27 Million Americans Have Already Voted

Election Day is increasingly a myth.

Tomorrow will nominally mark two weeks until the 2020 elections. But they’re actually well underway, with some twenty percent of the ballots that were cast in 2016 already in the books.

CNN:

Voters in the 45 states and the District of Columbia that make pre-Election Day data available are already setting records. The ballots cast so far represent almost 20% of the more than 136 million total ballots cast in the 2016 presidential election.

[…]

Early in-person voters in Georgia have already cast more than 1,450,000 ballots as of Sunday afternoon. That’s up 152% from 2016 when 578,147 ballots were cast during the same period.

As of Friday, ballots are available in all 50 states and DC. In-person voting will kick off in a slate of critical swing states in the coming days.

Nevada opened early in-person voting on Saturday with more than 17,800 voters casting their ballots in Clark County, which houses Las Vegas. One polling location in North Las Vegas opened two hours late due to a “hardware issue,” Clark County spokesman Dan Kulin told CNN. The issue created long lines that circulated on social media, but was the only problem reported by the county as 48 in-person polling sites opened for the first day.

Attention shifts to Florida on Monday, when 52 of state’s 67 counties begin early voting — including in critical counties like Broward, Duval, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach. All counties begin early voting by October 24 at the latest.

One presumes this is all good news for Joe Biden and the Democrats, as large turnout almost always redounds to the benefit of that party. And they’re more likely to take advantage of early voting as well.

This shift towards early voting conflicts with our romantic notion of how elections work. Theoretically, voting is a communal process where all the adult citizens gather on the same day to cast an informed ballot on the future of the society. Everyone has watched the debates, heard the speeches, and weighed the pros and cons and then made their choice.

Of course, it never really worked that way. Most people who are eligible to vote don’t do so. And most people who do vote aren’t all that informed. Indeed, most vote based on party affiliation, with some adjustment for personality traits.

Presumably, those who vote early are the least persuadable. They’re people who resolved to re-elect Donald Trump or to throw him out months or years ago. There’s almost no chance that a debate or some October Surprise was going to change their minds.

Further, in a world where Republican officials do everything in their power to make it harder for those likely to vote Democratic to exercise their franchise, anything that makes it easier for people to vote is a good thing.

Still, I can’t help but believe something is lost here. The debates and late-breaking developments should matter, or at least be able to be factored in. Increasingly, though, the election is decided well before the ostensible Election.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Campaign 2020, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. The debates and late-breaking developments should matter, or at least be able to be factored in.

    But its all an arbitrary deadline in any event, yes? News could theoretically break two weeks after the election that might change minds as much as it might break two weeks before.

    I would prefer that we have a truly national period of voting, instead of the hodgepodge we currently have. My friend in Georgia voted yesterday and Florida starts today. I have to wait another two weeks. That seems unnecessarily patchwork.

    And you could schedule the debate earlier than we do. It is actually a bit weird that despite years-long processes to select the candidates that the “real” campaign doesn’t start until after Labor Day (even though we knew who the nominees were going to be months and months ago).

    (Of course, the degree to which the debates are useful is a whole other conversation).

    14
  2. James Joyner says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: In some sense, all deadlines are arbitrary. But having everyone make the choice at the same point in time has always been the norm.

    Honestly, I’d rather shorten the campaign season than elongate the portion of it where the direct competition occurs. I’d much prefer something along the lines of a national primary in June followed by a run-off in July.

    10
  3. Kingdaddy says:

    I’m just glad that people are voting in these numbers already. We have a never-ending campaign season already. Might as well expand the voting period, too.

    15
  4. Scott says:

    Through Saturday, Texas is at 2.3M at 23.7%, 20.3% in-person, 3.4% by mail. These numbers are fairly in line with 2016. This year we have an extra week of early voting before election day. We (4 of us) voted Saturday. It took about 30 minutes. There were lines be not excessive. What make voting long is that our ballot is long, about 35 individual items to vote on, including judges, school boards, propositions, State Board of Education, etc. There used to be a straight line party vote option but that was taken away, the presumption being that it benefited the Democrats. I’m not sure about that.

