20 Episode results for "State Board Of Elections"
Blind Voters Are Suing North Carolina and Texas, Arguing that Mail Ballots Are Discriminatory
"Lined voters are suing North Carolina and Texas arguing that mail ballots are discriminatory. By Abigail Abrams Ricky Scott has voted in his home state of North Carolina for roughly forty years as a blind black man. He's used to navigating various obstacles to cast a ballot even with his states, accessible traffic voting machines. But this year he's facing an unprecedented situation the coronavirus pandemic means that voting in person could put his health and potentially his life at risk I'm concerned about being exposed says, Scott. WHO's fifty nine years old and at a high risk for complications related to covid nineteen I need to mitigate the possibility of contracting this thing he adds but. Scott also knows his options are limited while millions of other Americans have turned to absentee voting or voting by mail. It doesn't work for everyone both methods typically require that voters fill out a paper ballot something a blind person can't do independently Scott says he and other disability advocates have raised this issue with elections officials in the past but made little progress. Now faced with a pandemic, he's turning to the courts in July Scott along with several other blind voters and local disability groups filed a lawsuit against North Carolina State Board of elections to demand and. Way To independently and privately vote in November's election. Any time when you're deprived of an independent and a secret ballot, you feel like less than a full citizens. Scott. Says our state makes you feel like a second class citizen and they don't value those of us with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act, which turned thirty. This year was supposed to prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities and guarantee them access to all areas of public life, and while the help America vote. act. Requires every polling place in the country to have at least one accessible voting machine for federal elections. Most states do not have similarly accessible absentee ballot systems that means for voters like Scott. They're stuck with a difficult choice give up their right to vote privately and independently risk exposure to covid nineteen by voting in person or don't vote at all in North Carolina. There are roughly one hundred, sixty, two thousand registered voters with vision disabilities according to an estimate from disability rights North Carolina one of the groups suing the state that's enough to make a difference in a battleground state where President Donald Trump and former vice president Joe Biden are neck and neck in the polls in two thousand sixteen trump won the state with fewer than one hundred, seventy, five, thousand votes and it's not just. Blind voters who are affected by the reliance on paper ballots while people with different disabilities have varying needs those with mobility impairments, tremors, cognitive disabilities, or learning disabilities may also be unable to mark paper ballot by themselves more than six million people with a visual impairment were eligible to vote across the country in twenty, sixteen and one six of the total electorate had some form of disability according to data from researchers at Rutgers University. Americans with disabilities have not traditionally favored one party over the other in two, thousand, sixteen, roughly fifty percent leaned democratic according to Pew Research Center while forty two percent leaned Republican but this bipartisanship has not precluded increasingly. Advocacy. Paticularly around issues related to Healthcare as Republicans attempted to repeal the affordable care act and the trump administration cut Medicaid and other benefits. Voter turnout among Americans with disabilities, which has historically been lower than those without disabilities surged by eight and a half percentage points in twenty eighteen and advocacy groups have been aiming to repeat that success this year. So as Americans with disabilities, many of whom have been hit hard by Covid nineteen have sought. To cast their votes without putting their health at risk lawsuits like the one in North Carolina popped up around the country. Some cases have already been successful as a result of court orders or agreements sparked by lawsuits Pennsylvania Maine New Hampshire New York, and Virginia have all added accessible absentee ballot options for people with disabilities blind voters and advocacy groups are still suing in Texas and lawsuits. Addressing other accessibility concerns have been filed in other states to. The blind voters lawsuits against Texas and North Carolina both note that their states already allow members of the military and other Americans living overseas to receive and return ballots electronically and ask why the same would not be afforded to them in. Texas. The Secretary of State's ought to dismiss the lawsuit outright and in North Carolina the state. Board of elections argued that allowing disabled voters to and return ballots electronically would present security concerns. North Carolina also said that even if the state changed its rules, it would be difficult to transition to electric absentee ballots before November setting up an electronic absentee system for disabled voters quote would place an enormous if not insurmountable strain on the state's administration of the twenty twenty general election an election already under strain due to the COVID nineteen pandemic and already in progress, the State Board of elections wrote in response to the lawsuit. The security concerns are real. States like North Carolina provide an online portal where military and overseas voters can cast their ballots while others allow these voters to fax or. Directly to elections officials but these Americans living abroad typically have to give up their right to a private vote and elections administrators, security experts, and lawmakers have all cautioned that any system of voting connected to the Internet is not entirely secure. Still lawyers and disability rights advocates say that if officials are comfortable making that compromise for military overseas voters, the same could be done for those with disabilities if you're allowing one group of people to do it this way, then why is it an insurmountable security concern for voters with disabilities to do it that way says, holly styles a lawyer at Disability Rights North Carolina who's representing the voters in the lawsuit. That's where you get into that discrimination and unequal treatment. She says, disability rights advocates also note this is not a new issue, the national, Federation of the blind sent letters to states with inaccessible systems. Last September, Maryland developed its own. Online. Tool several years ago to allow voters with disabilities to mark their absentee ballots on their computers and other states including Oregon Wisconsin and West Virginia have other electronic absentee ballot solutions. We're talking about a lot of things in response to covid nineteen that should have been done well before covid nineteen says Michelle Bishop, the voting rights specialist at the National Disability Rights Network. These are things that we could have prepared for if we'd been making things fully accepts and complying with the law all along. Now, we're at a point where because we collectively didn't bother to do that. We're really opening up people with disabilities to an inordinate amount of risk. The North Carolina State Board of elections declined times requests to comment on ongoing litigation. A district judge in the state heard the case on September twenty third and could issue an order soon in the meantime, blind and disabled voters are trying to plan for multiple scenarios that could play out as the election draws closer Kendall Gibbs twenty two who is blind and uses a guide dog says, this will be the second time she's voted in a general election, but she's worried about exposing herself to Cova. As a person with a visual impairment, it puts me at more risk because I do have a tendency to touch things more than your average person. She says, it's also harder for her to maintain social distance since she can't see where other people are standing and gibbs is worried about not knowing what her dog is exposed to when she goes outside. If, North Carolina where any voter can request an absentee ballot without an excuse switch to an electronic absentee system this cycle, she could potentially use a screen reader to fill out ballot on her computer and vote safely from home. But if the situation stays as is she says, she would consider risking her health to vote on an accessible machine in person it's very dehumanizing to have to rely on someone to assist you in your basic American citizen rights. Gibbs says. For Scott the decision about how he'll vote is still up in the air he's thought about going in person during North Carolina's early voting period if the lawsuit fails or he might give up his privacy and ask his daughter who he trusts and who has been taking safety precautions pan-demic to fill out a paper absentee ballot for him. But that's not an option for everyone Scott says he says he's frustrated that he's been trying to. Restrict his activities to help slow the spread of the corona virus, and now his State is asking him to do the opposite to vote. We're not asking for special treatment were merely asking for treatment that's according to every other citizen in our state and utilizing system. That's already in place. Scott says we want North Carolina to do that, which is right to follow the law and to bring us into full citizenship status like everybody else.
Bernie Sanders loses influence over convention as New York cancels state presidential primary
"Welcome to the lead from meet the press. I'm carried in many things have been canceled. Amid the uncertainty presented by her virus people's vacations students entire school years in some states. Sports seasons have been cancelled and so has our ability to even care anymore. How dumb are hair looks? And today we learned about one more thing that has been effectively cancelled New York state's presidential primary contest. Here is why today. The New York State Board of elections announced that it will remove Bernie Sanders name from the ballot for the primary which had been rescheduled to June. Of course because of Corona Virus Safety Concerns the Commissioner of that board said today that quote. It's time for us to realize that. The presidential contest is over now that effectively cancels the entire contest in Bernie Sanders. Supporters are not happy about it. But why you might ask Bernie. Sanders has conceded and he has of course endorsed Joe Biden and New York has been the hardest hit of all in the corona virus crisis but the sanders had still been trying to get New York state officials to keep sanders name on the ballots. And that's because he hoped to accumulate more delegates in that contest so that during the national convention he would have a little bit more leverage to influence. The party's platform in fact. You might remember this from when Sanders dropped out of the race. He made a speech in which he included this request that he wanted to stay on the ballot for future primaries and a reason for that is because if a candidate according to Democratic Party rules has a quarter of the overall delegates going into the Convention. There are likely to have more of a voice on the various committees during the event that helped decide the operations and the policies of the party going forward. Now there's one more issue with that which is that sanders could actually lose some of the delegates. He accumulated before he dropped out from previous primary contests. Dating all the way back to Iowa party rules. Say that if a candidate suspended their campaign some of the delegates that they won in primaries should be reported. It's not all of them. It's the ones that they got spam statewide contests instead of congressional district contests. It's all very complicated. But the thing to keep in mind is that sanders could stand to lose a bunch of the delegates. He already has because of those roles so even if sanders gains more delegates from future primaries. He's probably GONNA lose. Some of the ones already had in the bag before he dropped out. There's already an effort from Sanders. Supporters to overturn those roles as well one of his top surrogates has asked the state of California where Sanders accumulated a big chunk of his overall at large state wide delegates to let Bernie Sanders. Keep those people but for now it looks like New York's recent decision represents another loss for sanders backers which may keep them energized against the party establishment even with sanders out of the race. That's a live for us if you'd like to hear more of this free audio briefing. You can always download us on your favorite podcast APP. Hey It's Chris. As this week on my podcast wise is happening. I'll be talking with author. Rebecca solnit about the remarkable communities that built amidst disaster. There are people organizing in most communities across the country and doing other forms of it in other countries to figure out. How do we take care of each other in the context of not being able to physically be with each other in ordinary ways? And it's just extraordinary. Seeing both the intensity of this desire to help people you may never meet and the creativity in figuring out how to do it and that is a really important part of who human beings are in times like this that I think is always dormant or latent within us. It's as though it finds fertile soil to grow on in these moments this week on. Why is this happening? Search for wise is happening wherever you're listening right now and subscribe.
Why You Shouldnt (And Cant) Vote Twice
"Welcome to the point for September third I'm Lauren Danske Co author of the point. I'm here to cut through the political spin to bring you the news you need to know. President Donald Trump on Wednesday appeared to encourage people in North Carolina to vote twice once by mail, and once in person during the November general election, the goal according to trump is to double check that their initial vote was counted. But trump suggestion is already receiving pushback from state election officials because for the very important record Americans can only vote once per election. When trump was asked by a local news station in North Carolina where he was confident in the states absentee voting system the president launched into a somewhat rambling answer. He later told people to send in their ballots saying you send them in, but you go to vote and if they haven't counted it, you can vote. So that's the way I. Feel Trump essentially encouraged voters to test the state's voting system according to North Carolina Law. It is a felony for any person with intent to commit a fraud to register or vote at more than one precinct or more than one time now, north. Carolina. Officials are dissuading. The public from taking the president's vice the North Carolina State Board of Elections told CNN that people do not need to go to the polls on election day if they're ballot has been counted and strongly advise against it to allow other people who have not yet cast a ballot to vote encouraging voters to double up on their votes is particularly problematic in North Carolina which has a recent complicated history with election fraud and an increased number of duplicate ballots in the middle of an election, which is already seeing more mail in ballots because of the pandemic could further slow tabulations in the swing state on election day. Meanwhile new polling from CNN shows trump in a dead heat with Vice. President. Joe. Biden in North Carolina. A Fox News poll shows Biden with a five point advantage in the tar heel state. So let's get to the point despite what president trump said and no matter what state your in. You should not vote twice whether absentee or in-person only cast one ballot. and. That is the point for September third twenty twenty. Thank you for listening. For more updates throughout the week including our Sunday night campaign edition, subscribe to the point newsletter at CNN dot com slash point. If you like this audio briefing, you can get it every single weekday on Google home or Amazon Echo or subscribe on Stitcher or apple podcasts or your favorite podcast APP. So you never miss an episode.
Lessons From New York's Mail-Vote Mess
"Facts allow you to make decisions in unpredictable times get the facts you need from the Wall Street Journal from pre corona virus updates to daily deep dives and our podcasts videos. WSJ is a trusted source in uncertain times visit wsj.com. From. The opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal this is Potomac. Six weeks after New York's primary elections. Some vote totals were still up in the air and the July jobs report shows one point eight million added workers welcome. I'm Kyle Peterson with the Wall Street Journal sitting in today for Paul, Zhigo, we are joined today by my colleagues editorial board member, Alicia, Finley highly. Kyle and editorial writer Jason will, Capi Friday Jason it to be here. On Tuesday elected officials in New York certified that Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney who represents parts of Manhattan Brooklyn and Queens had won re election in the Twelfth District during that June twenty third primary But what's a little alarming is the vote totals. There are still a still unknown final vote counts on Monday. A federal judge ruled that some ballots that arrived after election day must be counted even if they don't have a postmark showing when there remained. State officials say they're going to appeal that. So I thought we could just hash out a little bit about what went wrong and what we can learn for November. Two and to start just with the LAX deadlines The US Postal Service says that voters should give allow for a week for completed ballots to come. In New, York allows seven days before the election to request a ballot. And last week in that federal lawsuit. The Co Chair of the State Board of elections testified that the state has told the legislature that seven days is unrealistic and fourteen days would be better. But political leaders quote have rejected that because they don't want to be perceived as doing something that's not voter friendly unquote but Jason I mean. It seems like they've set the system up for failure by by allowing deadlines that are so close to the day of the actual vote. Right I mean you want I mean what's the purpose of elections part of the purpose of the election is to? Give everyone a voice in their government. Part of the purpose of the election is to deliver an outcome that everyone can agree on and if you don't have an outcome that's clear and decisive, and soon than you undermine the faith people have. In their election. So it's not just about making sure that everyone can vote. That is the making sure that it's as convenient as possible for everyone to vote. That's important. It's also about making a process that everyone feels confident in. So I don't understand why. We can't set up processes that enable counting to get done earlier. So we don't have to wait weeks and weeks with lawsuits and a fog of confusion allegations that undermine our democracy will the the issue of convenience seems is allowed to trump a lot of other considerations I mean just to take that seven days as an example, imagine your New Yorker and your temporarily in Florida you mail an absentee ballot requests and yet say takes three days to get there and maybe they process it in two days It takes three days to come back. Maybe, there's a Sunday in there. So if you if you our mailing the request seven days before the deadline, you get your ballot, you know a day after the election maybe I mean there's there seems like there were examples of that the day before the June twenty third primary The board of elections put thirty, four thousand items in the mail stream presumably a lot of those ballots, Lucia and people I'm sure didn't get some of them in time. Right. And you know that the post office is not a model of efficiency even in normal times and during the pandemic as Democrats or mouth loving to point out male is even slower. To know some states in Washington Colorado have had. The universal. Mail in ballots for years and they haven't had. Each problems but that's because they do require the doubts actually arrived before election. Or by election day or people, drop them off at the precincts or wherever going states. I mean what other call me cynical but I think this is basically wasn't just intended to or voter convenience. It was intended for Democrats Mount last minute motor organization bribes young people are notoriously late. In sending in ballots engaging registered so this allows like Democrats and then their allies to register voters very late in the game. One one difference I would adult. So on states that do universal mail in balloting is they are prepared to handle that level of volume that was one of the other the alarming. Things that came out of this federal court hearing was the co-chair of the New York State Board of Elections said there is a borough office in Manhattan that had something like thirty thousand or forty thousand pending applications for absentee ballots a about a week and a half before the election and he said he was told they could only process five thousand a day and so his reaction is here's a quote from visas. Basically, my view is that they threw up their hands and said, well, there's nothing more that we can do unquote and so Jason I mean it seems likely what happened at one of the things that happened in this primary and certainly a worry concern. For November is that states that are not prepared for that volume of absentee ballots are just GonNa be overwhelmed. Right I mean this is the challenge of voting in a pandemic under these unusual circumstances normally, we have a system that works pretty well where I think about a quarter of ballots are mailed in the postal service and the relevant authorities are can handle that are used to handling that and the rest of the people are showing up at the polling place in voting by if we're going to set up a system where a much larger share than a quarter of ballots are going to be cast by mail adjustments need to be made we've already seen how. You know all our institutions have come under strain from the requirements of this pandemic and the election is no different than it's silly to be just sorta blythe about it and say, Oh, well, you know we can do this with no problem when we when we've seen how all of our institutions have been creaking under strain, WanNa, make sure that this that this works. The last thing we need in a pandemic is uncertainty about the election outcome and then to bring up the the postal service which we mentioned a few minutes ago the efficiency of it. Then the next problem here in New York was there appear to be thousands of ballots that arrived. To election officials without postmarks on them and that matters because New York is a state where as long as you mail, your ballot is long as it's postmarked by election day, it can arrive up to a week late and still be counted. So the election day passed and you know you're getting two, two, one, two, three days after the election and mail is still coming in but a lot of these ballots don't have postmarks on them and That's what that's what the federal judge ordered that some of those need to be counted and The, the just the the fact that that's a possibility, a risk I don't think is being discussed very much. I mean election officials. In my view. One of the things they they ought to be saying is we go into November is that if it's a day before the election, you know maybe you would be better off maybe it would be wiser to drive over to the county office and put that ballot in the dropbox yourself. Right. I mean that's a great point to Kalemie. There is nothing really stopping these places are like in the states where we mentioned earlier, do have dropped off booting. So when you're thinking that, we may not have an answer some these whether. Congress I mean no doubt Democrats over Shirley, you maintain control the House. When you don't know some of Senate, he'll close Senate elections, and Ludlow for the presidency. You have you know in some of the key swing states. You may not have. An outcome for potentially weeks. I would just add that. was looking at this. This potential confusion around the election it is nice that we have an electoral college. So the outcome is such that you know even if certain states have outcome that is unknown, we may wellstone though the overall outcome of the election. Thanks to the electoral college however that's also Being, criticized and and their calls to replace it hang tight. We'll be right back. You're listening to Potomac Watch from the Wall Street Journal. When the world is at a standstill facts, can move us forward facts help us make decisions and bring us together even as were apart the Wall Street Journal has the fax in these uncertain times get the latest on the corona virus outbreak with free coverage of the crisis and its impact on the economy politics culture and daily life. Find the clarity you need with America's most trusted news source visit wsj.com and stay informed. From the opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal this is a thome watch. Welcome back another interesting piece of news on Voting Front is the trump campaign has sued saying it will soon, Nevada. Over a recently passed election law there. Jason. Give us a little sense of what the controversy is in that case. While Nevada has. Passed a law that aims to expand well intentioned to be sure aiming to expand a mail in voting. Because of the pandemic, the most controversial at peace is making it easier for third parties to collect a people's ballots and deliver them either through the mail or to. An election office that known as ballot harvesting of especially by by critics but that's the most controversial part of the bill. and. That's an interesting case because state laws very a whole lot. There are some states like California where paid political staffers essentially can go door to door. In neighborhoods. Knocking on the door hello I'm with this voter. Advocacy group or whatever were going around picking up absentee ballots. I'm happy to take your absentee ballot and return to the Office for you There are other states where that's completely banned and people have been charged with fraud essentially for doing that and then there are states in the middle where they they want to allow caregivers, for example, to do that, but it's It's a restricted on who can do it or the person who's bearing the ballot has to sign the ballot or no one. No single person can have you know two ballots or five ballots are can help more than ten people per election. So there's a whole range. Of State Laws and how different states handle that but. At least I mean, do you do you see ballot harvesting as a a real issue real potential for fraud or or? Just. Casting doubt on the results there. There is some room for mischief appear I mean you can understand why Democrats like it because it does allow them to Their turnout, a increase, their turnout operations in California, which does have been very. Lenient voter harvesting law. That has been attributed to their ability to some districts especially with large numbers of college students thinking basically go door to door or apartment department in these areas where large clusters of a young liberal voters and harvest does and then just drop them off or urge you know helping people sign make sure that they go out the ballots Maybe, this euro, that might be a little harder to do of college some colleges don't reopen, but there are still areas of the country where there are large concentrations of democratic voters meal in the urban areas in particular that the event. They're also in swing state where you're going to see Democrats really try to focus in concentrate their energies in Increasing, their turnouts. I guess in my mind. Whenever you break the chain of custody between the voter and the ballot. You're creating opportunities for things to go wrong whether it's intentional or not whether it's a fraud or whether it's someone who's doing ballet harvesting who forgets a box box in their back seat and discovers it a month after the election I mean, you're you're creating opportunities for problems to. Arise that said Jason I guess in my mind, the president is not being very effective messenger on this issue because he is constantly focusing on the issue of fraud instead of some of these larger problems like with the post office without rejection rates i. think he could have a stronger argument if you would focus on some of those other things. Yeah I think that's right. I think there's a risk. For Republicans when they're talking about voting politics in the Baltics voting, they basically sound like we want people to vote were afraid of facing the voters You know we were going to and I think that you know obviously that's politically fatal as it as it should be an end. You know it is unfortunate because that enables this polarized narrative where the president talks about fraud and people rightly say there isn't evidence of widespread fraud but then that enables them to take the high ground in ignore the way that we're actually undermining democratic legitimacy if we don't have. A tight and and rapid process. So I think it's unfortunate. The way that the issue is polarized I think that both you know it's a classic example, the president and his critics. Each bring out the worst in one another. And just to add a few more specifics there. So in two thousand, sixteen, a more than three hundred, thousand male imbalance absentee ballots were rejected, and this is not because of any fraud or alleged fraud, it's because. The ballots were not sealed correctly or the signature is on them. If the voter has to sign them, don't match the signature is on that person stayed ID and You know people who are election election people who are volunteer sometimes are eyeballing those signatures, and if you have an election where there are a lot of people who've never voted by mail before are going to try using these ballots that number could be way higher in November, and then there's also a study in Florida that suggest that black voters are. About twice as likely as white voters to have their mail imbalance rejected. So again, even just putting fraud aside, you add all those things together and I you you you create a real opportunity for a crisis of legitimacy. If for example, the deciding state in the Electoral College Wisconsin and it is decided by a narrow number of votes and far more votes than that are rejected for one reason or another and campaigns go through and they look at those rejections and they find disparities in in which neighborhoods had higher rejection rates. For me my for my part I mean I can only hope that this election is not a photo finish. I think everybody for these reasons should want a clear victory show. You know whether regardless of which side wins. Right. You don't want be waiting because as you mentioned this does cast legitimacy on the election process. You WanNa Jason had also pointed out earlier of podcasts This is an important bird democratic outcomes and and the credibility of the process. You don't want people questioning it was not ideal in two thousand one you had people still debating the the hanging chads and then the supreme court had to intervene and. You'll Democrat dispute today that George. Bush. Won The election error he's legitimacy as president. Right well switching gears a little bit. The the Friday jobs report had a bit of brighter news at least. At least looking at those top line figures, one, point eight, million jobs gained the unemployment rate ticked down to ten point two percent. Lucia, can you give us a sense of what the story is beneath those headline numbers right so it's a bit of a mixed bag. The unemployment rate did. Did. Did the Labor Force Participation Rate Hiring is you know it's it's slowing some wide of the the best news probably is that a retail our? Jobs that loss or industries like retail eastern hospitality care that loss a lot of jobs during the lockdowns are still adding jobs even though the some businesses have imposer, some states have re imposed some restrictions on businesses like Arizona, Texas in such a closed out bars and California as basically closed out. Most everything again So the fact that there is still continue to be growth in these industries is that's a good news. On. The other hand long-term unemployment those. Unemployed more than fifteen weeks has increased significantly. So people who lost their job. They're still large numbers of people who lost their jobs during lockouts and even some people lost their jobs before the lockdown probably in January and February that are still on the sidelines This raises some questionable why obviously the congress slow. But. It seems in businesses have been reporting this that they're struggling to hire workers, Rehire workers that were laid off because then they can make more unemployment on unemployment benefits. Some two-thirds of workers, Warranty University of Chicago study one earn more not working than they did work. one in five or twice as much not working than they did working now those the enhanced unemployment benefits Of will be expired a week ago now Congress and the president, and they're trying to negotiate whether there should be extension but it'll be interesting next couple of weeks if there isn't a whether Java spouts backer. Actually in the weekly payroll numbers at decline then you are bigger decline than actually seeing in recent weeks because there isn't this incentive to work. Right, and so part of. Part of the question of how the recovery proceeds will depend on the virus but part of it seems like Jason will also depend on what Congress does I mean Democrats and Republicans have been at loggerheads on a phase five corona virus relief package for a while now and Democrats want to extend that six hundred dollar federal supplement for unemployment insurance and Republicans suggested a lower weekly amount targeting about seventy percent of wage replacement. But as Alicia indicates I, mean I agree I think it will be interesting to see what happens because This jobs report doesn't include the expiration of that, and so it'll be interesting to see what the next jobs report shows, but it also depends on whether Congress comes to any dealer not. I, mean I think the first wave of corona virus when it struck struck the northeast. And unemployment surge. One part of that was also that a congress had passed the most generous unemployment benefits ever. So that made it easier for more people. To be off of were those restricted that if those benefits are restricted in a deal with Republicans. Than there's going to be more pressure on people to get back in the Labor Force Democrats would rejoin than there will be less demand. You know this this money in people's pockets boosting demand ordering the economy but I think the evidence is that a lot of it is being saved but at least you just to do a quick thirty, thousand foot read I mean is your view of this jobs report that it looks like the recovery is stalling or at risk of stalling here in the next month or two? No I don't think it's GonNa. The gun stall out I think in all. Of anything we're starting see a tale of two two economies with the blue states that lockdown longer having a much slower jobs recovery. Than, states that maintain lesser add maintain less rigid or strict restrictions on business. Rooms inches if you look at the Latest unemployment claims data eighteen point one percent in California versus something like three, four percent in Utah and Idaho where you really have it where you've seen much less of a virus resurgence than you have in California. So I think it'll really depend on what states do on in next couple months. Interesting. All right. Well, thank you, Alicia. Thank you, Jason. Thank you all for listening. Will be back next week with another addition of Potomac Watch.
