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Leading conservative lays out 3 possible ways to avoid a ‘calamity’ if Trump tries to steal the election

September 25, 2020 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson

Warnings that President Donald Trump is willing to go to dangerous extremes to steal the 2020 presidential election have not only been coming from liberal and progressive outlets — they have also been coming from The Bulwark, a conservative website founded by journalists Bill Kristol and Charlie Sykes. The Bulwark has become a go-to site for anti-Trump reporting and commentary from the right. And Kristol, in an article published on September 24, suggests some ways to possibly avoid a “calamity” in this year’s presidential election.

Kristol drew a great deal of criticism from the left during the 2000s, when he was a cheerleader for the U.S. invasion of Iraq. But these days, Kristol often finds himself commiserating with liberal and progressive pundits on MSNBC and joining them in warning how much of a threat Trump poses to democratic norms in the United States. And in 2020, Kristol is urging fellow conservatives to vote for former Vice President Joe Biden.

In his September 24 piece, Kristol stresses that Trump’s efforts to steal the election must not be taking lightly.

“The election is approaching,” Kristol explains. “The president is spreading disinformation about the vote; he’s trying to suppress some votes; he’s exploring ways to disrupt or distort the counting of the votes; and he’s refusing to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he nonetheless loses the vote. What is to be done?”

Kristol goes on to offer three suggestions. The first is to “ignore the voices of worldly complacency or pseudo-sophisticated reassurance.”

“Everyone, sound the alarm,” Kristol advises. “Put the country, the media, the voters, state and local election officials, elected officials at all levels of government, and the individuals who matter in the federal government on notice. Suitably alarmed, they can act in appropriate ways to mitigate the danger. That’s the first and most straightforward thing to be done.”

Kristol’s second recommendation is to “get others who haven’t so far been in the camp of the alarmed to say now, out loud, that they’re alarmed” — and he believes that would be especially helpful coming from conservative Republicans.

“One thinks especially of those who are Republicans, whose remarks can’t simply be written off as partisanship,” Kristol notes. “So, I’d say to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, to Jim Mattis and John Kelly and Dan Coats — the time has passed when speaking out against Trump was a tough question or a …read more


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Philadelphia election official warns mail-in ballot technicality could invalidate 100,000 votes

September 25, 2020 in Blogs

By Daily Kos

A top Philadelphia election official is sounding the alarm bells that a technicality in a recent state Supreme Court ruling could lead to the invalidation of up to 100,000 mail-in ballots statewide, according to The Washington Post.

The warning is particularly worrisome for a battleground state that remains tight and that Donald Trump won by just 44,000 votes in 2016.

The problem, according to Lisa Deeley, the Democratic chairwoman of Philadelphia’s election board, is the court’s ruling that ballots must be inserted in an extra “secrecy envelope” that goes inside a larger envelope used to mail ballots back. Any ballot received without the secrecy envelope would not be counted, and the voters who sent them would have no recourse.

It’s what’s referred to as a “naked ballot,” and during the primary, officials were allowed to accept naked ballots due to the uptick in voters using absentee ballots for the first time based on pandemic concerns.

Deeley estimates the requirement could cause tens of thousands of votes in the Philadelphia area to be rejected, along with plenty more across the state.

“It’s just so unfair that we’re disenfranchising people that have done everything right,” Deeley told the Post. “They applied for the mail-in ballot, they got the mail-in ballot, they voted by the mail-in ballot, they put it in an envelope, returned to us on time — and all because of a technicality, their vote isn’t going to count.”

According to the Post, Pennsylvania is one of about 16 states that require a secrecy envelope, but some states decided to waive the requirement this year due to the crush of mail ballots election officials expect to process.

Deeley is hoping state lawmakers will do the same, but Republicans, who control both the House and Senate chambers, are against making any moves to rectify the situation, according to the AP.

“We believe this issue is settled for this election,” a spokesman for House Speaker Bryan Cutler, R-Lancaster, said in a statement. Naturally, that’s because Democratic voters are requesting mail-in ballots at a roughly three-to-one margin, so Republicans are plenty happy to see those voters disenfranchised. That’s how democracy works in the view of Republicans.

Ultimately, this may come down to a massive voter education drive on the fly.

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