Social Question

Demosthenes's avatar

Why is mail-in voting a contentious issue? Do you vote by mail?

Asked by Demosthenes (9558points) 1 month ago

Just like seemingly everything else in this country, the issue of mail-in voting is cleanly divided along party lines. Democrats support expanding mail-in voting, Republicans oppose it. What makes it a partisan issue? Does mail-in voting favor Democrats? If so, why?

Do you vote by mail and do you support mail-in-only elections?

I have no opinion on this issue right now. I have voted by mail in the past, but I have no preference for in-person voting or mail-in voting.

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83 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

More Democrats might Vote !! WINK WINK

GOP won’t win that one .

Soubresaut's avatar

When people can vote by mail, the vote total tends to go more Democrat than it would have with strict, time-restricted, in-person voting. There are demographic reasons for this that I can’t recall in full detail. But that’s why it’s partisan.

It’s contentious largely because there is a pervasive myth that fraudulent voting is rampant in the country (it’s not), and that the Democratic party wants mail-in voting so that they might more easily cheat to win elections (conspiracy theory fodder).

In reality, offering voting by mail is a way to enfranchise many people who, for various logistical reasons, have a hard time making it to a polling booth on a Tuesday. Given the added challenges coronavirus will place on elections this fall, states that don’t have voting-by-mail systems in place should be starting to put those into place now.

Demosthenes's avatar

Thanks. It is my impression that there would be more Democratic votes, but it’d be interesting to know why, i.e. those demographic reasons. In other words, I believe that more Democrats would vote, but I don’t think it’s due to fraud.

I guess the demographics that would have trouble getting to in-person polls are more likely to vote Democrat.

Soubresaut's avatar

^^ I’m hoping someone who knows the specifics off the top of their head can chime in, otherwise I’ll have to look it up when I have time :)

YARNLADY's avatar

The Republicans do everything they can to prevent Democrats from voting, such as closing voting locations, and mail in votes would prevent that.

Trump votes by mail, so he is well aware of the potential for fraud.

Zaku's avatar

In-person voting is less likely overall for voters who tend to vote for candidates who care about poor, working, and disabled people, which tends to be Democrats.

It’s because it takes transportation and free time to go to a voting station and vote in person. Time and resources which are more challenging for people who have very limited resources, such as people who work all day, don’t have a car, and/or are very tired or very busy. Especially when their local voting station has been closed, and/or has inconvenient hours, which has happened an awful lot lately.

Mailing in a ballot (or dropping it in a free curbside ballot box) at any time in the few weeks before the election tends to be a lot more convenient for everyone, and more likely to happen for voters who have a harder time voting in person.

And yes, I’ve voted for years by mailing in votes, where it has been the only way where I’ve lived for some years.

I even know they check the signatures because I had to update my official signature when they noticed my signature had evolved over the decades since I filled out my first voting registration card.

SavoirFaire's avatar

There is no evidence that voting by mail gives one party an advantage. But there is a belief that it gives one party an advantage. Therefore, it has become a partisan issue.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Frankly, the Republicans understand that the nation’s shifting demographics are a nightmare for their party and its future. The ever accelerating perception of the GOP as the old white man’s party has resulted in a concentrated effort to restrict the vote as much as possible to just that demographic—old white folks. Thus the cry goes up “VOTER FRAUD”. It’s a transparent veneer of solid bullshit, and everybody knows it. But the Republicans MUST resist and restrict the vote as a matter of survival. It is why they are vehemently opposed (for example) to extending the vote to kids away at college, and the necessity to intimidate black and Hispanic voters through rigid and onerous identity requirements.

seawulf575's avatar

It becomes easier for voter fraud to happen. I came across this website that is fascinating. It gives examples of all sorts of voter fraud and is easy enough to use. During normal times, mail-in ballots have been fraudulently used. Not an enormous amount, but there have been cases. Why there aren’t more is a matter of speculation. Most of the ones I saw was someone voting for a dead relative or ex-spouse or something like that. But to put it into perspective, normally about 20% of the votes are mail-in or absentee. And unless there is some particular reason to look at validity, they don’t get evaluated that closely. In an election where 100% of the voting was mail-in, it is conceivable the results would be much more impacted by voter fraud. Most certainly, all results would be challenged in court which would take forever to untangle.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, your website says, “The mission of The Heritage Foundation is to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.”
Any magazine with a mission like that is most certainly skewed toward the conservatives, and willing to fudge to keep it that way..

zenvelo's avatar

@seawulf575 The Heritage Foundation has been screaming voter fraud for decades, when in reality voter fraud rarely occurs, and is usually done by GOP voters.

Innuendo is not fact.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Remember Trump and all the conservative websites are saying, ” There is the POTENTIAL for voter fraud” in truth and what has actually happened; there is literally no fraud in voting with pocket of fraud and they have been conservative and GOP candidates. District #9 in NC an Mark Harris is an example.

Trump has only lied about 19,000 times since he took office why would he stop now.

