Election Day Countdown: Better Than 1 Day Left [UPDATE-2]

[NB: Updates at the bottom of this post. /~Rayne]

Old gag, I know…a couple hours left is better than a day left, amirite?

Oh, and a status report on Cirque du COVID au chez Rayne: the men in my house were tested at a drive-through. They waited three fucking hours in line behind at least 60 people.

This is absolutely absurd at this point in the pandemic, and it’s all Trump’s fault.

This country should have funded a skunkworks development program to create and distribute rapid tests which could be done at home.

This country should have funded another skunkworks development program to create and distribute a test-and-trace program which would work cheek-and-jowl with the rapid tests.

There’s just no goddamned excuse for this country — which could put the first humans on the moon in a veritable oversized tuna can using less total computing power than in a flip phone — not to have been challenged by its leadership to pull out all the stops to fight this virus and its spread.

But Trump is incapable of leadership. He is only capable of grasping greed and hate.

And this is the best he can do for a closing argument, “Fire Fauci!” The expert on infectious diseases a majority of Americans support?

Fire Trump.

~ 3 ~

Sure most of you heard about Harris County, Texas, and the GOP contesting roughly 127,000 votes cast in early voting via drive-through.

The collective sigh of relief when known-partisan Judge Andrew Hanen ruled against the GOP:

… In his ruling from the bench, Hanen said he rejected the case on narrow grounds because the plaintiffs did not show they would be harmed if the drive-thru ballots are counted. He noted, however, that the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals could think differently if the cases reaches it. The Republican plaintiffs are appealing the decision.

If he had ruled on the larger issues in the case, Hanen said, he would have rejected the request to toss out votes already cast. But Hanen said he would have shut down Harris County’s drive-thru polling places for Election Day because the tents being used for the sites don’t qualify as voting inside a “building,” a requirement under state election law. …

The Texas Supreme Court had already denied requests by Republicans to toss out drive-through ballots not once but twice.

The entire situation reeks of bad faith because local Republicans were involved in setting up the drive-through voting process, and the party didn’t file a lawsuit until well after early voting had started.

No idea what will happen next during the appeal since everything in the year of Trump pandemic is unpredictable; the plaintiffs have now filed this evening.

UPDATE – 11:45 P.M. ET – Jeez, just read this Twitter thread by Southpaw, who wrote in the first post, “The notice of appeal to the Fifth Circuit hit the district court docket before Judge Hanen’s written order, which is a road map for the Fifth Circuit to reverse him without remand if it’s so inclined.” Why so sloppy when so much is on the line?

Meanwhile, Tarrant County, TX needs more people to help count a record number of ballots.

Sure feels like Texas is on the verge of flipping blue. TV writer Ira Madison’s Twitter account has been suspended after spoofing Beto O’Rourke, challenging Texans to swing the state, offering nudes in return. Much needed comic relief in Texas.

~ 2 ~

Barton Gellman wrote a grim piece for The Atlantic, on How Trump Could Attempt a Coup.

Seems like we’d see more movement toward this already than the non-scalable wall around the White House:

Trump’s campaign continues to ask for donations through December 14, claiming the money is needed for a protracted legal battle.

Is a long fight expected, or is this part of a set-up for a coup? Or is this just another scam and his base is too stupid to discern this?

~ 1 ~

Trump won Michigan in 2016 by a whisker — a 10,000 vote margin, or roughly 2-3 votes per precinct across the state. There was a record undervote that year, with 80,000 voters choosing no candidate at all at the top of the ticket.

The race has been too close for my taste, running an average 6-7 point spread for Biden. Knowing hijinks were employed in 2016 with foreign influence operations and the vote unable to be recounted or forensically analyzed, it’s not out of the realm of possibility Trump and the GOP could pull some hanky panky here.

Especially since GOP proxies like the DeVos family and Mitch McConnell’s PAC have dumped around $40 million dollars into the senate race to prop up Trumpist John James against incumbent Gary Peters.

