Election Day Countdown: Zero Day (Or Is It ‘0-day’?) [UPDATE-2]

Polls will be closing soon, which means it’s time to start looking at the day’s problem spots.

This will be a rolling post with updates at the bottom of the post as the end of the voting day approaches.

I am making a pointed effort to follow different voices about the project outcome — by which I mean I am following mostly women and not mostly men who are struggling to break the horse race format of reporting elections.

You can check my coverage list here: Link to Rayne’s Election 2020 Coverage List

Some of these folks aren’t usually on the White House or the political beat; some are polling experts; others are voting rights attorneys or activists. I may add a couple experts on disinformation and influence operations depending on what pops up in my regular Twitter feed.

I’m also watching a scorecard prepared by Daniel Nichanian, a.k.a. @Taniel on Twitter. He’s tracking key down ballot races to see if they turn blue as well as critical ballot initiatives.

Do feel free to share your experience at the polls in comments.

~ ~ ~

6:10 PM ET — Updates will accumulate below this point. More to come.

In the meantime, this seems like a serious problem:

Contempt of court-type problem?

UPDATE-1 — 9:25 PM ET —

Took my kid and went to the polls to cast our vote minutes before the polls closed in downstate Michigan. Polling location racked up about 60% of the vote volume cast in 2008, which I suspect means that mail-in early voting was used heavily in my precinct. Polls have just now closed in western Upper Peninsula which is on Central Time; very annoying to see outlets making any claims about Michigan when polls were still open. We were only two of three people in the polling location, which is very different from 2008 when it was still very busy at the end of the day.

Some bad news so far: Mitch McConnell (KY), Liz Cheney (WY-at-large) and fucking morons Jim Jordan (OH-4) and Matt Gaetz (FL-1) have won re-election. Trump’s former doctor, goofy Ronny Jackson won TX-13, and Qanon nutter Marjorie Taylor Greene won GA-14. Trump has won Indiana (thank you, stupid internally oppressed white women), Tennessee, Oklahoma, North and South Dakota, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Wyoming (not much of a surprise for these fairly red states).

Some good news: Mark Warner won re-election as did Cory Booker; Biden has won New Mexico, Vermont, Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut, and New York.

I am far behind now trying to sort out the bigger stuff from the smaller stuff. There are some squirrelly polling outfits I don’t recall every seeing which are projecting wins/losses — can’t trust them as they may be part of “perception hacking.”

The big story right now is Florida. Something looks really hinky there, and it may have a lot to do with the mail which has yet to be processed. We won’t see hanging chads this time but undelivered mail-in ballots.

UPDATE-2 — 5:10 AM ET 04-NOV-2020 —

I made the mistake of shutting my eyes after 10:00 pm only to wonder if I woke up in the wrong timeline again.

Where we’re at as of 3:34 am:

Biden 238 electoral votes to Trump’s 213, with

The really grim fact: more Americans voted for Trump in 2020 than in 2016, even after his murder of more than 230,000 Americans. We haven’t even finished counting all the votes yet this is true.

Kudos to the Washington Post for this headline which accurately describes Trump’s speech: Presidential election hangs in balance as Trump falsely asserts fraud and makes a claim of victory

Counting of votes has yet to be completed, in no small thanks to all the impediments placed on democratic process by the GOP at state level. But vote counting typically isn’t finished by dawn the morning after a presidential election; what’s different this time is the perceived narrow margin before the vote counting is completed.

The incomplete status of counting is NOT fraud. The incomplete status of counting also means a claim of victory is fallacious, a lie.

Fortunately there are Republicans who have rejected Trump’s fascistic claim, noted GOP attorney Ben Ginsberg the most important among them.

Biden’s campaign issued a rebuttal statement:

Status of the Senate is still open since some races have yet to be called. Susan Collins (R-ME) fell below 50% of the vote last I looked, which means the race may move to a runoff since Maine uses ranked-choice voting.

Counting is still underway in Wisconsin and yet to resume in Michigan.

Expect more fireworks at noon ET when Judge Emmett Sullivan addresses U.S. Postal Service’s failure to comply with his court’s order regarding a sweep of post offices including Miami for mailed-in ballots.

As for the moaning that our Constitution is a failure: it’s not the Constitution, it’s Americans, it’s states.