    Anyhow, I observe many people picking up the sample ballot and seemingly look at it for the first time while in line. That is what drags out the lines.

  5. drj says:

    The need for early voting is proportional to how difficult it is to vote on election day.

    Get rid of voter suppression, and I’m sure it could be done in a single day.

    20
  6. grumpy realist says:

    Voted last week here in Illinois. Mainly for the judges.

  7. mattbernius says:

    @drj:

    The need for early voting is proportional to how difficult it is to vote on election day.

    Repeated because it’s true — especially within counties and districts where it’s become increasingly difficult for people to vote (due to things like the gutting of the voting rights act).

    It will be interesting to see how 2024 compares to 2020 to understand the degree to which some of this pattern is related to Covid-19 (and potentially Presidental rhetoric).

    6
  8. Scott says:

    @drj: @mattbernius:

    Yep. Here in Texas, we are at the bottom in encouraging votes.

    Analysis: It’s harder to vote in Texas than in any other state

    It’s harder than in 49 other states, according to a “cost-of-voting index”

    Here’s how the researchers wrote up our state’s position on the list: “Texas maintains an in-person voter registration deadline 30 days prior to Election Day, has reduced the number of polling stations in some parts of the state by more than 50% and has the most restrictive pre-registration law in the country, according to the analysis.”

    7
  9. Teve says:

    I’m trying to imagine a scenario where, between now and November 3, circumstances arise such that I regret voting for Biden and wish I could factor in late developments and vote for Trump…

    22
  10. DrDaveT says:

    @James Joyner:

    But having everyone make the choice at the same point in time has always been the norm.

    Spoken like a bred-in-the-bone conservative. Seriously.

    If you prefer, think of this as averaging over people who are factoring in all of the last-minute revelations, just at different last minutes. Given that fact that in the current media environment a last-minute revelation is much more likely to be mischief of the copulating rodents variety than true random important news, I think this is an unalloyed good. If 20 million people had voted by October 20 in 2016, the Comey letter would have been irrelevant in the end.

    11
  11. Kathy says:

    @Teve:

    The only way I can think of, is if some mad scientist switches their minds after the election, so we wind up with four years of a Trump who looks like Biden.

    2
  12. MarkedMan says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    And you could schedule the debate earlier than we do.

    The debate is a relatively modern addition, at least as far as it being considered a norm. I think it has outlived its usefulness. I haven’t watched one in years (I’ve also stopped watching the State of the Union) because they simply don’t add anything. If you watch the Nixon-Kennedy debate and then a modern one and compare the questions, you’ll find that they have become simplistic and, yes, “gotcha”.

    Some candidates put out actual plans and agendas, and some don’t. The ones who do tend to put them out well before the voting starts, often during the primary season. Bottom line, if actual positions matter to you, any information you are going to get is available well before you have to cast your ballot. And it’s worth noting that, just to pull the latest example, Hillary Clinton published reams of highly detailed policy papers and yet I heard many individuals, including political pundits who do this for a living, ramble on and on about how the politicians should level with the voters and explain what they would actually do if elected. They were obviously clueless that these papers existed, demonstrating that they didn’t really care about them in the first place and were basing their decisions on something else.

    Bottom line, I have no problem with early voting starting, say, October 4th.

    10
  13. @James Joyner:

    In some sense, all deadlines are arbitrary.

    Indeed–that was my point.

    But having everyone make the choice at the same point in time has always been the norm.

    I agree that there is a certain romanticism to be had with a given election day. It is why I personally prefer voting in person rather than by mail.

    But, we don’t really all make our decisions at the same time anyway, so I see nothing problematic about having a voting period rather than a voting day.

    5
  14. @MarkedMan: FWIW, I wasn’t defending the debates, per se. I was just noting that if one wants to assert they have value, and one wants them out of the way before voting starts, then just move the debates.

    Clearly I am of the view that the vast majority of people already know who they are going to vote for in 2024, let alone this year, I am not too concerned about what happens in the month before election day (not that it can’t matter, it can, but probably not as much as we think it does).

    2
  15. Teve says:

    @Kathy: in the event of a Freaky Friday scenario, I will regret voting for Biden and wish I had waited until November 3.