This morning the state began counting absentee ballots  and GOP poll watchers made some stink to disrupt the process.

They were ejected, one for disruptive behavior and the other for failing to wear a mask safely as required. Can hardly wait to see what crap they pull on Election Day.

In mid-October, Michigan’s Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson barred open carry of weapons in polling places on Election Day due to concerns of voter intimidation. She was sued by several gun rights groups; the state’s conservative-majority supreme court ruled against Benson five days ago. Benson appealed; the supreme court hasn’t bothered to respond and it’s already Election Day as I type this.

The feds are monitoring Detroit, Flint, Eastpointe, Hamtramck, Highland Park, Jackson, Shelby Township for voting rights violation, which seems like a joke since only Detroit, Flint, and Highland Park are minority majority communities.

The feds aren’t watching two other known minority majority communities in which a former GOP secretary of state tried to remove secretary of state offices obstructing voters’ registration.

While a lot of media attention will fall on Texas, Florida, and Pennsylvania, something is clearly going on in Michigan since Trump had four campaign rallies since Friday in this state. Why the heavy investment? Is it really for John James’ benefit? Or is there something else going on we can’t see any more readily than we could in 2016?

At least activists have been working hard to motivate Michiganders to vote. Obama was in Flint this weekend and again on Monday with Joe Biden and Stevie Wonder in Detroit. Wonder made a “love letter” video to Michigan with the MeidasTouch.

Also note a late entry aimed at Michigan by the Biden-Harris campaign using Michigan-native Eminem‘s “Lose Yourself.”

You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime.

~ 0 ~

Thank you if you’ve already voted. Put the pedal to the metal and ensure everyone else you know votes by the time the polls close tomorrow.

~ | ~

UPDATE-1 — 1:15 A.M. 03-NOV-2020 —

Don’t let the door hit you, Donald. Good fucking riddance to bad baggage.

~ | ~

UPDATE-2 — 1:35 A.M. 03-NOV-2020 —

This twitter thread is heartbreaking, just gutting. Never had to happen.

He’s right. Donald Trump murdered BSR’s father.

Fire Trump.

49 replies
  1. Nehoa says:

    What are the two biggest things in this election? First the steadiness of the polls nationally. Second the size of the early vote. We could see 150 to 160 million total votes this year. Way more than 2016. That is a wild card. Who shows up out of all those additional voters? I turned down a free shot of tequila last night because I was driving. Ready to catch up!

  2. Nehoa says:

    Some of you may be aware that I was totally freaked out about what Barr et al tried to do in Portland earlier this year (unhealthy familiarity with Germany/Berlin between the wars). Having failed at enlisting the military, they were trying to subvert the police through their unions and the vigilante groups to incite the riots they were complaining about. Although the unions were a problem, I think that the Governor and the Mayor were on top of the issue enough to forestall that scenario, and that gave a heads up to other cities on the list. Attempted coup is likely only to go as far as the right-wing vigilante/gun nuts. Not enough.

    • Rayne says:

      I’d like to know what the Proud Boys were up to this weekend. I also wish I knew what hasn’t been disclosed about white nationalist militia organizing in my own state, Michigan. I think there was something else going on which hasn’t been fully disclosed after a suspect was shot during an attempted arrest on weapons charges just before the conspirators who wanted to kidnap Gov. Whitmer were arrested. The weapons-charge suspect wasn’t related to the kidnapping conspiracy, so how did the weapons charge come up?

      It’s little niggling things like that which suggest more has been going on but the public remains unaware of it.

      • harpie says:

        1] you mention the Proud Boys, and yeah…me, too, I want to know what they’re up to. But also,
        2] I just became aware that Nigel Farage [who joined Trump at a rally last week] posted a 4 minute VIDEO yesterday of himself walking through boarded up DC, he tagged antifa:
        11:20 AM · Nov 2, 2020

        Horrifying scenes in Washington DC before the election. Democracy in crisis. #antifa [VIDEO 4:08]

        [I haven’t had my coffee yet, so haven’t listened to the audio. uggghh]

        I’m thinking of two words…well, really three…in regard to these two items:

        ROGER F’cking STONE

        …maybe FIVE words, add: Convicted Felon.