Politics with Amy Walter: How North Carolina's Electoral Process is Unfolding
"Support for the takeaway comes from hint water. Hint is water infused with fruit essences like watermelon and blackberry no sweeteners no calories in stores are delivered direct to your door from drink hint dot com hint water with a touch of true fruit flavor. Listener supported. W NYC studios. His politics with Amy Walter on the takeaway. The bedrock of our democracy is free and fair elections. But it's not a given. It requires a lot of us the system itself is built on trust. Now, the president has been sowing seeds of distrust throughout the course of the campaign using his bully pulpit spread conspiracy theories about the integrity of absentee ballots. And it's having an impact. A recent monmouth university poll found that almost forty percent of Americans don't believe that the elections will be conducted barely inaccurately. Majority of Americans in that poll said, they think the trump campaign will try to cheat if necessary to win in November. While thirty nine percent say the same thing of the Biden campaign on top of it all of course is a pandemic. That makes going to the polls or staffing those polls a serious health risk for many. All of this has meant that state election officials are under an unprecedented level of scrutiny and pressure. and. That's why over the course of the next three weeks will virtually venture to three swing states to hear how election officials in some of the most watched states are preparing. These conversations are part of a series. We're calling every vote counts and this week brought us to North Carolina. Myself. Anita shirl. North Carolina. Hello everyone. It's great to be here at UNC Greensboro. What a great North Carolina Day North. Carolina, it's a state full of wise voters and I can truthfully say Nothing. Could be finer than to be. Carolina. Aside from Barack Obama in two thousand, eight, the state hasn't voted for a Democrat for president since Jimmy Carter in one thousand, nine, hundred, seventy, six but polls show President Donald Trump and former vice president joe, Biden, neck, and neck. Also on the ballot is a hotly contested Senate race that could determine control of that body and voting is already underway on September fourth. The state began sending out mail in ballots I sat down with David Sir Kosta Chair of the North Carolina State Board of elections. Find out how it's going. Now unlike many states, North Carolina's election process is overseen not by a secretary of state but by a board of five, I started out by asking him how the board with three Democrats and two Republicans actually functions on the board of elections. There's five of us and not one of US think of ourselves primarily partisans. The Republicans aren't there to look out for Republican votes and I'm not there to look after democratic votes. We do a good job of making sure that all votes count we're we're the plumbers of. Democracy all we're trying to do is make sure that our pipe flow that everybody can get to their polling place or vote by mail or early in do it in a way that makes sure that their vote counts. So there's a partisan played to be made by others, but on the board itself, it's very, very nonpartisan in fact, one of the Republican. Members and I we co authored an op Ed right when the pandemic began about voting in the pandemic and how we all need to work together to make it happen. So if we have a very, very close election in North Carolina, you expect no matter what that this process is going to be carried out in. As open transparent and nonpartisan way. Possible even if you see, for example, the president way in or other political figures way in Talk about the pressure that you may feel your your colleagues may feel. The pressure. Really I mean obviously partisan actors are going to do what partisan actors do. Our job isn't to decide who north. Carolinians vote for our job is to just make sure your vote counts in. That's our North Star at the board of elections. So I don't see any pressure and I don't see any opportunity for that pressure to have any effect on what we do. It's it's boring in most years obviously, there's a lot more attention being paid to voting into voting in North Carolina this year, but but the job remains the same and that's just to make sure that we get it done. Right? It's not glamorous sometimes, it's exceedingly. But that tediousness is for reasons so that we can make sure that we get to count actor. Let's look at your preparedness for the fall. We know that there's a record number of absentee ballot applications requests that have come in talk us about. The preparedness at the local level and what this would mean from small town versus a big urban center and everything in between. We Kinda got lucky in twenty twenty. This was the first year in which we conducted our primary election during Super Tuesday. So the actual first case of covid nineteen was on primary election day here in Wake County So our our big election in the spring didn't that didn't happen before the pandemic. Had, a smaller congressional, primary second primary. So we got a little bit of a taste of what we would need to do to make sure that our election here in the falls going to operate. Well, here's the good news. Election administrators don't just work one or two days a year they're at at three, sixty five and lately it's been twenty, four seven. We learned a lot from other states we've been on top of all the processes that we need to make sure that it goes smoothly and we've had some built in advantages that were in our law well before covid nineteen. So a good example of that is how we Prepare your absentee vote by mail in order for it to be counted. First things. First, we were the first state in the Union to start sending those out. We started on September fourth, and we're very proud that almost seven hundred thousand haven't checked today absentee ballot requests went to us and we're getting those out as we speak. Not only do we have the opportunity to get out early those ballots out early but when they come back, we can do everything but the tabulation in the weeks leading up to the election. So a group of bipartisan board of Electors Review each ballot, the envelope in the container, and make sure that it's sufficient in secure, and then we do everything except tabulate those. So come election day, we'll be ready to go with all of our tabulation work and we'll be able to get many of. Our results out right there November, third for all the people who voted absentee by mail all the people who voted early and then as election-night rules on after the polls, close will start tabulating those votes as well. Well, I'm so glad you walked us through that because that was one many questions that we got from your state was when will vote by mail be counted. So what it sounds like you're saying is you can get the process all set up, make sure that all the absentee ballots are. Valid and then the day of the election. Starting. At. What time can they actually start saying Okay Adam up? So we don't tabulate until the polls close in the reason we don't do that as we don't want anybody to know beforehand what the results might be going into election day. But we can do everything beforehand ready to go. So as you said, we can review the absentee ballot. It's called the absentee ballot container, which is the envelope in which your ballot comes in. Make sure that's ready to go. We can get the ballot ready scam it get it in the tabulation machine, and then on election day every ballot that came to us before election day we will tabulate right. Then when the polls close there'll be some late breaking ballots people who the. Mail their absentee vote by mail in late. We will count those. So long as they're postmarked by Election Day, we'll count them up to three days after election day. So we'll get all of those those done, and then any balance there was any question on needed to go through a curative process will count those as well. But the overwhelming majority of our ballots will be counted on election day and into before sunrise if you will on on Wednesday morning, we'll have. Done that's not the case everywhere, and we're very proud of that here in North Carolina. You make a really good point though it needs to be postmarked by election day. We know there's been a lot of back and forth about the role of the postal service in this election if the is really really close, will you know how many ballots you expect to still come in? After Election Day. All certainly have a rough idea because you have to request your absentee ballot and we'll know how many outstanding requests there are. Some of those people might have chosen to go vote on election day you're allowed to request an absentee ballot and so long as you don't try and vote ballot, you can go in and vote in person, and so we'll have a rough idea of how many outstanding ballots there will be. It's really important for people to understand that our job is to get it fast. Our job is to get it right and we're GONNA do everything. We can to move as quickly as we can. But this is the middle of pandemic. We are anticipating a huge surge in the number of voters who choose to vote absentee by mail and those take more time to process. So we're GONNA ask the public for some patients and we're GONNA ask that everybody just sit tight and take a breath I think here in in twenty twenty a little bit of everybody just Kinda relaxing a bit is probably a good idea for all sorts of reasons. And we'll get done. It will get through it and we'll get through it together. Do you have an expectation for what percent of the vote you think is going to come early absentee versus in person internally we've been looking at. Anywhere between twenty and forty percent of North Carolina voters choosing to use their vote absentee by mail. We also have had a good history in the last decade or two of early voting and a lot of voters using the roughly two week period from October Fifteenth Talk Tober thirty I to to vote early so. There's a good chance that. North of seventy percent of our voters will have cast their ballot before November third. Well. So. Let's talk about that in person process Obviously what we saw during the primaries where a lot of. Places that normally had been open. For. Voting were closed either because they didn't have the poll workers to staff them or because they were in places that quite frankly weren't safe. During a pandemic senior centers schools, etc. What is the in person situation going to look like in? North Carolina at this moment and do you think you're going to get the number of poll workers and the number of polling places that you need? Well? On both fronts. I'm optimistic about poll workers for two reasons one in a bipartisan fashion. The General Assembly passed a bill that let's pull workers be from in the county in which they're registered, not simply the precinct which registered. So that will give us a little bit more flexibility in how we staffed polling places. We have over twenty five, hundred election day polling places as well as almost five hundred early voting, a places to vote, and that's a lot of stacking that we need to do. We're anticipating a need for nearly thirty thousand election workers in order to achieve the election. The reason I'm optimistic that will get those thirty thousand election workers as we've seen North Carolinians step up. We ran something called a democracy heroes campaign said not all heroes wear capes some work on elections and what we did at the state level is we opened a portal that let anybody. Know their interest, and then we're sending those interests forms to the county so they can use that in there already. Staffing preparations we've had seventeen thousand North Carolinians. Fill out an interest form that's on top of all the work that the counties are doing. I'm an election nerd I've been around this work for a long time and it nothing warms my heart more to see that people are taking the real interest in making sure that their friends and neighbors can vote and vote in voted away that's convenient and safe and accessible, and so I am optimistic that we're going to have our polling places fully operational and that we're going to have everybody step up. To do that work so that people can vote quickly on election day and during the early voting process and frankly during the mail in process, which also takes a fair amount of staff North Carolina and voting as you very well know been in the news recently thinks some comments. The president recently made encouraging voters to vote by mail and then go in person to make sure that that ballot was actually counted. Can you talk about that for a minute about what that would look like? Certainly. The first thing I'll say is in regards to the president's comments we sent out a statement earlier on that specific incident but generally speaking what I wanna talk about is the notion of double voting. If you. Attempt to vote twice fraudulently in North Carolina that's a felony in you will go to jail. And believe me we know how to catch you. If you're trying to simply verify your vote, you're doing a disservice for a couple reasons. First of all, we give you plenty of options to verify your absentee vote by mail. You can do it without leaving the comfort of your own home. You can do it online. You can call Your County Board of elections you can send an email and we can certainly verify whether or not. Your vote has been received in tabulated. Secondly, when you go to the polling place having already voted what you're doing is you're taking the spot of somebody else who hasn't voted in that line in you're gonNA, make it more challenging for your friends and your neighbors and other people knew who need to do their civic duty and that that's discouraging for lotteries and so I will say the everybody one if you intend to defraud us. You will go to jail to there are plenty of ways to make sure that your vote counts in three. Make sure your neighbors have the opportunity to vote as well. David I have to say that the number three is the thing that I kept thinking about is what happens. When two hundred people show up at seven thirty in the morning at the local polling place all asking these poll workers to double check and make sure that their vote was cast. Meanwhile, there's a long line out the door if people who still are waiting to vote in this creates gums up the whole works is that what you're thinking as well I'm concerned about that I want to. Assure, everybody that if you vote absentee vote by mail up, we're going to count your vote. What I will suggest to all voters. Is Make a plan. and. Make your plan as early as possible. So if you choose to absentee vote by mail request your ballot Arlen and get your ballot back in as soon as you ready. If you're going to early vote, we've got a seventeen day period in which to do it. Typically, the first day is really busy and then the next ten, there's plenty of room, and then it gets busier and busier as as the last few days approach. So if you're going to early vote. Do that early and if you're going to vote on election day, I would suggest you do that as early as you can you know making a plan and having contingencies. So if the babysitter doesn't show or something comes up at work, you've already done your civic duty I. Think it's just smart planning on everybody's part, and I hope voters will do that when it comes to how they choose to. But let me ask you this question if we got one of these from. A listener. I, think it was a listener from Raleigh who was saying, what if? I do request ballot, and it hasn't come like how how nervous should I be that I haven't gotten my ballot yet it should be a week. Should it be? Days. What's what's the process in which you would say to a voter? You know what? Cash that's that you should definitely would say one give us a little bit of time especially in these early days. But if you don't hear from us the middle of this month than certainly check in with us and see what's going on I would say to you if it's tour towards the end and it's crunch time and you're still waiting for a absentee requests ballot, you still have options during the early voting period. And during the election day I know people have some concerns about Kobe nineteen in in being safe? Let me tell you going to vote is going to be safer than a trip to Walgreens we have secured enough P for all of our election workers as well as our voters We're doing a social distancing where keeping people space and we're moving through relatively quick. So we don't anticipate you being indoors all that long so. There's plenty of ways to do this, and if you don't hear from us on your absentee vote by mail request to give us a little bit of time, and if you're still concerned, you still have other options here in North Carolina. Are. You getting those same kind of questions I'm curious in it's not just the president's remarks but. The issue of absentee ballot and early vote and safety being talked about constantly. What are the sorts of questions that you all are fielding at your office from from North Carolinians one of the thing that we election nerds election administrators have to remember is that while we live and breathe this stuff every day most north, Carolinians don't think about the election process all that often. So it's understandable that there are lot of questions. People really are trying to figure out what's going on I will say that, yes, we're getting a lot of the questions that you've asked and I'd say the one of the most important things you can do when you're seeking answers about your election process is go to trusted sources of information. So obviously us at the North Carolina State Mortem Elections B. E. DOT GOV is our website. We'd completely revamped it to make it more friendly. There's a trusted source of information go to to new sources that you have trusted for some time in check a couple of different news sources in case somebody. Got It. Wrong. The fact of the matter is it's a lot of information. The process is very demanding. If you're not familiar with it, and so what you WanNa do is make sure that we make it easy for you. In the way we make it easy for you is by sharing as much information about it as. Beforehand, and being as transparent as we go ahead and count the votes, how worried are you speaking of trusted sources of information that they're either through nefarious means this could be. Russians or other foreign. Governments. or through just you know the kinds of conspiracies that start out as US facebook post, and then somehow make their way through the viral process. that that really is making what you do so much harder and that some of these conspiracy theories or whether again whether they were placed there intentionally or not are going to deter. People from voting or impact. How people vote? Over the last couple of years you mentioned a Russian interference. There's been rumors going around somehow the voting apparatus or the machines are not secure and I can one hundred percent guarantee you that the hacking of elections will not happen because somebody's able to hack our machines in North Carolina everybody will have a paper ballot in whether or not you mark that paper ballot with a stylus or using a ballot marking device, and we spit out a ballot for you that you can review. Everybody's got a paper ballot so we can go back and audit these things if we need to. The machines themselves are not hackel what is tackle. Is. The mind of the voter and that's what the Russians did in two thousand sixteen and that's what nefarious folks will try and do again. The thing you can do to protect protect yourself from being hacked is being very, very intentional about where you get your information I want to cast aspersions on social media, accounts and social media feeds of one at the State Board of elections but the best sources of information are going straight to the source itself or two trusted a longstanding news organizations. The news organizations that have been in business for a long time have a reputation and a history of creating journalism verifying facts making sure what they're saying is true. And then we at the board of Elections a are only job is to make sure that you understand how to cast your ballot so. If. We're trying to prevent hacking. We need to worry less about the machines in which are used to conduct voting in more about people who are trying to spread misinformation, and in the best way we can inoculate ourselves against that type of hacking is to not trust anyone source of information and to make sure that we do our homework in who's talking to us. And how much work Damon are you doing yourself to knock down any of these rumors that start I mean, for example, I saw the Ohio Secretary of state on his twitter feed. He actually broke down what he saw on facebook as this conspiracy that was floating around that. Apparently you all send out different balanced different people can track who they're voting for. Right. You think it's a secret ballot. These letters here it means. They know you voted for a Democrat or Republican, and then someone can throw your ballot out. What I worry about too is people walking around the weeks leading up to early vote and Election Day with their. iphones their you know hand-held phones and and taking. Either photographs or videos of things that they think are nefarious whether that's with the postal office worker somebody they say is illegally harvesting ballots. How much work is the North Carolina Board of elections going to do to push back on every one of these at least the ones that make it into the social media at a at a pretty high level. Lot of people are watching it. Can say speaking of bipartisan bipartisanship I. Don't know the Ohio Secretary of state but I saw on meet the press he was on with our executive director last week, and he's doing an excellent job of pushing back against some of those nefarious misinformation campaigns here at the North Carolina, State Board of elections. We have the same job which is to push back in be speaking constantly to folks like you. We have a social media feed we've got a wonderful public information office. That pushes out as much as we can. It's it's incumbent upon us as election administrators to let the world know about what we're doing and let them see I mean every time we have an opportunity to show you exactly how we do this process of it's an opportunity for for you to see the job will be secure your vote will count, and so it's hard in a fractured media environment as we've had here for the last fifteen, twenty years, it's even more challenging. But it's it's a big part of our job and we take it seriously. Are I want to thank you so much for taking all of this time. Walking us through this process is really helpful. Thank you. For most of the last forty years North Carolina had been a rather reliable republican state. But since two thousand eight, the state has become much more competitive. Barack Obama. Nearly one here by less than point in two thousand, eight Mitt Romney. Carried the state by just two points trump. Won It. I just three? This state is big and diverse. It has fast growing urban centers like Charlotte in the research triangle, but it also has huge rural stretches as well. And reaching voters here is incredibly expensive because there's not just one may media market that encompasses the majority of voters. To understand a bit more about the political dynamics at play. In North Carolina, I spoke to Rusty Jacobs Politics Reporter W UNC North Carolina Public Radio and Michael Blitzer professor of Political Science Akaba College I asked Michael. If it's an influx of voters to the state that has made North Carolina more competitive, it is certainly in migration we are seeing more and more people registering. UNAFFILIATED that does not mean that they are independent or nonpartisan, but they are just choosing to go unaffiliated in the state because they want to have options. Particularly when it comes to party primaries, unaffiliated voters can vote in either one I would also add that there is a geographic in a generational dynamic that is playing out really that mirrors kind of the national dynamics I think. What we're seeing geographically, it's urban versus rural but in the suburbs of North Carolina, you have to kind of think about suburbs that are inside urban counties versus the excerpts, the surrounding suburban counties two very different dynamics playing out. There's also the generational component. There's thirty seven percent of our seven million registered voters are under the age of forty and so millennials, and now jen's ears. Are really going to reshape this stay and I think if they play true to the national. Dynamics week ago from center leaned right to center lean left in terms of north. Carolina politics moving forward rusty I. Want to get to you talk to us a little bit about the political environment right now in North Carolina when we look at national polls, it's the economy it's Cova did. A lot of issues surrounding, policing, and racial. Reconciliation. What is going on in north? Carolina. What do you think are the driving issues in? How do you see it playing out? Across the state that as Michael pointed out is so big and so diverse. Lot. Of those same things are happening. A lot of those discussions are happening just in the past few months I and my colleagues here at w UNC have covered protests really if you go towards the beginning of the pandemic public health restrictions that were imposed, there were gatherings outside the legislature by people who wanted to see some of those restrictions lifted and some of the economy opened the reopen a pro protests that you saw here in another states, but then after the killing of George Floyd Even bigger were widespread protests definitely with more diverse crowds with younger crowds and those protests continue. I would say if just comparing numbers. And and. You know broad array of citizenry the. Reopen demonstrations Kinda pale in comparison to the size and the volume of the demonstrations that have followed that ensued after. George Ford's killing. So in that respect, you've got this you know you've got the police chief of the demand for police reforms on the one hand and you've got You still got a loyal probably Republican electorate that wants to. See some of those restrictions lifted in easing or a in helping the economy get restarted, and you'll see that in the governor's race Dan Forest, who's the current Lieutenant Governor Challenging incumbent Roy Cooper is hoping that will help propel him. So you see in the governor's race certainly reflection of that debate economy versus continued public health restrictions and then of course. You know you've got a new A. New. Developments in the new cycle. That trump appointee leading the United States Postal Service has suddenly has his contributions going back a decade under scrutiny, and all of that is going to start factoring in the way people are are looking, and then one thing I'll I'll. Is that as Demonstra Kosta noted and is Michael Bitter will confirm some votes already being cast Wednesday it'd be cast are being based on the landscape now, not on whatever may happen in the next fifty days or so much. Yeah. I can't wait to get into that I wanted though follow up on your point about governor where Cooper who's up for reelection. His the lieutenant governor is a Republican right they run separately, which is how you can have a Democrat and a Republican as Governor Lieutenant. Governor. But my understanding was ray cooper especially in the beginning stages of the pandemic was enjoying some pretty good job approval ratings were right he was getting the public was supporting what he was doing how he handled the pandemic. Now that we're into September has that job approval that especially on that issue started to slip overall his policy in his approach and his steering of the State through this pandemic is is still supported by a majority of people that would be pulled. Ilan University, and Meredith College in Raleigh did polls recently and those indicated there were indications that. The not the plurality were not the majority of plurality of voter of registered voters expected voters do support a governor Cooper's decisions even though they council restraint and it's still there are still challenges to the economic. The economic commute or the business community that he does not seem to be damaged by those positions right and that they told debate back and forth between the president in the RNC and the governor over holding the Convention in Charlotte that doesn't seem to have hurt. The governor either does it would seem that Cooper is. Are. Viewed by. Critical number of voters it majority or plurality of voters in north. Carolina that he's making decisions based on what is best for the public not as what is best for him politically even though it may be getting cast that way by his opponents I'll know too that the cooper, the campaign hoover, the candidate, not the governor is trying to draw a lot of attention to the. Fact. That Lieutenant Governor Orest his challenger is holding in person donation into in-person campaign events despite the fact that those may present helpless Michael Let's get to the point that rescue brought up in that we talked a lot about with David Cer- Kosta about absentee ballot requests. You are following this more closely than certainly I think anyone in the country you send out wonderful gifts every day. Telling just what to expect from the upcoming trunch of absentee ballot requests. So here we are. It's September. What can you tell us about the voters who've been requesting the absentee ballots if you can break it down into the kinds of people? And the parts of the state. That requesting these ballots? Well. Typically for those folks who don't know much about care allina. A in two thousand, sixteen less than five percent of all the ballots cast came from absentee by mail in typically that vote method tends to be more Republican than the electorate as a whole. What we are seeing now is. Basically, ten percent of the seven million registered voters in the state have requested in absentee by mail ballot. That's seven, hundred, thousand, four years ago this same day the total number of ballots requested was a little over forty thousand. So basically, we are talking about sixteen times. What we saw this time for years ago we've already tripled the number of ballots that were returned. And accepted from twenty sixteen, and if we continue on this pace by the end of September, it looks like we could reach one point, seven million requests, which is a quarter of all the registered voters in this state. Now, the the breakdowns in terms of registration is really interesting because it is overwhelmingly coming from registered Democrats they are over a majority of all the requests. Registered unaffiliated or almost a third and registered Republicans that typically tended to dominate or only sixteen percent of all the requests. So something obviously is driving all of this. This is probably Cova infecting partisanship to a level that I haven't seen and I don't think. In North Carolina politics has seen this level of interest in terms of having a ballot in your hand. In case, something happens over the next two months how this plays out I'm not really sure the request are actually quite representative of the electorate religiously it skews older which is traditional, but it also very much skews to urban counties in particularly some congressional districts that are very competitive most notably the eleventh congressional district, Mark Meadows old district, which is now in open. Sea in the mountains of North, Carolina to rest his point, the I wondering if you can tell us what you think about how many of those ballots actually get returned in other words he made the point that well, if you were in the middle of this news cycle here in early September but in October, maybe something else happened that none of us can even assume Do you think that really does impact then the final outcome that people are going to? Be Voting at different times, and if Democrats have more of these absentee ballots in hand that it could. Benefit Democrats. You know I think in this environment anything goes and I think the the number of ballots that we will receive see returned this week remember just went out Friday I got my absentee by mail ballot. Today we have a federal holiday no mail came through. So I received my ballot today I think people who are returning in these first couple of weeks or the die hard power distance their minds are made up they're not going. To change their votes in. So the likelihood is we will get a flood of returns coming in the question is as I. Tell my students read the syllabus read the instructions you have to sign the back of the ballot envelope. You have to have a witness who also has to provide information and sign as well. If you don't do those things, the counties have the option. Of sending you an affidavit to attest to it or they will send you a second ballot saying your first ballot was invalid for these reasons make sure to do this read the instructions and then resubmit in two thousand sixteen. We saw about eighty seven percent of all the ballots requested return anaccepted granted also that some folks decided to vote in person that will automatically void the. Absentee by mail ballot. So there's no issues a Damon talked about of double voting, North Carolina because their records or so well kept, and I would also say in this state, the records are transparent. We know what's going on for those of us who studied this kind of dynamic one question Michael I'm going to start with you and then rusty I'm GonNa ask you about this. From Youtube. from Mary Cleanse who asked to talk about how the virus could be impacting student turnout specifically, college didn't turn out now that many are at home rusty obviously is in Chapel Hill, which has a lot of college students, of course. Michael. Blitzer, you're on a college campus. What do you think? I think certainly, a lot of students utilize absentee by mail voting they may be living outside of their hometown. They're attic college campus, they want that can. Be sent a ballot to their dorm. Often Times. What happens if if a college has closed down or they have to go back home, they will simply cancel that request void that request and then requested another one. They could also show up to vote in person as well. I, think for a lot of North Carolina voters who are probably requesting these ballots they can request the ballot and then return it in person to either early voting site or to their county. Board of elections. So as Damon noted, there's a lot of flexibility, but certainly, college students are a key, a group that is oftentimes targeted by grassroots mobilizing efforts, and if they're not on campus that really kind of loses the the punt shore, the impact trying to get them out to the polls we'll just kind of have to see how this all plays out in the data's we get over the next couple of weeks in two months I see what's going on. Chapel Hill Duke. Those schools obviously, that's a lot of students. What's the situation on the in person situation right now? Tumultuous I mean this. Is a great test case. They were one or two weeks into a semester where students were supposed to end actually attending class online and suddenly cases of Kobe's popped up and the school reversed course, and so those students aren't exactly the kind of situation you're conjuring with your question. You know if they had absentee ballot requests in and we're expecting to get them on campus, and now they're going back home. What can they do I? mean the best thing to do if anybody has a question is, of course, Chow Tat, contact the State Board of elections or their county. Elections Office or go online and issue another request but but you know it cannot be. Emphasized enough that once you have your ballot and that absentee ballots by hand, you don't have to mail it in. If you go in person to your county board of elections, go to an early voting site during that seventeen days or so of early voting but it's you know I it. There are the situation is complicated by the fact that you have an institution as big. As UNC had to reverse course and students had a group themselves and go back home because of the outbreak of Kobe's on campus right and I assume if you're a campaign that was planning on earlier this year targeting college campuses saying we're GONNA get on campus as soon as students are back in organize and get them registered to vote and turn them out for our candidate. Now what can they do? But my guess is they'll be a lot of phone banking and there will be a of cleanup by those groups I. Don't think any effort will be spared to make sure you know by organizations that Wanna see as many people load as possible. The question is just where do you reach them? Do you get the message time? My guess is, yes I mean again north. Carolina started sending up about sixty days ahead I mean the other states I think won't start for another two weeks or so forty five days out. So North Carolina has given itself a lot of breathing. Michael I want to get to this question too as the absentee ballot requests start turning into absentee ballots actually turned in what will that tell us if anything about the potential outcome in North Carolina. More, importantly, what can it not tell us? Well. I can't tell us until after seven thirty on November third right. You know those of us that watched the website for the State Board of elections are hitting refresh at seven thirty a one. To See, win these numbers get dumped, and oftentimes these early votes both the male and the in person early votes are the first numbers reported. We get a sense of how things are going in the sheer numbers but North Carolina has a unique dynamic in that in the past absentee by mail tended to favor Republicans. In person early voting tended to favor. Democrats. But then you switch back to Republicans on Election Day, and that's oftentimes what causes. This very competitive nature is that leads can be built up through these early votes, but then they get whittled down to competitiveness once the election day numbers come in certainly the dynamic of knowing is casting an absentee by mail vote get. The data we get the individualized information on these voters once they're accepted that gives us a little bit of a hint but I I'm you know it's twenty twenty? I'm not making any predictions whatsoever about what could happen over the next two months just based on numbers in the patterns playing themselves out here right. So don't read too much into this again if if indeed. Sets all seven hundred, thousand people turn those ballots in and they happen to be. More Democrats than Republicans at least by registration don't assume that means. Oh. Democrats. Are GonNa win the state exactly because we know from a lot of polling both nationally and starting here in north. Carolina. Democrats are preferring to vote by mail in Republicans are preferring to vote in person in. So that dynamic is really one to be careful in terms of trying to read the tea leaves. Rusty one other race I wanNA talk to you about because it's getting a whole lot of attention certainly here in Washington. That's a Senate race where Republican Thom Tillis freshman is in what looks like a by the polls very, very close race against Democrat cal Cunningham. Wonder if you can tell us. What your sense of were that races and whether you think that the fortunes of those candidates are tied to how well the top of the ticket does. So you're cal Cunningham, you need bite into win if you're Tillis, early need trump to win. Is. Certainly needs trump. And and needs need big turnout because he's tied his fate so closely. To trump and. You know she right now maybe beginning. Would say pulled under but snagged in the world pool of news. Again. Indications are from campaign finance records that Lewis. Joy. When he was running this company new breed and having some employees whether they were being coerced or not contribute to campaigns. Tom Tells was one of the recipients of money. That doesn't necessarily say anything bad about him, but it's going to require him to pay attention to that cal Cunningham is running a mainstream. Middle of the road democratic campaign very much like Joe Biden he's doesn't support of defunding the police. He supports reform he supports a public option with the ACA she's not making rat. He's not making radical pitches in terms of policy of he's running a very straight and middle of the road campaign and for him there's nothing much more to do than that. Right now, a lot of the work is being done for him by these new developments, a about campaign finance, and the fact that even Thom Tillis didn't wear masks at one of the aren't see eventually. Events when president trump spoke from from the White House. So again. You know the. For Cal Cunningham it's probably Stay keep cool and keep pushing very mainstream. Policies, and for for Tom, tell us it's playing a little defense. While while trying to hope again, as as bids said, ninety, five percent of the North Carolina Electric is probably decided I mean I've spoken to the most experienced political campaign consultants to out there and they'll tell you what it's coming down to his ten or twelve percent very small sliver of the people who call themselves on affiliate right and that's why I'm wondering if We're we're going to see the president come down there this week. I'm assuming at some point, Joe Biden's going to be coming down and how important do you think then the actual physical act of campaigning something that for the last few months Has Been Put on hiatus? It coming back is going to matter. Do you think? I. I'm surely speculating. If I. Guess if again, the candidates are trying to swing that lasts sliver of voters. HERB president trump to visit North Carolina and malign. A lot of people is probably not the best thing because the people who agree with him or already going to vote for him the people who are offended or put off by that that they're the ones who might walk away saying that he doesn't get now. Maybe Joe Biden doesn't get the person the vote from the person who doesn't vote for trump maybe that's just a a protest non-boat riding. Protest. no-show vote and for Joe Biden I think an appearance if again he doesn't get drawn into just or personal attack probably helps it. Again, for the few people who are undecided WanNa see him as close as possible right? Well, Rusty Jacobs Michael Bedser. This has been great. Thank you so much for taking this time with me. Appreciate it. Rusty Jacobs is a political reporter W. UNC. North. Carolina Public Radio Michael Blitzer is a professor of political science at Catava. College. And be sure to join US next Tuesday, September fifteenth for every vote counts Arizona. The event will be live streamed on our facebook page starting at six. PM Eastern. Many Credit Barack Obama's win in North Carolina in two thousand to strong turnout from African American voters. Exit polls that year showed African Americans making up almost a quarter of the electorate in North Carolina and they gave Obama five percent of the vote. But in two thousand, sixteen African Americans made up just twenty percent of the vote. And supported Clinton by a smaller eighty-one percent. To understand the role black voters will play in this key state and get a little context regarding what Democrats would need to do to win. We checked in with Kerry Haney a professor of political science and African and African American studies at Duke. University actually, think Democrats have a chance to win. Now in order to do so they need to have high black voter turnout. And they need to have in terms of two thousand and twelve where we saw record black turnout in North Carolina in election just over standing percent registered black voters turned out to vote for President Obama's re election. Now. In Two thousand sixteen we saw a decline in black voter turnout in North Carolina drop to get the thus far debate and Harris ticket has been using D. traditional means of mobilizing the black boat and ideas using churches and religious organizations. However, I expect in the coming weeks, we'll see a significant effort directed at historically black colleges and universities. North, Carolina has a large number of those and some of the Harris. Is. Proud alum of how university a historically black university and I suspect that connection we play well in. North Carolina is reached out to congresswoman Adams. She represents North Carolina's Twelfth Congressional district which includes Charlotte. I spoke with her about the role she'll play and turning out key voting blocs and how her constituents have fared throughout the pandemic. We've had businesses the close they are needing support not only for themselves and their families of also need a greatest support for schools and for our citizens city and county. So, people are weathering this storm, but it's been very difficult. It has been very difficult. We had a large number of of people of color to be infected by. Virus many of whom have died from the virus was we had issues from the outset in times of disparities already insists in in communities collar. Well I want to move to politics for a minute and I was. Reading a piece in the Charlotte Observer that. Said, you are quote expected to take a leading role in boosting turnout by urging early voting and you were taking a caravan of supporters to show up. Mecklenburg County Board of elections to turn in your absentee votes. Can you talk to us about what that means to be? Urging early vote turnout and how you're doing that and what you expect to be able to achieve. First of all, we expect to. achieve a large turn out here. Mecklenburg is I said before we have a large number of voters if you look at. What has happened with our early vote requests for absentee ballots. It is in my district we're looking at more than eighty thousand people who have requested. Absentee ballots and that suggests to me that people are very interested in this election. They believe that it is an election that will really determine the rest of their lives and I'm impressing upon people how important it is to vote early especially since we having issues with the mail service, can you talk to us a little bit about African American voters and their interest in this election and specifically their enthusiasm for this election what we've been hearing in different communities talking to different folks around the country is sort of a lack of enthusiasm for Biden but certainly an. Interest in seeing trump defeated I have not heard to any significant degree that African, Americans skeptical about by they're very excited about the possibilities that he brings to build back better So I think people are very excited about this election, and so I haven't heard that I would add is that we must get out to vote people are too afraid at this point not to vote an African Americans in particular because the president asked the question, what do you have to lose? We have a lot to lose and looking at these past four years with his president. People are just afraid of having more that for another four years We are very African American. Very excited. We also know that that they are this president is not truthful. I've been out here for a long time and I can tell you that from personal experience that the president has not been honest when he says that he's done more for Black America since president. Abraham Lincoln as a black woman who've been out here working I can say the biggest lies ever told I. Don't know if you watch much of the Republican convention. But if you did didn't one thing that we heard a lot about during that convention was support that the president was getting not just from African Americans but he featured a lot of African American men and the. Trump campaign does believe that they're going to be able to win over more African, American support in two thousand and twenty in part by winning. Doing better this year with African American, curious what you're seeing and hearing in North Carolina basketball. Well, I can tell you that. African American women. are going to carry this note. We. Have always done that and I think that the men are a little bit confused but you know you can always find a few I knew some of the WHO were. Who spoke at that convention? We've turned out for our Party. We've been the backbone of this party. We have been the ones who have sealed elections for many candidates