Soubresaut's avatar

@SavoirFaire—thanks for information. Do you think that if it’s more widely understood that voting by mail doesn’t offer a partisan advantage, that it will gain more support?

Soubresaut's avatar

@seawulf575no one has ever said that the handful of actual voter fraud cases that do happen should be ignored. But before the Heritage Foundation can claim they’re “diluting the votes,” they need to acknowledge that dilution is a matter of ratio. The link above counts examples from at least a 25-year time span, from all matter of election dates (not just the dates of the “big ones”). Even if we take their count at their word, and even if we pretend all of those examples took place in the 2016 presidential election (which they didn’t), that’s 1280 cases out of around 130,000,000 votes, or about 0.0000098% of the votes (and remember, this number is only going to get exponentially smaller as we start to include all the votes from all the elections that were sampled).

In other news, the Heritage Foundation is opening up a homeopathy shop.

JLeslie's avatar

Some Republicans are obsessing that Democrats will “harvest” votes. It’s all bullshit. Just another brainwashing. I know my state you have to request the ballot ahead of time and you need to signature match, so there is no harvesting here, and very little chance of fraud.

I think the WS leads this up too, and republicans are just buying into it. Even Trump said in an interview the other day it makes sense in Florida (LOL, no surprise since he mails in His vote to Florida) and he cited another state that had very high mail-in voting that recently elected a Republican. Then he also mentions the harvesting word. Again, he just says EVERYTHING and the people hear what they want to.

This election social media gurus are working hard for republicans to think the virus is a hoax, overblown, and that they are not afraid, so I guess Republicans are more likely to show up at the polls than Democrats.

It’s outright trying to prevent people from voting by being against mail-in, it’s un-American and shameful.

Meanwhile, South Carolina recently changed their mail-in from needing a valid reason to not needing any reason to request a mail-in ballot.

JLeslie's avatar

Sorry for a second post. I’ve linked this before. Republicans have gone to prison for trying to prevent Democrats from voting. It’s not that long ago. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2002_New_Hampshire_Senate_election_phone_jamming_scandal

I’m sure there are cases of fraud on both sides if you really dig. I think it’s very small numbers. There are some safeguards like I said. Also, I don’t think helping people to vote is a fraud! Remember some Republicans are afraid more Democrats will vote and they are calling it a fraud. That’s not fraud, that’s getting out the vote.

I do think the vast majority if postpeople and poll workers take the job very very seriously and do everything they can to provide an accurate vote for each individual who does vote.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

I really hate the term “controversial” implying it’s a two-sided question, when it’s a one-sided propaganda mission. If you don’t know that vote suppression is a decades-old mainstay of Republican strategy, you don’t have a rudimentary understanding of American politics.

My very Republican high school civics teacher taught us about it circa 1980. He laid out examples and said, “You will see this every election. High turnout favors Democrats, Republicans work to reduce turnout.”

janbb's avatar

I plan to vote by mail in the next election because I think there is less likelihood of vote tampering with it. It does seem like it will be quite likely that the election will not be settled on Election Day.

mazingerz88's avatar

Pretty effective tactic by trump to fool and rally Republican voters who may have otherwise gone sour on him into voting for him again.

LadyMarissa's avatar

I find it interesting that many Reps worry about the Dems committing fraud by mail in ballots. Out of my friends, the majority who do the mail-in ballot have been wealthy Reps who don’t want to take the time to stand in line to vote…plus you have to offer your first born child or show plenty of ID proving that you are who you say you are in order to vote in person!!! Most of my poor, disabled, non-white friends feels that it is important to be in line at the polls. At this point in time, you have to physically go into the voter registration office to request a mail-in ballot. I feel it is almost as dangerous to go into the office now as it will be to stand in line come November. Of course, I’m assuming that we won’t be required to leave our masks at home by then!!!

Tropical_Willie's avatar

The second wave of COVID-19 will be in Fall and Winter, it is not going away; like Trump keeps saying.
Election day could be in the increasing cases portion of the wave.

JLeslie's avatar

@Tropical_Willie Why do you think it is waiting for the fall? I think there will be ongoing outbreaks around the country through the summer. It will likely get worse in the fall, especially coupled with flu season. Flu should be curtailed with the distancing and masks, one positive.

I think “they” are messaging fall so people get out of the house now and spend some money. The summer is a HUGE sales tax revenue time for many states. The states have just three months to make some money. During this time I figure it will be similar to January, February, March was for COVID; it was here, but not spiking yet in most of the country, but creating a nightmare, and then voila, it will be horrible as the fall hits.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

CDC seems to think it will wane through the Summer, ramp-up during the normal Corona type colds before we get to the Flu season which the Fall and Winter. Also history show that was what happened during the Spanish Flu in 1918.

seawulf575's avatar

@Dutchess_III, @zenvelo, and @Soubresaut I understand you don’t like conservative websites. But did you actually look at the link? It is simply a map that is interactive. It gives cases of voting irregularities and isn’t geared towards either Dems or Repubs. So while you want to ignore the source, I have to question why you had no comments on the content. Now, @Soubresaut You did actually look at the information and made good comments. But really, look at the rest of what I commented on. The problem with voter fraud has always been the proof since there is always a battle when it comes to putting safeguards in place. When you eliminate all safeguards, you eliminate ways to prove voter fraud. You know it happens. If you want to deny that you are either in complete denial or just a complete fool, or are trying to push a scam job. The link I gave shows some of the obvious examples that were actually caught and actions that were taken against them. But for every case you see, you can bet there are actually thousands of other examples that don’t get caught. If you went to 100% mail-in ballots, there would be zero ability to catch any voter fraud and it would be rampant, in my opinion.