        • P J Evans says:

          Nigel effing Farage doesn’t seem to be aware that it’s not antifa that starts the rioting and looting. Also boarding up is a good idea, because some people take out their feelings (good or bad) by breaking stuff like windows. (That isn’t just a US thing: he should know about football crowds.)

          • Rayne says:

            Nigel fucking Farage needs to be thoroughly investigated for links with Russian money. IMO Brexit was a proof-of-concept ahead of Trump’s election; if influence operations and other hijinks could manipulate a tight referendum, the same could work in the U.S. especially with Murdoch-owned media working in both countries. This photo is a hint at the conspiracy — from Aaron Banks, the bagman, to Raheem Kassam, then Breitbart-UK.

            He came here to help Trump campaign claiming he was a journalist. That’s total horseshit — should not have been permitted to enter the U.S.

            That stunt video while he noted the boarding up of the U.S. oligarchy’s favorite storefront was a two-fer. It was his claim to journalism and propaganda.

            • harpie says:

              Here’s Carol Cadwalladr about that
              December 15, 2016 photo:
              2:53 PM – 2 Dec 2018

              This is amazing. Watch @nigel_farage greet Robert Mercer in lobby of Trump tower, Dec 15, 2016. Amazing for many reasons:
              1) Mercer bankrolled Trump, Breitbart UK & Cambridge Analytica
              2) @andywigmore told @ObserverUK Mercer helped them because Brexit was “petri dish” for Trump /
              3) @andywigmore & @arron_banks told @ObserverUK they visited Russian embassy on Nov 18, 2016 – 6 days after first visit with Farage to Trump tower. And one month before this one.

              If you want a possible communication channel between the Kremlin & Trump, there’s one right here

  3. Rayne says:

    Just realized I know one of the conservative asshole justices on Michigan’s supreme court. Goddamned small world, so small I should have noticed this a lot sooner.

    If you’re from Michigan and you’re voting blue, make sure to vote for Bridget Mary McCormack and Elizabeth Welch for Michigan’s supreme court in the nonpartisan portion of the ballot. We need to remedy the court’s hard right overweight.

    • harpie says:

      Here’s Hollins response:

      11:22 PM · Nov 2, 2020

      Today was a huge win for democracy. 127,000 drive-thru votes cast in Harris County will be counted! Since the hearing this afternoon, I have consulted with my legal team and multiple election law experts who have reiterated the legality of drive-thru voting. 1/

      This evening, Judge Hanen issued his order upholding drive-thru voting during the Early Voting period. He also stated his view that the tents that house most of the drive-thru voting centers would not qualify as “buildings,” which are required for Election Day polling places. 2/

      My job is to protect the right to vote for all Harris County voters, and that includes those who are going to vote on Election Day. I cannot in good faith encourage voters to cast their votes in tents if that puts their votes at risk. 3/

      In order to allow for drive-thru voting on Election Day while ensuring that all votes will be counted, the only drive-thru voting center on Election Day will be at Toyota Center. 4/

      The Toyota Center DTV site fits the Judge’s definition of a “building”: it is “a structure with walls and a roof” and “a permanent structure.” It is thus unquestionably a suitable location for Election Day voting. 5/ [more]

      • harpie says:

        From 10/31:
        3:50 PM · Oct 31, 2020

        […] A Harris County official told me they were “surprised” to find Republicans suing over the centers bc the party had been consulted extensively in their conception & design. See that fan? It’s there because Republicans asked for them, to prevent carbon monoxide buildup […]

    • harpie says:

      GOP THUGS not done in Harris County yet.
      They really NEED those votes to be thrown out.