who were maybe in a losing streak. So I, I, just believe the power of black women and the fact that we know what's at stake we're not to convince our men then when you look at it bill list. The president has not done anything even for the African American men and women. Now, we also know that he continues to Mayes I said before about what he's done community and I wanna just specifically mention the investment that he continues to say he's made in Hvac. See US he has not. He talks about the bills that we've passed in the Congress but those were bills that came through the Congress Future, act in specific that provide the kind of support for historically black colleges and universities which I have. A bipartisan caucus was not something that the president even pushed well congresswoman atoms I really appreciate you taking the time to speak with me please stay safe out there on the campaign trail. What thank you and I'm going to do that and. As. I said before you just watch as my Mama used to say you know Mark My word we want to turn the mother out in North Carolina. Adams represents North Carolina's Twelfth Congressional district. It's that time of year went summer fades to fall breath and under normal circumstances this would also be the time of year when candidates fluffed a battleground states political allies stump for them on the other side of the country. But nothing is as it was. So. As part of our continuing conversation about how the pandemic has changed how campaigns interact with voters. Checked. In with chase gates, he's a junior at North Carolina state and also the. Director for the North Carolina Gop the start of the pandemic we were doing all phone banking operations of virtually so that we could, you know prevent people from getting sick at the because when the start of the pandemic. We didn't have the personal protective equipment that was necessary to go out knock on doors. Now, that were able to get mask gig gloves were able to fall CDC recommendations and be able to door knocking canvas like we used to but you know with obvious new restrictions. So what kind of response do you get as you go to somebody's door? You know the I, think there were some expectations that you'd go to the front door and people would look at you like you're. Right. I would actually say it's very similar to what it was before a pre pandemic I mean people I? Think people see the after we go to to make them feel comfortable stepping six feet back wearing the mask wearing gloves it really shows through So no I I think people you know they'll give honest reaction. If if they liked the president, they're happy to see us if they don't like the president third low tech, the material usually read it over. So that's always a comforting thing. Yeah, and there's just a lot of enthusiasm surrounding the president this year I think one thing that's really got people's you know he's been here in North Carolina three times in the past three weeks. Sally we haven't seen Joe Biden in the last six months, Air North Carolina. So when you're talking to folks about trump, what what are the things that they cite specifically that there's The. Most excited about. I think they just love the way able to speak I mean the way he's able to speak directly voters kind of touch with their issues. The law and order aspect is so big in North Carolina I mean Santa's to say we've seen a lot of riding in the streets in the last couple of months and people want to see. Our country return back to normal where we're able to talk to each other conversation without you know fighting without being mad home Melissa people in law enforcement. So do you think that's what's changed? Let's say between I duNno earlier this spring and and now is the issue of some of the violence that we're seeing around the country. I it's just a mix of things I. Mean. There is a lot of turmoil going on with with the pandemic of course, and you know. With these protests recently I don't think I. Think Republicans. Especially I think we've been happy to see a peaceful protesting is just when things get out of place it's it starts to scare people really does I mean when they see I'll give you one example or local CVS that I used to buy weekly was burnt down. In Raleigh North Carolina. Obviously. North Carolina is in the news a lot and one of the reasons it's in the news it's one of the first states to. Mail out absentee ballots, and there's a lot of talk about the fact that so many absentee requests have already been submitted but many more of those requests are Democratic voters or at least people who are registered threats. So, are you concerned that Democrats may be putting more votes in the bank right now and that Republicans are sort of seating this. Kind of early vote to the Democratic Party counting too much on election day turnout. Right right now being sample in Chatham County where I'm from North Carolina I think it's doubled the absentee ballot requests doubled in just one county That's pretty astonishing but now I think we're making up ground. Has Been in the last few weeks we've. the trump campaign and a few other people have kind of asked people to request your ballot go ahead and do that I do think you'll have more Republicans voting at one site locations and going election night. I shouldn't have to do it. They like the the the feeling of voting on election day and seeing the results that night but I I will say in the past we've Republicans. Have One naps and team workouts North Carolina. So it's GonNa be interesting and I know there's still a lot of people North Carolina vote for the Republican candidate but are registered Democrats I think there's a I, know a burst probably about five in my family alone that do that same thing. So it's a, it's an interesting state and it's going to be interesting election. But I think we're making up ground we need to I think the the latest CNBC poll has president in the margin of error I mean that's in a way better than we were a couple of weeks ago. It seems as if nationally and in. North. Carolina. Republicans are doing much more hands on grassroots like you door to door canvassing type very few Democrats are doing this sort of operation they would be in the normal year. Kovin. Right. Do. You think that's a mistake I mean do you think that Democrats are missing an opportunity here and that they should be even doing maybe as you are doing wear masks put on gloves and? It does take a special. You know kind of person to be able to willing to walk around the hot sun with mass song gloves on, and you know doing all these different things to try to do that. But I think canvassing operations adds a special touch the campaigning I think touch from six feet away still but It is an interesting thing. I. Think the Democrats are making a mistake when it comes out. I think we had a voter goal and the Republicans of one million better contacts were at about eight hundred thousand now in the state of North Carolina, and that's just young Republicans. I mean, you've got field organizers for the trump campaign going on every day wearing the protective equipment going out knocking on doors I mean it's a it's an amazing thing. You've got more I. Think we're probably knocking on doors making more phone banking calls than we ever have as for any presidential candidate chase I want to thank you so much for taking the time. Thank you. Ma'am Take Care Chase gains is coalition director of the North Carolina Gop. And here's one more thing for me. I've talked to a lot of people recently who are nervous about casting absentee ballot. They worry the post office may not delivered on time that it could be lost in transit. For it could be stolen or alter. These are valid worries especially at a time when the president himself is casting so much fear and doubt. But of course of interviewing the people involved in the administration of the vote, actually feel a lot better. They know the challenges ahead of them and they're preparing for it sure. They'll make some mistakes. They're doing all they can to ensure a fair safe and transparent election. But. You have a rule in this too. If you WANNA vote by mail it, but don't wait until the last minute request her ballot as soon as possible get it in the mail and plenty of time before Election Day. Or drop it off in person, and here's the most important thing. Read the instructions if you have questions. Go to the website of your state election officials or give them a call. The way intimidation works is it gets you to doubt yourself in this process. Do not let that happen go out and vote. And remember, you can join me on Tuesday September fifteenth for every vote counts Arizona I'll be interviewing Arizona's secretary of state about the changes they're implementing to the election process in the wake of Kobe nineteen. You can rsvp at the greenspace dot org. We'll send you a link to the livestream or head to the takeaways facebook page and watch it live there on Tuesday September fifteenth at six PM Eastern. That's all for us today. Our senior producer is Amber Hall Patricia. Shakeup is our associate producer polly. Irungu is our digital editor David. Gable is our executive assistant. Jake Howard is our director and sound designer. Debbie daughtry is our board up. Vince Fairchild is our board OP engineer. Our executive producer is Lee Hill. Thanks so much for listening. This is politics with Amy Walter on the takeaway.
Your Voice, Your Vote: Lets Make Sure Everyone Can Vote in the 2020 Election
"This is thinking. With the ACLU of. The show that talks about what's happening lately, Maryland from the courts, the streets under host Amber Taylor. The right to vote and to hack your boats accurately and fairly counted is a fundamental right of all Americans. Elected officials shouldn't make voters choose between their help and the right to vote there are sensible and safe solutions but during the covid nineteen pandemic many voters felt lost and confused. And then there are the people who have historically had their access to the ballot limited or deliberately blocked. Mellon must make sure that there are a variety of options for all people who currently have the right to vote to safely cast ballots. There are many voters cannot vote by mail like voters with disabilities. A limited English proficient voters also voted who are younger and move frequently who have lower incomes in who may lack a current address on file with the government may not be able to receive an absentee ballot. We also cannot forget that black people have historically had voting rights under threat ever since the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified giving black men the right to vote and black voters have continued to have problems accessing and being denied the ballot while before cove nineteen. Our democracy deserves a wealthy resource system run by proactive election administrators governed by a board. Our Democracy deserves a wall resource election system governed by proactive election administrators governed by board members passionate about voting rights, and with an understanding of the many barriers voting the exists for some people in implemented with a transparent process that promises. Clarity equity and accountability. Today will be joined by Joanne Antoine, executive director of Common Cause Maryland Reverend Koby Little President of the Baltimore Branch of N. W. C.. P. And Dana Vicar Shelly executive director of the Maryland to talk about voting rights the challenges, the voting during the cove nineteen pandemic and what you need to not exercise your right to vote by election day Tuesday November third. One. So happy to have you all virtually together as we talk about voting rights in this. Election there were about to be having in November and just talk through about the election people can expect in Miami. And some things that they can utilize matiur revere exercising the rights votes. So question I have for all of Y'all rain, the conversation. Why does it matter? Why is it important? Voting is a central practice elemental practice of democracy for those of us who have been deprived to democracy for decades if not centuries, it's essential for us to vote to read. Our voice to register our views on how society should should operate and to exercise our capacity to protect all the rights that we should be afforded as human beings and as citizens of this country voting matters because our healthcare matters because how our children are educated matters because how our tax dollars spent matters because it matters how we approach questioned the public safety in our communities and it matters how this country represents us in the world abroad. This is Joanne I agree with everything that reverend little has said voting is the heart or the most fundamental component of our democracy and. Look historically at the voting process. In America right it was people who look like US black individuals, other disadvantaged communities right who were being excluded from the election process entirely, and while it's only been in recent years, it really hasn't been that long since we gained the right to vote a, we see tactics being used ongoing never ending right to disenfranchise in any way possible end I think for me I always think about stories that my mother shared right as an immigrant who comes from another country where they don't feel as though their voices are. Heard in the process and coming to America a place where she knew that so many individuals had fought for that right to vote for me. It's really personal, right? It's it's me honoring those who came before me who opened the doors for people like me and my parents to be able to vote in participate in this process, and obviously it's because our lives depend on it right next question for Dana. Vicar Sally, what are some of the common problems in an awesome the good signs we've seen across the country in the fight twenty primary election. Thank. You amber from the ACLU of Maryland's perspective it was like to start on the positive side I. It was exciting to see the collective power of voting rights, experts and advocates to bring about in voting in more locations across the country as the twenty twenty primary elections continued and to have people see it as an absolute must do during the time of Kobe nineteen on the downside the. Fact that we still have to explain the need for making voting fully accessible for everyone and to come up with methods and solutions and alternatives to what has been done in the past everyone lineup be an enclosed space. That's a challenge that we still have to explain why we need to be more creative this time especially in times of national emergencies like we're dealing with in this this health pandemic. Don't Antoine I did want to get some some better like context. We a lot that happened with the June primary at twenty twenty election Maryland. So he just explained to our listeners. What happens. So much where do we? Begin right obviously Early in March, we reached the peak of Cova nineteen pandemic, a Maryland was shutting down. The governor had just declared a state of emergency and under state of emergency. The governor then has the power to change of the election process and what he did Governor Hogan you know he finally made the right decision this time he instructed the State Board of elections to move forward with automatically mailing all active registered. Voters Ah, ballots right and this was a good thing because we knew that we'd have trouble staff in person voting locations. Right poll poll workers are historically older retired and their high risk. The also knew that a lot of these facilities would be closed and that Marylanders right people like me I didn't want to leave my home right I didn't know what to expect when I went out there for convenience of. Receiving my ballot at home having it a include a return envelope that was prepaid postage being able to drop it in the mail or by dropbox really word. Now, there was a lot of advocacy to get in person options. I think when you look at all of the states that have vote by mail, it can't work alone right voters still needs to have all of the options. So even though vote by. Mail provides a number of benefits. They're voters who have disabilities right who needs to be able to use a ballot marking device other voters who can't read and write. Right they have language access issues of their voters who again when we're adopting new process like this, where Maryland had only been mailing absentee or mail-in ballots to people, I think less than ten percent of eligible voters right? We knew that a lot. Of people would not receive their ballots and we saw that in places like Baltimore City, Prince, George's and other parts of the state, and unfortunately even though we manage to get a few very limited in person options, those options were only available on election day even though again, we we said all things what happened and what what we saw happen. We're very long lines right Baltimore city. Prince. George's county we saw. People in line for three and a half four hours, right they were unable to social distance. There were people who just couldn't stand for a long time. They've got children it gotta go to work, and you know there are people who unfortunately ended up disenfranchise. It should have been easier for them to vote, and unfortunately they were faced with a number of hurdles I think one additional piece is that not enough? Investment was made in voter education and we recognize that all of the changes were made very quickly. But when someone is at home worried about their health, you know they just lost their job how am I gonNA pay Rent I can't get through the unemployment system not thinking about election day until election day gets there right let an own a ballots coming to them in a male that is going to. Be In this plain white envelope. We saw a number of issues and and unfortunately a lot of people found out how to vote after election. Day. But I'm hopeful that we've learned from those mistakes because while we're while they're not where a number of issues we did see an increase in turnout in other parts of the State even in Baltimore city which I believe had the highest participation in that election. Kobe. Little. I WanNa talk to you a bit about Baltimore one into definitely get like Guinness sense of what are you seeing on the ground in Baltimore says it has historically been a hotspot area and also predominantly a black city. For the general election in the things you're seeing on the ground also concerns he my Hab there shortly is a lot of concern anxiety about the upcoming election. Given the Additional shifts from a voting system added image voting system at work to one that is saying that we should open up every polling in in Baltimore and it's causing a lot of anxiety. Specifically. Because of the rising numbers of covid nineteen infection, the lack of poll judges who will be available the need to close Poland places because those are locations don't WanNa make the facilities available in a pandemic, and so we're also hearing a governor saying that he's taking this course of action because he wants to protect of the voting rights of black and Brown communities the problem with that is that he's not listening to the voices of the Black and Brown communities. As it relates to how to best conduct this election. In June, we conducted a primarily vote by mail election with drop boxes and voting centers that allowed people to show up these voting centres from any precinct in Baltimore, city and sustain across the state. They could show up at any voting center in in their jurisdiction regardless of what precinct they came from and cast about that system pass legal muster it increased participation. It meant the special needs voters that Joanna? Antoine? Mentioned earlier and. A Black. And Brown advocates when voting rights experts day, we should be using the same system that we used in June. And correct for the bugs that that were identified in. June. When the Governor says that he wants to do the right thing but he doesn't regard those voices. It causes a lot of confusion we are calling for the governor to pivot from his contract plan of action which would call for people to. Apply for a mailing bowed before they're actually sent to mail about and we're doing this for a number of reasons one it confuses the process to it's not efficient three. The fact of the matter is that there are dozens if not hundreds of postal workers who are who have been infected by their Khurana virus we are adding another dimension of delay by asking people to essentially participate in three rounds of mailing the mailing to receive the application mailing to return the application, and then really it's for the mailing to receive the ballot and then the mailing to return about when. The governor could by executive order said that all ballots will be mailed and all voters will receive about. Now there's some concerns on what about ballots that are mailed to people who don't live at addresses anymore what about people who are will practice fraudulent voted while the fact of the matter is that voter fraud is just not a real threat in Maryland is not a real threat anywhere in the country and we have provision in the law to protect against voter fraud and correct for. The greater threat the historical is suppression and we've seen that over and over and over again when you suppressive vote of black communities when you suppress the vote of immigrant communities when you suppress the votes of of vulnerable populations, you're depriving them of the equivalent of their democratic oxygen. When you suppress votes, voters say we can't break. We cannot live our civic life and so that's what we're seeing on the ground right now is the suppression potential suppression of black and Brown votes, potential suppression of the votes of urban populations of rumble populations of those populations at most likely to experience voter suppression, and we're seeing it done in the name of. Protecting the vote in protecting those vulnerable communities. Now, we can hope and pray at this moment. That the governor just needs clarity and that there's not any ill intent. To that extent, we have been working to send a clear message to the state board, of elections and to the governor. Jim At the did want to ask you about There's been all tied of concerns and questions about Naylor voting sage is easily corruptible tells fax. How is volume by mail Satan secure? You know vote by mail again has the potential to increase in boost turnout also state right? We see I think it's both at home institute that says states that adopt vote by mail systems obviously coupled with all the options right in person, and so forth have the potential to increase turnout by ten percent and that's because it gives voters. Convenience and and greater access right even in a state like Maryland where we have eight days of early voting in addition to election day, you'd be surprised by the number of people who still have a difficult time getting to a polling location. Right you work a double shift you start the day at seven you get off at eleven transfer public transportation is limited on the weekend and your vote center. Your early voting center is not located near you and you can't get to the place on locate on election day. Right. So vote by mail again gives you the convenience of being able to vote from home in addition to giving you more time to research candidates in research the information and I think the biggest speech here vote by mail is secure right? A vote by mail is a paper based. System, which makes it easier for us to you know if there's an issue where there needs to be a recount, can easily pull up that data right and so forth it's I'd say, Maryland we have a number of measures in place that whole bad accountable again, there's there there was no cases of that at least in the primary, for example, and in the city Rockville where. They used a vote by mail for the first time in two thousand nineteen. There's no cases of that in the state. But when that does happen if in that rare instance, Maryland has procedures in place to hold those individuals accountable. So it's not something that people should be concerned about at all. Again, it's a paper based system that's just not hackel and even when you're taking your ballot and balloons. Jumping off dropping offline something like a dropbox. For example, there's twenty, four, hour twenty, four, seven surveillance there. So it shouldn't be something that you're concerned about at all it creates convenience and accessibility and it is secure. Because Shelly went to ask you how can and Other elected officials state leaders make sure that boats are fully engaged in can participate in our election the member. Amber, I really appreciate that question. One of the things that we saw that worked in the during the primary in Maryland was the way that county executives and local elected officials were at the polling places assisting voters who were driving out Dr dropping their ballots off I think that if we hear additional information from local officials to encourage people to participate. And how they participate and let them know what's so important about participating particularly given the governor stance against mail in voting, it's going to be even more important that local officials are county Executives County Council members legislators are fully engaged as a policy community as a wider community making sure that everyone is able to get out and cast their vote. In little, I did want ask you because unfortunately every year it seems citizens Baltimore have barriers in issues trying to access the votes. What are some of the recommendations you leaders are recommending to try to address the system Clearly going forward all of our. Policy crafting in the Maryland General Assembly needs to be conducted with historical data and with voting rights and Equity Lens to correct the inequities. then. We also need to be sure to reconfigure the process by which local boards of elections on the State Board of election are constituted whether it's through appointment or some other process, and there has to be greater accountability for these bodies so that when there are motor-voter snafus, our problems consisted year-in-year-out problems with vendors when there is a failure to engage with policy community advocacy community that Ms Vicar Shelly, spoke of that that there is the capacity to make the changes that make a more. But at the end of the day I'm reminded from my years in Selma, the words of Albert. and John Lewis and Bob Manse and Hosea Williams, and so many others who crossed the bridge in summer the marching chant was I ain't GonNa let nobody turn me around. I'm. GonNa keep. On. Marching. Up to freedom land in Baltimore and across the state. African American voters and other voters have to be determined by engaging in the process to make sure that the local boards of elections in the State Board of Elections administered elections in a fair way that not only allows for civic participation but also that served as a model for the country. In the world, the United States cannot continue to hold itself out as a leader. In democracy while decade after decade after decade after decade, disenfranchising black and Brown communities, disenfranchising people with disabilities, disenfranchising low income communities, disenfranchising communities that have a political perspective different than the the the the the ruling party, and so we would I would encourage an end would join in the chorus with with other advocacy organizations and encouraging people to be a part of voting rights. Struggle to teach the importance of voting rights to our families and friends to share our history and has now as it relates the November election the most important thing that people can do right now is stay up to date about how the election is going to be conducted but no matter what even if there are no changes in how the elections going to be conducted, we strongly encourage all voters. To request a mail ballot. When you get the application for a male balance out return it, and when the ballot comes, please cast your vote by mail. If you can't cancer vote by mail, then please deposit and a dropbox that will be situated in a convenient location in your community, and you can go to the state board of elections website to find out where the boxes in your jurisdiction will be held on. This is important for a number of reasons one, it's important to make sure that our votes were counted. This election is going to be a critical election and we must send a resounding message that we don't want tyranny in the White House, we need to send a resounding message that we want leaders who actually we need to send a resounding message that we want leadership that will put human life before corporate profits and that won't disregard science but will embrace. As a means of protecting American citizens and setting an example of leadership in the world if our votes on counted that won't happen, and so we're encouraging everybody to vote by mail and to make sure that you protect yourself and you protect others by not exposing yourself to the corona virus and not gathering in large numbers, and so typically on election day we see large numbers. Of people assembled at polling places standing in line to cast their vote voting by mail is away Georgia protect the bumming healthcare to protect your road to melander sue wealth might not think about when it comes to voting rights and those people who are currently incarcerated Pete managers who are crumbling frustrated rated for misdemeanor or be held pretrial. Have the right to vote they don't often have. Ballots key talk about some of the recommendations you want the government to see to really sure that eligible voters who are incarcerated have access to the ballot and Kim. Votes Unfortunately when we talk about the rights restoration movement that's happening throughout the country this is where Maryland falls short even though we've restored the right to vote for returning felons right we still have not managed to put a program in place that ensures that those who are behind the wall you know that they have access to voting and voter education. You know a lot of the work that we've been doing has been led by groups like out for justice life. After release you know directly impacted individuals who understand what it's like to be incarcerated and we've been working with them to. figure out how to move forward with a Thir. Now, a reasonable system that ensures that those who are eligible to vote at inside that they have access. Oh, I think the biggest piece here is we need data. So right now you know the Correctional Facility has released a program that they have a program that is new to many of us and something that we don't believe has been implemented but hopefully will be implemented for the general election but I think the state board if you want them to be able to facilitate some type of program inside they need to know who inside is. Vote and right now unfortunately, we don't have access to those names and we don't were not even able to take those names and cross reference them with a voter file to try and figure out who would be eligible. I think once the State Board is able to have that information, we can then a work to put together some type of a program that ensures that the correctional facility is working with election officials. To put a parameter place, there's been a lot of conversations about polling locations. Inside and so forth I think those are things we'd love to see in the future. But for now, we want you to be able to register inside. We want you to be able to request a ballot inside and we want the ballot to come to you and to be able to be returned securely with prepaid postage right and unfortunately you know it can't be the correctional facilities that oversee this process entirely because you know from what we hear from partners, there's no guarantee that there. Won't be some type of intimidation inside that correctional facility staff won't manipulate the ballots in some type of way. So hopefully once we get data estate board in local boards will be able to work with the correctional facility to put a secure process in place at once that process in place voters behind the wall need access to voter education just like the rest of us, right. So it's not enough just to get you AH ballot right you need to have information about your candidates, the issues that. Are there. So getting a legal women voters voter guide inside for example, is an additional that we're hoping to put in place I. Think one other aspiration allowed time when folks are coming back home. I. Think the bills before there were supposed to be some components that ensured that we are educating newly released voters that they had the right to vote again, right that they can go ahead and register and so forth, and we're hoping that adding the correctional facility to one of the automatic voter-registration as. A help to improve that process someone who's coming back home will be axed instead do not want to be registered to vote rather than just leaving a not knowing that their rights have been restored. And Dana Becker Shelly, I, did want to ask you about some of the concerns we've had. Unfortunately election after election both the state or elections, and also some local board of elections about their lack of transparency and accountability you to speak about some of the concerns on the patterns that we be seeing year after year. We want to be sure that these elections the elections boards understand that they're working for the people of Maryland I. think that's what's primary for for them to keep both in their mission in their focus, not for anyone elected official or any particular political party but they work for the people of Maryland what we want to see is. A level of competence also an transparency that allows the board to be accountable to those people who may truly serve. We want to know that they are following up with their individual vendors that they're following up on their timetables that they're looking and working with the local boards election. So in Maryland at the State Board would be working with those in the counties across the country where they're the highest turnouts. Let's make sure that they're always going. To be enough ballots in those locations. Let's make sure that we don't have people in Prince. George's county for example, having to wait in line to vote until ten and eleven o'clock at night because the local board election or the state. Board of election didn't look at the data over the previous election to see there's going to be a high turnout here we need to have enough ballots lips make sure that in Baltimore City, we have voting places. Open on time with the materials there. So that when voters come in at seven, am when the polls open before, they go to work where they have to look after their children or take care of elders that the ballots and materials are ready for them to come in vote. So we want to make sure that both in terms of how the election boards are thinking about their responsibility and then just in terms of the election day do. Does, everyone understand what their role is, what their job is and that people are trained and that people are supported in getting the information to the voters that are needed so that everyone can have a full and complete and accurate participation the process join. Antoine, wanted to talk to you about another group of voters that started have been disenfranchised people with disabilities. What can the government do to make sure that voting is easy in November for this conversation? I actually wanted to read a foot quote from our colleague Ben Jackson from Disability Rights Maryland. He says there's a gambit of different disabilities that adding an additional barrier to complicate this process that barrier being requesting ballot that would further disenfranchise population that is already at risk and turns out to the polls lower rate you know and I, think it's important to lift up his hope because again, this group of voters wouldn't be facing so. Many. Risks if the governor would do his job under the state of emergency and Mail ballots to voters you know I, I think Ben Disability Rights. Maryland has highlighted a number of issues that will be created because of the some of the technical pieces that we're seeing going wrong with the postal service. For example, you know if voters are having to request a ballot and ballots get to them in time right and there's A. Limit Limited number of locations that are open. We're GONNA see more people at the polls and what happens is you know a voter who has a disability who has a who has to go in person to use a ballot marking device for example, may have other auto immune issues right? Because we have more people in line people are unable to social distance that voter who has a disability who has no choice but to go. In person now is at greater risk because of our lack of action, I think some other issues that were highlighted again, we there's trouble staffing polling locations, and because of the poll worker issue, they'll be you are workers at these locations to assist the voters who who need it. So voter who is blind for example, who goes on person? There are signs there. They can't see the sides right now there's a poll worker who's not outside. To help direct them and I'm sure voter would step in and help there. But again, that shouldn't be the case, and again during Kobe, we don't want those interactions to happen either because it might not be safe. So these voters are already the most vulnerable in every single election covid nineteen has made that. A greater risk for them and other governor a not taking action to automatically mail ballots unfortunately as creating a situation where these voters will be at greater risk. If they go in person you know right now we're living through a global pandemic that is growing. It's still spreading affecting people. We are also living through an impressive demand for justice and accountability from our police on the other side of covid nineteen. What are we hope? Our voting system looks like on the other side of this like in the next time in twenty, twenty two, we have to go back to the bowels and votes what what he hoped that we the Learner Change when we come to the next election. Hi, this is Dana Vicar Shelly I. think that twenty twenty as a whole beginning with the global health pandemic the unprecedented and overdue focus on racial justice and racial equity is pushing us as a country as a community. And allowing us to think differently about. Really everything but particularly about how democracy is is access for all. is pushing us to think differently about how to make voting accessible many states in this country have already been using vote by mail four years and had been doing so with great success and increase voter participation. So we can all look at these different ways of voting to make sure that the ballot is available to all male in voting should be the way of the future as is making election day a national holiday if twenty twenty has taught us nothing, it's that. We can do things differently. We can solve problems differently and these biggest and most important challenges that our country has we have to, we have to do something different to make democracy work for everyone, and I think that going forward one of the things other the pandemic has laid bare for everyone to see is the inequities that are in American society. They're undeniable their undeniable as we've seen from police violence terror this year they are undeniable as we see the very dire. Of White Supremacy, and inequity in terms of public health and how there have been different outcomes in terms of infection in terms of mortality in terms of treatment. For people. Of Color when it comes to coronavirus as well as how during this state of emergency of people of color and other vulnerable populations have been able to access. The resources that are necessary to sustain themselves through the pandemic. So I'm hopeful that when we finally make out of this, very challenging time that everyone will be. Aware of the importance of protecting. The rights of the most vulnerable I whether it's an education or housing or elections, and I would like to see an America where there is an absolute emphasis on planning with the most vulnerable in mind first. So that our lends on elections is how do we make sure is how do we make sure people who have historically been disenfranchised people who currently have a difficulty? How do we make sure that they have access to the ballot and arm fact able and empowered to cast their vote? It is unacceptable. We are still making public policy. With a White Supremacist slavery Lynn's and when you are. Focused on elections a way where your primary concern is how to keep people from voting or how to disqualify people from voting whether it's with voter ID or with matching up voting lists and signatures or if it is through constantly changing. The way that elections happen or if it's through a Gerrymander and so on and so forth. If that's your practice, that's a practice that steeped in born out of white supremacy, it steepen born out of an exclusionary lens that says that some people are only three fifths of a person that the vast majority of the society if they're not white if. They're not mailed if they're not landowners don't have the right to vote and we need to make an absolute shift coming out of this pandemic to be inclusive to be universally empowering and to make sure that people can realize the true promise of democracy, which is that the people come first and that all people in this society have a right to practice. The vote and to experience the rights that are extended to them through the contracts. It is outrageous that in correctional facilities, there are thousands and thousands and thousands of people who have the right to vote, and there has heretofore been no effort to make sure that they're able to. Write and this isn't a country that says that people are innocent until proven guilty and many many many many many people are who are in correctional facilities are there under pre-trial conditions they have not been convicted of any crime and yet the state have has actively deprived them of their right to vote. It is the electoral equivalent of depriving people of food. And so I'm hopeful that are out of this. Experience of the pandemic that we have a much more inclusive participatory system that we shift our policy making lenses from policy, making lenses of exclusion and superiority to policy making lenses of inclusion and empowerment that are focused on the needs in the rights of the most vulnerable of I and I guess a final word we're seeing a train wreck unfold before our eyes again, we saw that this spring with the primary election there were lots of identifiable problems we try to communicate these problems are to the state board election. I'm hopeful that under the leadership of Dan Rea Vickers Shelley and Joy Antoine and emily scar from Maryland perks and so many others. That, we will call on the governor and the State Board of elections to identify a list of success predictors that will help us to gauge how likely the November election is to be successful, and if there are problems, those predictors don't show that we're on track for success that there will be contingency plans in place to offer corrective measures so that we can ensure that all marylanders are able to participate and register their choice in the November election, I agree with everything that Dana and Robert Little Edge shared my hope is that we Will move with creating a more equitable election process. You don't shocking when you sit down and you're listening to State Board meetings and you're listening to appointed board members who are saying that they are shocked that voters are experiencing A. Will, black and Brown voters are overwhelmingly experiencing issues voting. You know endure stations like Prince. George's Baltimore City Charles County. When that is just common knowledge, it is the norm I've only lived in Maryland for six years and the places that always experienced issues are these locations. So you know my hope is that we I think overhauling the board is going to take some time. Right we need to take a see and really look out how that structure is set up in. Our process for appointing these members even at the local level looking at ways that we can how would I say put a policy in place where the board is required to you know look at data that helps them understand how this decision will impact ex communities. Right. Let's look at a chief Equity Officer in that office that will force them to take a another look at the way that they're working, and let's train them and the local administrators as well who. you know just for whatever reason don't seem to understand other hurdles that voters in in the places where they were. You know that are experiencing I would say outside of that, you know I know we've talked a lot about the state board the governor waiting to hold the General Assembly of people here to the general. Assembly has had multiple opportunities to pass reforms that would have ensured that we got voting for for voters behind the wall that would have explored studying. Vote by mail system in every single time, these bills go nowhere right a study something as simple as a study that doesn't really cost the state much that data would have helped us implement these changes a lot smoother, and while the General Assembly has been holding the State Board accountable I hope that when we go back in session this January that they remember all of what they've been saying and that their combat ready to take action and improving the election process in January. And the last question everybody is if people are experiencing issues with voting have question other actions that we didn't cover today as it relates to exercise building rights. How can people get in touch with each year organizations to help address these issues, sending emails of the Governor's office and just let them know what issue you're having right. Any additional pressure were able to add a and share with him helps was our efforts to hopefully make a shift vote by mail, and after you sent that email, you can contact us feel free to call our. Office or four, three, nine, zero, six, zero, four, four to You can shoot me shoot us an email CC MD at common cause dot org. One of our team members will get to you. Thank you Joanne, and with the ACLU of Maryland, our election protection hotline are direct number to our expert can assist voters with questions. They may have issues that may come up in the as they get ready to vote and we'll be operating now all the way through election day is four, four, three, three, nine, nine, three, two, two, nine. Thanks so much hamper. The absolutely, we want to welcome. Your viewers and listeners to a find us on facebook. At NWEA CPI Baltimore Branch Baltimore City branch find us on facebook twitter Instagram at Nwea P. Baltimore and win courage if you're encountering voting rights issues or if you have questions about how to access your ballot to direct messages weren't those platforms or to reach out to US NWC P. Baltimore at. G MAIL DOT COM our website is w. people more dot Org. You Know Win Card you to join us. We meet on the Fourth Tuesdays of every month and our meetings are a livestream on our facebook page. The voter protection hotline is the outstanding way to register your complaint in your concerns and I know the ACLU is very responsive or not regar-. Thank you everyone I just went to say I learned a lot about all the different concerns, lots of different. have both this election in. AP Pager Lights. Thank. Everyone for for. Talking with us today and make sure you focus we there is way too much at stake for us to sit out the election. Thanks for joining us for this episode of thinking freely. Thinking really make sure to leave overview as Scott to us from wherever you get your podcast. You can also go to our website, ACLU, cash md dot org to find more no your rights information about voting during the covid nineteen pandemic. I just want to personally thank you for listening to thinking through. This is our thirteenth episode. So think you've really is one year old and it could not be possible Evalu- and your support. The, show was accorded at my house in Baltimore Maryland because. You're still practicing social distancing. And was accorded Scott Away. Native American Land I'm member Taylor, the host and producer of. Thank you free. The next.