JLeslie's avatar

@Tropical_Willie The flu does travel a typical patter Asia then Europe then North America then South America, but it is everywhere all year in low levels. I’ve written this before, but I will again, part of the flu pattern is the flu traveling on flights and cruise ships, so vacation season has something to do with it, and then I do believe being inside more in cold months makes the transmission speed up. Plus, ragweed in fall causing itchy eyes and runny noses and runny noses from cold weather in the winter get people to touch their noses and move virus into their body.

I do think it will be worse in the winter, but I think there will be spot outbreaks all summer long. That’s my bet. I HOPE I’m wrong and we sail through the summer with little incident.

It’s so flipping contagious.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@seawulf575 Once again your opinion is the only thing that counts!

Nobody with facts counts.

Fraud in voting is an imaginary thing thought up by Trump and the GOP (including Moscow Mitchell) !

Maybe Trump will have to go Florida to vote, instead of voting by “fraudulent” mail ! He likes that he can Golf in Florida.

JLeslie's avatar

I’ll add, I don’t completely trust the CDC. They told us don’t wear masks because the administration was incompetent and didn’t build up PPE supplies.

They now say don’t worry about what you touch so much. That sounds like crazy talk. I think businesses can’t get enough cleaning supplies to follow guidelines to open.

Now, they say summer is safe. Well, summer is important for these states for sales tax revenue and a lot of businesses in tourists areas up north only function for 3 months, there upcoming months.

It just feels to me the same as when Reagan tried to get the Surgeon General to say abortions result in harm to the women, and she takes great risk getting an abortion. The SG refused to lie, but I don’t think this CDC or SG have any problem doing what Trump asks.

Soubresaut's avatar

@seawulf575 look, I know we’re not going to agree on this issue. You said above that you think I’m either a fool or a liar. Fine.

Before you write off people pointing out that the Heritage Foundation is not as trustworthy a source as you think they are, maybe ask yourself what you actually learn about voter fraud from the link you shared.

The page is not designed to inform. It’s designed to look impressive.

Again, if they wanted to provide actual evidence of voter “dilution,” they need to provide ratios. If they want credibility in their findings, they need to disclose their research methods. If they want the data they gather to be meaningful (beyond its use as a scare tactic), they need to present it in formats other than badly organized, paginated lists with unreliable bit.ly links disguising sources. If they truly wanted this list to “demonstrate the vulnerabilities in the election system and the many ways in which fraud is committed,” then they need to spend the time analyzing the data and identifying specific vulnerabilities and specific patterns, not just tossing together 25 years of data, throwing up numbers without context, and claiming without evidence that there must therefore be even more voter fraud, and you just have to take their word on it (no you don’t, and no you shouldn’t, because that’s not how evidence works).

seawulf575's avatar

@Soubresaut I find it interesting that if I use a conservative source, you libs all scream about the source and not really the substance. In this case you are really just screaming about the format they used and saying they are unreliable. I provided a link to a source that basically has raw data (which, BTW, is far more unbiased than anything I have ever seen from a liberal source). It allows the reader to read through it and make their own decisions. But that isn’t good enough for you. You created a motive behind their website and entirely bypassed exactly what they said (“The Heritage Foundation’s Election Fraud Database presents a sampling of recent proven instances of election fraud from across the country. This database is not an exhaustive or comprehensive list. It does not capture all cases and certainly does not capture reported instances that are not investigated or prosecuted. It is intended to demonstrate the vulnerabilities in the election system and the many ways in which fraud is committed.” and jumped on the very next sentence in which they state that voter fraud can dilute voting results. Hello! Of course it does that. And they purposely stated they were not giving an all encompassing list, just a few examples. If I use a source that does the sort of analysis you want (and I have in the past) you all scream about the source, not the substance and tell me the analysis is meaningless since the source is just biased and therefore meaningless. It should be noted that that same logic never applies to the liberal sources used by your side. So let me ask…why are you so against stopping voter fraud?

stanleybmanly's avatar

Because percentage wise it’s a non issue and a ruse for voter suppression.

Dutchess_III's avatar

“Cold and flu season” is in fall and winter, and it happens because people are crammed together inside, rather than spending more time outside like they do in spring and summer.

@seawulf575 I’m not going to waste brain cells reading an article that is most likely 68% bullshit and spin.

