2020 Election

E-mails threatening Dem voters came from Estonia

Putin is worried he's about to lose his Puppet:


“We are in possession of all your information You are currently registered as a Democrat and we know this because we have gained access into the entire voting infrastructure. You will vote for Trump on Election Day or we will come after you. Change your party affiliation to Republican to let us know you received our message and will comply. We will know which candidate you voted for. I would take this seriously if I were you.”

Authorities are classifying this as a "Scam," but it's a hell of a lot more sinister than some identity theft effort. Not only does it seek to intimidate voters into choosing Trump, it also seeks to undermine faith and trust in our entire voting system. It doesn't matter how clumsy the effort is, and it should not be downplayed:

Trump campaign is really worried about North Carolina

Because huge voter turnout is frightening, apparently:

Internally, the Trump campaign is increasingly worried that the president's chances of winning North Carolina, a state the team has heavily invested in and views as essential for Trump's path to victory, has all but evaporated. The campaign had viewed the state as "super safe" as recently as just a few weeks ago, sources told ABC News.

Advisers now fear that, because the state counts and reports both day-of and mail-in votes together on election night, losing North Carolina could be a clear white flag.

In other words, counting all the votes is a bad sign for them. As the stink of desperation settles over the Trump family, they are showing up in NC daily. Donald Jr today, Ivanka tomorrow, and the Orange Satan himself on Wednesday:

Analysts: Trump can't win without North Carolina

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Which is why we've been "blessed" by so many visits:

President Donald Trump’s frequent visits to North Carolina are a sign: the state and its 15 Electoral College votes are critical to his effort to win reelection. He has made seven appearances here since July 27 — four in September alone.

Biden leads Trump by a slight margin in North Carolina, which Western Carolina University political scientist Chris Cooper called the most-important swing state in deciding the election. “I think there is a path to victory for Biden that doesn’t go down Tobacco Road, but I don’t think the same is true for President Trump,” Cooper said.

While I find it frustrating we still need to worry about Trump winning North Carolina (WTAF, people), it's somewhat comforting to know Biden can still win without us. Just like Obama did in 2012 with 332 Electoral votes. But (once again) it's the suburbs in NC that will determine the outcome:

Today is the last day for voter registration for 2020 Election

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Unless you're planning to one-stop early vote:

Applications received after 5 p.m. Friday will be timely if postmarked on or before Oct. 9. If a postmark is missing or unclear, an application will be processed if it’s received no later than 20 days before the election. Otherwise, the application won’t be processed until after the election.

Faxed or emailed applications must be received by 5 p.m. Friday, and hard copies must be delivered to the Board of Elections by 20 days before the election.

Understand, if you have moved since you last registered to vote, even if you're still in the same voting precinct, your registration is no longer valid and must be updated. You can check your voter registration status right here just to make sure. If you miss today's deadline, you can register and vote the same day at an early voting site. But you will need to provide proof of residence when doing so. Here are some other qualifications to consider:

Trump's voter suppression machine kicks into high gear

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And harassing election officials is one of their weapons:

The strategy was on display last week when Trump tweeted about nine “discarded” ballots in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. Then this week the hot spot was a Philadelphia fight over whether Trump campaign poll monitors could be allowed into newly opened satellite election offices.

Trump poll monitors requested entry, but city election offices said neither party's observers had a legal right to access the buildings. Under state law, poll monitors can only observe live, in-person voting and not places where people can register, fill out early ballots and drop them off to be counted weeks later. The campaign sent observers to the sites, and in one case, they were turned away by a Republican on the city election commission. The campaign sued the city Thursday night in an effort to gain access to the sites.

After tearing apart the Postal Service to slow down the mail (and make people fear mailing in their ballots), of course they're going to haunt boards of elections sites where people go to drop off their absentee ballots. All it takes is a few high-profile incidents and people will be afraid to do that, too. Wisconsin's Election Commission developed guidelines for poll watchers in 2018 that is a good model:

Social media battleground: Disinformation is the game, chaos is the goal

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And the upcoming election is the perfect medium for it:

Intelligence officials have expressed concerns that Russian and other actors will have a major opening if mail-in ballots are slow to be counted, or there are charges and countercharges about the handling of mail-in ballots, which President Trump has already said are being used to “rig” the outcome.

During that time after the election, the two agencies said, hackers could amplify “disinformation that includes reports of voter suppression, cyberattacks targeting election infrastructure, voter or ballot fraud and other problems intended to convince the public of the elections’ illegitimacy.”

Bolding mine, because these are issues that are already of major concern to many on the left. They know we're worried about it, thus we have been preconditioned to help in the dissemination of that disinformation. But here's where it gets really complicated: Some of these stories might be true. Black voters may get harassed in Missouri, an election system may get hacked in Arizona. But sharing the hell out of that story on Facebook or Twitter may also discourage people from voting. And that would make said disinformation a success. Facebook is going after some low-hanging fruit right now:

Trump doesn't want to "test" the system, he wants to de-legitimize it

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And increase unnecessary crowding and confusion at the polls on Election day:

N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein reminded people they cannot vote twice, again rebuking President Donald Trump’s telling North Carolinians to vote by mail and to try again in person. It is illegal to vote twice.

Trump tweeted: “NORTH CAROLINA: To make sure your Ballot COUNTS, sign & send it in EARLY. When Polls open, go to your Polling Place to see if it was COUNTED. IF NOT, VOTE! Your signed Ballot will not count because your vote has been posted. Don’t let them illegally take your vote away from you!”

Think about it. If his supporters follow this recommendation, there will be thousands of additional voters showing up at their polling places for no reason, asking poll workers for evidence that voter could easily get through the new NC Board of Elections BallotTrax portal. We're struggling as it is to have enough volunteers working the polls, the last thing they need is a steady stream of assholes who've already voted clogging up the process. Lines will already be long with social distancing, and this will turn even the least-crowded precincts into nightmares.

NC Board of Elections needs to help nursing home patients vote

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They are not convicted felons, although we appear to be treating them that way:

This year, what stumped Hutchins, despite all his resourcefulness, was how he was going to exercise his basic constitutional right to vote during a pandemic. The Davis Community nursing home in Wilmington, North Carolina, where Hutchins has lived for two years, has barred visitors since March. Margaret, still in the retirement community nearby, can’t help him, nor can their four kids and eight grandchildren.

Neither can the nursing home staff. A 2013 state law prohibits staff at hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and rest homes from helping residents with their ballots.

In truth, I hesitated writing this because I didn't want to add to the ReopenNC nonsense that still persists, even though NC seems to be faring better than other states during this pandemic. But this situation has deep, Constitutional implications, that simply must be addressed, and soon. Before proceeding, I need to bore you with another personal anecdote:

The Green Wave? Dems rake in the cash in Legislative races

Online fundraising is breaking records in 2020:

Officials with the digital fundraising service say that even with less than three months before Election Day, ActBlue contributions to Democratic state legislative candidates have already set a record, totalling more than $76 million.

That’s a greater than 20% increase from the $63 million in ActBlue donations to the party’s state legislative candidates in the entire 2018 election cycle — and more than three times state House and Senate candidates raised during the 2016 election.

My initial take on this was that people are frustrated with quarantine life and are anxious to do something before the election clock runs out. But there's also a lot of economic uncertainty, and people will generally hold onto their money when that happens. So in my mind, that crosses off "pandemic" as a reason, leaving only the fervent desire for political change. And NC needs that badly:

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