Friday Red Pill Diaries-The BIGGEST Story Of The Day: The SCOTUSs Punt Of Its Duty To Strike Down Mail-In Ballots!
"Back to the the story here from Dan Mclaughlin and the Supreme Court what did we lose three minutes? Okay. We can make that up. On in the North Carolina case while majority allowed the State Board of Elections of North Carolina, do unilaterally ignore stay deadlines for the submission of ballots justice gorsuch wrote the dissent listen to the see this sound. Familiar to you. As a matter of fact and I know he doesn't listen. This is almost verbatim. Would I tell you on Tuesday when I read Article One section forty and told you this is a no-brainer. The. To not understand not get this one would make you a professor Wilford Rich said of the founding fathers if they didn't make draft document copies of the declaration to debate a debate over and edit what have you, that would make them dunderheads and our founding fathers most certainly weren't dunderheads. Judge Gorsuch is not dunderheads any. Judge that makes it the federal law to the federal bench should not be thunderhead, but there are some that are. So gorsuch writes in part. Now listen to this. This is what I say. Why did bear it vote on this this makes no sense to me what's or other. than. Political. Motivation You know how powerful? The media industrial complex is you know how powerful the threat. The media industrial. Complex. Is. threat. against. Life Liberty and the pursuit of happiness threat aganst adds to reputation many people believe that Justice Roberts because he is seen in photographs. Of the. On. Lolita island. Many people lead their Robert just compromise. You know when equal e Michael Jones was on his show on Tuesday what did he say about Epstein Lead? Island. I thought he nailed that part of our interview interview that the girls that a Epstein is accused of trafficking in these were not eight-year-old a or old to. These aren't eight-year-olds. Fifteen and sixteen year-old. They looked like adult females and could perform. Obviously we'll get into the details family friendly show. Adult females, but technically as as Michael. Jones technically, they are minors and there were laws to protect them until they're eighteen. So all you gotTa do is offer them up to the world's powerbrokers. And and photograph the the the axe mammo you got blackmail material. It's as simple. As that. I'm writing implying that just as parodies in on any of that I just. A I'm wondering I'm like you. I'm wondering don't have an explanation for it. I also cannot explain bread Kavanagh's defection and neither can andy McCarthy other than. CAVENAUGH reading headlines. Is. The epic from The disgusting epic for Two Thousand Eighteen left a permanent scar. Is hearing echoes, the Christine Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah, Blah Blah Blasi Ford, and the back of his mind is he hearing Garland I don't WanNa. Go through this again. Because you know when they roll five to four like in Bush versus Gore, there's going to be war. Why it's important for turnout. And for prayer again, they have no answer for the prayer and for grace. Here's judge Gorsuch is. It's a small of head put the spectacles on gorsuch is part of his. Descent listen to this. This is written so well that all of us can understand what's at stake here. The parties before us all acknowledged that under the federal constitution. Only the state. Legislature and Congress may prescribe the Times places and manner of holding elections again, Article One. Section four article on section four. Remember that. Everyone agrees to that the north. Carolina Constitution. Expressly vets all legislative power in the General Assembly not the board of elections or anyone else. And then he cites North Carolina Constitution article to Subsection, one? So we need not go rifling through state law and I think he's writing is to judge Barrett. Yarn like you don't need to go rifling through State Law to understand this sister, he gets your but up here on the court and put a Yes vote to end this. That's what I think is just reading between the lines here with Gorsuch. So, we not go rifling through State Law to understand the boards permissible role and rewriting election laws. All we need to know about its authority to override state election laws is plane from the federal and state? Constitutions. In the Fourth Circuit Judges, Wilkinson AG, and name ir or Niemeier thoughtfully explained the boards constitutional overreach and broader problems with last minute election law. Last Minute Election Law writing by lawsuit. As they absurd efforts like these not only offend. The elections close textual commitment of responsibility for election lawmaking state and federal legislators. They do damage to the faith in the written constitution as law. To the power of the people, oversee their own government and to the authority of legislatures. Such last minute changes by largely unaccountable bodies to invite confusion risk altering election outcomes and in the process threaten voter confidence in the results. Close. Quote. That's judge Neil gorsuch and the descent. Now. I believe that if you read between. Lines this isn't hard to see. This is a judge gorsuch writing the judge Barrett saying, Hey, amy I know you're out there telling people that you didn't have time to prepare it and what have you you need to roll your sleeves up and get under the skin of this case and learn there's nothing to learn. Here will learn this and grammar school article one section for sweet art. Just Barrett wilting. Under threat or. Under pressure. His Justice Cavanaugh will team. We know that Roberts wilting under blackmail pressure. We know that. It's cavenaugh wilting under media pressure. Let's go to Andrew McCarthy former US attorney for the southern district of new. York. Successfully prosecuted and convicted to blind shake in the nineteen ninety-three February nineteen ninety three world trade. Center. Bombing Remember member that. anti-god that conviction against the blind shake he also went out I believe he was part of the prosecution of the Godley crime family, not the Biden crime. Family. Guy Crime family. So Andy's worked in the official channels. He's worked as lawyer not commentator analyst for Fox News used to be on his show all the time He. Used to be big buddies I'm not even sure why we had a falling because he's Catholic as am I well, for any event I, I've had communications with with Andy, but I still read him regularly to me. He's one of the authorities on this. Well, this is piece at the National Review Online today. Watching on, you check that headline out. What's the headline rolling the dice on chaos supreme? Court ducks election law cases. on on the right and among those respect history traditionist ability Franklin Delano Obama Roosevelt's court packing gambit is remembered as a welcome rejection of radicalism at the pinnacle of his influence. The most powerful President of one of the twentieth century could not prevail on his scheme to expand the court and fill it with like minded politically willful progressives even though his party controlled both houses of the Congress by decisive. Margins. And he begins this with there's one thing we've forgotten to mention about political imitation intimidation of supreme court. That's the subheading of Andy's piece. And I. It works. Yet on the left and especially among Alinsky ites schooled and the extortionate leveraging of power, the cart packing threat is remembered as a triumph. It provoked the famous switch in time that saved nine. That's a quote, a switch in time that saved nine. Fearful. That FDR would follow through and destroy the court standing as a rule of law institution the court led by Justice. Owen Roberts our earlier I said Justice Owens Justice Owens Robert Owen. Roberts dramatically shifted upholding the new deal it had been stall in and out in the foundations of Progressive Governance. In other words. All of the federal alphabet soup of agencies was made possible by that court and by Franklin Delano Roosevelt. That court holds its ground just goes no. No. We're GONNA. have. Court and we're GONNA we're going to reject Fayka. Franklin Dylan Obama. and we're going to reject the works Progress Administration I. Forget who else? What other alphabet soup agencies ran on this particular case because a person that had standing had sued. And a state had sued saying We're. Not. Making. Matching contributions at his Fayka Act. We're broke we can't. They, lost they shouldn't have but they lost. Back to you today. In a pair of five three decisions with the newly minted justice, Amy Coney Barrett intriguingly keeping to the sidelines again, some all WanNa call eight, four, five, two, seven, eight, seven, two, three. And me an explanation of that. Because I don't have one. The justice it declined to intervene in the Pennsylvania election case despite the patent lawlessness of the rewrite by the state's highest court by the way. Courts to not get have the privilege of making or remaking election laws. There's a lot of stuff in the constitution you can twist in molden pervert and. I think it's malleable and what have you article one section for eight one of them. and. It never has been and no one's ever even tried every time they have tried. where the courts have always sided with who the plaintiffs. Always, went to plaintiffs thus. Legislature now, this is what you got to understand what an irony here. Is the legislature of the Great State of Pennsylvania. represent. Not appointed by their own will. WHO, they ended the DITTO that. Tito tits show you provincial pots. Ditto. That for North Carolina DITTO THAT FOR MINNESOTA Court last night Minnesota. Got It. Right. By the way mail in ballots will be delivered by eight PM Tuesday night and a discussion. So the male invalid fraud attempted Minnesota is over.
Biden, in Kenosha, vows that America will address racism and original sin of slavery
"The Daily Two? Oh, two podcast is brought to you by facebook at facebook we continue to take steps to better secure our platforms. What's next? We support updated Internet regulations to set new standards for data portability privacy and elections learn more at about dot F. B. dot com, slash regulation. Cute morning. I'm reese Tibo with the Washington Post and this is the daily two. Oh, two it's Friday. September four. James is out but I'm here again with the day's top headlines, your three stories that should be on your radar. Up I Matt visor and Dan Simmons report that Joe. Biden thrust his campaign into the roiling national debate over police violence and racial justice on. Thursday. The Democratic presidential nominee traveled to Kenosha, Wisconsin and pointedly embraced the nation's racial reckoning vowing improvements if elected president during an emotional meeting held in a church not far from looted downtown buildings. Biden made some of his most direct comments yet on the subject of race growing introspective at times and speaking barely above a whisper, he sent the shock over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the shooting that paralyzed Jacob Blake and Kenosha has provided the First, window in generations for the nation to address centuries. Old Problems. Biden said quote were finely now getting to the point where we're going to address the original sin in this country slavery and all the vestiges of it. I can't guarantee you everything get solved in for years, but I can guarantee you one thing. It will be a whole heck of a lot better in tone and dialogue. Biden's trip differed dramatically from that of president trump two days earlier. The former vice president met with blakes family and spoke with Blake by phone for fifteen minutes before meeting with community leaders trump had toured buildings burned after protests over the shooting and his audience was heavy with law enforcement. Once again, Biden opposed looting and violence but he also cited with the sentiments of the street Biden met for an hour with Blake's parents, siblings and legal team, and he spoke on the phone with Blake who was shot seven. Times and had just been released from the ICU recounting their conversation. Biden said, he talked about how nothing was going to defeat him how whether he walked again or not? He was not going to give up and up next a story from my colleagues David Nakamura Matt's Petoskey and Kobe quits on Thursday a chorus of election officials, legal analysts, and social media companies rushed to condemn encounter president trump suggestion that his supporters attempt to vote more than once. They warned that doing so could be a crime and they expressed fear that he was undermining the election system. The pushback included pointed statements from an array of federal and local officials, as well as direct action from facebook and twitter to attempt to limit the spread of the president's misinformation and trump had urged supporters during an official White House event in North Carolina on Wednesday to send in a ballot through the. Mail and then attempt to cast in one at polling sites on election day in an effort to test the system, he has stated repeatedly that universal mail in voting would lead to rampant voter fraud despite evidence to the contrary the head of the North Carolina. State Board of elections issued a lengthy statement emphasizing that attempting to cast multiple ballots is a class one felony and that soliciting someone to vote twice is. Also. A crime and Michigan's Democratic Attorney General and Secretary of State both vowed to prosecute those trying to vote more than once facebook announced it would remove a video of trump's initial remarks and twitter appended unnoticed two of the president's tweets ruling that they violated the site's rules about civic and election integrity trump and other administration officials sought to justify the president's comments and minimize the political fallout on twitter trump wrote. that he was only instructing those who vote by mail to follow up at their polling place to make sure the ballots have been counted. Democrats and state election officials from both parties have pushed to make it easier for people to vote by mail to help protect against the spread of the coronavirus at crowded polling places responding to trump's comments biden used the president of trying to de legitimize the US election system. The president's remarks in North Carolina marked his latest attempts to Impune the integrity of mail in voting, which trump believes would favor biden and our final story comes to us from Gillian Briquet cal a reporter for the posts history block retrievals house speaker. Nancy. Pelosi was slammed by Republicans this week after Fox News obtained surveillance footage of her inside a San Francisco Salon the Problem California stylists have been banned from working indoors for months because of the pandemic and the footage showed her with her mask pulled down her neck. The White House pounced on it, and even the owner of the Salon said it was a quote slap in the face. Pelosi. Insisted it was set up the stylist had told her it was okay to have one client inside at a time and she had her mask down only briefly while getting a shampoo but we can't say history didn't warn her haircuts styles have been landing politicians in hot water for a long time in nineteen ninety-three. The. Washington Post's reliable source revealed that President Bill Clinton got a haircut aboard air. Force One as it sat on a runway in Los. Angeles other outlets reported the trim had delete commercial flights. The rumours of an air traffic jam turned out to be untrue but the cost of the haircut two hundred dollars was still a scandal nearly fifteen years later, former senator. John Edwards seemed to almost repeat Clinton's hair force one fiasco once again, media reported on his expensive haircuts from Beverly Hills stylist. But this time they cost four hundred dollars the stylist was flown in the charges showed up on Edwards campaign spending reports, Edwards who is running for president on an anti poverty platform said he was embarrassed and reimbursed the campaign. But it turned out that wasn't his only hair reason campaign behavior. He was also having an extramarital affair. Edwards was eventually indicted on corruption charges at trial. He was found not guilty on one charge and a mistrial was declared on the other charges and in two thousand twelve, the New York Post claimed the disgraced politician was going to super cuts where the charge was twelve dollars and ninety five cents but political hair changes are not always perilous. On. The campaign trail in eighteen sixty Abraham Lincoln was described as gaunt hatchet faced and a horrid looking wretch. Then he got a letter from eleven year old Grace Bedell who advised him if you will let your whiskers grow, you would look a great deal. Better he listened and perhaps more importantly that style tip was free. And that's the daily two. Oh, two for Friday September fourth. Thank you for listening enjoying the holiday weekend and stay safe. Home. Among. The daily. Two Oh, two podcast is brought to you by facebook at facebook we continue to take steps to better secure our platforms. What's next we support updated Internet regulations to set new standards for data portability privacy and elections learn more at about dot F. B. Dot com slash regulation.
Election Hacking: Help Protect Our Democracy
"Put the fact is unless you happen to personally know everyone who votes for you on a paperless Diori machine. There is no way to verify the results. It's a pretty good case against thanks them. Which makes it frankly completely insane that New Jersey not only still uses them for plans to keep using them for the twenty twenty election? And it's not just New Jersey Esi in two thousand sixteen. Twenty percent of voters voted on paperless theories and an estimated twelve percent will use them in twenty twenty meaning. Sixteen million Americans spread out across all the states are set to be voting machines that pretty much everyone agrees are deeply deeply flawed and if they malfunction there could be no way of knowing which is absolutely terrified. Because what we have to do here is obvious. It's so obvious impact. Even this guy understands it. One of the things we're learning is always good. It's old fashioned but it's always good to have a paper backup system of voting. It's called paper. APOR highly complex computers paper and a lot of states are doing that. Yeah these royds. That's that's it. He's just all the way completely right. It is called Piper. Hyper is not a computer. It's Piper and a lot of states are doing it now. I'm sure everything. He sat around those sixteen seconds with some combination of wrong racist and Horny but for brief glorious moments he I was just absolutely right and probably slightly horny. The good news is earlier this year. The House approved six hundred million dollars for states to buy new machines with the requirements. They not connect to the Internet and provide a patrol for mandatory audits. The bodies the Senate has got its own plan providing leading less than half that amount of money with non of those requirements at all which is simply ridiculous. We can fix this and we must fix this six because it is critically important for people to have confidence in our voting machines and we should have more faith in our system for choosing our leaders than we do in the one inexplicably keeps. Sean fucking Spicer doing the cha-cha on national television. I'm Sarah Cancer. The author of the bestselling essay collection the view from Flyover country and the upcoming book hiding in in plain sight. I'm Andrea Chalupa journalist and filmmaker and the writer and producer of the journalistic thriller Mr Jones and this has gas nation a podcast covering corruption the trump administration and rising autocracy around the world. So today we have a very special Thanksgiving episode on Thanksgiving as we did last year. We featured some brilliant community organizers. Who are doing the all important work of grassroots power to take back our country and this year we're featuring a incredibly inspiring story of a community community power as we're always saying on gasoline nation? The the only reliable power we have left grassroots power and community is the vaccine against the corruption virus. And if you need help joining a community to take back your power Our wherever you live go to gas station pod dot com and we have a whole list of ideas where you can get jump started so today we're gonNA be featuring the work of indivisible scarsdale ars deal This is a group of fearless brilliant. Tenacious community organizers. Who are fighting here in New York state for election security or our interview is with a retired lawyer deb reporter who put together with her team her community legislation for New York state to secure our elections as we're always covering here on gasoline nation? We had a hacking of our elections in two thousand sixteen which helped bring Donald Trump. To power the Kremlin we found out targeted all fifty states and the US government has been very secretive in giving information to us. You even had got a whistle blower a young whistle blower who served in the Air Force reality winner who came forward and thought she could trust them journalists intercept by revealing proof when she was an NSA contractor tractor revealing proof that Russia's hacking of our election of our political infrastructure election systems was a lot Whiter than previously reported by anyone. I'm Sarah and I are no strangers to this issue. We actually met through the Hackett through this whole story Sarah crashed into my. DM's in the early hours of trump being called the winner of the two thousand sixteen election. And she got on the phone right away and said these numbers don't look normal and through that we helped launch audit the vote where we drew much needed attention to the warnings warnings of leading computer scientists in America. That were trying to warn us for a decade that our election systems were incredibly fragile and Hodgepodge and vulnerable will and that yes. The election results themselves can absolutely be hacked and changed So election security is very much the fight for the right to vote We are fighting on many fronts when it comes to our right to vote not only against racist ID laws and so forth not only against Gerrymandering but also election action security. It's all one. We need peace of mind. We cannot have any more debate in our country of weather. The election results themselves were changed in two thousand sixteen or not the major point is we need to secure our voting machines and all public servants. All active communities across the country need a wake up to this issue and luckily early Deborah Porter and her friends and indivisible scarsdale has made this tremendously Relatively I would say easy for people across the country to replicate what they have done. They they have their legislation that they wrote that they created available to you that you can then take and adapt for your state and Deborah Porter. Today is going to walk us through. How her little community there little engine that could powered created from scratch this legislation to secure voting machines and New York state? And how they they built support for it and this is such an inspiring story and I hope that anybody listening anywhere across America can replicate it. Yeah I'm really glad that You know you did this interview in. You're covering covering this topic because as soon as I feel like we live in this parallel world where on one hand you have. The presidential candidates debating healthcare and jobs in the economy. Let me and all this sort of normal baseline stuff. While meanwhile we have the Oval Office hijacked by a Kremlin asset backed up by Transnational Transnational Crime Syndicate that engaged in election tampering in two thousand sixteen and that was the mechanism that got him into power and that that mechanism hasn't been remedied. We have talked about this ceaselessly before the election after the election there were warnings before the election from people like Harry. Reid who wrote to Comi. Oh me and said there's a good chance that the official votes will be falsified. which is an incredible statement? Read has not elaborated on in that Komi wouldn't act on and so all of this has just been basically left in the dark and we've interviewed people in the past discusses issues. We interviewed Barbara Simon. Who is a computer scientist? Interest an expert on elections. We interviewed reality winners. Mother and she told her daughters story. But we haven't seen so much with the exception of people like Steve. Abrams is action on the ground to ensure election integrity in twenty twenty and so basically sort of four big problems on the horizon You know one of course is domestic voter suppression As a result of the partial repeal of the twenty thirteen in which traditionally marginalized groups are unable to vote. This is actually what gave trump Wisconsin. We have foreign interference which we talk about all the time mostly from Russia but with other countries interested in. Well as well I mean why would you not exploit the system when you know that trump and the GOP welcome it. They're not interested in election integrity. If they were interested in it you would. I'd see them. Having different policy positions you would see them not having positions that pretty much the entire country hates like getting rid of our healthcare. They're not worried. Read about winning this election and so that's a bad sign. We have the machines being unsecure. We'll get into in the show and then we have. The problem of trump might not concede even if it is very clear that he lost this election. He needs to hold onto power to avoid criminal prosecution and to keep all of the money that he he has been making through this vast kleptocratic apparatus. and to please Kremlin backers and what I worry about. Most is the intersection of all of these issues issues. That of course they're all working simultaneously but they also cover for each other. You know we've talked in previous episodes about how manafort was very interested in the state the Upper Midwest states that went to trump and basically decided the election for him and so a lot of that was chopped up to things like domestic voter suppression things like that. But you have to wonder you know. Why was he meeting with Constantine Clinic? What exactly was he doing? This is an under studied topic in a holistic way away at I encourage people to look broadly at how badly and now many respects this can go wrong and pressure your representatives pressure. Your officials listened to this episode. Listen to the guidelines that are brought forward here because we do still have a year and you know you could say I mean you could be pessimistic. You can see it's too late but we know that doing nothing is not an option here. Doing nothing is spelling certain doom so you might as well try find out how your state votes what kind of voting machines that you use and there's instructions on how you can do that if you listen to our interview with the computer scientist I Barbara Simmons. We didn't interview with Barbara Simon's on gasoline nation. That's essential so go to our website. Gasoline POD DOT com. We have all our episodes and transcripts there And Look Up. It was an August. Two Thousand Eighteen interview with Barbara Simon's computer scientists. Though for over a decade was warning us that our elections could be hacked and to listen to her her interview as a as a base to start from on how you can check how your state boats in terms of what machines they use and then listen to this interview with Deborah Porter of of individuals scarsdale on how you can create legislation in your state to secure your elections and that will benefit everybody and future generations. And that's that's a matter of securing our democracy Chrissy and I know this Highly technical issue but the way to simplify it as this all the leading computer. Scientists recommend hand marked paper ballots hand hand marked paper ballots. They are essential for making sure that every vote is counted and auditing the vote. So that's the rule of thumb. Make sure that your county wherever you vote that your state reverie vote relies on only hand marked paper ballots. And if they do not then you need to find your community build your community and follow followed the case study here in this interview with Dev reporter on how you can ensure that your state only uses hand marked paper ballots. Welcome to gasoline Asian. Ever were excited to learn all about your doing incredible experience and figure out how volunteers across the country can replicate it. And they're states. I'm really excited to be here. So tell me a little bit about Who you are your indivisible group and the legislation that you guys have created in that whole process? I'm just so grateful for what I've heard so far. I am excited to learn more. I'm a CO leader of indivisible scarsdale its grass roots organizing group that was founded right after the two thousand sixteen election and I've been working really hard on voting rights and voting rights security which which is a very important issue now especially as we've all learned about how the Russians have tried and are trying to hack into our election systems systems and I wear a couple of other hats. I'm a on the legislative team. For Smart Elections. We have a website smart elections dot. US less which is a coalition devoted to voting rights. And I'm also a member of the New York Democratic Lawyers Council the Legislative Affairs Committee and there's a committee on election security and technology awesome. So you are living the dream like you are creating legislation yourself like tell me about that process well in the past I have drafted legislation and my representative Amy Paulin in the New York state assembly has always been an advocate of good government and particularly voting rights and had when I found out the problems with the hybrid voting machines that had been certified for use in New York by the State Board of elections. I was looking at the election law to see how we could draft a bill. That would make them illegal New York state and I spoke to amy pond about it and she agreed to introduce the bill and in addition I was able after she put it in to convince the Senate Senate Elections Committee Chair Zell nor Mary who senator in Brooklyn to put the bill in as well so now it is pending being in the state legislature. Okay so let's get into the bill itself. So what are you trying to do in terms of election security here in New York state. Well there's been a big problem. Because the State Board of elections certified machine called The Dominion Ice. That's what is called a hybrid rid voting machine and I will explain what that is. It's a machine. That's a printer and a scanner. And the reason that's the problem problem is because after a voter marks their ballot and reviews it to make sure it's what they wanted to vote for they put quitted into a scanner and it's counted but these particular hybrid machines have a feature where the ballot passes under the print head after a voter reviews and physically possible for the machine to be hacked to add had votes to your ballot that you didn't make and why is this a problem. I'll give you a specific example. Let's say you were voting for governor. You're in the last election and you chose Andrew Cuomo. It is physically possible with this machine for a vote to be added for or his opponent Cynthia Nixon and if that happens when there's an audit of the paper ballot the vote for governor will be invalidated elevated because it's called an overbroad can't vote for two candidates for governor and there would be no way for you to know that that was happening and wants this. Those votes are added to the ballot. All of the technology experts say it would be physically impossible without a forensic analysis so in other words an I you couldn't eyeball it and see that a vote was added to distinguish the falls folk from your real vote. Why would the industry allow that to be built in the first place? If it's stop vulnerable I couldn't answer that question except to say that those machines are super expensive a separate ballot marking device for disabled voters and separate scanner or about four thousand dollars a piece so that would be a total of eight thousand dollars but these machines cost fourteen thousand dollars. So that's their motive. I would guess it's profit so they wanna add on all these features to make their machines more expensive to increase the money they can earn exactly. It's horrible okay. So then that's where good government needs to step in and protect the public from greedy corporations. Absolutely let me just say that. The trend is away from these hybrid. Machines you know I just want to back up. Explain one more thing about a hybrid machine because as I mentioned something called the ballot marking device. So that's the printer function on these machines. And the reason we have. Those is because persons with disabilities abilities who are unable to mark their ballot with a pen. They can't fill in. The bubbles can use this kind of machine a ballot marking device. And they either talk into the machine or PRESA. Touch screen ended prince their votes onto the paper. And after it's printed it can be scanned but the question is should it be scanned in the same machine and our answers now and you know the State Board of elections which is appointed bodies and when the decides what machines to certify in New York stayed at a certified this machine even though their own technicians said that it was a problem they did a review of it because we raise this issue with them. We asked them to look at it and they suggested completely ridiculous ticketless modifications like putting a piece of foam into the printer when it's not being used by a disabled person or having the people who work at the elections listened for extraneous printing noises and most recently. They're testing some kind of a patch that would record Howard Times prince so that they could do some kind of after the fact audit but basically all all of these measures that they're suggesting are indications that they know there's a problem with these machines and they're just doing it simply to meet the needs. Kevin Disabled voters or voters just need extra support. When voting it's required by federal law? The help America Vote Act which was half George which was president it which is why we went away from the lever machines to computer machines and people with disabilities do have a right to vote wrote just like everybody else and of course we should accord them the ability to vote even if they can't mark Appel it with a pen for some reason so that being being the case they created what are called ballot marking devices and by law. We must have them but the question is should the ballot marking device. Be separate separate from any machine that counts the votes and the clear answer is yes and it's not just my bill that I had amy me pollen put in and Senator Mary put in but also federal legislation is now mandating. That ballot went marking devices. Not Be used to tabulate votes or or scam votes the scanner slash tabulates. One machine. Right you put it in and then it gets counted. That's what tabulates count so anyway. There were two bills in the House of Representatives. Both of them already passed and they