Soubresaut's avatar

@seawulf575—The data is curated. In their description they call it a “sampling,” but it’s not a true sample. They’ve cherrypicked the instances they think prove their point, and discarded the rest of the context (25 years* of context, remember). If I have a bag of 1000 marbles, fish out 3 blue ones and tell you, “There are many more blue ones in the bag, too,” what conclusion are you supposed to draw on your own?

If you want to find reliable sources, worry less about whether someone’s labelling them “liberal” or “conservative,” and more about the quality of their work (and to some extent, the reputation they’ve gained as a result of that). As for everyone “screaming” about the sources, it’s also possible that people are trying to point out legitimate issues with some of the sources you provide.

In response to your last question, my first sentence to you on this thread was: ”no one has ever said that the handful of actual voter fraud cases that do happen should be ignored.”

*(Actually, I realized I did embarrassingly sloppy math with that number—the dates I saw ranged from 1982 to 2017, and that may not even be “exhaustive or comprehensive,” because I stopped looking, because I shouldn’t have to hunt for dates to figure out the time range of the data they’re using.)

KNOWITALL's avatar

I have not voted by mail but I would if that was the only option.

What I heard was that students were able to break into the voting program and change votes in less than four hours. I’ll try to find the article.

Personally, I feel if we can fill in personal property taxes and many other forms online, why are we even using the defunct USPS system? Seems like we have the tech to do this from our phones and that would be fine with me, if security was tight.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL I think people favor having a paper trail for the votes. When called into question, or if there is a very close vote, the recount would have hard evidence. Plus, not everyone has access to online, and we still have older voters not comfortable using online. I’m not saying I am completely against an online idea, but I think it does have it’s risks. The states that do mail in well you can track if your vote was received, so that is kind of coordinating old style mail with new style electronic tracking. It doesn’t sound to me you are completely against mail-in voting, I don’t want to sound argumentative, just stating the things I have heard and thought about surrounding the topic.

Do you plan to vote in person no matter how high or low COVID cases are in your area?

USPS is not defunct. Just look at all the packages coming through USPS right now as stores are closed. We should be helping to save USPS, a great part of history in America, not trying to destroy it. My friends who fly for FedEx say their flights have been like Christmas levels. packages are moving in great volume right now with all delivery systems.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie Yes, I will vote in person regardless. If I can go to Walmart and Menards, I can handle 10 minutes in a clean church with gloves and mask to vote.
(Our area has not been hit hard btw, since we’re rural.)

I disagree that the USPS is still relevant. Most of us are paperless and don’t get anything in the mail except junk anyway. That’s not enough for me to vote for a bailout. $18billion bailout in 2015 didn’t work, why would it now?

https://docs.house.gov/meetings/GO/GO00/20190430/109353/HHRG-116-GO00-Wstate-EdwardsC-20190430.pdf

https://www.politico.com/news/agenda/2020/04/16/the-right-way-to-bail-out-the-post-office-190271

stanleybmanly's avatar

I think mail in ballots might well exceed the numbers reporting to the polls here. Our polling place is less than 100 yards from our front door. I always walk down the block, but the wife has been mailing her ballot in for 20 years. Once you register to vote by mail, you automatically receive a ballot for all subsequent elections weeks in advance of election day. Every voter is also mailed booklets regardless of whether they vote at their polling place or vote by mail. These explain in great detail any measures or candidates up for a vote along with arguments for and against by proponents and detractors. The only way to remain an uninformed voter under such circumstances is to be illiterate or deliberately ignore the booklets.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL What if you were in St. Louis though, or another larger city? I understand why people compare all public things to grocery stores, but the point that seems to get missed is it would be an ADDITIONAL exposure. Maybe we have to take a risk to get food, although some people are only doing online and not going into stores, but even the people going into stores then it is another time having to be in a situation that could be exposing them. Kind of like Russian Roulette. Which time out among the many will be the time you come into contact with the virus and catch it.

I realize some parts of the country have very low cases or even no cases, my area is very low right now also, but where I live it is not rural, and an outbreak could happen at any time, especially with the amount of travel people do here, and plenty of people are still traveling to other parts of the state and country, and coming here from other parts of the country.

As far as USPS, I am not in favor of a huge bailout for USPS, but I am in favor of letting them reorganize and change some policies for retirement and other benefits to be financially viable. I am even open to discussing allowing other mail services to use mailboxes, if people want that on the table. I think we should go down to 5 day a week delivery. Maybe we should stop direct mail advertising? I sent a paper card through regular mail to a friend of mine who just lost her son, and I don’t think a condolence card any other way is the same.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie To me, voting is an essential right and worth the risk. I can’t speak for others or urban areas.

I’m 47 years old and don’t need the USPS for anything that I’m aware of.

Most of us send messages or post online for condolences for the family, or send flowers for services.