    1
  16. gVOR08 says:

    @Teve:

    I’m trying to imagine a scenario where, between now and November 3, circumstances arise such that I regret voting for Biden and wish I could factor in late developments and vote for Trump…

    That. We talk about GPOPs being tribal, but most of us here could have told you ten years ago we’d vote for the D in 2020. We’ll drop off our ballots this afternoon. But if it were to turn out tomorrow that the Russians bribed Joe Biden to get the Ukrainian prosecutor fired, it wouldn’t change my mind. Democrats would still be the party of the 99%, still the party of civil rights, still the party of Keynesian economics, still the party of reproductive rights, still the Party who would try to deal with AGW. And if I’m still coherent by then, I expect I’ll vote for the D in 2032.

    13
  17. NBH says:

    The level of Georgia early voting is massive. Early voting is already around 35% of 2016’s final voting. I’m in a county on the border of suburban and rural and it took an hour to vote Friday. And an hour wait was a major improvement to the waits at the beginning of the week. This was my first time early voting, but anecdotally from some regular early voters they’ve never seen such lines. And over 80% of the people I saw voting were wearing masks.

    I assume covid19 has heavily increased absentee, but I expect it’s helping drive early in-person too. One of my big factors of voting early when election day lines are usually pretty short around here was not wanting to miss voting if I end up sick on election day from Georgia’s incompetent covid19 handling.

    8
  18. Bill says:

    I will vote when I normally do- election day.

    Early voting- I have no wish to stand in line for an hour or more when there is an excellent chance I will be the first to vote in my precinct. My neighbors sleep late unless they go to work.

    Absentee balloting- Haven’t done that since I left the Navy. That was in 1989.

    This year will mark 40 years since I first voted for President. Who was it? John Anderson.

    4
  19. Scott says:

    @Bill: I first voted in 1972. I was one of the 6.6% who voted for Anderson in 1980.

    1
  20. Barry says:

    James: “Still, I can’t help but believe something is lost here. The debates and late-breaking developments should matter, or at least be able to be factored in. Increasingly, though, the election is decided well before the ostensible Election. ”

    James, this is a standard GOP line, the latest one in Why We Should Make Voting Harder.

    6
  21. JohnSF says:

    @James Joyner:

    In some sense, all deadlines are arbitrary

    I point I have tried repeatedly to get over first to tutors, and subsequently to managers.
    With remarkably little success, to my regret.

    3
  22. An Interested Party says:

    It will be interesting to see how 2024 compares to 2020 to understand the degree to which some of this pattern is related to Covid-19…

    Not to mention the effects of this bill if the next Congress is able to pass it…

    2
  23. Gustopher says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I agree that there is a certain romanticism to be had with a given election day. It is why I personally prefer voting in person rather than by mail.

    Out of curiosity, have you voted by mail? And does your state have a lot of ballot initiatives and “non-partisan” offices?

    I like the idea of walking into an old-fashioned voting booth with lots of levers, but I love the practice of sitting at my desk, looking up each race, and discovering which candidates of the “non-partisan” port commission are the secret Republicans, and what those crazy ass voter initiatives mean.

    I recall we once had to vote against sustaining the repeal of same sex marriage, or something similar. Increasingly, our referendums are becoming logic problems.

    6
  24. James Joyner says:

    @Barry: Sure. I was in that camp at some point, although for elitist not partisan reasons. But I’ve long since come around to the idea that we should make voting as easy as possible. If it weren’t for the hackability/transparency issues, I’d have us all voting via the Internet or an app.

    3
  25. James Joyner says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    we don’t really all make our decisions at the same time anyway, so I see nothing problematic about having a voting period rather than a voting day.

    I’d prefer having everyone vote in person over the course of a weekend but recognize that, logistically, that would still be challenging for some. Really, as I hope the OP makes clear, I recognize that this is mostly romanticism—the idea that this is a communal happening rather than simply a tallying of preferences.