specifically say that a ballot marking device cannot be tabulated and there are also two bills that were introduced in the Senate. But of course I. They're being blocked by Mitch. McConnell he won't put them on the floor. Well Mitch. McConnell is owned by the Kremlin. We know that that's what the show's about. So he's he's like Nope nope. We're not GONNA do election security because I need my campaign. Stoppers in the Kremlin to keep me in power so let me think. It's not only the Russian foreign actress who have a voting machine. Anybody can CACA voters absolutely. We've seen that. We've seen that over and over and over again. It's sort of like we're passed having a debate about this. It's a known fact so we get to the point in the country where there's no longer longer debate. We have peace of mind when it comes to our election security so congress. The Democratic House is passing in promoting and pushes legislation Republicans. Lukens are of course blocking it in the Senate because God forbid if it's easy for people to vote in this country and we have the security of the vote in this country. Republicans is may not even be in power. If that's the case right we've seen that again and again that's why the Republican dominated Supreme Court Gar got rid of some key provisions in the voting rights. Act For instance that made a big difference in two thousand sixteen. What do you think the chances are that your legislation is going to get past? Well it really depends on the pressure. We can bring to bear on our elected representatives and I have found through my grass roots organizing that it is really up to uh-huh uh-huh to call them to meet with them to email them and urged them to sponsor the bills and and to vote for them. And that's what I do. Okay and how big is your team. Well you know it's it's a big team. We have a lot of different volunteers. Volunteers and we go to Albany. I work with A. It's not just my indivisible group in Westchester what happened was in November of two thousand sixteen eighteen three ladies who live in Larchmont which is in Westchester County. It's a suburb called the meeting. At a church to former indivisible group and indivisible there is a thing that was posted on the Internet by former Democratic congressional. Staffers that outline how now the tea party was able to become so influential in the United States. And it basically is an organizing drive and the principles very simple your elected representatives WanNa get reelected and way to get them to be responsive to you is to make them realize that their constituents you to want them to do something and so you have to show up when they have public meetings you have to meet with them. You have to call them. And that's what we've been doing any way. More more than six hundred people showed up in November of twenty sixteen at this church and we divided into indivisible groups by town or region and I became became the leader of my town group and I worked very closely with the leaders of Indivisible Westchester and the other local groups in the area. Yeah and we've all been working on this consistently since two thousand Sixteen Arendt. Wow okay. That's that's phenomenal so I don't just work on elections. We were a lot of things. We got candidates selected. We have an incredible turnout sheen for elections and that's one reason why the elected representatives listen to us because they know we don't have to walk door to door for them unless we think that what they're doing is the right thing exactly what we always gas nation is. If you don't show up for the base the base won't show up for you exactly so this is incredible so audit the vote so Sarah and I along with my sister we got audit. The vote started really in the early hours of election night right after his announced Donald Trump was president. My sister wrote a facebook post which was essentially the cliff notes of the Miller report. which would come out a couple of years years later and Sarah? I put that online on twitter and We put that on twitter and then that led to audit the Hashtag which we promoted to give voice to the computer. Scientists like Alex J Alderman. That was warning us. There were warning us for years. Several years that are election systems are hodgepodge and vulnerable and and and we just need to have one hundred percent security. Just knowing that every security step has been taken to minimize any vulnerabilities and so forth so it sounds like all that work. Even though the recount movements in Pennsylvania Wisconsin and Michigan of course not successful as we know. Because now we're in this horror. Show the trump the presidency but your work also proves the point. We're always making a gasoline nation. which is there are no failed movements? Even failed movements fertilize the ground on for future movements so it sounds like all that attention. I'll at work that the computer scientists and vote did to draw attention to the vulnerability of election hacking. You were there at the start of all that and you you just kept working and working and now you have this phenomenal product which is very close to getting passed in in New York and finally giving us that peace of mind well. I'm glad you're so optimistic about getting past. I think it's GonNa be a lot of work. And I'm hoping that people listening to this podcast to live in New York will call their Dr Assembly and Senate representatives and ask them to support the bill. I could give you the bill numbers. Yes please the bill number her in the Assembly is eight five nine seven and in the Senate it's six seven three three okay so Newark. Residents President voters are the only ones that can call right. Well yeah because they're the ones who have representatives that would have the ability to vote on these bills and even you you know what we need them to say to their representatives is that they don't think hybrid voting machines are secure and that they would like them to sign on as sponsors of these bills. Okay great so they should call both their state senator and also their state rep and the assembly so two different phone calls falls. That's right and could you walk us through a script for that like so you're calling me up. What do you say? I'm your your State Rep. So I'd say hi I'm constituent in your district. Here's my address. Here's my name. I would like you to support a ban on hybrid voting voting machines. The bill number is a eight five nine seven or s six seven three three and I have to say and if you call their offices there people taking down the calls as they come in and the number of calls they get to the more calls goals they get on an issue the more interested they are in signing on or passing it great and this is a nonpartisan issue by the way it whether you're a Democrat Democrat or Republican Agreem- party Working Families Party constituent. This is for you because they represent no matter. What the party there in an election security is something everybody should care about and what's really pernicious about hybrid? Voting machines is that everybody but he counts on having a quote paper trail unquote to be a backup in case something goes wrong with the machines but if these paper ballots can be hacked into an boats added to them. The paper trail will not be not a reliable backup anymore in the federal legislation. It just says that it's mechanically impossible for to add votes in. The manufacturers are trying to convince the legislators that their hybrid machines are making mechanically impossible because they they say that they can't be hacked and that's just the Li- any voting. Coding Machine can be hacked is actually these voting machines because they have flash drives on them. Oh Okay and they have removable. Memory drives and every time there's an election action. They have to be reprogrammed with software from the voting machine manufacturer to put the ballots for the particular election onto the machine. And that's always anytime. He put a machine hook it up to any kind of device. That's been on the Internet ever in its life. It's vulnerable to hacking all you have have to do to understand this is read the mullahs report it. According to the Miller Report Fifty States Election Systems were hacked into but they didn't get all the way in in all of them but they tried for fifty states. They got there. They got into the actual network of one of the voting machine manufacturers thatchers and completely took over the network in control that because one employee clicked on an attachment with the virus. That's all it takes. Our elections are governed by the counties. Not even by the states in most cases in New York it's the counties and some and they don't have a lot of money for election security. Some of them are still running windows seven. I WanNa really emphasized for people. How horrifying how horrifying things are right now? In terms of our nation's future if we get stuck under these corrupt voting practices including machines that are so so easily hack of all systems that are so easily hackel were stock were stock. There's no getting out even if you got rid of Electoral College for instance. 'cause there's a big movement to get rid of the Electoral College. That's still a long way away of being successful but it's in progress and it's made great strides but still it's not gonna be ready for two thousand twenty by any means but Even if you got rid of electoral college if you do not fix election security any determined actor could still determine. The president had states through hacking in her systems. That's IT and don't get. Don't forget how close the vote margins have been. They don't have to change a lot of votes exactly like for example people may did not remember this but in two thousand twelve Obama won Florida by less than two points. Exactly right and look what happened. In Two thousand sixteen in Michigan and Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. It was very few votes that determine that election in just those three states so they wouldn't have to a hack into every single state election security and passing legislation like yours state by state by state is what is going to protect Hecht our country from the far right. If we do not do this soon. This is such a critically urgent matter if we do not do this soon. Across the board in every single state the majority of states. Let's say so. We can at least protect the majority of the vote. We do not do this. They are in power and they're keeping these machines in voting voting booths across the country and these machines can just election cycle after the election cycle remain deeply vulnerable insecure to any type of bad actors. So we need you to hurry up and get your legislation passed in the majority of states in this country. Now tell US anybody wanted to contact you in any state. Could you pass on your legislation. So they could see. You're basically a starter kit so if anybody listening anywhere there indivisible group loop in Missouri in any state across the union if they wanted to get what you're doing passed their own state they could just reach out to you you'll hand them entire starter kit. They can then adopt it for the laws in their state for those systems however their state works and get it passed and get their ground game going and just falling your model. Yeah I can can give you They could email me at indivisible. Scarsdale all one word at G MAIL DOT COM. And you'll just send them the legal language which includes clued technical language and you can walk them through and they can get this going in their state. If it's not already there yes okay. So this is why on the gasoline nation action guide we linked to indivisible we we link we have an entire section on groups. If you're not part of a group join a group when you have actual authoritarianism taking root your protection or your communities is your communities that you need to turn to now and that's how we win it's community by community by rising up by by smart organizing and fighting back and that's why I was so excited and made it a priority to sit down and speak with you because you are providing an invaluable model for communities across country indivisible groups move on dot org groups and he sort of group across the country to emulate cook. Because I'm telling you election security protecting the vote that is how we protect our nation's sovereignty. That is how we protect our children. That is how we protect the environment. That is how we stop more species from going instinct. We have to flush the far right out of power. Remove the idiots from power our and we're only going to do that with communities owning their power because grassroots power we always say in gasoline nation grassroots power is the most reliable power we have left. I just want to say one more thing. If you WANNA learn more about elections security I suggest you go to the website. Smart Elections Dot U. S. S. Smart Elections Dot. US There are articles by the computer experts That we're working with. It's a coalition of groups and it has a lot of information about voting security. Give us your email one more time for people to contact you just get your starter kit indivisible scarsdale tail at gmail.com fantastic. Thank you so much deborah for being on gasoline nation. Today keep us posted on as your bill goes through both the York state assembly and the Senate. We put the call out to all New York state listeners. It's your moral obligation to call and support this critical legislation legislation. We need to have election security in New York state or we could be stuck. We could be really stock big time and it's game over if we don't protect the vote. Thank you for having me on your program. Discussion continues and you can get access to that. By standing up on our patron at the truth teller level or higher we watch encourage our listeners to donate to raises a Texas face nonprofit agency that it provides free and low cost legal services to underserved immigrant children families and refugees there helping with the crisis facing migrant families at the Texas border and need your support. We also encourage you to donate to help critically endangered orangutans already under pressure from the palm oil industry donate to the Iran getting project at the arraigned gatting project dot org gasoline nation is produced by Sarah Kensington. Andrey Chiluba if you like what we do. Leave US review and I tunes. It helped us reach more listeners. In ours and check out our patriotic keeps US going. Our production managers are Nicholas Tyrez and Carlin bagels are episodes are edited by Nicholas Torres and our Peijiang exclusive exclusive. Content is edited by Karl Original Music. And gaslight nation is produced by David Whitehead. Martin van Burg Nick Farr Damian Ariaca and Carlin diggle goal. Our logo design was donated to us by Hamish Smith of the New York based firm order. Thank you so much Hamish. Gasoline nature like to thank her supporters at the producer level. PATRIAE PATRIAE on Alexandra Land wiler Michael Belan honoree duchamp. Sheila Humphreys Susan. Solomon Adam Inger Soft Terry Brady Adam lavine Allen Lew Angela Harvey and Marshall. Becky Karouche Brian to Hooton. Carl Hosur Carol Goal Stat. Caroline runs runs Katherine Anderson Corinna. Cathy Kavanagh see Baker. David Boudreau David Porter. Who just saw my film with his daughter? Jazz at Austin Film Festival of Mr Cajones and loved it. Okay Diana Gallagher Deals Sinfield Dorothy commack Doug Freedom Berg Eric Kaplan arena guardia. Ethan Man Fontaine Carpenter. George Hughes. Cordon someway Gustav House me. James Talley Jared Embargo Jason Jason Reda. Jeff Thomson Jennifer o'hearn Jennifer Slavic. Yawns strep Brass Madison. Jodie dewitt. Joel Newman John Gambro. John Ripley Ripley. Karen Crouch Kate cotton. Kelly Ranson can share Nakagawa Kevin Christie. Kevin Garnett Kim Mellon Christie. vitelle Larry Very Colwell Lawrence. Graham Leo Chiluba. That's my dad. My Actual Dad Lisa left lame. Lorraine W Utah Louis Mitchell. Move Strand Mandy. FERRYPORT Marcus. J. Trent Margaret Cho Margaret. Romero Matt Peres. Res- Maureen Murphy Michael Wooldridge Michelle Dash. Mike Tropico Nicole Spear Ray Alba Rhonda Weight Rich Cross Trough Sonya bogdonovich Salomon Hikes Tanya Chiluba. Getting all the shows US Victoria Nordgren. Victoria Olsen Zachary lemon and our favorite ZAP rows down. Thank you so much everybody.
NY Cancels Its Primary, Kicks the Hornets Nest
"Welcome to the important. April twenty-seventh. I'm Lauren Co author of the point. I'm here to cut through the political spin to bring you the news you need to know. New York has no canceled. It's already rescheduled. Democratic presidential primary. The primary was initially rescheduled. Because of the corona virus but the cancellation comes in part from Bernie Sanders decision to suspend his presidential campaign. Now with Joe Biden the Democratic. Party's presumptive nominee. New York State's board of elections decided it had basically rendered the state's primary moot especially because it was rescheduled to June. Twenty third so the board moved to remove sanders from the ballot and cancelled the Democratic presidential primary altogether. Here's the board's thinking quote at a time. When the goal is to avoid unnecessary social contact our conclusion was that there was no purpose in holding a beauty contest. Primary that would marginally increase the risk to both voters and poll workers. End Quote and out the subtext. Here is that while Sanders had dropped out of the race. He planned to keep his name on the ballot. So supporters could still vote for him that way Biden would still become the nominee but sanders would also continue to pick up enough delegates to sway decisions being made at the DNC this summer but with New York's new decision that now is not possible and Sanders supporters in the former campaign are not happy former Bernie Sanders campaign senior adviser Jeff. Weaver called New York State Board of elections decision an outrage and said that it must be overturned by the DNC for what it's worth. It is not uncommon for parties to cancel presidential primaries for their incumbent. President like New York's Republican primary canceled this year but Joe Biden is far from an incumbent president running for a second term. Let's get to the point. New York's decision to suddenly cancel its Democratic presidential primary has roiled the sanders wing of the Democratic Party in a major way and that is the point for April twenty-seventh twenty twenty for more updates throughout the week including our Sunday night campaign edition subscribe to the newsletter at CNN. Dot Com slash. The point if you like the audio you can get it every single weekday on Google or Amazon Echo or subscribe on Stitcher or apple podcasts. Or your favorite podcast APP. So you never miss an episode
Uplifting our Humanity and Rights During the COVID-19 Crisis
"This is freely the ACLU of Maryland. The show the talks about what's happening politically in Maryland from the courts to the streets. I'm your host Amber Taylor. Cove nineteen is spreading across Maryland in our country. How we all respond to this crisis will determine how many lives we can save. That's why the government's response urgently needs to be guided but the expertise of our public health experts during these difficult times the ACLU Maryland is here to defend and protect our civil rights and our civil liberties we're providing guidance to our elected officials so they can craft a Copay nineteen response that is compassionate and protects the populations most vulnerable to harm including immigrants and those caught up in the legal justice system as well as all Maryland voters. Today will talk to somebody. Kumar a senior staff attorney. Amy Crews are legal program manager and director of our election protection program and Nick. Tight t steiner. Our staff attorney these experts are few of the ACLU SAF members working tirelessly to uplift people's humanity and rights during this Kobe nineteen crisis so Sonia. Thank you so much for joining us for thinking freely any We wanted to talk about you. Know the pressing issues of working on during this cove. Nineteen pandemic you know. I think we all are painfully aware. That the You know our public health experts and Key government officials have been telling us all the status quo is not okay and we have to take various steps to protect ourselves including social distancing extra hygiene measures and they're like and One of the key figures in Maryland. Of course is the governor who has issued a number of executive orders and taking other steps putting sort of boundaries and requirements in place for how we're all operating in sort of implementing those Public Health Recommendations as of March eighteenth. The governor hadn't taken any action relating to the thousands of people who are incarcerated in Maryland prisons and jails and this was a really critical concern and continues to be a really critical concerned because of the unique vulnerability of people in our places of detention too but the spread of the virus as well as the risk of harm if they contract the virus a group of a growing group of coalition members of Advocacy organizations public health experts in like all came together to urge the governor to take swift steps to limit the number of people going into places of detention Take steps to release anyone who could safely be released And then take other additional steps to Protect those who remain inside Shaquille just elaborate like who was a part of the coalition and the some of the individuals side not to that letter short. So it's been It's been incredibly Powerful to see that I think at this point there are several dozen organizations including Disability Rights Maryland the Public Justice Center The family support network Maryland prisoners rights coalition and Law Law Enforcement Action Partnership So you know really sort of broad range of folks including folks who are a very directly impacted by the criminal legal system and and Have loved ones in prisons and jails And then in addition to all of you know sort of formal organizations we've had a hundreds of individuals ranging from you know professors to public health experts to family members and other advocates to just general members of the public urging the governor to take action. You know as we're doing this advocacy around this issue A common you know thought has been coming out about that. People are in prison are actually safer in in a jail or prison than they would be on the community. Can you tell me a bit about why you know? That's actually not a good idea. You know one thing that's really important understand is a crisis in our prisons and jails affects all of us. I think there's a mess that It's sort of like if the virus gets into the prisons in jails. That's fine those are closed system. It won't it won't affect those of us who are outside in the world and part of what's really important understanding that that's just absolutely untrue. If our prison and jail systems Become you know Are ravaged by the virus? What will happen is they will stress. The entire medical system They will they. Will you know the number of beds for people who need acute care is limited And the more cheap is we have in our state whether they're inside or outside of the joke the more those facilities will be stretched The other thing is of course that as a matter of just a practical matter prisons and jails do involve a lot of back and forth in terms of staff and other people who are necessary for the basic functioning of those facilities. So what Public HEALTH EXPERTS. Medical officials have have tried to help us all understand that first of all you can't practice any most of the social distancing measurers if you're in prison than gels right that's of course things suck in prisons and jails are Generally not well-maintained and are difficult to maintain in light of the number of who live in them Third is that The medical sort of the quality of access to medical care in prisons and jails is already extremely stressful and There just isn't the capacity to provide even basic screening and testing too quickly and early on identify potential cases one of the sort of myths that we've been hearing about our prisons and jails is that we don't need to worry about them because no cases have been reported in Maryland And I think there's two really obvious response to that one. Is that in every other context? What we've been told over and over again is that prevention is the most important thing right the as soon as we start identifying Keith. As we know that we're in trouble. An every moment really matters to protect To flatten the curve of the of the viruses spread. I mean I think the other point that's really important is what we're hearing is that there is virtually no actual screening or testing happening. That would allow us to identify those cases and so part of. What's really important understand? Is that you know In other systems we might be seeing reported cases in part because they are actually testing people. If we'RE NOT SHUTTING PEOPLE OF COURSE. We're not identifying them And so I think you know what both you know. Public Health experts corrections experts And the rest of us were informed by have been saying is. It's not a matter of if the virus is. GonNa BE GETTING INTO OUR FACILITIES. It's a matter of what So really having. Children prisons the perfect storm for a rapid spread and transmission of the of the virus and That's why it's so important for us to be doing everything possible to limit the number of people who are in our facility so so you what have we been hearing from people who are either incarcerated themselves or people who have love onto are inside. What have we been hearing from them about the situation? I think the versus remember is everybody. We're all concerned. And that's no different for people inside in their loved ones and I think for folks inside and their loved ones. There's this sort of added dimension of a complete lack of control In terms of the ability to take steps to protect themselves and protect their loved ones And and that sort of further compounded compounded by the extreme secrecy that operates in our prisons and jails and so public health experts have educators though about the particularly vulnerable populations You know folks over sixty people with certain kinds of underlying medical conditions. And it's important that we all remember that There are people with those vulnerabilities in our jails and prisons Another a really important point about the racial dynamics of That I think Have not gotten nearly enough attention. Is that Some of the underlying conditions that make us That makes certain people more vulnerable to serious harm if they contract the virus are things like hypertension and diabetes Or other issues. That are disproportionately prevalent in the black community. So there's already sort of a heightened risk there and then in our You know in our prisons and jails we have a very disproportionate ripped racial composition. So we've you know seventy percent of our prison system is populated By sucks people in Maryland Even though black people make up only about thirty percent of our states population generally So there's a real fear about the Potential harm to folks inside The the one other sort of I think that the issues that we've heard about from folks inside their families and and other advocates working with them are you know there are People don't feel that they're getting enough in terms of Hygiene supplies and and steps to sort of help maintain sanitation in the facility There's a concern that you know. No one is being adequately screened or tested either guards or People who are incarcerated and And also that there's no apparent effort to Bolster medical capacity in ways that Suggests suggests that the systems would be better prepared If and when the virus enters our our places of detention actually so you just elaborate on The the lack of light lack of access to hiding some people who are cronin incarcerated Have TO DEAL ON DAILY BASIS. And now that's exacerbated during the school in Nineteen crisis. Absolutely so I think I mean the first thing is like we have to ground ourselves. That reality of what places of detention are actually liked? And so there are already places where there tend to be very poorly maintained and often overcrowded People pay you know full price for You know just just very sort of analogous to what we pay an outside world for hygiene items and for food Even though they may make only sort of sent a day They're really really major barriers to people having access to the things that they need part of what folks have been urging our prisons and jails to do is to make those supplies Available free of charge so for example providing free soap but also providing Cleaning supplies Related to that is I folks may not be aware that hand sanitizer is actually banned in most prisons and jails because of its because it has alcohol in it One of the asks From sort of folks inside and all of us have been that The state and you know look facilities sort of way that That restriction in light of the the crisis And and then the other point. I just want to Highlighted that there are often also co pays associated with medical care within prisons in jails. And we certainly don't WanNa be discouraging anyone from seeking medical assistance if they can so one of the other really. Important measures is asking for Local for facilities to. And they're you know any contracted Medical providers to save Any such fees to ensure that Folks do are able to get care and the other thing I wanted to raise like. No what are the demands that we and hundreds of other people are asking dubliner And other public governors missiles to do part of what I think is important to understand. Is that the governor is sort of uniquely positioned to make a sort of broad Very impactful change More so than virtually any other public official and And it is that reason that you know. The calls to action have been directed At Him The sort of types of asked really fall into three buckets so the first is really limiting. new admissions to our detention centers So that includes everything from urging law enforcement to take steps to avoid unnecessary arrests to issues like Asians instead of taking people into custody That also involves steps to limit pretrial detention so allowing people to remain in the community When the charges pending rather than incarcerating them and And then another sort of bucket if you will of a asks relate to releasing people who are already in custody who are Who can safely be released to the community with a particular focus on those who are uniquely vulnerable to serious harm if they contract the virus like those who are over sixty. That's with Underlying medical conditions Releasing those who are already near the end of their sentence so for example you know there are people who are we already know are going to be released to the community in six months. We need to depopulate our facilities as much as possible. So there's so we're one of the assets and one of the is to really expedite those releases And then and and you know in relation to that where urging the various state agencies to work together to facilitate those releases so one of the things that's important is. We want to make sure that people are able to be released but we also want to make sure that that is happening responsible and safe way and that we're coordinating the support. They need when they return to the community. The last Bucket of asked relate to More concretely and transparently Addressing. What is happening in our places of detention that we've been You know places of detention tend to be very secretive and non-transparent and so some of the asks of an extremely basic like let us know what doing tell us what the plan is you know. Help us understand what you're doing to Maintain the safety of the people in your custody So it's it's a range of ask but those are the sort of high level points and so you can also you know this is not a call. That's been going on in Maryland. This really been a resounding call around the country. Can you tell us a little bit about what other states has been doing? around the Yeah I mean I think One of the things. That's been really sort of impactful about this is how much this crisis exposes the degree to which we incarcerate people who could safely be in our community and And so what we're seeing around. The country are an A really varied ways in which Different states are are responding to the need to Protect you know re remove people from our our jails and prison so one You know powerful example is that in New Jersey A there's an effort underway to underway to review And released I think Close to Thousand people who are in the county jails on minor charges in Iowa the Parole Board and the DNC are working together to expedite the release of seven hundred people in their prison system And state across the country. Really what we're seeing is You know responses from courts and prison and jail officials That acknowledge how dangerous The viruses if it if it gets into our facility than I think it's important to highlight sort of the really You know there's been a tremendous amount of advocacy ranging from really powerful. You know direct action outside of places of detention to Lawsuits wittig Gatien in To tried out help address the crisis. So you how many people are we actually talking about in Maryland? How many people will be affected? Tens of thousands of people You Know We've close to twenty thousand people in our prison system and then there are thousands more in our jails And those are just the people in custody but we're also talking about all of the staff and The other you know sort of The other people that keep those systems operating we're also talking about law enforcement officials who are a part of operating those systems so there's really thousands and thousands of people were very directly impacted by What happened in our prisons in jail? So Sonia what we want the public to do to help prevent this public health crisis in our prisons jails Maryland. The number one thing every person can do is reaching out to their elected officials and particularly the governor and urging them to act so that can involve You know emails and calls it can also involve taking action and Through whatever social media platforms A person is involved with Sun. Thank you so much for joining us. you want out of. You're doing really important work and we really appreciate the advocacy bad. You're going on. Behalf of thousands of people are incarcerated Maryland. Thank you so much. I really appreciate the opportunity and now we'll talk to. Amy Crews are legal program manager and director of our election protection program. Hey Amy thank you so much for joining us for this episode of thinking freely. Thank you for having me so amy. As of March twenty seventh. What are the dates and things people should remember about the upcoming special seventh Congressional district election in the primary election? We have to elections coming up the seven congressional election which they special election and is going to be held on April. Twenty eight. That election will be done primarily by mail. Everyone will get their ballot. Every registered voter in the seventh district will get a ballot mel to them. And then we have the June second primary. This is the primary that was originally supposed to also be on April. Twenty eighth it's