My mom can’t imagine not having a post office or mail either so maybe its a generational situation.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL You do use services to mail things though, don’t you? Fedex? UPS? You never get any packages or send any?

stanleybmanly's avatar

@KNOWITALL Most of you redlanders should realize and understand the requirement for the USPS. Like public libraries, the post office is one of those venerable institutions that was absolutely responsible for the advancement and linking of this country, and I assure you remains so through the present day. Don’t be deceived by those who claim the internet has rendered your post office obsolete. Trust me. The elimination of the postal service so enthusiastically promoted by so many conservatives is a knife at the throat of already withering rural America. This is one issue that sets my blood boiling in the liberal vs conservative debate, because it’s such a clear cut open and shut demonstration of not recognizing your own interests.

mazingerz88's avatar

Instead of suppressing votes by using voting fraud as justification, why can’t the government work on improving ways to prevent it?

Why simply declare mail in votes can’t be allowed because there will be fraud instead of trying to fix that?

Is it all politics of the malicious kind these days? Did I really just ask that? Lol

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie FedEx hits out here as does UPS. I’ve seen a few neighbors use USPS, it’s just not the option I personally choose to use.

@stanleybmanly Can you point me in the direction of a sourced article or document showing that? You can PM if you’d prefer so we don’t de-rail too badly here.
I’d like to read more about why you think it’s a ‘knife at the throat of already withering rural America.’ I don’t feel withered…haha!

stanleybmanly's avatar

Google postal service/rural America. Let me know what you think.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@stanleybmanly I won’t deny that some rural areas still have internet issues, but in Feb 2020 the FCC established a $20 billion rural digital opportunity fund. So they’re working on that aspect. Here in Missouri, we can go to pubic library for internet or any McDonalds, Panera, or other business that offers wifi to customers.
I’m surrounded by cows and trees and caves and I get it just fine.

Now the tougher part of the equation is changing old school (65 and over) to digital/ internet. And that needs to happen anyway. I know people still afraid to use debit cards at Redbox and my mom just started paying her cell bill over the phone, rather than going to the brick and mortar shop. It’s all just getting used to it and trusting it.

If I can teach my grandfather at 80 to use a cell phone and the internet, I think as a society we can do this.
https://www.agriculture.com/news/business/trump-backs-high-speed-internet-access-especially-in-rural-america

stanleybmanly's avatar

The net isn’t the issue. The issue is that the post office is mandated to serve EVERYONE. If you had just read the headlines of the articles listed, you would see that Amazon delivers much of its rural merchandise through the post office because there is no other delivery service. In fact UPS and Fedex, DHL—all of them use the post office for the final leg of many remote deliveries. The truth is that the postal service could EASILY be profitable if it dumped rural deliveries, which is why there are many willing to abolish it to snatch the lucrative blue business and leave you redlanders to rot. You eliminate the post office and places like Alaska will roll over and die—and they know it.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@stanleybmanly Sorry, I don’t buy it. Time to cut the federal dollar cord.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@stanleybmanly Again, I don’t want to de-rail but now you have me curious.

Let’s just focus on Alaska for now since that seems to be your ‘example’.

Have you read this and all the comments from people actually affected?
https://www.uspsoig.gov/blog/can-postal-service-afford-alaska-bypass

Here’s one native’s stance: “Time for Alaska residents to stand on their own (and yes, I AM one). I am tired of the government subsidizing individuals (or states) at the expense of the greater country. If it is too expensive where you live to get groceries by freight – move. No one is “forced” to live in the bush. And I shouldn’t have to help pay for you to “maintain the history” of the Native Americans that live there. Didn’t realize that beans and soda by air were part of their heritage.”

From a postal employee: ”
biscuit
I am a postal employee, not that it matters here, except this kind of lost revenue is no hill of beans. Red ink drives management to take it out on those of us who process and deliver mail. Add up all the lost revenues (and I am not talking about Grandma forgetting to stamp a letter and no one notices), and the stress factor might not be as much. I am talking about lost revenues that were given away on purpose, by law, or by some kind of contract or other <I>dealings</I> such as this. People that live in Alaska choose to live there, unless they are actually Real Natives. Government workers, and probably others, get up to 25 percent extra pay for the “cost of living factor”. Let them use it to pay the price it takes for them to live their dream, or whatever. I think the Postal Service was sold a bill of goods. This is not part of Universal Service, and it is not mail. Anything domestic over 70 pounds has to go by commercial freight, that is, 18 wheeler, train, whatever. It is not our job. We do mail. MAIL. Mail does include parcels under 70 pounds, but anyone else has to pay the going rate. This may not be a scandal, as it apparently is legal and by the book, but it does need to be stopped. It is ridiculous. You reckon FedEX, or UPS, or any of our other competitors would offer to do this at a 73 million dollar loss per year? I think not!”

stanleybmanly's avatar

But see that’s just the point. Alaska would still be virtually uninhabited had it not been for the post office. The post office like the public library are operated at the public good. Neither of them should be expected to operate at a profit or for that matter break even. As selfish as I might be, it occurs to me that I might be better off if my taxes subsidize your ability to live in Alaska. And trust me, the trend in this country is to move away from the quaker concept of altruism. The idea that the family should dump grandma & the baby for not pulling their weight is not the sort of place for me (or you either, whether you know it or not). You conservatives should take a hard luck at just who it is that is having their head handed to them through the perpetuation of the myth of rugged individualism. Sitting in the big blue city, I won’t notice the disappearance of the Post Office. But ask the local farmers on whose economy the town of Bugtussle rests what the demise of the post office would mean to them.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@stanleybmanly You and Bugtussle…you realize that’s offensive right?

