absentee ballot

October 15: Orange Crush Day

The number of people who will have the option of mailing in their ballots is more than EIGHT times the number in 2016. That means several hundred thousand people will have the option of voting by mail if they want or need to. See the data below.

For what it's worth, I've requested my mail-in ballot and I will use it if necessary. Right now I'm thinking I'll vote early, in person, on October 15, the first day of early voting. I am more than happy to risk my life to vote against Donald Fucking Trump.

Voting during a pandemic: Hearings begin today on lawsuit to ease restrictions

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The differences between a genuine threat (Coronavirus) and a perceived threat (voter fraud):

U.S. District Judge William Osteen scheduled three days of hearings starting Monday involving a lawsuit by two voting advocacy groups and several citizens who fear current rules threaten their health if they want to vote. There's already been a spike in mail-in absentee ballot applications, presumably by voters who prefer not to venture out to in-person voting centers and precincts.

The plaintiffs want Osteen to block several voting restrictions like how mail-in ballots are requested, who can help voters with forms and the hours early in-person voting centers operate. They also want drop boxes for completed absentee ballots and later registration deadlines.

I find it almost absurd that groups have to file their lawsuits against the NC Board of Elections, and not the Republican lawmakers who put these roadblocks in place. The NC BoE has tried to get many of these changes done by asking those Republicans, and have been mostly rebuffed. Granted, if the court rules to do x or y, Republicans will have to comply anyway. But it just seems wrong. But I won't be surprised of those Republicans file their own lawsuit against the Board of Elections over this necessary policy order:

Parsing the changes to Absentee voting by mail in NC

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It's been made easier, but it's still complex:

You can now request an absentee ballot via e-mail or fax with an electronic signature. And starting in June, you only need one witness to fill out a ballot.

"Making sure elections are safe and secure is more important than ever during this pandemic, and this funding is crucial to that effort," Cooper said in a press release Friday. The state will receive over $10 million in funding from the federal government to prepare for the effects of coronavirus on the 2020 election; $424,000 of that will be spent creating a ballot request website.

You need to e-mail or fax that request to your county board of election (as opposed to state website), and you still have to use the proper request form, and it doesn't appear that you can fill it out electronically (save document and make changes). So you'll need to print it out, fill it out, and then scan it (or fax it) as an image. That is until the above-mentioned "ballot request website" becomes operational. But I wouldn't hold your breath and wait for that this year; NC is notorious for taking a long time in developing new platforms such as this. And now to dispel the rumor of Roy Cooper signing Voter ID back into law:

Voting during a pandemic: Advocates and officials chime in

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Hat-tip to Melissa Boughton for putting this together:

It’s not easy to forget the photos of masked Wisconsin voters standing in large lines waiting to cast a ballot in the middle of a pandemic. Residents there risked their health and lives to make their voices heard; they chose democracy in the face of uncertainty, and now, the rest of the nation has a chance to learn from them.

One big lesson that I hope the NC GOP learned from that fiasco is this: You screw around with the election process to try and protect one (or several) of your candidates, and the people are liable to punish you for it. With Jill Karofsky's win over uber-conservative Daniel Kelly, the Wisconsin Supreme Court is now 4-3 conservative, perched on the edge of a flip to Liberal control. The fact that very Court was poised to purge 200,000 voters from the rolls with Kelly's backing likely played a role also, as well as the Court's decision to force the election itself. Back to NC and the things we need to do to help voters:

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