the primary that is both the presidential primary as well as a primary for local elections in some places and that was moved to June second. And that is the current date for our primary amy about the seventh congressional special election. What are some of our concerns about that election? Yeah that's a good question. So the seventh congressional special election is going to be held As they primarily vote by mail election and I believe. This is the first time that we've ever had an election like this. In this way. Every registered voter is going to get a ballot mail to them and Our primary concern is that there's going to be confusion around that because people aren't used to getting a ballot mail to them so I think the M- the most important thing right now is to make sure that people understand What vote by mail is and take Take the opportunity to use that because it will be the safest way to vote. Because you won't have to leave your home. There will be a prepaid envelope or you won't have to put a stamp on it You can just mail it back and so I'm hoping that we'll see some investment from The state and then collaboration from organizations like the ACLU and other voting rights organizations to get the word out so that people know that to expect a ballot coming now that's for just for The registered voters. I do also have a concern that if people do not have their address current with the State Board of elections that their their ballot will not be received so Another thing we want to urge people to do is to log onto the state board of elections website. And make sure that your information there is correct and that especially the address is correct. Thank you for that mation. Amy What are some of our concerns about the primary election in on G. Seconds the primary election Definitely poses a more concerned. Because we're still not entirely sure what's going to happen so a little bit of background is that We have several methods of voting here in Maryland Currently and those include No excuse absentee voting so you can vote by mail by requesting an absentee ballot. We have early voting. We now have same day. Registration which should be allowed to people Both during early voting and on Election Day. And we of course have election day where you can go in person vote and then we have provisional voting and these are various methods that have Over the past several years we've Gained more access to having different ways to vote which is great However on March Seventeenth Governor Hogan ordered that the primary election be moved to June second and he also I believe Implied that he would like that to be a normal election but he asked the State Board of elections to figure out the logistics and come up with a plan and then this Wednesday the state board of elections met and you can actually log onto the state board of elections website. And listen in on that meeting Where there was some Lengthy discussion about what to do on June second. They did vote To go to an all Vote by mail system And while we applaud their embracing of voting by mail because especially during this pandemic we need To be able to have the option to vote from our homes In a secure and safe way And we really do congratulate them for being all in on Encouraging people to vote by mail and sending registered voters ballots We also understand that we need to have an in person option the people that we are concerned about who need a in person. Voting option are people who Need certain kinds of assistant at the polls. These include voters with disabilities voters. Who Need Language Assistant Anyone who doesn't receive their ballot whether it's because they have unstable housing There are plenty of people who are not in their homes right now due to Cova. There's voters who can't register between now and The Primary Day either. They don't have an identification card because Nba is closed. And they can't get one or they don't have Internet so there are some people who are going to need to utilize same day registrations at the polls and then there are inactive voters who are not going to get a ballot in the mail and so they also need to have access to cast their ballot as well. So amy while we are advocating for the release of people who are medically vulnerable in our prisons or jails and our ten senators. We've also recognize that. Many of them are eligible voters and the ACLU is always going to be committed to make sure that every eligible voter has access to the ballot. He talked about who some of those incarcerated people who are eligible voters are and what they're voting rights are. Yeah thank you for that question Many of Of the people who are currently in jails are actually eligible to vote. Those would be people who are pretrial people who have not yet been convicted And people who are. They're serving a sentence for misdemeanor and this is because the only people who cannot vote due to conviction are people who are serving a term of incarceration for felony conviction. Those are the only people who can't vote so many people who are in our jails And some in prisons do have the right to vote so amy. What is the process for people who are currently incarcerated to be able to registered to vote in cast a ballot? Well we currently do not have the infrastructure in Maryland's jails and prisons To Provide a voting system for people inside so the Primera primary way for Our incarcerated Friends and family to vote would be by absentee ballot. They would request an absentee ballot to be sent To replace them incarceration and then they will get a ballot mail to them there and they can vote I mail so amy. What are some actions that people can take? Make sure that every eligible voter has safe access to the balance sure I think that If you are a registered voter First thing you should do is log onto the state board of elections website if you have internet and Make sure that your information your address is correct with the State Board of elections and keep an eye out for Ah Ballot in the mail and understand that for these elections you will Possibly be getting the actual ballot in the mail and that Israel and you can vote and send it back by mail. The second is to Help us Get the word out about Voting by mail And about the importance of participating in this election despite This horrible public health. Emergency that we're in and to the extent that We can all spread the word about registering to vote online In voting by mail the more people that we can get voting by mail to fewer people who are going to need to go to in person voting centres. And the more we're GONNA be able to have a Very Safe Barry Secure and very accessible election for everyone in Maryland. While amy thank you so much for you know working on this issue so tirelessly took on the scope in nineteen crisis. I I definitely appreciate it and I know that you know people voted across Maryland. Also appreciate your your see. Well thank you for this and stay safe. Everyone and now we'll talk to nick. Tight t Steiner Assaf Attorney for the ACLU of Maryland. So Nick thank you for being on thinking really talk about the Kobe nineteen crisis. Thank you ever so nick. What action every taking to address the situation in ice tension centers in Maryland? We are suing the Worcester County Detention Center and The Howard carry the pension center to get to medically vulnerable. Immigration detainees out of immigration detention The case called Korea the bounds And the two plaintiffs both have underlying medical conditions that makes them vulnerable to complications related to Cova nineteen one of them has diabetes and the other has hypertension and some other underlying medical conditions And because they have those underlying medical conditions if they contract Kobe nineteen They are at severe risk of potentially dying In the case we have a medical expert Doctor Missouri. Who have said that for for people like Our plaintiffs Who are in detention and listener and Howard county the only real Way To protect them and to keep them safe and healthy Is to have them released. And so that's that's the goal of the lawsuit is to have two two people relief In an effort to to try and pressure ice into taking broader steps and more Protective steps of the people that are in their custody so that they can start. Releasing people who are medically vulnerable cove at nineteen and. It's an extremely urgent issue. Because every day there are more cases of Cova nineteen and once it hits an immigration detention centre or a jail or prison. The the outbreak is going to take a very bad turn And people like our plaintiffs are really at risk of dying unless they're released and nick. What if we heard about the testing fin of ice attention facilities for for the Crow Nineteen virus? Yeah the the hat thing I think is really limited. I mean this is not just a problem in immigration detention centers. Jails Krizan that it's a broader national problem just the limited number of tests that are happening and so it's likely the number of Cova nineteen cases that exist are way higher than What is being reported just because of the casting and that reality exists in the immigration detention centers as well and what is particularly concerning is how The detention centers in Maryland are woefully unprepared for an outbreak There is there isn't much There isn't much medical supplies. There is an hand sanitizer Faith things that would help prevent a spread of Kobe. Nineteen in detention center and that is extremely problematic for The medically vulnerable population. Ainhoa Nikki Tulsa bit about the experiences that you've heard from our plaintiffs and also from people who are the people who are inside these eits tension centers. Yeah so I think I've most would expect the medical care that exists in jails prisons and detention centers is asking And so anybody. Who has some kind of issue Have have to jump through a whole bunch of hoops. In order to get the the bird. Detention Centers. I think are very very ill prepared for a major outbreak like Cova nineteen once it hits a detention center and the consequences fall on the detainee population. Snake down you know. Correct me for on but we really WANNA make sure that this is like a a test case that will hopefully have national implications for the people who are senators across the nation. Yes so the national. Aclu has been involved in a lot of these kinds of cases across the country The first one was filed in Washington State But there have been in addition to the Maryland case there's also there's also a case in New York Massachusetts California Pennsylvania. So these these cases are bringing essentially the same claims and in each place trying to get people out of immigration detention during the pandemic Unfortunately in Washington state the the temporary restraining order to get folks out of immigration detention there. was denied And so one of the major efforts that happening by the ACLU across the country is is to to hopefully get a win To start getting people released from detention while the The pandemic is still in its early stages before it becomes a major major problem in These immigration detention centres son neck. What do you want people to know about this case and to do to help put pressure to release? People who are medically vulnerable is detention centers. Yes I mean I think there are certain pressure points that exist that Would be a great place for folks to Apply pressure and ask for Conditions to be made better in in prisons and jails The the main place I think is to make requests of governor Hogan He is he is able to make the prisons in jails save her in Maryland. to prevent an outbreak of Co that nineteen and the three immigration detention centers are wings in In in jails and three different counties in Maryland so if Governor Hogan is is really actually concerned about the prison population containing the Koga nineteen pandemic from spreading further He should take a broader efforts to make sure that the health and safety of the prison and jail population Is that they're safe Make sure that they're safe. And I think if an outbreak doug occur and an immigration detention centre or jail or prison That is going to put a very hard strain on the On our healthcare system and our hospitals because an outbreak in one of those settings where everybody is close in close quarters to each other and It's GONNA spread very rapidly and there's going to be a huge surge of the number of patients that will need treatment and just as dangerous If further measures aren't taken at a at a at a statewide level and finally I think we should all be very supportive of our medical community. There at the front lines here Treating people with Cova nineteen and putting themselves at risk And I think we should be doing everything in our power to make sure that the number of cases that drought crop up don't overwhelm hospitals and ability for our state to to treat people Sunday. You know during this Kobe nineteen crisis. We've seen a real spectrum of responses in our immigration court system. You know from some judges who wanted to close and really protect the health and wellbeing of our immigrant population as walls. Moore's staff and unfortunately seen the exact opposite judges Can you talk about some of the responses that done now to address that issue so before A. B. Baltimore Immigration Court closed because of Cova nineteen? There was one particularly problematic. Judge crossland who was blanket lead denying Motions to continue that were filed by immigration lawyers. motions to continue are basically an ask the court to postpone a hearing So right around the time when the outbreak was really starting to become serious. A lot of immigration lawyers were asking to postpone hearing. That are coming up so that they wouldn't have to aid the they themselves go physically into the Court House and B. Bring their clients with them and risk exposure to cope in nineteen So what we did with with judge crossland was file and a Administrative complaint against him for just blanking denying these motions to continue Enforcing everybody to come in Which to us is very responsible And ignoring some of the guidance and recommendation Public Health experts were making at the time and still are making And even though the immigration courts now have closed For the most part they're still are lasting consequences for what judge has done in one particular case one immigration warriors Client was worried of contracting Kobe. Nineteen so I asked the lawyer to Go before a judge and say that he wouldn't the client wouldn't be there in the courthouse For his hearing because He was concerned that he would contract the nineteen and then spread it to his family And when this immigration lawyer made made that request to postpone the hearing Judge crossland rejected it and instead ordered him removed and ordered him to be deported And so now. This individual is going to have to challenge that order of removal Because Touch Crosland. Didn't want to postpone the hearing. And then and then for another immigration lawyer there. He denied Postponements on hearings even though the immigration practitioner is is in a vulnerable population. And when she said that in her In her legal filing that she's in a vulnerable population and didn't feel comfortable going into the physically enter the courthouse George Carlin just rejected and so And this is all before the courts and close so since then that immigration practitioner did not have to physically go in because court now closed. But have they not done that? She would have had to go for the awful that any judge or government official is not heating to the medical recommendations that we've had from our comrades medical community about one of the real steps we can take to help prevent the spread of this virus because nobody wants to be living in a all outbreak of this virus. Well thank you next much for joining us. I'm working many tireless nights Already discovered nineteen crisis advocating for immigrants' civil rights civil liberties. And they're you know just basic humanity And I really appreciated that. I think our listeners to us. Well thank you remember. Thanks for joining us for this episode of thinking fairly UV. Light making freely metro to rate and describe to us from every gidget. Podcasts visit our website. Aclu DASH M D DOT. Org to learn how you can take action to protect the public health for all and to defend our rights this show was accorded at my house in Baltimore Maryland. Because we too are practicing social distancing and was recorded on piscataway native American land I'm amber tailing the host and producer of thinking freely till next time.
After a Chaotic Primary, New York Scrambles to Reset for the 2020 Election
"After a chaotic primary, New York scrambles to reset for the twenty twenty election. Beila Sandra via. New York state, Senator Zell, nor. Myra cast his ballot in person during the early vote period in his states June primary. He'd applied for an absentee ballot which didn't arrive in his mailbox until a day before the election. So rather than hold out for it, he decided to go in to ensure. He would get the chance to vote figuring. He wasn't a too much additional risk of contracting the corona virus but for. For the thousands of other New Yorkers who like Myra reportedly didn't receive their absentee ballots in a timely fashion or at all weighing their right to vote against the public and personal health risks of going to a polling station may not have been so easy. It's a choice voting access advocates say no one should have to make New York's June. Twenty third primary did not go smoothly the issues, election officials and. And voters faced were wide ranging but hinged mostly on a massive number of absentee ballots, flooding a system that was simply unequipped process them in the twenty sixteen primary New York State had one, hundred, Fifty, seven, thousand, eight, hundred, eighty, five requests for absentee ballots. This year, the state, which at one point was the epicenter of the deadly battle against covid nineteen received more than one point, seven, million requests the sunniest interpretations. Interpretations of the primary have focused on participation being high because voting by mail was made more accessible. But state officials are anxious about the host of problems that came up and what they could mean. Come November and unclear number of voters were disenfranchised due to technicalities like a signature 's or the government's inability to expeditiously get ballots in the hands of voters. One. New York. State Board of elections. Official. Douglas Kellner. Tens of thousands of eligible voters were disenfranchised and notes the bulk of the state's problems occurred in New, York City and Westchester County processing. The huge number of absentee ballots has caused a long delay in election results more than a month. Later, some results including those of high profile congressional races are still not decided. If we don't fix the logistical problems, it's going to be a recipe for confusion and chaos leading up to the most consequential election of our lifetimes says, Mayer. It is incumbent on the state to make this a top priority. Now New York officials are scrambling to avoid a similar situation in November when the pandemic is still expected to affect the general election calendar, who's the Democratic Co Chair and Commissioner of the New York State. B. O. E. says, he's very frustrating in dealing with the senior staff at the new. York City Board of elections to get them to recognize what they need to do to get this job done, and they are very frustrated because what we're asking them to do is very hard in July the state legislature passed a slate of reforms aimed at avoiding some of the problems encountered in the primary, which are now pending the governor signature the. The State B. O. E., which oversees the local boards is expected to testify before state lawmakers on August eleven about what went wrong and advocates are saying more needs to be done ahead of the general election including putting in place and aggressive voter education campaign and getting additional funds. So things run more smoothly on November third I. Think June primary occurred under extraordinary circumstances. But the reality is that we collectively failed as a state to sufficiently plan ahead and also to safeguard every single voter safe access to the polls says New York state senator, Alexandra Biaggi New York is reliably blue and unlikely to have much to do with the larger outcome. Outcome in the presidential race, but it's an alarming case study of a state that had a lot go wrong in the primary and has a lot to do to fill a gap in preparedness. Before November several states that held primaries after the pandemic hit saw those races as a test run of the high stakes general election in November many more voters are expected to turn out whether by mail or in person failure to anticipate problems and adjust could result in more disenfranchised voters. There's also a concern that any lack of preparedness in handling a larger volume of mail in ballots could feed into president? Donald Trump's false narrative that mail ballots are. Are Insecure has races and research show that vote by mail is reliable. Trump has already painted a target on new. York's back on July twenty ninth. He tweeted about the quote disastrous primary suggesting incorrectly that it was a rigged election and planting another early seed of doubt about the results of the presidential election. Hyperbolic rhetoric about the integrity of New York city's elections plays into the hands of Donald Trump who would love nothing more than to de legitimize. Vote by mail says New York City Council member, Richie, Tara, as a young. Democratic. Star, who ran in the June primary, there's a difference between ad ministering election imperfectly and rigging an election. Torres ran for a seat in one of New York's to congressional primaries that have yet to be called. He's the expected winner in his Bronx Congressional district and is poised to be the first openly gay Afro Latino men in Congress. He admits the delay has been frustrating though he initially told Time that he would wait to declare victory until the results were finalized, he's since gone ahead after broadening his lead the other outstanding house races between US Representative Carolyn Maloney and Sarraj Patel in the twelfth congressional, district, which the Washington Post reported had well over fifty percent of the vote cast by absentee. Ballots Patel who's trailing Maloney refuses to concede instead he's now among several. Several plaintiffs suing the New York State. Board of Education and other officials claiming an executive order from Governor Andrew Cuomo created confusion among voters and at the US Postal Service. The order was intended to expand access to absentee voting in part by providing voters with prepaid business class envelopes for people to return their ballots in. But the lawsuit charges that in the process of switching away from voters paying for the envelope thousands of voters, ballots were invalidated because postal workers didn't postmark the envelopes as absentee ballots are required to be calendar who's named in the suit says the postmark issue brought up by the lawsuit did not occur on the scale that suggested in the complaint. People's fundamental. Right of vote cannot just be discarded Willy Nilly because of a Snafu says, Ali nudge me an election attorney representing the plaintiffs. People's votes were not counted because of issues related to post marks and delivery which are not in control of the voters. The case was heard this week and the judge is set to rule on shortly in response to the problems that surfaced during the. The primary and in preparation for November the state legislature passed several election reform bills. Last week among their provisions were ensuring that once again, corona virus would be a valid reason for a voter to request an absentee ballot. This fall allowing voters to request absentee ballots more than thirty days in advance of the election and giving voters notification to quote unquote cure technical errors such as unsigned. Unsigned envelopes. The slate of reforms have been passed by both the State, Senate and assembly, and are now awaiting the governor's signature. We are reviewing the bills, and as the governor has said, we are working with stakeholders including the legislature and board of elections to make sure everything runs smoothly in. November. And if necessary, we will take additional actions said Caitlin Ward Cuomo's press secretary in A. A statement to time, it's not clear. However, if the measures passed by the legislature will be enough though several elected officials expressed interest in passing legislation that would allow for ballot-counting to begin earlier. When asked about it, there appears to be no movement underway to make that a reality and though many want additional resources to be allocated to running the election. It's unclear whether that will happen. WHO's to blame for the way? The primary played out depends on who you ask. It was Cuomo. It was the US Postal Service, the state board of elections, the local board of elections trump. If the president wanted to be helpful, he could be helpful with post office, right Cuomo said on a recent press call because that was the single largest cause of delay and I understand their situation also. But if you want to start pointing fingers, that's where you'd have to point your fingers i. while. The blame was placed on the B. o. e. nearly everyone also sympathized with their impossible. Of, streamlining a cumbersome process on an impossible time line while strapped for resources asked what additional changes he would like to see made before November Kellner answers quickly nothing. There's no more time to make these changes. Says, calendar laughing. We've now got to work with what we have and tinkering this close to the election may cause more problems than it solves. With reporting by Madeleine Carlisle.
NPR News: 11-04-2020 9PM ET
"Live from npr news. I'm jack speer. President trump is asking the supreme court to step into the presidential election by deciding which votes count in pennsylvania as npr's nina totenberg reports the court twice in recent weeks declined to disturb the decision by the state supreme court that allowed votes postmarked by election. Day to be counted if receive for three days after that. The court's previous decisions one on a tie vote the other unavo- two five to three refuse to block the decision of the pennsylvania supreme court and its interpretation of the state constitution but lawyers for trump. Note that the high court still has before it a petition seeking full review of the question and it's now asking the justices to intervene in much the way the court did in bush versus gore twenty years ago given the election results the vote in pennsylvania may well determine the next president of the united states the trump campaign said and the us supreme court not the pennsylvania. Supreme court should have the final say nina totenberg npr news washington four states including pennsylvania. Remain uncalled at this hour. Meanwhile the presidential and senate race in north carolina may not be called for more than a week. Is that state waits for the last few absentee mail ballots to arrive. Steve harrison from member station w. f. a. e. has the story president trump leaves in north carolina. By about seventy seven thousand votes and republican. Thom tillis is in front of democrat cal cunningham by some ninety six thousand votes in the state's high profile senate race all precincts have reported their results but the state board of elections says there are as many as one hundred and seventeen thousand. Absentee mail ballots could be returned and count it some of those ballots. Were likely never mailed back and some of the people who requested mail ballots likely voted on election day but with biden having won nearly seventy percent of male votes. So far. it's possible. A surge of late-arriving mail ballots could change the outcomes. The state elections director says the final results may not be known until a week from friday for npr news. I'm steve harrison in charlotte while democrats face mounting odds in terms of gaining control of the us senate. Gop isn't quite ready to declare victory either. Republicans i've fought off some notable democratic efforts. They victory coming as maine republican. Susan collins held onto her seat philadelphia. Police have released bodycam footage and audio related. The police killing of walter wallace junior last week while i was killed after family members and neighbors called requesting help member station. Whyy laura bench off has more. The recordings consist of two body cam videos. Several nine one one calls and police dispatch audio. The videos show police shooting wallace as he crosses the street in front of them. Turn to the side. Family members are heard yelling. He's mental and screaming at police. After he falls to the ground wallace's family and city officials waited to release the recordings until after the election. The laura bench off on wall street today. The dow up three hundred and sixty seven points. This is npr. Whoever is declared the victor in the presidential race that person will have to deal with global pandemic that has claimed more than two hundred and thirty three thousand. Us lives and in fact in more than nine point. Four million americans with colder weather moving in many parts of the country case numbers are showing no signs of easing total number of cases in the us. Today rose by a record one hundred thousand. Donald trump's presidential term ends january twenty unless he wins reelection between now and then health experts. Say another one hundred thousand americans could die if major changes in policy instituted. The italian government has approved a new round of month-long restrictions to curb a surgeon. Covid nineteen infections there. Npr's sylvia pohjola reports. Many measures are to the hardest hit parts of the country. The new measures include a nationwide curfew from ten. Pm to five am the closure of museums and exhibitions and on weekends. Shopping centers will be shut. The country has been divided into zones. According to the gravity of the spread of covid nineteen cases in the red zone which includes italy's industrial heartland lamberti people will be allowed to leave their homes only for work health reasons and emergencies bars and restaurants and most shops will be closed. Twenty four seven in the orange zone. People can move freely within their towns and cities but not beyond shops will remain open but not bars restaurants and in the green zone only nationwide curbs will be in effect so people jovi. npr news. rome futures prices closed higher oil up dollar and forty nine cents a barrel to end the session at thirty nine fifteen a barrel. I'm jack speer npr news.
NPR News: 10-21-2020 4AM ET
"Live from NPR news I'm Shay Stevens Republicans in. North. Carolina have been dealt a setback and their effort to limit the counting of absentee ballots. NPR's Joel Snyder reports on a federal appeals court ruling issued last night. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a twelve to three decision that leaves in place a lower court's ruling that North Carolina can accept absentee ballots up to nine days after the election. So long ballots are postmarked by election day the change was. Announced by the North Carolina State Board of elections last month. Republicans including the State Party and the trump campaign sued over the plan to extend the deadline from three days saying it violates North Carolina's election law. But the majority opinion says he extension merely allows more lawfully cast ballots to be counted. In case Sarah Mail delays the North Carolina cases. One of many being fought in the court says more voters turn to vote by mail options to the coronavirus pandemic. Trial Snyder NPR news president trump has a scheduled event in North Carolina today as he continues his swing through closely contested states. Meanwhile, former President Obama travels to a drive in rally in Philadelphia to campaign for Joe Biden while supporters listened over the radio inside their cars. A. New Survey is shedding some light on public confidence about receiving an FDA approved corona virus vaccine details from NPR Cindy Lufkin. Some factors would make us adults more willing to receive a covid nineteen maxine than others. For example, if the vaccine goes through the FDA's full approval process more people would be willing to take it. Then if it goes through a truncated version called an emergency use authorization. That's according to researchers at Cornell University. They surveyed about two thousand people for their study published on Tuesday in the medical journal Jama Open, the study also shows US adults would be more willing to get a hypothetical corona virus vaccine depending on who endorses it. From organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization seem to inspire more confidence in survey participants than political endorsements of a vaccine, Sydney Lufkin and news in the US and across Europe are divided over the proper response to the pandemic British Prime Minister Boris. Johnson. is imposing tough restrictions on the Manchester region after talks with local officials failed give them. The public health situation I must now proceed with moving. Great Imagine as I say to the very high alert level because not to act would put Manchester in chess and the lives of many of Manchester's residents at risk. The director of Britain's national health. Services says, there are more hospitalized covid nineteen patients in the Greater Manchester area than in all of southern England. This is NPR news. Federal investigators say they do not know what caused a deadly fire off Santa Cruz California last year, but they blame it on the owners and the captain. The National Transportation Safety Board says the captain failed to post a nightwatchman aboard the vessel and cited the owners for lack of oversight. The NTSB also faulted the coastguard for inadequate regulations. The predawn blaze swept through the conception killing thirty three passengers and a crew member who had been trapped in their bunks below. A jazz as a grand juror in the bionic Taylor, case should be able to speak publicly about the decision not to bring homicide charges against the police officers involved. As WFP Eleanor Klebanov reports the ruling could raise more questions about prosecutors in the case Joe jr any O'CONNELL set in her ruling that traditional justifications for secrecy are no longer relevant in this case, and that quote the ends of Justice require disclosure. The grand jury issued no charges in Taylor's death Louisville Metro police officer Brett Hankinson was indicted for firing bullets into a neighbor's apartment in a statement issued after the. Ruling, the anonymous Grand Juror who filed the motion cleaned they were not given the option consider other charges against Hankinson or the other involved officers a lawyer for the Grand Jurors says Kentucky's attorney. General. Daniel Cameron has made misleading public statements about the proceedings for NPR news. I'm Eleanor Klebanov in Louisville Erique Nip Salaam remains on track to brush past or strike Bermuda sometime tonight, tropical storm watches posted for the island. I'm Shay Stevens. This is NPR news. Support for.