I’m discussing with my husband now and interestingly, he was defending the USPS until I told him Trump is not backing them but instead backing the FCC with the rural internet funding.

Another interesting situation is that Trump does a huge USPS campaign. Ah, I love irony.

stanleybmanly's avatar

It really isn’t meant to be offensive. Smallville is so run of the mill dull. I’ll take Possum Trot or Snaketoes any day over Heavenly Orchard or Primtown. But I agree that rural internet is as vital as rural electricity or clean water. And it IS the government’s job to provide them, even IF the bluelands must subsidize the freight. I don’t benefit if I have to feed you because you’re backward. I want you on your feet and doing well not only because it’s the right thing to do. We are BOTH better off when you are on your feet.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@stanleybmanly I didn’t think you meant it to be, not after all the thing’s I’ve heard said about San Fran…haha!

I just asked some of my farmer friends, I’ll get back to you on their opinions via PM. Thanks.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Soubresaut Which camp are you in? Bail out, reform or be done with it?

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@KNOWITALL There is a Bugtussle, Kentucky.

Also The Mayor of Bug Tussle came to visit. . . the Beverly Hill Billies !

Demosthenes's avatar

There’s a town in California called “Bummerville”. My go-to podunk name is “Bumblescum”.
:P

tinyfaery's avatar

I’ve been voting exclusively by mail for over 10 years. I’ll never go back to waiting in line.

Soubresaut's avatar

@KNOWITALL—I’m in the “get rid of the early-aughts bill that was designed to make the otherwise self-sufficient USPS insolvent” camp.

Whether or not it’s the case for where you live, there are still places in the US where, if not for the USPS, people would not have access to mail or other deliveries. Not personally choosing to use USPS doesn’t mean that it’s not still an important public service for others. And since it can run on its own (or could, if it wasn’t being prevented from doing so), it costs us nothing to keep it going for ourselves and for future generations.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Listen folks. There are certain aspects of a society that SHOULD NOT be profit driven. When I came up in the era of steel and wooden toys, most of us pretty well understood what those things should be. And indeed it is the PUBLIC infrastructure that allows this place to prosper. What private corporation would have given us the TVA? What if the interstate highways were nothing but toll roads? This myth of government as evil should be recognized for what its is—a huckster method for depriving you of your birthright. It is the reason why such travesties as trillions of dollars worth of coal can be extracted from West Virginia, while the people living atop that coal skimp by like squatters. We shouldn’t put up with it, and shame on us while we do.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@stanleybmanly Did you know the head of USPS, Megan Brennan, said the USPS may never recover after Covid?

https://www.cato.org/blog/usps-privatization-vs-bailouts

stanleybmanly's avatar

It wouldn’t surprise me if they take the hatchet to the post office. After all, poor Trump cannot wrestle with any concept so obscure as the public interest.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@stanley None of the farmers say it afdects them except dealing with the Amish.
The Dem farmers blame Reps for the pension funding and say they’d be solvent without that.

RabidWolf's avatar

Trusting that the actual votes will be counted for the mail-in is like believing that all people are good and honest. No, I won’t do mail-in I’ll go to the voting center and do it the same way I’ve always done it. Mail-in is rigging the election.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

That ‘s not true @RabidWolf ! But go get in line with the guy that is coughing and has fever to vote.

Response moderated (Flame-Bait)
seawulf575's avatar

@RabidWolf I’m more concerned that the actual people are voting. You could count them perfectly, but if Joe Fabeetz mailed in 87 ballots for other people, he could easily be diluting the vote. But as with all Democrat ideas, they want to make sure you couldn’t prove it. Forget the obvious hazard inherent, they will just cry “you can’t prove it!!!”

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Oh stop it @seawulf575. You sound ridiculous.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@seawulf575 Here’s the process for North Carolina:

Voting an Absentee Ballot

Witnesses

In the presence of two witnesses (or one witness if the witness is a Notary Public), the voter should mark the ballot, or if the voter is unable to mark the ballot, shall cause it to be marked according to the voter’s instructions.
A witness should not observe so closely that they are able to see what votes the voter marked. What is required is that the witness sees the that the voter is voting the ballot

Prohibited Witnesses

The following individuals are prohibited from serving as a witness on an absentee ballot:
A person who is under 18
An individual who is a candidate for nomination or election to such office, unless the voter is the candidate’s near relative
Additionally, if the voter is a patient or resident of a hospital, clinic, nursing home, or rest home, the following people are also prohibited from serving as a witness on the absentee ballot:
An owner, manager, director, employee of the hospital, clinic, nursing home, or rest home in which the voter is a patient or resident
An individual who holds any elective office under the United States, this State, or any political subdivision of this State
An individual who holds any office in a State, congressional district, county, or precinct political party or organization, or who is a campaign manager or treasurer for any candidate or political party; provided that a delegate to a convention shall not be considered a party office.