      9:56 AM · Nov 3, 2020

      Apparently, the Republican challengers aren’t done trying to throw out 127,000+ legal Harris County votes—and are now going to ask the full Fifth Circuit to rehear last night’s three-judge panel decision rejecting their emergency appeal. cc: @RMFifthCircuit.

      Remember “the party had been consulted extensively in their conception & design.” [see my comment above]. They KNEW about this months ago.

      • Rugger9 says:

        They’re trying that hard because those votes are probably net 40k for the Ds, and might turn TX blue. However, if Judge Hanen wouldn’t bite I can’t see the en banc 5th or SCOTUS going for it.

  4. Leslie says:

    Duval, Broward, Hillsborough, Miami-Dade, Orange and Palm Beach counties in Florida were also selected for monitoring. Monitors include personnel from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorney’s Offices.

    A Justice Department spokesperson said it’s based on an assessment the agency produces every year a federal election is held.

    [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use the same username each time you comment so that community members get to know you. This is your second user name. Thanks. /~Rayne]

  5. harpie says:

    Unanimous for BIDEN in Dixville Notch, NH

    12:05 AM · Nov 3, 2020

    #BREAKING New Hampshire hamlet casts first votes in US election, on stroke of midnight
    #UPDATE Voters in Dixville Notch, a village of 12 residents in New Hampshire, kicked off Election Day at the stroke of midnight by voting unanimously for Biden

        • harpie says:

          ohhhh! lol I really thought I got that wrong…because of fog brain [definite possibility] BUT…I see I neglected to copy the part that said the Dixville Notch vote was Biden 5-Trump 0. There must have been 7 non-voting [at midnight, anyway] residents in Dixville Notch, NH.

  6. harpie says:

    Good morning, RAYNE! [Hope you’re feeling better]

    1:04 AM · Nov 3, 2020

    There’s a Senate race that Republicans are hoping to win tomorrow in Michigan. But John James was not even acknowledged by Trump at the rally he’s having in Grand Rapids — while he called up Lil’ Pimp [LOL!] to address the crowd on his own behalf.

    1:09 AM · Nov 3, 2020

    Trump calls Lil Pump on stage but mistakenly calls him “Little Pimp”
    “One of the big superstars of the world — Little Pimp!” [VIDEO]

  7. Stephen Calhoun says:

    Voted with my wife October 13 at the BoE, Cuyahoga County. Lines were a half-mile+ yesterday.

    Today, I will take my camera and safely check out our polling place in super blue Cleveland Heights.

    The blur of the numbers has had me pondering the last weeks from where Trump will replace the voters he has been hemorrhaging. The obvious pool is rural white voters who did not vote in 2016.

    The other conundrum for me is how the disruption and potential ending of ballot counting effects the down ballot races both in terms of numbers, and the law, and actual practice.

    Have a safe day—and if you wish hope with me for the blissful outcome!

  8. harpie says:


    Inside the Pro-Trump FB Group Where Biden Bus Convoy Was Organized Activity in the private Facebook Group included pro-QAnon messages, cheering on the idea to “block” a Biden-Harris campaign bus, and talk of being armed with guns.

    […] Alamo City Trump Train is one of the Facebook Groups where the Trump-supporting, pickup-truck convoy was organized. […] The Facebook Group was created in early September, and its member count grew above 4,000 on the night before Election Day.

  9. Rugger9 says:

    In Flint MI, robocalls are telling voters that due to the long lines they need to vote Wednesday, which is an oldie but baddie. MI AG Nessel is looking into it.

    In Brooklyn, a harasser within 100 feet of a polling place is screaming at people for being “antifa” yet the NYPD drives by and does NOTHING. If the NYPD won’t uphold the laws against voter intimidation (no distance limit on that) why do we have them?

    • P J Evans says:

      It the cops want people to support *them*, they have to be non-partisan on the job. Which seems to be impossible for NYPD and a lot of other departments.