Election Meltdown, Part 2
"Aside from going to war or maybe the census holding it election is the most complicated thing we do as a country. You just expect them to work until they don't all we need to do. More to recruit and train a talented workforce of election workers on election day. Hi and welcome back to amicus. This is slates podcast about the law. The rule of law the Constitution and the Supreme Court on Dialectic and I cover over those things for slate and this is the second part of our five part series election meltdown. Rick Hassen is the author of the book of the same title. He's also a professor of election law at UC Irvine. And he's here to help us. Think about the increasingly desperate pressing question. Can American democracies survive the twenty twenty election. You know it's a pretty serious question we're asking but we're trying to ask it in a way that will get people engaged and thinking about these issues before before it's too late. Can't wait till October to worry about what's going to happen in November. What I ask could possibly go wrong with November's election so I've got two scenarios that really worried me? Imagine for two thousand type situation with trump in the White House then those precincts can't be counted a pretty wide scale voter. Purge we've been asking civil rights lawyers public officials local journalists and disinformation experts for their election doomsday scenarios imagine. It didn't deep fake the night before an election a scenario in which people did leave the Internet and take much more physical action. Air System is is only going to work if people have enough confidence in it that they can accept the results. We're not asking these questions so we all spiral into despair but instead instead to think about what we could do now before November to protect the most important thing we do as Americans voting of course if you want to spiral into despair. That's totally on you. But if you want to be part of this unbelievably important conversation. Do Join US in Washington DC on February nineteenth for the amicus election. Meltdown live show. Oh featuring former Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum MacArthur genius fellow and Vice President of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative Daniels Citron and and the director of the ACLU's voting rates project. Dale hope go to sleep dot com slash live particularly this week. The storm of the Senate impeachment trial of Donald J trump has swirled and blustered and buffeted. But were trying to not get blown off course with this project an amicus listener her and actually a slate contributor Scott Pill you tick said in a post about our election meltdown series on facebook. This week quote. It's not as juicy topic as the daily daily reality show. That's been the hallmark of this administration. But I have a strong sense. It may be on the final test and listen. I'm only quoting that because it is especially true of what we're going to talk about this week last week. We heard about the pernicious myth of widespread voter fraud and how it bolsters subsequent voter suppression and this week. We're turning to what Rick Incompetence. Yeah so you know voter suppression is sexy. I think in the election world as as these things go. That's our scale and Talking about competence and election ministration. Sounds like it's about as boring as it can be but when you hear some of the things that have actually gone on. It's going to raise the hair on the back of your neck. Small mistakes in election administration can snowball into big problems. Big mistakes can throw something as huge. Who won the presidency into question? Remember as we talked about last week. My main concern about both voter suppression and thinking about incompetence is how is this undermining undermining people's trust in the fairness of elections. If you think that people can't company count the votes that's a good reason to be worried about the fairness of elections so some of the podcast guests listeners. Probably are old enough to remember Bush versus Gore and the two thousand election with its famous hanging chads and voting machines that didn't work and the inability to figure out. If people were voting for Bush or Gore Pat Buchanan there was a famous for Buchanan. Vote You may remember this. The Butterfly ballots. All of this is probably bringing back some terrible terrible memories for some of your listeners. But some of your listeners. We'll probably too young or not paying attention back at that time. The upshot of the two thousand election was that we had a lot of problems with how we ran our elections one study found that about a million votes across America were lost in two thousand. Due to incompetence in how votes are being counted. You'd think that almost twenty years after Bush versus Gore we. We have gotten better. It hasn't worked out that way. At least not everywhere you can look at Broward County Florida. That was a huge mess. But we're going to focus on another another case. One has gotten a lot less attention than Brenda snipes. And Broward County Florida and her problems with counting votes in two thousand eighteen and one that could be very important which the case of Detroit Michigan and sleep plus members will actually be getting more insight into what's going on with elections in Detroit and Michigan. You owe will have access to an extended interview with Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson who actually offers a glimmer of hope. So look out for that in your slate plus feeds. And if you're not a slate plus member now's a good time to check it out with a two week. Free trial that you can find at slate dot com slash amicus plus. But before we speak to Secretary Benson. I spoke to another michigander. He's been following elections closely there for a long time. So my name is Joel Kurth. I'm the Managing Editor Attar Bridge magazine in in Michigan. We're along form nonprofit public policy journal and before that I was the editor of investigations at the Detroit News. I was the lead reporter in the two thousand sixteen election meltdown involving Detroit's Freud unaccountable precincts. There's this thing called. The Weakest Link Axiom of election ministration the accuracy of an election system and voters confidence in that. That system is only as strong as the weakest parts of that system. And the case of Detroit and more broadly Michigan as an example of this. I've been a reporter in Detroit for about fifteen years and with every election in Detroit. There's allegations of MIS MIS voting loss ballots ballots have been found in in the trunks of cars. There's often power outages at precincts during elections. There's difficulty counting ballots ballots to remember the way that trump surprisingly won. The two thousand sixteen election is that he won a narrow electoral college victory in three Midwestern states if it's fair to call Pennsylvania mid western Michigan Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and the margin across the three states was eighty eighty thousand votes. Donald Trump won by about ten thousand votes in unofficial election results in Michigan and those that razor thin. Obviously we're talking about five. Million ballots cast a few days after the election. I got a phone call from a pretty good source. That says there's not going to be able to count the ballots in Detroit. And I I think the person was trying to tip me off. Because there's a law in Michigan that says on reconciled. Votes cannot be recounted so Jill Stein. You've remember her. She was the Green Party candidate. That many Democrats think cost Clinton election some of these places. Jill Stein demands a recount the Clinton campaign. They don't think that they're going to win. In a recount. But they decide. Hi to act as observers and Michigan has these very strict regulations as Joe said about. When can you do a recount for recounts what happens? Is People cast ballots in boxes and then there's a sign and cheat as well and so the numbers on the sign in sheets have to match. It's the number of ballots in the box unless there's a reconciled difference a paper Jam a loss and they have to be caught on election night and if they're not caught on on election night with an explanation than those precincts can't be counted and so I got the took a day or so but I got the the the called reconciliation sheets of six hundred plus precincts in Detroit and I found that more than half of them. The counts were off by five or more which means that they couldn't be subject to recount by Michigan Law which is a pretty strenuous law but also given the context of Detroit's problems doesn't doesn't give a lot of faith in the system just to be clear now we're talking about boxes and checklists and stuff that's left in car car straight. This is how we decide elections in America. Like it's eighteen o four so it's not true everywhere in some places aces election administrators. Do a whole lot with very little in terms of resources but there are places where their problems and there have been great improvements in many states. But what happened in Detroit is evidence that there hasn't been improvement everywhere and if you have a really close election where's the attention GONNA go. It's go to the place. That is the weakest link so precinct. One fifty two is pretty infamous because fifty two ballots were are discovered in a ballot container. Three hundred and seven votes had been logged into a poll book and at the end of the day. They found out that there was a tub of ballots on the tabulate and that they hadn't been sealed so they couldn't couldn't be counted. I think it speaks to the general sloppiness in Detroit. It wasn't just the two thousand sixteen election the most recent election two thousand eighteen. There was another recount involving the city Clark because of misplaced ballots on sealed ballots open ballot boxes and it's pretty frequent occurrence in Detroit. This really undermined people's if feeling of integrity in the process the infamous precinct. One fifty two those ballots that had never been counted. It led to conspiracy theories aries Worldnet daily had headline quote stealing the vote recount cover series fraud in Detroit Fox News inside Claire Quote. oops Stein's recount turns up more votes. It's been voters in Detroit. And even the Detroit Free Press had an inflammatory headline quote. Detroit's election rose seven hundred eighty two more votes than voters. You got under my people's confidence process. Nothing could be less interesting than talking about tubbs uncounted ballots Out who the next president is concern on it. This is just the section Where we just talk about how we're here at it is that in the twenty first century I can pick up My phone an order Exactly the right number of Milligrams of rice in my I Chinese food we can do everything perfectly. It's delivered to our door and yet still we lose. Boxes of ballots and machines don't work and AH hanging chads determined. I mean there's a way in which so much of what you're calling incompetence is just. We run elections as though it's still rock doc in eighteen forty well so first of all last night before we recorded this podcast. My Chinese food delivery was wrong twice. Okay Hey I. They brought their own food than they forgot. The rice and Psych America's democracy crumble. If I didn't get my dinner similarly people say well why don't we just vote with. ATM machines. Well you know this billion dollars in fraud every year with ATM machines and the Republic still stands because banks are willing to absorb that as the cost of doing business if we had that level of Arab with elections. We'd be in big trouble. I mean think about this is aside from Going to war or maybe the census a holding an election is the most is complicated thing we do as a country and we have this history of decentralized elections so we don't hold one election on election day we're actually holding thousands of elections or even holding over thousand awesome elections just in the state of Michigan and most election officials do a very good job in how they run their elections. But there are these places where there are still problems so remind us rick what what in the end happens with this recount. The court stopped the recounts not only does Michigan. Have some problems with you. Know How poll poll workers are administering their elections. They also have some problems with the rules. For running recounts and This recount stopped Clinton. Didn't kick up more of a fuss because she didn't think she could win. You'd think that with these ballots. Uncounted Detroit ballots going to heavily favor Clinton but they calculated wasn't enough to to make a difference. Maybe maybe they didn't want to shine more of a light on the problems in Detroit because Detroit as many American cities are as as a city run by Democrats. The State Board of elections ends did an investigation and their conclusion is it was mass incompetence. They found no evidence of any effort to try to stuff ballot. In fact in Detroit at the end of the day I think the difference was about five hundred ballots that they couldn't reconcile and the former state elections director Chris. Thomas conducted an audit and they found that it was it was poor worker training. It was the ballot that machines themselves were ten years old. They led to frequent jams thereabouts. Misplaced but that there was no effort for to throw the election. This is this is the result of an old cities aging infrastructure poorly trained workers. Who Work you know? One day every four four years or a couple elections And and and just really poor practices rather than fraud no malfeasance but incompetence correct Ed. I'm wrong but it's race actually. That plays a pretty big role in attacks on election administration in Democratic areas. Like Broward County in Florida and in Detroit right. The fact is there's incompetence across the board but when you're talking about where the large numbers of votes are and where Democratic voters are there in the large cities and it's because this of this that people like trump focus on the incompetence of election administrators in places that have large minority populations often often run by people of color who are the election administrators and race just becomes a part of this conversation in often In ways from trump that seemed tinged with racism Broward County in two thousand. Eighteen was a very close race for the United States. Senate Senate between the incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson and the outgoing governor and Republican candidate. Rick Scott Brenda. Snipes was the election administrator in Broward our county and she had a history of problems and how she administered elections. She wasn't transparent at all. She didn't tell Rick Scott when they were sector. We got how many ballots were left to account. Trump goes on the attack against Brenda snipes. An African American woman. It was one of a number of attacks of African American women that trump had announced at the time. Here's president trump shouting over the blades of Marine One back in November Twenty Eighteen Broward County County. They have had a horrible history. And if you look at the person in this case a woman involved she has had a horrible history and all of a sudden they're finding votes out of nowhere and bricks. God who won by you know it was close but he won by a comfortable margin every couple of hours. It goes down a little bit. And then you see the people and they were involved with that broad of the the fake dossier the phony dossier not a and I guess I hear they were somehow involved. They'll work with the GPS fusion. People who have committed I mean you look at what they've done you you look at the dishonesty. Look look this bad. Things have gone on in Broward County really bad things. She's been to court. She's had a lot of the problems she's lost. I say this he easily won but every hour it seems to be going down. I think that people have to look at it very very cautiously obviously well. That was a pretty bizarre episode of chopper. Talk Right there There was no evidence that Brenda snipes ever tried to steal election. There was only evidence of incompetence not sure how. GPS Fusion worked. Its way in there. It's kind of a web of conspiracy theories Lead as far as the Ukraine Colin impeachment. But no evidence of rigging the vote vote just your good old fashioned incompetence but Democrats In a tough spot in terms of how they respond to such attacks because they don't want to call out it's Their own people for messing things up. Listen to Joe Kurth from Michigan's Bridge magazine again and you can hear that dynamic that we saw in Broward County also play out in Michigan. Obviously this is their base. It's largely minority. You don't want to accuse them of being incompetent and you want to respect their autonomy it. It opens the Democrats up to accusations of incompetence that you see of Republicans accusing Democrats of rigging elections. When a lot of times? uh-huh these are sort of really simple mistakes. But they can't have good explanations for why they occurred. It wasn't just a trade. A lot of the heavily. Urban counties had similar problems as Detroit. There is a genesee county which is Flint I believe Saginaw County had similar problems. This very pernicious a symmetry here when Democrats have problems with incompetence. They're accused of voter fraud. They're accused of stealing the election and Republicans. Look the other way when the incompetence this happening opening in Republican areas and so I think you know the the double standard gets applied once again. I think it's a real balancing act. I think in in urban areas. Obviously they're dealing with many problems in decades and decades of disinvestment that that lead to some voting irregularities on on wider scales. I will say though to that. It's it's not any different than what's happening on on smaller scales in rural places. It's just a matter volume but but but let's be clear in. This goes back to the fundamental point of your book that whether we're talking about incompetence in election administration in Democratic areas in Republican controlled areas and to be sure Georgia has had some very serious problems which we'll talk about in a later show in this series but the effect overwhelmingly is the same name which is it undermines confidence in the electoral process. And it's easier to believe a conspiracy theory than to believe. Incompetence is the the soul. 'cause the fact of matter is that when elections are administered badly when there are problems it can have a profound effect on people's trust. The Green Party is convinced that elections are stolen systematically in Detroit And I think on the other side the Conservatives do as well and I think that the vast merge middle the eighty five percent in the middle have a sort of a shoulder shrug of. That's just how things happen. Sometimes in Detroit. It's not a great way to run a democracy. Moxie I mean you want you want ultimate like utmost faith that your vote's going to count and unfortunately especially in Detroit in sometimes in Michigan. That's just he. He can't always be sure. That's the case. So here's the problem when things go wrong and places like Broward County Detroit in Georgia the news media and interested I did. Parties rarely differentiate between incompetence and deliberate abuse. Or that's a French comes later on down the line when the damage is already done. It took months for Michigan election officials to investigate. In the meantime what People Watch Fox News alert that there were more votes than voters in the city of Detroit. I don't I think that there's been any evidence of trying to throw elections. That have been you know that that are credible. But I think that it's it's hard not to let let your imagination wander if you're frequently having power outages in precincts during elections in. You're losing ballots. Why wouldn't you have conspiracy theory? Maybe this is a good corollary to your initial point. which is we only think about broken election systems in the week before elections actions? We only think about them again in the week after and so if six months later of finding comes out no harm no foul or no fell but harm arm. It's too late for anybody to care and conspiracy theories not only get fixed in our education but they have a pretty big megaphone in this current current White House the way in which election returns come in from urban areas absolutely amplifies some of the worst conspiracy mongering right sure so the largest the jurisdiction the longer takes to count the votes. The more people there that are voting with provisional ballots or might be maybe their new voters the longer takes to count the votes. What's these tend to be? In urban areas. These tend to be in areas that have more democratic voters. And that's why we see what professor Ned fully has called the big blue shift where votes started out being more Republican and as more votes are counted. You end up with A democratic surge. We saw this. You may remember in the two thousand. Eighteen gene election as California was counting millions of absentee ballots. We saw election after election in Orange County. California swing from Republicans in the lead to Democrats that that wasn't because there was any conspiracy of us just because that's how election administration goes and trump was saying. Let's just take the results as they aren't election day here. He wants to freeze time when he's in the lead But in fact We do see the shift. Not An affair is reason for it. But if you're inclined to believe those conspiracy theories you may indeed find that. There's something problematic about it. Okay so rick. Having focused laser focused on Michigan's problems and specifically maybe Detroit's problems. Is there some glimmer of hope here to be gleaned. Well you're not gonNA find it for me but you might find it from Jocelyn Benson the former election law professor and and Law School Dean Now she's a secretary of State of Michigan and I should pause for a second. Say We've been talking about secretaries of state What are they? They're the chief election officers officers of the state but they don't actually get to run the elections in each state because those elections are run on a county or even sub county level out but they do have some control over. How elections Iran on so Benson literally wrote the book on Secretaries of State and called secretaries of state guardians of the democratic process which I think is more aspirational racial than descriptive But she's now In charge I asked her about some of the concerns. Raised by Joel Kurth. And here's what she has to say in twenty any sixteen the heart of the errors pork or based Human error poll workers making errors in the way they left records of ballots after they were cast And the human errors were identified in the recount process The integrity of the election itself was not in question. I in fact it just underscored again in my view. The examples the types of examples of mistakes that human beings can make when they're running the election process so they're useful points of reference for US also as we train our election workers for future elections and part of the reason. Frankly why I've made recruiting and training porkers across the state One of my priorities for preparing for twenty twenty and across the country particularly in urban areas. We need to do more to recruit and train a talented workforce of election workers on election day to ensure they are prepared to follow the law and And protect the process of the vote are places like Michigan and Florida and Georgia have. They learned what they need to know. Oh and they they geared up and ready to do November twenty twenty right. Well I have more hope than do optimism. If you you asked election ministries in two thousand twelve with the biggest problem. They might face in two thousand sixteen would be. They might not have said Russian operatives trying to hack into our voter registration databases which. There's something that we know happened. Sometimes you're fighting the last war so now there's a lot of concern about cybersecurity but we've got a lot of places that are rolling out brand new voting machines funds being used for the first time. It's like premiering your new play straight to Broadway you know high risk there and so You know I'm not sure what the the future is going to hold. I know that there are a lot of good people with good intentions. Who are trying to make elections better but but not everyone and some people are trying to make things worse so in the book a collection meltdown? I conjured up. Kind of worst case. Scenario and the worst case scenario is Rather than those isolated power outages Joe Kurth talks about in Detroit. How `bout if there's a cyber attack from a foreign entity that brings down the power grid in the city of Detroit on election day and the potential for us not being able to run the election over we only have one election day for president What happens then? I raised the scenario with both drill Kurth and Josten fence and ask them what they thought would happen. If there were such an attack it'll be absolutely cast and I think it would hurt the You know people would not have one vote anymore and that specific example in terms of a power outage on election day we have generators in place and backup plans and of course paper ballots To enable us to actually keep proceeding if we are all in close communication with the fifteen hundred jurisdictions in this case the one jurisdiction in Detroit or or others that may be affected our preparation for things like that whether they be natural disasters or you know the acts of nefarious People people trying to attack our system really relies on us to be close to the ground on election day and prepared for all these potential scenarios just as we are for a power outage and then also so partnering with the Department of Homeland Security And and with other national entities like the information sharing and analysis center. I sack So so that we are in real time getting support and feedback if these things are happening in other places as well and and so. I feel that we're more prepared than ever and I. I say this not just permission but I think other states as well to deal with types of attacks you're referencing Because there's been so much more attention and proactive active preparation and planning in place that I think ever before and with fifteen hundred jurisdictions certainly leaves it open for for challenges and wrinkles but but I'm I'm bolstered emboldened by the fact that we've got so many people with is on this problem. Identifying potential solutions and our goal is to make sure all those people bler in place on election day for rapid response. Plan to be executed if anything does as you suggest that happen So what I take from Jocelyn Jocelyn Benson is actually a nice tidy summary of the thesis of your book which is that somebody who has the role of Secretary of state it has to say the aspirational thing has to say. It's fixed the system works. Get out there and vote and there's nothing to worry about whereas the journalists whole whole curse is pretty much saying you have reason to fear the doomsday scenario because it could really happen. And there's a weird way in which we're having two conversations conversations one about what is and one about what we can't say might be simply because we want people to get out there and vote but I took away from Secretary Benson and that she has limited control over her fifteen hundred jurisdictions. She's doing the best she can with what she has to work with and she's going to try and be as transparent as possible. Oh I think not. Only promoting confidence is important. But being honest with what's going on and I think that really when I look incompetent election administrators they always say breath. It's not the crime it's the cover up Lots of times when election officials are not telling you what's going on it's because they're covering up there malfeasance or their misfeasance and With someone like Secretary Benson. If she could control the entire election system of Michigan I would probably have more confidence than the fact that she is this general coordinator of an election being running fifteen hundred jurisdictions Chris. Dickson's so I asked Joe Kurth if things are potentially going to get better for twenty twenty. And here's what he said ultimately always comes down to just sort of like. Roll the dice in Michigan. It's really sad to say that but Sure as rain. There's there's GonNa be a problem in Detroit this crisis For six months after there's a crisis and then everybody forgets about it It's not a sexy thing to who invest in And it's something like sewers. You know you just expect them to work until they don't and you're not GONNA win elections. He's standing up and in talking about how you just hired you know ten times more. Volunteers or new. Optical scanners is not a sexy subject until bill until it all falls apart. I guess we are now simply hoping that. It doesn't rain in Detroit in November of twenty twenty and and also that the boxes and the bins and the papers are all in good order. Well Talia I don't know how religious you are but There's something called the election administrators ministers prayer. which is Lord? Let this election not be close and really I wrote that in my talk about that. In Two thousand twelve book the voting words and here things have not changed changed the best solution to a the best way to avoid an election tobacco for an election not to be close. Because when it's close your you're peering into the bins you're cleaning the gunk out of the machines. We didn't even talk about Palm Beach. County attempt to run a recount in two thousand eighteen. Where the vote counting machines that were recounting? The ballots ended up failing because an election worker thought the machines. We're going too fast and shoved a paper clip into the mechanism and caused the machine to explode. So that's what it's going to come down to you so you know like a sewer It stinks we've talked now about Votes oppression and the myth of vote fraud in our first episode in our second here. We've just finished talking About just incompetence and technology and the great broken -ness of you've electoral systems. What's coming up next? So we'RE GONNA TURN TO JERRY tricks. We're going to look at that contest. Election in North Carolina in two thousand only eighteen this congressional election with its absentee ballot problems. Russian interference in two thousand sixteen as well as the twenty seventeen Senate Senate race between Doug Jones and Roy Moore in Alabama. You remember. That was the race that came up. When Jeff sessions became attorney general and some dirty tricks done on in that race? That might surprise you and that is Iraq for this part two of our election. Meltdown series here on amicus from me and from Rick Casson. Thank you so much for listening in. If you want to get in touch our email is amicus at dot com or you can always find us on facebook facebook dot com slash amicus. Today's show was produced by Sarah Birmingham. Gabriel Roth is editorial director of sleep. PODCASTS and June Thomas is senior managing urging producer of sleep. PODCASTS late plus members. You have a bonus episode coming your way everyone else back with you in a week for part. Three of election Milton
Taking Back Our Voting Rights from Jim Crow
"Kohl Hanson Mundell. She is the director of out for justice. Please welcome Nicole. We decided that we wanted to expand the ballot. Expand the box because we've founded a problem that individuals who are sitting in jail jail pretrial had not yet been convicted of anything. Were not given getting the right to vote. We needed in create a voting block. We needed to vote in a block to show local and state elected officials that we had the power we we got those are incarcerated. Citizens ballot we brought the ballot back to the institution and I'll cost rated citizens able to case their boat and we were able to serve over eighty three incarcerated citizens in the last election. We got in touch with with a warden at the local Baltimore City jail. Wouldn't you Bello. I never forget we sat down and met with him and I ages new day was going to say no and he set with us and he says Yang not already doing summarily because he's from Philly. We say no sort of course is the law allow them to vote as say yes. He said Okay didn't let me know what they want to come in and this fine. I'll again a corrections officer to walk you around what what unit do you. WanNa go on I and of course the United States the women's unit eunuch because the rate of incarceration has increased the seven hundred percent for women. Nothing happens overnight and we understand that out for justice. We understand that these things do not happen overnight. But will we know Oh is that we have to be consistent. One thing that community respects is consistency whatever you are doing you have to remain consistent assistant in and Nicole Hansen giving passionate speech at issue is constitutionally entitled and One Person One vote you are listening to thinking freely with the Aclu of Maryland the show that talks about what's happening politically in Maryland from the courts. Do the streets streets. I'm your host Amber Taylor. In democracy. Every citizen's voice should be heard and one way to make your voice heard is by voting but for some people their access to the ballot has been blocked currently in Maryland those who are incarcerated for felony conviction cannot vote but this this doesn't have to be the case in countries like South Africa Canada Ireland and Spain everyone including those who are in prison are allowed to vote leads in addition not everyone realizes that people who are formerly incarcerated and those not currently serving felony conviction in Maryland can register end vote in our elections this misperception or men and the idea that you're right to vote and incarceration status should be linked is rooted in America's racist. Jim Crow past the combination of mass incarceration the loophole thirteenth amendment abolishing slavery except as a punishment trek four crime and the war on drugs contributed to preventing so many people particularly black people for participating in our democracy today we are joined by Hawkins of just us and you net amid well public policy advocate for the Maryland to discuss them the threats to our voting rights to explain why we need to improve access to the ballot for people who are behind bars and to talk about what you can do get involved in turning the idea of voter restoration. Shen into reality. Thank you thank you thank you for joining us today. Thank you for having you know wanted to start out this conversation by talking about note. Why is bullying important yeah the webster dictionary defines voting as an expression Russian of opinion or preference in voting provides people with the opportunity to voice their opinion and most importantly hold elected officials accountable for their behavior in office Choson Insurance that the mine minority is not dictating for the majority. Can you talk me. Bella happens when elected officials. Don't think they the need to care about incarcerated people or formerly incarcerated people when they make decisions about policies that affect people's lives will people are serrated. a lot of them are going to be coming home. They will be reentering the community so a lot of them will be reentering the community and and we'll be should hasn't type of say so for was going on and community winning reenter us to give these people some type of say-so that will help them when they come home to be productive. Citizens won't have to do certain things to end up back incarcerated Orlando back in jail or disrupt the community the people sometimes have generalist understanding about what it means to be entangled in the criminal justice system just because someone is incarcerated does not I mean there are bad person. definitely doesn't mean that they should be excluded from the Democrat from our democracy and everyone in our community deserves to play a role in our democracy no matter what mistakes they may or may have not made and also by virtue of just having a good lawyer someone with a felony could be on parole whereas has someone else who could not afford attorney would be incarcerated so the crunches we already know and it's no myth it is unfair disproportionately impacts people of color so the by design that people whose voting rights are being oppressed are people of Color and this is also very dangerous because the policies that we have in place don't reflect the needs of these communities the two top things that people are incarcerated for nonviolent offenses and property crimes so when we're considering during what laws should be felonies or even be considered a crime to begin with which would have to be done through the legislature one way to get legislators to even kind of listen to us and we're saying hey. This should not be a felony. Hey this should not be considered a crime is understanding that the people who put them in office a have been impacted by the fact that these are considered crimes now time for people to understand things that they haven't personally experienced a lot of times and so if the certain elected official doesn't have a family. That's been directly impacted. Child has been directly impacted or if themselves have not been It's GonNa take doc someone you know educating them on these issues and making them realize ed why they should care. Can you talk to me about what happens to communities especially communes of color when large people don't vote or can't vote people being able to vote now that were incarcerated people with felon felonies. A lot of people don't even know that they can vote now so it's like they don't have any say so was going on in the community around them. If you don't wrote anything could be changed. Recently Maryland has made good efforts to expand the right to vote back in two thousand sixteen law was passed that allow people the who are not currently serving a felony conviction to be able to vote unit. Can you talk about how is law came to be. General Assembly the Expanded Voting Rights to people on Felony Probation and parole with their with override of governor Larry Hogan's veto in this action restored voting soon as me to forty thousand people in how this came about is really a a call from the directly impacted community who wanted a say in who was representing them and wanted their voices heard and so they really led the charge and eventually everybody else got on board and we were able to pass the bill. Lupe another your formerly incarcerated k. talk to me about what it means to you and to other formerly incarcerated people to be able to vote even after a at found out that you could vote. I was pretty much going to the parole and probation offices and letting people know that the people that were out weren't incarcerated anymore letting them know that they can do a lot of them. Were shocked. They were shocked. They didn't even noted that law had even been passed so so. I know a lot I know now. A lot of people are voting that that didn't vote before now. Did they have been incarcerated. Did they see things differently now on. They're going to vote because they noted their vote. Could actually change was going on in the community around unit. Can you give us some examples of why support for people to be able to show up and vote Something really got a chance to see that in this last election especially here in Maryland there was a lot of close calls and some of the elections that we had in Prince County. We had a delegate win. Just by forty votes in in both Montgomery County and end in Baltimore County. There had to be a recount in the county executive races just ensure that there was a that they had the right count until that's how close these these elections are in so if simple as choosy people fifty more people showing to the whole could sway a whole election action and that ultimately will determine whether they get the candidate that represents in reflects the views that they have and also advocates on behalf of the issues relevant in their community. What have we seen since two thousand sixteen as the result of this law. I've seen two things I've seen I've seen individuals Israel's who are aware of their voting rights exercising them in also making an effort like Lupe to educate others about their voting rights being restored and really being energized by by the ability to have a say in what's going on in their community and then on the other hand we were outside parole and probation officers registering people table and we found that a lot of these individuals just simply did not know that they could vote. It's not that they didn't have the interest is just the didn't know that they had the ability to cast a ballot and so and it wasn't just the people who are forming also their family members. It was parole probation. Officers themselves poll workers who just were to simply misinformed. Do you think that the lack of telling people who are formally incarcerated that they hand vote is a part of the reason why so many people think that they can't vote even in three years after the law has passed or are there other reasons why you think amid still exists. If I'm not mistaken you can get in trouble for that if you vote and you wasn't supposed to vote so I think a lot of people were just like stayed away from it because they didn't want any trouble ahead. Also I don't know if you remember there. Was this one guy that approached us. also the probation who had the interest of vote but then he was kind of nervous because he had some issues with his license and so he was afraid that ed by one putting his license number on the voter registration application that would somehow come back to hurt him in some way so is a lot of misinformation and just unclear unclear things that are unclear to a lot of folks in so in this avoid getting in trouble altogether they just this completely just straight away from voting or currently incarcerated people. What do you think it would mean to them. And what do you think could mean to our great the society in they could be able to vote last year. We had a national strike in one of the demands listed in the prison strike was the ability to vote while incarcerated because they recognize that even though some of them aren't coming home they realized that by being a voting block that would force their representatives to to to consider issues that are important to them so as far as prisoners rights issues in the conditions within the prison even though some of them are never coming home they understand the end up by having a voting power that is the does one way to get all the other demands met and so that's why ended up kind of spring off and being its own movement because it it was much larger than I guess what the other demands that they had they realize in order to get the other demands they had to. I get this demand and so they are movements in in in other states and even here to get to restore their voting rights because they recognize that it is a power in that they WANNA be able to exercise it. Correct me if I'm wrong. Even though many people who are currently incarcerated our citizens and technically elected officials should care about them but since they can't vote in general assembly what are some things you're hearing from what officials when you and others are trying to advocate for better conditions in prisons and make ensure that people who are currently incarcerated rights are protected. Yes a good question and what I've noticed what I've heard. A lot of legislators say when they way whether or not they're going to both for certain piece of legislation is had their district's. GonNa react to it so they'll say oh you know. My district is more conservative. I can't really vote on this issue are I don't I can't support this issue of in their opinion so they say you know something that they would support and so by having inmates being able to vote offer whether it's a felony or misdemeanor or if they're just on pretrial it gives them it gives it gives both the legislative cover to kit to actually advocate advocating champion legislation that would improve the conditions for prisoners in other issues that they care about without worrying about whether they're they're more conservative. citizens or residents will hold that against them because they can say that will. I have other constituents and and they also care about these issues so I also have to weigh in consider what's important to them as well and unit and Lupe it wasn't isn't always the case that people who are currently incarcerated in the US can't vote he talks about the history behind voter disenfranchisement loss so prior to the civil the war losing voting rights due to incarceration or prior convictions was uncommon however after the civil war the country's saw both the rise of mass incarceration incarceration especially with the black community in more black people advocating for their constitutional rights and so this led to voter disenfranchisement laws that came more common into this day her monitoring only states that actually allow all inmates to be able to vote in the era of massacre Thracian King. Tell me about who was on the main groups who are currently incarcerated in Maryland the last time I took statistics of alleviates seventy percent African American while we'll make up twenty nine percent round population and so that's a huge number of people who are are who aren't reflected in our democracy into more specific example one third of all Baltimore Tomorr- I'm sorry at one third of all male state prisoners are from Baltimore City so these this is a huge number of individuals who are who don't have a I say in who is who's basically passing policies directly impact their lives and their families live so even though someone might be behind in the wild they should be still be they still should have the ability to cast a vote on who's on their child's school board or how much phone calls 'cause in prison and and all these other issues that matter to them and their families and so we see that especially in Baltimore city that they're not these individuals are not being represented and so none of the root causes of why there have been incarcerated ever addressed. Lupe key Tommy why it was a bad idea to link your right to vote with at that the U. R. rated because I was innocent. I shouldn't even have been incarcerated anyway. I of if you're incarcerate you're still human. You're not an animal so I mean. This should be no reason why you shouldn't be able to vote because you're incarcerated loophole. Can you tell me what changes needed now. The people people who are formerly incarcerated Ken Votes. I feel like if will number one of role offices in probation. Officers knew they were educated. A lot more people there parolees people probation advocacy. These people would know if it was signed. After Parole and probation officers a lot of people would know when we went in we were doing the election we stood outside the parole and probation office and you will be surprised at who just I did not notice like they didn't know that you vote really the La changed but what good is that if nobody knows about it and also had me he question what efforts is the state in putting four to making sure that these individuals do know that they have the right to vote in Tasse political power hour and let's be real this is mainly targeting black and Brown people what would happen to black and Brown peoples power in Maryland it every citizen could advil regardless of their cross racial status different elected official office. I really like that. I feel like allow laws. We changed to reflect the needs of the community. Well it would definitely force legislators to consider issues that even if they themselves might be conservative if this if the if that call to action that need is voiced despite a lot of their constituents they'll be forced to vote the right way on that issue or else have to face the consequences in the next election the Tommy John batchelor organization just as an whiteside moment will me and my family organization because or about four and a half years I was falsely accused. I was going in and out of jail. I was being charged with crimes. That didn't commit dorn time ahead ahead no help. I couldn't get anything anybody so me and my family basically ages did our own research into his fault and it was basically just us the whole China with me. My Mom my sisters my grandmother all ahead so once once I got over being basically made a promise to myself. Ama- family basically God that I would have I could fight this situation I would have I could do to help the situation as far as like this. The criminal justice system is just vice against people will cover so this point on this child whatever I can do the simple. What can people do to support this effort? I'd recommend that people people sign up for the ACLU's email so that you can get updates and alerts about our legislative efforts in our campaign to restore full voting rights unit. Can you just remind people the different ways that they can register to vote because laws have changed recently so to register to vote you can go online to the Maryland State Board of elections website and then you can also go to you can actually go to the local board of Elections Register there you can also register the department harmless. Social Services the NBA and other state agencies. You can also register vote during early voting Ginette. Thank you so much for joining us. Nagisa great discussion and we hope that more people will be vehicle to know about rents voted envio to access the ballots you know currently people were incarcerated in those serving misdemeanor I'm in other preacher Healthman very soon. We hope that Merrill leader in expanding the rights of all people were thank you for having us. Thanks for joining us for this episode of thinking freely freely. If you'd like thinking really make sure to rate into scrap to us from where apple podcasts this show was accorded at the Baltimore Improv Group and was accorded on campus got away land. I'm Ann Taylor the host and producer of the really cool next time.