    4
  26. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    @James Joyner:

    Beyond the reforms mentioned by the two of you, the time between the election and the assumption of office should be reduced. The founders determination of March following the election was a nod to horse and buggy transportation and communications limitations. The move to January was in acknowledgement of improvements in technology and ameliorated issues that had cropped up on the lag-time following the election. Past Presidents have by and large managed the transition of power honorably, that is cold comfort with the incumbent. In many if not most countries, the transition between administrations happens in days or a few weeks, not 2.5+ months.

    It can be argued that most countries are electing a government, rather than the head of state, but wouldn’t it be nice to know before the election, who the incoming or reelected President would have in his/her cabinet (subject to advise and consent). It may also make the party relevant again, as it would make sense for them to have a shadow government ready to go.

    Such a change will require reform of our cumbersome election process, which in itself is an unalloyed good.

    Joe wins on 11/3 assumes office on 11/9!

    1
  27. Mister Bluster says:

    The only time I voted for the Republican candidate for President USA was when I was in the 7th grade in 1960. I was 12 years old. Our Social Studies class held a secret ballot straw poll so we could learn how to exercise our civic duty some 9 years later. My dad was a Nixon guy. He took me out to Rochester-Monroe County (NY) Airport one crisp fall evening to see “the next President of the United States Richard Nixon” at a campaign stop. I was all in.
    The only objection that I rememeber that my dad voiced about Kennedy was “He’s too young.”
    We were Missouri Synod Lutheran but if there was any anti Catholic sentiment I never heard it. Not just when it came to politics. Never…from mom or dad.
    I guess my dad sensed my enthusiasm because I remember him telling me not to get too excited about the election because Kennedy could win.
    I was crushed. I was literaly in tears the next day in class as I asked my teacher “if the election was done over do you think Nixon would win?”
    “I don’t see how it would make a difference.” he said.

    When Nixon ran again in 1968, the same Nixon who promised in 1962:
    I leave you gentlemen now. And you will now write it. You will interpret it. That’s your right. But as I leave you, I want you to know: just think how much you’re going to be missing. You don’t have Nixon to kick around anymore. Because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference.
    I was still to young to vote at the age of 20. I would have likely wrote in Eugene McCarthy.

    1
  28. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: Think more like our host. Imagine that Trump suddenly keels over. With Pence as the heir apparent, he’d probably be thinking “Damn, I could have voted for Trump after all.”

    1
  29. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Bill: John Anderson was my second Presidential vote. The first one marked the only time I ever voted for a Democrat or the nominated Republican.

    On the other hand, being a square peg was my calling from middle school–which we called “junior high.” Being contrary is as natural as breathing for me.

    I won the edit lottery for today! Thanks to everyone else who played. But I was also going to note that I had forgotten to add my posting information and autofill worked fine, just as it always does for me.

    1
  30. EddieInCA says:

    My proposal would be three weeks of early voting, with limited locations and hours followed by a four full days of in person voting starting the Saturday before the first Tuesday. I would change “Election Day” to “The last day of voting” because we should be encouraging people to vote however and whenever they can, as opposed to one day – as many states continue to do.

    I’ve not missed a vote for President in my life, even flying back from London one year to be able to vote in person. This year, I’ve already voted.

    Anyone who is still undecided is a moron, a deplorable, or worse.

    10
  31. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Gustopher: Yeah. And don’t forget the latest “improvement” on elections in Washington–non-binding on the legislature “advisory ballots” about tax increases.

    Not as if we care, or that your opinion matters, but we want to know if you approve of the tax increase we imposed.

    (Looking it up in my voter’s handbook, I see that we’re on number 32 of these “issues.” I guess they started while I wasn’t looking–maybe while I was in Korea.)

    1
  32. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @James Joyner: Sorry, but for voting to be a “communal activity” one has to have “communities.” I don’t think we do. We only have factions.

    2
  33. Michael Reynolds says:

    @EddieInCA:
    Well, don’t leave us hanging, Eddie, who’d you vote for?

    3
  34. Slugger says:

    The US makes voting hard. Many European nations vote on Sunday; we vote on Tuesdays. I used to get to work about seven and get off 6ish(self-employed). It was hard to vote. A friend turned me on to absentee ballots which was a great help to me. Of course, some of the barriers to voting in many places are transparent efforts to deny the ballot to certain segments of the population. It is sickening to see this. Voting should be easy; peoples’ voices should be heard via democratic institutions.

