it even more salty, stick der tongue so far into da cheek dat the opposition thinks you gotta a half a pouch of chew in thar! Then SPIT! Have a nice Day Fellers~~~On Watch~~~

      Delete
  14. I have had the same experience as Diplomad -- looking at a long ballot, and realizing that most of the candidates were running unopposed; no votes required.

    Then I realized that most of the unopposed candidates had been selected in primary elections in which maybe 5% or less of the electorate had participated.

    The reality is we do not have democracy -- we have the tyranny of a minority, pretending to be majority rule.

    This problem could be fixed, but that would discomfort the Political Class. It is tough to see how things could be changed, short of a revolution.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. apathocracy: rule by the interested few and the apathy of many

      - reader #1482

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    2. Funky beat, but can we dance to it, and survive, reader#14+ ;(

      Delete
  15. In WA state, it is all vote by mail. And there was no voter input as to whether or not we wanted this. You put your ballot in one envelope. It goes into a second envelope that you sign and can put your phone number on. The whole system is corrupt.And we also have "jungle primaries" where the top two vote getters in the primary move to the general, which means Dem vs Dem.

    ReplyDelete