Like Mississippi which continues to suppress Black voters, refusing to allow mail-in or early voting especially during a pandemic, causing hours-long waits to vote.

Keep your pitchforks and torches on standby — we’re not yet western Belarus, though close. I’m going back to bed for a couple hours, hoping when I wake I’m back in a better timeline.

187 replies
    • Molly Pitcher says:

      Tea is too high in caffeine for me tonight, already feeling jittery. Alternating sparkling water and alcohol….trying to pace myself; it is going to be a long night, I think. I just wish that the networks could hold off on announcing results until the West Coast polls close. It tends to discourage voters who are not committed political junkies.

    • Raven Eye says:

      A nice Oolong — I’m partial to Grace Rare Tea’s Formosa Oolong. Less caffeine, soothing fragrance — I often have a cup before bed. And several infusions from the same leaves if you are hanging around longer. Pair it with small cubes of Collier Welsh cheddar or Kerrygold Dubliner, with a small piece of dark chocolate to finish.

    • FL Resister says:

      I am finding Canadian whiskey with lots of ice and a bit of water is easing my passage on this trip through Hades.

    • paulpfixion says:

      we are drinking “manchurian candidates” here at a bar in China–a white russian with a shot of espresso

  1. P J Evans says:

    I want Sullivan to throw the book at them. And then throw it a few more times.

    Probably tea, tonight. (Not supposed to have alcohol. But if I had some of that alcohol-free Weissbier I got a year or so back, I’d drink that. It was good.)

  2. d4v1d says:

    Scotch and a book – cosmology, probably. All notifications are off. Phones are muted. Unplugged until tomorrow.

  3. Eureka says:

    Lots of mail ballots picked up today “per source” (no, this is not an Adam Schefter fan account).

    I was simultaneously surprised and scared to hear they got a lot today (thinking people would have acted sooner due to the liminality problem & GOP-SCOTUS plans) and yet happy to find out there were even more droves of votes (long lines at polls we passed, tough to tell how much is due to COVID precautions). I hope that means they are planning to _deliver_ them by 8pm polls closing. [Our mail facility is covered by Judge Sullivan’s order; recall I was hoping for a bi-phasic push: get as many delivered by E-day even though they have til Friday as it stands.]

    Those MAGA-flaggers are out there today acting like it is spring break on the dunes. That’s the attitude, partay bro! Intersected with such a Jeeper who beep–beep–beeped at an apparent buddy behind us.

    Current status: soused on no sleep. Beverage pending.

  4. harpie says:

    I think this is the latest on the USPS MESS [via Zoe Tillman]:

    6:32 PM · Nov 3, 2020

    Update to the update to the update: Judge is allowing USPS to handle inspections tonight as they planned, denies request for a hearing this evening and says failure to comply (i.e., to get Election Mail where it’s supposed to go in time) will be discussed in court 2morrow at noon [screenshot]

  5. Valley girl says:

    bmaz, please don’t jump on me, but is there a remedy that would force those non-USPS-delivered ballots to be counted before the election is certified?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Basically, no. Voting is a state matter. The USPS management debacle, which looks entirely intentional, is a federal matter.

      I don’t see how federal obstruction of individual votes (even 300,000 of them) can get those votes counted. Nor do I see Trump’s appellate courts and the Supremes fashioning a new one. Personally, I think DeJoy has committed criminal contempt, but that’s not a consequence that would re-validate those disenfranchised votes.

      • Valley girl says:

        Thanks for the answer EoH.

        Or is it Loxley or Locksley or RH? Sorry about this lame attempt at humor. but that QN post just made me so angry and put me totally out of sorts. Not what I needed today. GAWD I need a good laugh.

        • Peterr says:

          I don’t know if it’s that simple. If someone files a suit in state court, with the evidence from the federal contempt hearing brought to the state judge, might that a state judge order a statewide remedy: count the votes that were tampered with en route by the USPS?

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Huntingdon and Huntingdonshire are near your Cambridge, of course. Loxley used to be in West Yorkshire, now it’s part of Sheffield, I think, and is the reputed birthplace of Robin of Locksley. The magic of myth is being in or from many places at once.