    2
  35. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @EddieInCA:Why give you opposition the opportunity to ratfork the system by restricting the hours and locations? I suppose the most common answer is cost control, but if voting is a value then it is part of the overhead of having a social contract–a fixed cost, like taxes.

    My first boss once told me when I asked him how the company reduces it’s taxes, he replied that taxes were a fixed expense, that government costs what it costs, so the company simply pays them after due diligence in accounting. Seems quaint now.

    5
  36. Joe says:

    27 million and one.

    7
  37. Kathy says:

    I think if banks can issue cards which one can use to securely withdraw money from ATMs all over the world, the government of a superpower should be able to issue similar cards that allow anyone to vote securely just about anywhere, even online.

    9
  38. a country lawyer says:

    I voted Saturday in Rural Tennessee. The polls opened at 8:00 A.M. and I got there about 10 minutes early. It took about 40 minutes after the polls opened to vote and get out. My first presidential vote was in 1964 for LBJ.

    2
  39. charon says:

    @Kathy:

    Secure online voting is impossible, even theoretically, as long as you have ballot secrecy and anonymity.

    No way to reconcile the need to identify the voter allowing him/her exactly one ballot with anonymity for the cast ballot..

    3
  40. Mister Bluster says:

    @Mister Bluster:..You don’t have Nixon to kick around anymore. Because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference.

    Promises, promises…

    Hello Edit function!

  41. Mister Bluster says:

    @Mister Bluster:..You don’t have Nixon to kick around anymore. Because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference.

    Promises, promises…

    (I’m guessing that my Email address has a typo sending this recent post to moderation.)

    Hello Edit function!
    When Will I See You Again?

  42. gVOR08 says:

    We dropped off our FL ballots this morning at an early voting site. No wait and a nice lady who checked for any issues visible on the envelope before we dropped them in the box, which they had moved out to the sidewalk. This is the first day for in-person early voting. Line a couple hundred feet long with minimal distancing and maybe 50% masked. I’d guess an hour or so wait, likely due to heavy demand rather than any ill intent. Looks like early voting will be heavy.

    I don’t know what the perfect voting system might be, but among the worst is everybody voting in person, maybe waiting in line hours to so so, on a workday, on a date chosen because the crops are in but it’s not yet hard winter.

    2
  43. Kathy says:

    @charon:

    Hm. I hadn’t thought of that.

    Online voting will be the thing eventually. We do just about everything else online, after all. There should be a way to validate a voter, register they have voted, but not tie the voter’s identity to the ballot.

    Maybe a hybrid system? You check in online, get a ballot you can print, with all the validation needed printed on it. You then fill it out and mail it or drop it in a collection box.

    1
  44. DrDaveT says:

    @Bill:

    This year will mark 40 years since I first voted for President. Who was it? John Anderson.

    Amusingly, same here on both counts.

    1
  45. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Kathy:

    I think if banks can issue cards which one can use to securely withdraw money from ATMs all over the world, the government of a superpower should be able to issue similar cards that allow anyone to vote securely just about anywhere, even online.

    Except it’s not secure. It’s “just secure enough to be worth it”.

    A quick google comes up with this wonderful fact:

    * In 2018, $24.26 Billion was lost due to payment card fraud worldwide
    * The United States leads as the most credit fraud prone country with 38.6% of reported card fraud losses in 2018

    That’s $9.36B in the US. Now imagine that level of “security” applied to online voting.

    3
  46. Barry says:

    @James Joyner: “Sure. I was in that camp at some point, although for elitist not partisan reasons. But I’ve long since come around to the idea that we should make voting as easy as possible. If it weren’t for the hackability/transparency issues, I’d have us all voting via the Internet or an app.”

    I’m sorry to be harsh on you, James, but this is the latest in a widespread theme I’m running into.