  10. P J Evans says:

    Because we need it – seen on Twitter:
    Christopher Bouzy @cbouzy · 36m

    Breaking: Hillary’s emails just voted for Hunter Biden’s laptop.

  11. Alan Charbonneau says:

    For a long time, I thought Texas would not flip blue. Now I think it might. While it’s possible that energized Trump voters are turning out in large numbers, I think the huge increase in early voting are people who want Trump gone.

    John “Chinese people eat bats” Cornyn will win re-election, but I think Trump is in very serious trouble in the Lone Star state.

  12. klynn says:

    Praying Franklin County, OH is ok. I am worried this is a revisit to Blackwell’s 2004 stunt. The electronic voter rolls are down. They are using the paper book voter rolls. Some precincts are issuing provisional ballots. This is happening in more Dem leaning areas of the county and larger Black populated areas of the county.

    • Manuel Gonzalez says:

      The hotline 866 296 8686 has many volunteers that can field issues, such as this one. Its important that the voter that witnesses/experiences any incidents contact them with “on the ground” specifics. It is possible to escalate it for follow up by people trained to do something fast.

      • klynn says:

        My precinct was fine. I’m more concerned about what I am reading at the Franklin County BOE Facebook page and problems getting reported elsewhere.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Yes, Franklin County, home of Columbus, is the largest and a very Democratic Party-leaning county in the state. Like the smaller Ann Arbor, It is surrounded by a sea of red. Hope its voting machinery is up and running quickly.

  13. Savage Librarian says:

    Zip, zero, nada, zilch. That’s how many people were waiting in line when I went to vote today at lunch time. So, it only took me 5 minutes to vote, plus 30 minutes to walk back and forth to the site. As I was leaving, a father and son were entering. The son, who looked like a teen, waved to me. I wonder if he thought I looked like antifa, as I was dressed in black with a black mask.

    The construction worker at the corner of my street may have, too. He scowled at me and, for a moment, I had the fleeting sense that he was about to do something unpleasant. So, I scurried past. Now I have more time on my hands to do something productive or fun than I had planned on for today. My sense is that things are going to go well this cycle.

  14. CD54 says:

    Note about Ohio:

    I mailed a letter to the Columbus area on October 11th from about 1,000 miles away.

    It arrived on the 27th — normally a two day trip.

    • klynn says:

      I’m not surprised about the mail.
      In other Columbus news…We walked for 45 min to find the end of the line for early voting and could not find it. Decided to just vote today. But we delivered our daughter’s absentee ballot. The cars for the ballot drop were averaging 2-3 a minute. It was amazing to witness. Over 100 cars in one hour!

  15. harpie says:

    1] https://twitter.com/BrandyZadrozny/status/1323671758428274690
    12:01 PM · Nov 3, 2020

    PA seems to be the state to watch re early online misinfo. The hashtag right wing disinfo agents are posting alongside misleading photos and unverified videos started to move this morning. But it’s not trending. Chart via @ZignalLabs [CHART]

    2] https://twitter.com/nicoleperlroth/status/1323712949253369859
    2:45 PM · Nov 3, 2020

    Some disturbing developments:
    1] In addition to the robocalls, voters in Flint, Michigan
    2] are getting threatening live calls telling them to stay home or face arrests at the polls. The calls, which have also been reported in Iowa, are (obviously) not true, says Michigan AG office.

    2] A text disinfo campaign at voters in Dearborn, Michigan– which boasts the largest Arab pop. outside the Middle East- is warning voters of “scantron” issues and telling them to bubble in Trump if they want Biden and vice verse. Signed “Federal Berue of Investigation.” [sic]

    3] [link in next comment]
    2:41 PM · Nov 3, 2020

    Some Instagram users are still seeing messages at the top of their feeds telling them Election Day is *tomorrow.* Instagram says it’s a caching issue and people have to restart their apps. Seems like something that could have been anticipated.

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