Certification of Witnesses and Assistants

After observing the voter marking the ballot, the voter’s two witnesses must complete and sign the envelope in the space designated as Witnesses’ Certification.
If a voter used the services of a Notary Public as a sole witness, the notary will sign the Notary-Witness Certification.
A notary is not permitted to charge a fee for witnessing an absentee ballot. G.S. § 10B-30.
Any person who assisted the voter must sign and date the certificate in the proper place on the envelope.

After Marking the Absentee Ballot

Once the ballot is marked, the voter or a person assisting the voter must:
1) seal the ballot and document in the container-return envelope and
2) complete the Absentee Application and Certificate on the ballot container-return envelope.

So you’re going to have to get two witnesses to commit fraud 87 times.

seawulf575's avatar

@Tropical_Willie You really believe that couldn’t happen? Really?!? If a person gets two buddies to lie once, why not 87 times? And who says they even have to use their own names? Who says that if I wanted to vote 87 times I couldn’t sign as a witness with my off-hand? Then I’d only need one other person. Do you really believe anyone is actually going to check handwriting? Compare to other ballots? Actually go back and see if they are real people? There have been states that did this for mail-in ballots. But in each case, they only have a limited time to complete the comparisons. So let’s see what the real life results look like. Tens of thousands of “voter errors” because someone that has no experience or training makes a decision that a person’s signature doesn’t match what they have on file, even though the signature on file might have been made decades before.
And here’s another thought for you: Mail in ballots don’t even have to be filled out correctly to be an effective way to cheat. Let’s say I want to negate your vote. I get an extra ballot, fill it out for you, sign it with your name and send it in. It shows up as being a questionable vote.
And then there is your ballot that you send in. Suddenly you seem to have voted twice and both are thrown out. By the time it all gets sorted out, the time frame is past and your vote is gone. I took it from you. Meanwhile, I also vote for myself so my vote counts, yours doesn’t.
See…there are many holes that a couple semis could fit through. And yes, people do cheat on voting. And an interesting comment from the article I linked is that the ACLU did a study and found that younger, racial or ethnic minorities are far more likely to have problems with mail in ballots. And old people are likely to have problems because their signatures change over time. Despite the best efforts to make proving the vote is real almost impossible, it happens all the time and people do get caught. So even though they put in “efforts” to make it honest, they aren’t honest efforts.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Potential your words 1

Prove it is occurring ! ! Don’t tell me it might happen or is could happen or . . . Show me it has happened in large numbers like Trump, you and GOP are afraid it might happen. (States set the requirement for absentee voting)

All the voter research says you are wrong !

Trump going to have to return to Florida to vote in November if he gets his way.

SHOW ME IT HAPPENED in large numbers (know you can’t).

There were 87 absentee ballots. . . that were never used !!

Dutchess_lll's avatar

I’m pretty sure he thinks you can pick up handsful of ballots at Walmart.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Or 87 ballots !

seawulf575's avatar

@Tropical_Willie Thank you for making my point so eloquently. I stated ” Forget the obvious hazard inherent, they will just cry “you can’t prove it!!!”” and what is your answer when I explain all sorts of ways to cheat? “Prove it is occurring ! ! ”. Here’s a thought that maybe, just maybe, your could explain…or even your girlfriend @Dutchess_lll…half the country doesn’t want mail-in ballots, yet you want it all your own way. Why can’t you acknowledge that with so many people not wanting it, it should be tossed out? Why are you so divisive? Even when confronted with many examples of how cheating could occur, your only response is “Prove It!”. Why not acknowledge the fears and actually take them seriously? But then, if you did that, you wouldn’t be a liberal.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Well go stand in line with the feverish and coughing. !

Could occur and has happened are TWO different things but . . . the potential fraud is more important to you than the actual !

Trump is going to have to go to his Precinct in Florida to vote in November and so will the all the little old ladies and men. And If they don’t go (mostly hardcore Republicans) because of the fear of contracting COVID-19 Trump will be short on votes in lots of states.

Dream land “could happen” and reality “no history of voter fraud”. Where are you @seawulf575 dream land?

stanleybmanly's avatar

Of course EVERYONE acknowledges the fears, and everyone understands that they are manufactured, exaggerated and hyped to suppress the vote. They’re right up there with the birther bullshit and all of that other right wing slop driving xenophobia and bigotry. To take the argument that it is possible to cheat then extrapolate that as proof that the practice is therefore rampant is huckster drivel pushed by sociopaths.

seawulf575's avatar

Yes, all manufactured. That’s why when I posted a link that showed it happens including actual events, every one of you liberal loons attacked the source. You didn’t want to actually acknowledge the reality. But let’s try again