  47. dmichael says:

    I have voted in every election that I was legally entitled to, including when on active duty in the military. I have no nostalgia for in person voting. Here in Oregon, we have had mail in voting since 1998. There have been no significant problems with this process. I believe that every state should adopt this system which would eliminate most of the difficulties we are seeing with long wait lines, shortage of polling stations or ballot boxes, threatening behavior at polling stations and communicable diseases. It won’t stop the Repubs from trying to suppress votes but it will make it more difficult for them to succeed.

    2
  48. EddieInCA says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Michael Reynolds says:
    Monday, October 19, 2020 at 13:20

    @EddieInCA:
    Well, don’t leave us hanging, Eddie, who’d you vote for?

    Reagan, Mondale, Bush, Clinton, Clinton, Gore, Kerry, Obama, Obama, Clinton, Biden

    2
  49. de stijl says:

    @JohnSF:

    One day I just went nuclear. We were months deep into crunch.

    After the 20th phone call that day from my titular boss (he was a contractor I had been TDY assigned to) adding yet another item to my task list (I kept detailed notes assiduously along with stated deadlines) my last nerve broke good and hard.

    I emailed him back my task list at 2 am (still at work) asked him politely to prioritize it. I informed him I was going to miss several deadlines tomorrow morning. I told him that if I cloned myself five times and all of us worked yet another overnighter, deadlines will still be missed. I informed him which tasks were not accounted for on the project plan.

    I cc’d my actual boss, his boss, and the project manager.

    Hoo boy, did shit hit fan the next morning! (technically that morning). It was actually pretty fucking awesome.

    I had kept detailed notes and had made a simple app in Access to track tasks and my hours on my work computer so it was backed up and metadata could back me up.

    My actual boss rightfully dinged me for not bringing this to his attention sooner. I told him that I thought that I could soldier on and through it. Until I couldn’t. Sounded lame as I said it. He was correct.

    The fallout from that email was insane.

    2
  50. Scott says:

    Meanwhile, again in Texas:

    Federal court rules Texas doesn’t have to notify voters whose ballots are tossed

    There were these incredible statements in the article:

    “Because Texas’s strong interest in safeguarding the integrity of its elections from voter fraud far outweighs any burden the state’s voting procedures place on the right to vote, we stay the injunction pending appeal,” the ruling read.

    he Fifth Circuit panel said Monday that the process did not violate due process rights because it did not limit anyone’s right to “life, liberty or property,” disagreeing that the right to vote was an issue of liberty.

    It is as if they are saying that there is no right to vote.

    6
  51. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: Yeah, except that the bank does not have a cohort dedicated to embezzlement on principle. At the bank, everyone is basically pulling in one direction at least for the majority of participants and looks askance at those who do not.

  52. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: With no edit available–one win per person, I guess–I have to note that the others make good points about security. Also, I may have been too optimistic about financial industry employees but still suspect that most of the fraud is external.

  53. mattbernius says:

    @Scott:

    It is as if they are saying that there is no right to vote.

    That’s because, in the strictest readings of the Consitution and the Bill of Rights, the concept of a right to vote does not really exist in any really affirmative* way (at least not in the same way that an affirmative right to free speech or bare arms existed):

    https://theconversation.com/the-right-to-vote-is-not-in-the-constitution-144531

    Key passage of the analysis:

    After the Civil War, the 15th Amendment, ratified in 1870, guaranteed that the right to vote would not be denied on account of race: If some white people could vote, so could similarly qualified nonwhite people. But that still didn’t recognize a right to vote – only the right of equal treatment. Similarly, the 19th Amendment, now 100 years old, banned voting discrimination on the basis of sex, but did not recognize an inherent right to vote.

  54. charon says:

    @Kathy:

    You check in online, get a ballot you can print,

    People who don’t have a printer, or whose printer is malfunctioning?

    I can’t see that as much of an improvement over what we already have in AZ – a list of people who are automatically mailed a ballot for every election, once you are registered you can go online and add your name to the list.

    1
  55. de stijl says:

    @Kathy:

    One time I went to ATM plugged in my card, attempted to withdraw $200 bucks, was refused, and machine kept my card. I had $blahbiddy in checking and more savings.

    Someone (actually a ring) had done the ID theft on me and just wiped out both. I had an account balance of -$14 in checking and like 3 bucks left in savings.