            • Valley girl says:

              Hell, I just managed to wipe out all of my edits to the above comment. I tried reading Ivanhoe, which has a Loxley/ Locksley ? character. I read the preface and thought “Sir Walter Scott is a pompous ass.” I managed to read the first half-page of 100 word sentences then gave up on it. Still looking for something as grippingly escapist as The Count of Monte Cristo, which I finished a few weeks ago. Sometimes I do need that sort of mental escape.

    • P J Evans says:

      I’m wondering how many of them were “lost” and how many got delivered without being recorded yet.
      And I want Sullivan to ream them.

    • bmaz says:

      Earl is probably right. The interaction of state and federal law makes it hard to say with any certainty. I wish I had a better answer.

  6. PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

    Not time to freak out yet… Did anyone seriously expect Biden to win florida? Still is tough to see, getting very anxious

    • Eureka says:

      You rang? Here is a soothing graphic:

      Max Kennerly: “Folks, assume Biden loses Florida. Fine, whatever. If that happens, he still merely needs to win one of these beige states. Literally any one of them. [map; he means “olive”, not beige]”

      As to the volatility to come in PA results: besides (now) 8 counties of 67 not even starting on mail ballots until tomorrow, the bluer counties spent more money on high speed machinery to get results out fast startign 8p tonight

    • Marinela says:

      Nice! She is not in my district, but I recall the ads in her primary race, her primary opponent was spewing a bunch of lies.
      Could not figure out why in the world she had a primary challenge in the first place. Anyway…
      I think what made a huge difference in her primary race was the local media.
      They usually run a segment about the trustfulness of the political ads, and they analyzed ads in her race as well.
      It was great how they sorted out the lies.

  7. Tom S. says:

    I regarded Trump attraction as irresistible for the, “I could shoot someone on 5th Avenue” target audience, but considering the seeming lack of pandemic effect, I am giving more weight to the voluntary supporter component, white nationalists and amoral financial supporters.

    It just shouldn’t be this close, this late. We’re in another dimension, vs Cronkite – LBJ March, 1968

    Raw voting data, North Carolina –

    Raw voting data, Georgia –

    Thanks to Sam Wang , Princeton –

  8. graham firchlis says:

    The polls are closed now, except Alaska and Hawaii where the outcomes are certain. GOTV is over, no more campaigning to be done, we are for the moment becalmed but a stormy path lies ahead.

    Reef the main, flatten the jib, lash yourself to the helm, and Cast Your Fate To The Wind.


  9. graham firchlis says:

    Polls are closed now, except in Hawaii and Alaska where the outcomes are certain. No more GOTV, no more campaigning, we are for the moment becalmed but a storm is brewing.

    Reef the main, flatten the jib, lash yourself to the helm and Cast Your Fate To The Wind.


      • graham firchlis says:

        Different strokes, earl. All good.

        Love Guaraldi, but with his version I see cartoon characters in my head. George Winston lets me relax against the stern, point ‘er up and set sail to the horizon.

    • graham firchlis says:

      First met Vince Guaraldi in September 1964, when he played at our UC Berkeley freshman mixer. He wasn’t famous outside SF bay area, but he was already ours and well loved. When he swung into boogie woogie, the whole room swayed. Two songs in, he owned us.

      He was the nicest guy. Gone far too soon at 47, still brings a tear. And a smile.

  10. Nehoa says:

    It’s not a Blue blowout. I think still likely a Biden win, and a 50 / 50 Senate.
    Would still like to have a very safe medically induced coma for a day or two. Any suggestions?

    • it's complicated says:

      Speaking as a German, oh yes, this is a ray of sunshine indeed!
      The pox on both of their houses:-)

  11. Eureka says:

    Great: about to post this comment and all channels are streaming Trump’s propaganda *live* — he’s been on two minutes and it’s horrific already WTF ARE THE NETWORKS DOING

    Hasen on the two new GOPers Against The Franchise suits in Pennsylvania, hopefully of no consequence whatsoever (this is a preventative posting):

    Lawsuit to Watch If It Comes Down to Pennsylvania | Election Law Blog

    New Lawsuit to Halt Ballot Cures in Pennsylvania Could Preview Trump’s Postelection Strategy

    Basically, they’re mad that election officials (State, Montgomery County, respectively) (wanted to) let people know there were problems with their mail ballots so they might still be able to vote. They want to throw out any cured-ish ballots.