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/oct/17/no-voter-fraud-isnt-myth-10-cases-where-its-all-to/

https://www.heritage.org/election-integrity/heritage-explains/voter-fraud

http://www.g-a-i.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Voter-Fraud-Final-with-Appendix-1.pdf

https://thefederalist.com/2018/12/14/ballot-harvesting-became-new-way-steal-election/

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/more-votes-than-voters-in-detroit/

https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/over-16m-mail-in-ballots-went-missing-between-2016-and-2018-mail-in-voting-is-a-disaster/

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/stanford-study-proves-election-fraud-through-exit-poll-discrepancies/

https://www.usnews.com/debate-club/is-voter-fraud-a-real-problem/voter-fraud-deniers-ignore-the-facts

https://www.projectveritas.com/investigation/minnesota-voter-fraud/

Of course the list goes on and on. I know…the “source bashing” will now begin. But here’s a thought for you…if you only go by liberal news outlets, you will never see the other side of things. So if you only want to source bash, I will assume you know what I am saying is true and are afraid to deal with the meat of the issue.

mazingerz88's avatar

^^Pathetic. And deranged reasoning truth be told. trump could suggest ways to prevent mail-in voter fraud.

His job is to make sure all citizens could vote. But we all know the truth. You just insanely refused to acknowledge it.

The suppression of legit American votes due to your fear of losing. I pity you.

JLeslie's avatar

Out of curiosity I looked up vote by mail in 2016, and it was over 20%. Already a HUGE percentage of votes are mail-in votes, and that is with some states not allowing mail-in vote or having restrictions. This debate is totally made up, put out there to manipulate Americans and make them mad and suspicious. Stop it. https://www.eac.gov/documents/2017/10/17/eavs-deep-dive-early-absentee-and-mail-voting-data-statutory-overview

It’s like the ID debate. There should have been no fight, most citizens have ID. It could have been solved easily by just making sure everyone had easy access to ID, providing them free if necessary for people who are poor. help them if they need help, like how we help people fill out the census.

mazingerz88's avatar

Would have been nice if trump fans just plainly admit why they don’t want mail-in voting instead of treating people like idiots.

This despite trump already publicly admitting the real reason why.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@seawulf575 You keep insisting that we should disregard the credibility of your sources and simply total them up as proof of rampant fraud. I looked at the list of the usual wingnut drivel scams and was shocked to find what appeared to be 2 outfits acknowledged as reputable outlets for credible journalism. So I immediately read the U.S. News article in full, and was flabbergasted at the shabby quality of the thing. So I looked again carefully at title of the source, and sure enough what I assumed to be U S News and World Report turned out to be the fraudulent ripoff U.S News.com debate club. What a fkn gyp. With that out of the way, I proceeded to read the other reputable source from the shitpile—Snopes. This time I checked the logo for some trick like Snoops or Snopz before diving in to discover that the article indeed was about the issue of voter fraud. But the article was unequivocal in it’s conclusion that what is portrayed and hooted as voter fraud is almost invariably attributable to poll worker or machine error. The article further states that fraud alarmists distort the truth through twisting facts with such tricks as declaring 30,000 “missing” ballots are proof of fraud, when the “missing” ballots are simply those ballots mailed to registered voters that were not acted on by their recipients. In other words, the “missing” ballots are equivalent to those walk in voters who stay home. But the bottom line in all of this is that it matters where you get your news. And REPUTABLE news sources are neither biased nor liberal simply because they conflict with wingnut blather.

seawulf575's avatar

@stanleybmanly I have never stated you should simply accept anything. I have always asked that you look at the substance of the citations I present and not just dismiss them because you don’t like the source. If I did that, then every citation presented that said MSNBC or CNN or Huffington Post or VOX or Salon or NYT or WaPo, or some other liberal bastion would automatically be dismissed as being biased and not worth reading. And those are the ones you consider REPUTABLE. And I am okay with not liking what is in an article I post, but you should be able to point to what is wrong with it. So far what you identified is that you didn’t like most of the sources except for a couple. One of those you thought was something else and dismissed it. The last one you actually responded coherently on. So you batted about .185 on being less that totally ignorant.
So let’s talk about the one you read. And I will point out that there were actually two Snopes articles. The fact you only read or at least commented on one says you totally dismissed the other since you didn’t like what it said. But let’s talk about the one where the poll workers were adding things up wrong. Yes, Snopes concluded that was where the error was and I will agree it was. But here’s the part they glossed over that I noticed right away: all the errors were in one direction. If it was truly a random mistake…adding things up wrong…there would be some that showed total numbers higher and some that showed total numbers lower. These all showed numbers in one direction. That stops being error and becomes a trend. Trends of this sort mean someone was putting a thumb on the scale. And then I think of Melowese Richardson. Remember her? Ohio Poll worker that was cheating in favor of the Dems. She got 5 years for her efforts. But who knows how much damage she did in the years she was working the polls? So poll workers can and have cheated on elections as well. So while Snopes identified the poll workers were the problem, they stopped at that point. And it is still voter fraud, just not on the part of the actual voters.

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