How Election Officials Are Building Up Their Cyber Defenses
"Facts allow you to make decisions and unpredictable times. Get the facts you need from the Wall Street Journal from Free Corona. Virus Updates to daily deep dives and our podcasts and videos. WSJ is a trusted source in uncertain times visit wsj.com. This is tech news briefing for Monday. July twenty, seventh I'm Amanda Llewellyn for the Wall Street Journal. The presidential candidates have less than one hundred days to make their final pitch to the American people before the election. Between now and then the government has been building up its cyber defenses, but since organizing elections is up to state and local officials, getting everyone on the same page can be a challenge. Our cyber. Security reporter David. Bertie will explain what you need to know after these headlines. Today was supposed to be the day of a blockbuster congressional hearing the CEO's of facebook Google. Amazon and apple had been scheduled to testify about their business practices before the House, antitrust subcommittee. But there was a conflict with the ceremonies honoring the late Congressman John Lewis so the hearing has been postponed until Wednesday. And since many schools are considering holding at least some classes online, you're back to school. Shopping list might include a little more tech than usual this year. Luckily our personal columnists Nicole Neumann has a few tips. The number one thing I recommend for back to online school. Shopping lists is a good router I think having a reliable Internet connection is really important, and if you have a router that's older than five years old. You should upgrade to a new one or at least update the firmware on your router to improve performance in speed, and there are some other things on Nicole's list that may surprise you, so he talked to three teachers for the story and them without fail. recommended o'clock, which is not very high tech. They really focused on the fact that scheduled breaks are really important for preventing burnout in kids and using something as simple as a timer or even a wearable like a fitbit to silently. Nudge you to take a break is is really really important. You can find the full roundup on wsj.com or on the WSJ APP? Up next the start of a new school year isn't the only big event on the horizon, the election also looming, and in the meantime local officials are working to make sure they're cybersecurity. Practices are up to snuff. We'll have more on that after the break. Robotics artificial intelligence augmented reality. The future is here. Listen to tomorrow today with the Wall Street Journal's future of everything, the podcast that takes you to the frontlines of science and tech and shows you what's coming next? Look ahead. What do you hear? The future of everything from the Wall Street Journal Subscribe Wherever you. Get Your podcasts. New Member is fast approaching meaning, it's almost time to go to the polls and the presidential election gets closer. State and local officials have been working on their cyber health. Last week New York State held a series of exercises to get ready, and here to tell us more about what they did, and how their approach compares to other states is our reporter. David Bertie things much for coming back on the show. Thanks for having me, so you look specifically at New York. State officials are done to protect the vote last week. The State Board of elections held a series of exercises, basically trying to preemptively troubleshoot anything that might hit the fan. This November so. They gathered local officials from across the state, and basically just tried to lay out potential scenarios. Disinformation to potentially suppress voting whether that was malware that could affect voting machines, or whether there was any sort of other disruption to the systems that contain voter registration data as well. So the upshot of this is, they're trying to coordinate sixty two different counties to basically up their cyber hygiene, so you have sixty two county boards elections, you have sixty two county departments, and just knowing who to call if a situation does out of control is a pretty big task in a pretty big act of coordination that needs to happen between now and November their preventative measures that they're undertaking or as a lot of this just like who to call if you see something happening. I mean there are certain. Measures any organization could undertake to improve their cyber security whether that's just improving your cyber hygiene such as you know implementing two factor authentication to get into your systems, just providing training to employees to make sure they don't click on fish emails and whatnot, but a lot of this just has to do with the fact as well as incident response, basically just knowing who to call if situation does get out of control in order to bring in cybersecurity experts whether that's at the state level, or the Federal Level D. we often cybersecurity has been an issue during the pandemic is the pandemic factoring into their preparations. I mean it certainly is on top of all the fears about a repeat of two thousand sixteen. You have a local election officials at just like everyone else working at home, potentially exposing themselves to increase risk of cyberattack in be with a pandemic. We're going to see an increase of mail in voting. So how how states how state and local governments collect that data how they sort through it and make sure it's protected. That's really an open question is one the. The United States were really hasn't had to deal with before. So if you look at the scope of the entire problem if you take New York as an example, sixty two counties sixty, two, it departments, you multiply that across fifty states, not exactly the same situation, but similar situations where we have local officials administering elections, you can kind of see how Byzantine of a problem this is, and how difficult that might be police when push comes to shove and is. Is there some sort of national cyber health standard or National Cyber Health Authority that there are adhering to. How does New Yorker other states that matter know what measures they should be taking with? The federal government is certainly increases cybersecurity over the last couple of years particularly since two thousand Sixteen Department of Homeland Security is actually built out a separate sub agency called the cybersecurity and infrastructure security, agency or SCISSOR, and they put out periodic guidance and cold trainings with states. States such as New York, but unbalanced. It's it's in many cases up to state and local officials to try to figure out exactly what it is. They're doing, so you have state secretaries of state or other officials elected or unelected, who are basically making these calls and any incidents that do occur November it might be up to the state officials to handle in real time, which is a pretty big ask so how does New York's approach compared to other states? I mean it's really really varies across the map. There is definitely a lot of productivity this time around last week. There is also a conference among state secretaries of state. Just discussing best practices of how to approach this how to train employees on cyber hygiene, just troubleshooting potential scenarios that could come up in November so. It's really unclear what might happen but I think on balance. There's a lot of discussion about this a lot more awareness than there wasn't sixteen. It might seem like a really. Obvious question, but what are the stakes here? What does it mean if we leave election? cybersecurity up to the states are up to the county's even. I mean from secure from purely security perspective I mean it does sort of. Put the fate of our main democratic process. In the hands of local it departments, and while there are many many good reasons to allow states and state and local governments to administer elections. I think it's also fair to say that. A lot of these local governments don't have a lot of funding to improve their computer systems to hire train. Cyber security talent, etc. This is a new threat that we're. We're certainly learning more about with each passing election and is certainly something that you know we as a public are going to have to take account each time we go to the polls. Alright, says something. We'll be keeping an eye on our reporter David Barry thanks so much for joining us. Thanks revenue. Before, we go. We have a correction to make the original version of Friday's episode incorrectly said that when Amazon's Alexa Fund invested in the startup defined crowd. Amazon gained access to define crowds, financials and other confidential information. It was Amazon's Alexa Fund that gained access to those details. And that was your Tech News Briefing Manned Ellen for the Wall Street. Journal thanks for listening.
NPR News: 10-03-2020 3PM ET
"Live from NPR news I'm Barbara Kline. President. Trump's White House doctor says he's extremely happy with the progress. The president has made while he was being treated for covid nineteen at Walter Reed National Military Center Dr Shawn Calmly describes the president as up and active. He says, trump has received a special antibody therapy and a dose of rim severe. We provided some of these. Events therapy. So early in the course, a little bit earlier than most of the patients we know and follow. It's hard to tell where he is on that course, and so every day we're evaluating does he need to be here what does he need and where's he going remedy severe is usually reserved for hospitalized covid nineteen patients who are quite ill as NPR's Joe. PALCA reports Rendez severe is an antiviral drug made by Gilead Sciences. It's administered intravenously typically to hospitalize patients for five days ten days for sicker patients so far the best medical evidence suggests that drug reduces hospital stays by about four days it's not clear if it. Prevents deaths from covid nineteen. An expert panel convened by the National Institutes of health concluded. There are insufficient data to recommend either for or against the use of Rendez severe in patients with mild or moderate covid nineteen. The president also received an experimental monoclonal antibody therapy made by the company regeneration Joe Palca. NPR. News Senate. Majority leader, Mitch McConnell says, he'll delay legislative activity until October nineteenth as the list of Republican senators testing positive for the corona virus continues to grow that includes Ron Johnson Thom Tillis and Mike Lee. McConnell says the. Judiciary Committee's work on the Amy Coney Barrett Supreme Court nomination will continue a federal judge is putting a stop to a North Carolina State Board of Elections Plan to let voters fix problems with their absentee mail ballots by signing an affidavit Steve Harrison of member station wfan reports. It's a temporary injunction that's victory for Republicans like many states. North Carolina, has seen a flood of people voting absentee by mail more than three, hundred, fourteen, thousand mail in ballots have already been filled on returned, compared with about two, hundred, thousand and the two. Thousand Sixteen general election. But there are roughly eleven thousand mail ballots that have problems such as a missing witness signature. The Democratic controlled board of elections proposed letting voters cure their ballots by signing an affidavit saying the ballot is there's and legitimate Republicans said, that was an indoor around state law that requires a mail ballot to have a witness signature federal judge James Dever issued a temporary restraining order and transferred the case to another judge who was skeptical of Elections Board's proposal for NPR news. I'm Steve Harrison in. Charlotte. This is NPR. Sudan's power-sharing government and rebel groups formalized a peace agreement today after preliminary deal was reached in, August. It's aimed at ending decades of conflict that have left hundreds of thousands dead and millions displaced. Zimbabwe's government is postponing parliamentary and local government elections scheduled for December citing the coronavirus pandemic as Ishmael Thunder Quayle reports from Harari officials are making the move. Even the lockdown regulations are easing as the numbers of new cases and deaths in Zimbabwe fall with just over six thousand cases and two hundred, twenty, eight, Covid, nineteen related debts, Zimbabwe like the rest of Africa. As far as likely as far as the pandemic is concerned, this suspension has therefore surprised as Imbaba. The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change says, this suspension of elections is the latest in a series of efforts to keep it from reclaiming sits it lost after the courts ruled in favor of your client function of the opposition. The party says the move is unconstitutional and plans to challenge it in court for NPR news I am is funded quite in Harare. And Northrop Grumman cargo ship is heading to the International Space Station after launching last night from Virginia's Wallops Island, it's carrying some key Thanksgiving treats as well as a new twenty three million dollar titanium toilet. I'm Barbara Klein NPR news.
What if the weakest link in election security is ... confidence?
"This marketplace podcast is brought to you by the Michigan economic Development Corporation when it comes to mobility, more and more businesses are turning to planet them. Michigan is home to the largest concentration of auto related engineers in the nation as well as various all road and all weather autonomous testing centers to learn more head to planet, m dot com. Planet in Michigan where big ideas and mobility are born and by G, suite by Google cloud. A suite of cloud based productivity tools that includes g mail doc slides sheets and drive you can make real time updates to the same document without having to keep track of multiple versions. And since all tools are cloud based your whole team can access the same document and work on the same page at the same time make it with G suite by Google cloud. Find out more at G, suite dot com. What if the weakest link in election security is confidence from American public media? This is marketplace tech demystifying the digital economy. I'm Ali would. This week. We've been looking at election security, we talked about how voting machines are vulnerable to hacking, and they are, but an even easier target is voter registration databases names addresses and voting histories on all kinds of people every campaign has a list like this whether it's for an individual candidate or a big statewide list. This data Villanova had its boater registration database hacked back in two thousand sixteen the attack expose the data of more than seventy thousand boaters, but stealing that information wasn't necessarily the goal. We now know that the department of homeland security the Justice department, the FBI has said the goal of all of this activity wasn't to steal votes or throw elections. The goal of it was to diminish American confidence in our election system. That's mad. Dietrich public information officer at the Illinois state board of elections after the hack the state got. Thirteen million dollars in federal money to beef up its election security, but Dietrich acknowledges that doubt is a powerful tool. That's easy to spread a lot of it had to do with manipulating social media and getting voters to argue among themselves. Spreading false information through Twitter and Facebook, that's the social engineering aspect of all this that really as an election with already. We don't have a whole lot of control over. He thinks the state has done a good job convincing voters that it serious about security, but he said states and cities are going to need a lot more help if they're going to secure elections in the future, including more secure voting machines back in two thousand and four Illinois got one hundred and forty four million dollars from the federal help America vote act and used it to buy all new voting equipment now that was fourteen years ago this year, we got thirteen point two million dollars. That is one eleventh of what we got back. Then I think probably what needs to happen now. Is we're going to need help from the federal level to change out all of the voting equiment throughout our state in all one hundred and eight of our local jurisdictions, and it's going to take federal help more along the lines of what we got in two thousand and four so far. There aren't any signs of a federal effort at that level. But Dietrich said the conversation is starting really starting in January when the department of homeland security started talking more openly about not only the fact that there was Russian interference in the two thousand sixteen election, but also putting out the word to election authorities in the general public because it was in the news that we need to be on guard because it's going to happen again in these midterm elections and beyond the conversation is not a moment too soon. Just last week the Justice department accused Moore Russians of disinformation campaigns aimed at the midterm elections and launched digital spying campaigns to stop election interference. And a report last week. By two security, firms said some thirty five million voter registration records from nineteen states are for sale on the dark web. The experts said it's the first large scale case of that happening and that the records could be used for organized voter fraud like changing online registration or stealing the identity of legitimate voters and casting absentee ballots in their place. And now for some related links. I in New York Times editorial from Friday that sums up this whole election thing nicely headline America's elections could be hacked go vote. Anyway. All right now. Let's just totally switch gears and talk about video games. Okay. Because apparently enforced night, the cube island just exploded. And now, they're cute monsters all over the map for the fort nightmares event. And you get loot when you kill them. And I'm kind of wondering if it's too late to be a cube monster for Halloween. And if you don't understand a word, I just said, it's fine. I'm done. Now. You may have noticed that all the tech places on the web yesterday were posting their reviews of the iphone ten are. And how it stacks up to the ten as an attend s max. And actually, there are all these other phones that have come out lately from LG in wa wa and there's a new one plus Android phone and HTC is about to announce the world's first blockchain phone that is true, apparently, and it kind of all culminated NA delightful headline from digital trends dot com that said smartphone makers are vomiting torrent of new phones, and we're sick of it, and quote, which was awesome. And also, even though they're talking about the actual release cycles. I feel like we can all agree that like do we really need a new phone sized supercomputer? Because last year, they told me this one was pretty amazing. And if you don't believe me that you don't actually need an upgrade witness the story yesterday about both apple and Samsung being fined millions of euros in Italy for intentionally slowing down their older phones instead of just letting us replace the batteries and keep on truckin. I'm Ali would. And that's marketplace tech. This is a PM sign up for our daily Email newsletter by Tober thirty first and you could be in for a Halloween treats, we're giving away ten treat bags filled with some great marketplace swag, including our high powered phone charger. A pretty cool. Gadget you cannot get anywhere else. Subscribed today at marketplace dot org for your chance to win and good luck. This marketplace podcast is brought to you by the Michigan economic Development Corporation. Our world is becoming more hands free. Thanks to planet, m that will also include the future of transportation, Michigan has the most comprehensive autonomous real world testing under every road and weather condition and leads the nation and patents relating to navigation and smart mobility to learn more, visit planet m dot com. Planet m Michigan where big ideas mobility are born.
New Election Called In North Carolina Congressional Race
"Support for NPR and the following message. Come from Royal traveler and affordable door to door luxury SUV service between DC and New York. Visit Royal traveler dot com slash NPR and use code NPR to get fifty dollars off and make your next journey stress-free. Hi there. This is Heather W in Louisville, Colorado. I'm getting ready to go. Meet my husband for date night for going ex. Throwing this podcast was recorded at best of luck. It is his Friday February twenty-second at twelve o eight eastern, please note things may have changed by the time you hear this. But hopefully, not the number of fingers and toes attached to my body. Oh, no. They say they're actually pretty safe. I don't know. But a lot of people do that. While also drinking which feels very unsafe to me. Good point. Hey there. It's the PR politics podcast. It is twenty nineteen. But in terms of the elections, we talk about we've just skipped past and talked all about twenty twenty elections. However now, we have twenty nineteen election to tell you about and it is a big deal yesterday the North Carolina State board of elections called a new contest in a congressional race. That has been rocked by accusations of fraud. I'm Scott detro-. I cover congress. I'm Kelsey Snell. I also cover congress. I'm miles parks. I cover voting it miles. You are in North Carolina. You've been there all week it has only gotten crazier here. Yeah. And there is a whole lot of crazy to sift through ending with the fact that the board of elections called a new a new contest. But let's just start back at the beginning. Kelsey, can you catch us up to speed on what this district was and going into election day, why we were already paying attention to. So this is. Publican district on your Charlotte, which is one of the biggest cities in the state of North Carolina. And I was down in North Carolina in a neighboring district right before the election talking to Republicans about just kind of politics in the state in general, and they were all really worried about this race in particular because they thought the Republican who Mark Harris was maybe too far to the right for a city that was changing dramatically, and they thought there was a really good chance that Democrats could win this seat. And then they didn't but Harissa after election day has a slim lead about nine hundred votes. What happens next? So what happens next is the state board of elections comes together to certify all the races in the state. They certify most of them. And then we come to the ninth congressional district, and they decide not to certify it. They vote instead to open up an investigation into allegations of election fraud. So then over the last couple of months state board. Investigators have been interviewing witnesses hundreds of people. Voters people who say that they were involved in. What is now coming out to be an absentee ballots scheme, which seems to have been connected in some way to Republican Mark Harris's campaign. So and this isn't just a general problem at eight has to do with one specific Republican consultant, can you walk us through. What who he is what he was doing? And what the problem was. Right. So his name is Leslie McRae Dallas, he goes by McCray. He has been involved in politics in a place called bladen county, which is the east in the eastern part of the ninth district for many years, Mark Harris approached McRae Dallas because he'd heard about this absentee ballot campaign that Dallas had been running for other candidates in previous elections, basically. Now, what it looks like is that McRae Dallas was paying up people to collect ballots, which is illegal in North Carolina. And there are still a lot of questions about whether Dallas turned in all of the ballots. He collected one employee of. Alice's? Who's also his former stepdaughter testified on the first day of the hearing earlier this week that she also filled in some ballots for voters who turned in their ballots blank to her which is also a legal. Hey miles. Can I ask is it illegal to be paying somebody to collect the absentee ballots? Are are they saying that just collecting them in general was the legal part so collecting them in general is the illegal part? What's really interesting here is voting laws are different all over the country vote collecting ballots is not a legal and a lot of states, including largest state in the country, California. But in a place like North Carolina. It is illegal to collect ballots. And so the fact that potentially somebody who was being paid. By marketers campaign was doing it. There's the question of taint on the election because somebody one of the candidates could have had an unfair advantage in the absentee ballot totals. And before we get to this dramatic hearing that's been taking place the last few days. What was the tip off that something might have been wrong? Was it was it disproportionate result? It's from absentee ballots was just the fact that that this guy had a track record for doing this in previous elections what what caused investigators and election officials to to focus on this to begin with. So it's a little bit of both state. Investigators had investigated Dallas previously specifically in twenty sixteen though that investigation did not end up affecting in actual race. But the biggest thing that got national. Attention was the numbers North Carolina is really transparent about their voting data. And so they post the numbers where at how many absentee ballots have been returned for each party. And some people looked into this national voting experts and realized whoa, something very odd is happening in bladen county. Specifically we saw that nineteen percent of the absentee ballots that were turned in were turned in by registered Republicans. But Republican Mark Harris won sixty one percent of the absentee ballots in in that county. So for him to have done that he would have had to win every Republican. That turned in naps and D ballot. Every unaffiliated voter who turned in an absentee ballot and some Democrats which really set off a lot of alarms so Kelsey up until a few days ago. Harris was saying I should be seated in congress, the the board didn't certifies elections house. Democrats chose not to to seat him either. A what have Republicans in Washington been saying about this, especially given the fact that President Trump and other Republican leaders talked so much about their concerns about voter fraud. Well, Republicans in congress in particular have kept saying that they're going to wait and see what this this board of elections decides they've tried to stay as far away from this as possible in part because there is some question about whether or not if they call this new election as they as we're about to discuss whether or not Harris would be running and what Republicans in the state would do about choosing somebody to run for the seat that they vary. Very very badly walked to keep. Okay. So now, we have filled in all the back story. We are going to get to all. All of the drama that happened in this hearing room, and what it means going forward after a quick break. This message comes from NPR sponsor. Comcast business. Business has always been driven by innovators entrepreneurs and disrupters. That's why the company who built the nation's largest gig speed network is moving beyond beyond connecting your business to helping you with technology that provides better experiences. Comcast business beyond fast. Visit Comcast business dot com for more the current tension between the United States and North Korea is really intense, and it's easy to forget that the two countries have complicated passed on the latest episode of through line from NPR. We look back at the origin of the strain relationship to make sense of what's happening today through line the podcast where we go back in time to understand the present. Okay. We're back and not miles. Now, we really get to what what your week has been like and based on your Twitter threads it has been busy. This has been an incredibly dramatic hearing even before the decision to hold a new election. There were family members turning on each other. There were tears. They were big revelations. What happened this week? Everyone knows each other and blame county when I went down there. People just talk about McRae. Dallas everyone talks about them by first name, they know each other. So we had a former stepdaughter of McRae. Dallas testified we saw his former wife testify, and then the most dramatic moment of the entire week came when Mark Harris's son took the stand. Now, this was incredibly emotional Mark Harris himself was seen crying in the hearing room. John Harris whose son easy assistant US attorney in North Carolina. He was really important not only for the emotional aspect. But because his testimony was really the final nail. In Mark harasses argument for being certified in not holding a new election. Wait, so all of these people were testifying against their family members. Right. So let's hear a little bit of that that testimony of Harris's son testifying against his father. I'll let. Only a new data against them. New family Schwartz the saddle. They say in this process, and it certainly things differently than have would at done them. But all this and engaging process and loss, you know, involve out all I'm more probably about mountain little ones that my parents and the world that we're building for them. And I'll be Frank Mr Chairman watching all this process unfold. We got to come up with a way. To train sin or ours. Invalidates an exploitation processes like this for political gain that goes, both parties, Democrats and Republicans and libertarians. And rightly when I'm coming out of this process. I'm just thinking that we can all do a lot better than this. And so I haven't. So I haven't. So miles just to be clear here Harris had gone into this week's hearing defending his campaign defending his lack of knowledge about this this absentee valid operation. And his son was saying, no, that's not true. He knew about it because I warned him about it. Right. John Harris said that he had done some pretty advanced data analysis on the twenty sixteen election, which is dad had also running and lost in the Republican primary McRae. Dallas had been working for the third place finisher in that primary and had seen and John Harris saw some very interesting absentee ballot totals on behalf of this third candidate. So he does this data analysis and realizes when he looks at the public records that absentee ballots were being turned into the local board of elections in what he called batches. So he gets this suspicion that somebody in blading county is collecting absentee ballots. He's an. Attorney. He knows that's a legal. So he tells his father multiple times on the phone even an Email. They showed emails where he's saying. I think what's happening. Somebody's collecting absentee ballots, which is legal. He even sends him the statute in North Carolina law that says it is a legal. So that really cut into Mark Harris argument, not necessarily that he knew that people were collecting absentee ballots. He says that McRae Dallas promised him that that wasn't happening. But that he also had argued that he wasn't warned by anybody when we have his own son saying that he warned him, and we have documents to prove that and after that that emotional and pretty damning testimony Harris got on the stand himself, and he said this through the testimony of listened to over the past three days. I believe in the election should be called is become clear to me that the public's confidence in the ninth district seat. General election has been undermined to an extent that new election wanted. So I have a couple of practical. Here. The voters of the North Carolina ninth district haven't had a member of congress. And it is the end of February. Now, presumably it takes a little bit of time to schedule a new election. How long are they saying this is gonna take and what what happens next do they just skip right ahead? And, you know, have the rerun the general election or how do they say this is going to play out? It definitely looks like voters in the ninth district are not going to have representation in the US house until at least late summer early fall. That's because there needs to be a new primary as well. As a new general election North Carolina passed a law at the end of last year that said if you hold a statewide new election that you need to hold a new primary as well. Which brings up the super interesting question of is Mark Harris going to run again. And if he does run again, can he get the support of of state Republicans? He was already as you mentioned Kelsey, really socially conservative Republican who had ran a tight race in a district that had leaned Republican in. In the past. So is he with all of this baggage is he going to be able to come out of a Republican primary, and if not how does that change the landscape of what this race looks like the democrat in the race, Dan mccready, he is a marine veteran who started a small business in the solar sphere? So he is kind of a tailor-made democratic candidate, a central centrist democrat who has military experience. Okay. So Kelsey last question and all of this is for you in twenty seventeen and early twenty eighteen every time there was a special election. Everybody went nuts about it. Because Democrats were trying to we're trying to test out messaging trying to test out fundraising trying to show that they could retake the house. Well, they have retaken the house by a lot. So given that the power balance in the house is pretty set right now. How much of a focus how much attention. Do you expect this upcoming special election to garner? You know, it's it kind of depends on timing. Because as we know there's a lot happening in Washington right now. We have all of the Russia investigations and Democrats are launching their own investigations into President Trump and his administration. Plus they're trying to pass bills on gun control at healthcare. So a lot of their focus is there, but they do really wanna make a point here in that North Carolina is a place that is changing, and they're trying to make the point that Democrats can be a part of change in the south. So I would expect them to spend a lot of money on and a lot of time. Trying to flip this seat though. I will say it really depends on what happens in the primary that miles was mentioning because if Republicans are able to get some sort of new candidate that gets a lot of new Republican energy, there might be a little bit of reassessment that happens because as it stands right now. Democrats are pretty convinced that Republicans are either just not going to show up because they're going to be embarrassed. By what happened in this last election, or they're gonna just feel disaffected? So it kind of depends on like, I said, the timing, and, you know, who's running, and as you mentioned, the we expect North Carolina to be one of those top. Level states contested in the twenty twenty presidential election. I'd also add the Democrats have made it clear that they wanna make election security of priority going into the twenty twenty election. So that could really give them motivation to be heavily involved in this race. All right. Well, miles you have had a very busy week get home safe from North Carolina. Thank you very much. That's going to do it for all of our podcast this week. We'll be back as soon as there's news. Who knows when that will be? I'm Scott that track over congress Kelsey Snell. I also cover congress, I'm miles parks like ever voting. Thank you for listening to the NPR politics by.