    (Trump just says he has won Pennsylvania 225am)

    All this and we haven’t even hit the “naked ballots” hell-layer yet , OR a trip to SCOTUS.

    (Now he’s laying claim to Michigan)

    (And WI)…..

    … This POS is claiming to have won the Blue Wall Rustbelt by a large margin (sic).


    • Mitch Neher says:

      Joe says we’re supposed to be patient and remain calm. He’s confident that we’re going to win this thing. And then what? Joe didn’t say.

      • Rayne says:

        What were you expecting? The votes must be counted. That’s where we’re at. Until they’re counted there isn’t anything else — that’s the nature of democracy.

        • Mitch Neher says:

          I’m not the one opposed to counting all the votes.

          Were you expecting me to be the one opposed to counting all the votes??

          I’ve never been and never will be the one opposed to counting all the votes.

    • Eureka says:

      At least one of the ABC News guys called it fascism amidst an otherwise largely insufferable post-mortem of that which they enabled.

      As long as I’m telepathically summoning Jay Rosen from his, no doubt, restful slumber, let me complain about how the pundits are framing Trump’s (?) “successes.” While I don’t dispute the “socialism” tag, I think it’s far too limited. Trump’s benefactors dumped megatons of cash to turn television into FB — certainly in metro Philly, surely elsewhere.*

      We were flooded with every _type_ of AB testing ad on every racist, sexist, authoritarian, Trumpian topic. Since one cannot ‘click’/share one’s preference on TV, they’d rapidly cycle, say, two different “woman privately fretting about a Biden admin” ads. Cops ads. Hunter laptop ads. Uncaring corrupt rich people ads. Capitalizing on the bad stuff that follows when cops kill Black people ads. On and on, it was such trash.

      Besides such ads for Trump’s benefit, they did the same for downballot candidates like Brian Fitzpatrick (R, PA-01) [that race is one of two important flipping-distance ones, which could have helped set the PA contingent to majority dem, thus thwarting the House of Reps electors scheme should other states follow suit]. Same with out-of-state races.

      So I am sick of lax national press efforts to wrap up the attacks as “socialism” and “fracking” and effective, when they are really all-range-wretched. [On one panel I saw, their GOP guest was repeatedly framing it in this limited way and they all bit.] Call him by his name.

      *I’m oft reminded of that Rick Gates 302 (closing pp 14-15; Feb X, 2018), with discussion of how their shops worked back then, as these 2020 ads played incessantly with folks like KAC in the press talking about how they are happy with where Trump is, they think he’s winning more than indicated, etc.

  12. earlofhuntingdon says:

    It’s as if tens of millions of Americans think Donald Trump is Dwight Eisenhower. Or, they don’t care who is president, and whether he does anything but harm them and loot the Treasury for himself, as long as it’s not a Democrat. It’ll take me a while to get my head around that.

    • skua says:

      Strong delusions have people acting weirdly.
      Throw in fear, anger, greed and national pride and pretty much anything becomes acceptable to them.

      “But what has Trump actually done wrong?”, my deluded American friend asked.
      When I told him a few things that Trump had done that are wrong, he said, “I guess I just don’t care about party political stuff”.

    • Rayne says:

      You’re still struggling with accepting the obvious: nearly half the voters in this country are willing to allow roughly 300,000 Americans to die each year rather than allow a Black person near the White House again, especially a Black woman.

      Why else, apart from possible manipulation, would MORE people vote for Trump this year than in 2016?

      This isn’t a problem with the Constitution. This is a fundamental problem with half this country’s voters.

      • bmaz says:

        The American Constitutional system of governance is fine. But all such systems rely on the intelligence and good faith of the citizens it represents. There may not be enough of those currently.

        • paulpfixion says:

          hmmm, 3/5? a lot of our issues might stem from a definition of people as property, landowner supremacy, and the distrust Adams, Hamilton, and others had in democracy’s long term feasibility. also, chomsky argued convincingly about the ease of manufacturing consent amongst the mobs and masses.

          • Ken Muldrew says:

            The game now is to demolish consent using targeted disinformation. Manufactured consent certainly benefitted the elite over the masses, but it didn’t lack for stability.