    Went to a bank branch and asked WTF?

    Holy crap, that was a hassle and so much rigamorole. You have to sign an affidavit for every false “purchase”.

    They were buying expensive stuff from Best Buys and getting refunds at the next. Buying gasoline. Two people got new tattoos on my dime which I thought was fairly badass. They were doing a circuit.

    It took about a month to resolve and in the interim I was flat broke. I ate potatoes and drank tap water. For a month. Crikey.

    Since then I keep $1000 in cash hidden at home.

    Secure, on-line voting is now undoable and is unicorn level of difficulty within the near future.

    I did not eat the loss (I did eat the potatoes), the bank did. Obviously banks set aside for fraud loss and have insurers and the insurers have re-insurers, but systems are far less secure than you imagine. Scarily so.

    1
  56. Kathy says:

    I will have a devastating answer to all objections about secure online voting, as a soon as I figure out how to get my foot out of my mouth 🙂

    9
  57. Mu Yixiao says:
  58. Teve says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: When Trump got the virus I was actually pretty concerned that something would happen to him and Dense would become the de facto nominee. Pence would be an improvement in several ways, but equally retrograde w/r/t Supreme Court nominees, stimulus spending, tax cuts for the obscenely wealthy, more environmental degradation, etc.

  59. Teve says:

    @EddieInCA:

    Anyone who is still undecided is a moron, a deplorable, or worse.

    I allow for a big chunk of the utterly clueless. If you’re informed, and you vote Republican, you’re deplorable.

    1
  60. Kathy says:

    So Trump has just boasted he could raise campaign money by trading permits for money with Exxon.

    This would be a felony. it’s interesting Donnie Pessimus Minimus is boasting about how corrupt he is.

    Exxon, not run by morons, Twitted a statement saying this offer was never made.

    Still, if I were Biden, or more likely Harris, I’d take a look.

    1
  61. Joe says:

    I voted today in Illinois. 30 minute wait on the first day my location had early voting. One delay. The two people ahead of me in line had sought mail-in ballots, but wanted to vote in person. At least one had her mailed ballot with her to surrender. In each case the election judge had to go into the county data base to register the change in voting format (the supervisor at this remote site was, coincidentally, our actual elected County Clerk), which took a few minutes because the computers were super slow. But it did answer the question of whether you could vote more than once by showing up after having requested a mail-in ballot.

  62. Hank says:

    @Kathy: search “banking fraud” – billions lost, every year. Search “ecommerce fraud” – billions lost, every year.

    How much “voting fraud” would be acceptable?

    HINT: The Obamacare website had 2 years for development, cost nearly a billion dollars, and crashed for the first 2 months. Can you say “Iowa Caucus?” PA registration website crashed 2 weeks ago (equipment failure). Virginia’s Citizen Portal went down due to a cut fiber optics cable. How many failures would be acceptable?

    SURVEY: ask your friends and followers if they have ever had to cancel a credit card because of a fraudulent charge. If you really want to see an election go to heck-in-a-hand-basket, implement online voting! That Florida “hanging chad” fiasco will look good!

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  63. mattbernius says:

    @Hank:

    How much “voting fraud” would be acceptable?

    Find any credible evidence of systemic and wide spread voter fraud and please get back to us. Especially if you can find examples of it swaying an election.

    Or if you are seriously advancing this argument, I hope you would also agree that we should completely eliminate the death penalty as there is far more wide spread evidence of people being executed for crimes they did not commit than voter fraud occuring.

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  64. de stijl says:

    @mattbernius:

    I think you are misreading Hank.

    He is pointing out how on-line voting would be susceptible. His examples bear out that take.

    1
  65. mattbernius says:

    @de stijl:

    I think you are misreading Hank.

    Oops, yes I am. Not enough coffee and too much 2020. My apologies Hank!

    Thank you so much for pointing that out d.s.!

    1
  66. Martina83 says:

    @EddieInCA:

    Anyone who is still undecided is a moron, a deplorable, or worse.

    We agree.
    I’m convinced that ‘still undecided’ is:
    (1) lying, they’re Trump voters who don’t want to say it.
    (2) a moron, sorry but …