            Most Trump voters believe that mainstream newspapers and tv networks are dishonest and so refuse to pay attention to their consensus on what constitutes “facts”. It will take a while to figure out how to reconcile a democracy that lives in separate realities.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Two separate issues. And Kavanaugh and the self-styled originalists notwithstanding, the Constitution has been amended to fix some of its most glaring faults.

            The EC can also be sidestepped without further amendment, by passing a sufficient number of uniform state laws that require EC votes to be allocated according to the popular vote. Several states have already done that.

        • Earthworm says:

          And remember to factor in what ongoing assault on American education has produced, ever since Reagan.
          This was also done in the Dirty War in Argentina, Chile, and other S American countries — marginalizing (and eliminating) so called elites —
          Hard to run a constitutional democracy with an uninformed electorate.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Trump made no problem better, made many worse, and created countless new ones. Americans saw a quarter million of their neighbors die owing to a single communicable disease, many of them needlessly, under this impeached orange buffoon, and yet millions more of them than in 2016 said, let’s have four more years of that. I’ll need more than coffee, whisky, and one night to process that.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        I agree with bmaz’s comment on twtr, that after this performance, win or lose, the Democratic House and Senate leadership needs to change, along with several committee leaders (Feinstein first and foremost). Continuity and business as usual have not proven adequate to the circumstances.

        • madwand says:

          Democrats are going to have to more than just get rid of leadership, they need a whole new strategy, the idea that there is a chunk in the middle gettable by both parties in an age of extreme partisanship is incorrect. As the morning goes on I don’t see Biden winning and the Senate is most likely lost and with Republicans gaining in the House. In other words as far as races go it’s a repudiation of Democrats rather than Republicans. After two times of getting your head slammed repeatedly into a wall doesn’t wake you up nothing will.

          • P J Evans says:

            Wisconsin is blue-ish: Biden won.
            The votes aren’t all counted in MI and PA.
            Giving up before they’re counted isn’t an option.

        • Raven Eye says:

          Regardless of the presidential outcome, Pelosi must step aside accept the revered status as a speaker emeritus. In other words, she had her shot, blew it, and suffered physical casualties (lost seats), and political casualties (wrong thing, wrong way).

          Hard to say what role AOC will play. It’s one thing to be a freshman and take some pot shots, but now she has a little more seniority and with seniority comes responsibility. That means she has to figure out what parts of her personal political agenda she can carry forward and incorporate into the House Democrat’s way forward – and what parts she needs to leave in a shoebox under her desk. Hard choices ahead. Not suggesting her as speaker, but the most senior Democrats need to do a better job of listening and thinking.

          Another thing the House Democrats need to look at is tactics and messaging. This geriatric chess game, played in a darkened room behind two sets of locked doors, is exactly what it appears to be: The old game. When will they take a serious look at the precepts of “selection committee” for the upcoming session?

          They need to take a serious look at the “how” of Trump and Trumpish Republican messaging. Not the content of the message (because that would be almost criminal) but how that message continues to resonate with millions of people. What makes people (1) listen to that crap, and (2) believe that crap?

  13. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I agree that the MSM’s horse race coverage has been abysmal. It performed as poorly as expected, including MSNBC, whose coverage is virtually unwatchable.

    It is useless to sell a “breaking” announcement by calling a state for X, but not providing the numbers necessary to evaluate the claim. Equally useless is showing a large graphic with the percentage split of votes for each candidate, when only one percent of votes has been reported. There was very little discussion of the intentionally delayed process in GOP states for counting mail-in ballots, which meant that it would be improper to call a winner on election night. Bloody useless failure to set reasonable expectations, which meant describing a fantasy instead of reality.

  14. harpie says:

    THANKS SO MUCH to you RAYNE and Eureka and ALL for manning the barricades overnight, and helping me catch up with what I missed.
    I actually could not continue.

    Its very VERY depressing how many
    racist bigot misogynist m-fcker’s
    are citizens of this country.

    Now ONWARD!

  15. madwand says:

    Went to bed at ten, just woke up, good to see Biden still has a path, though it looks like the Senate is gone again. NYTimes is reporting PA at only 75%, but Biden ahead. At this point electoral is 227 to 213 with Biden up. Trump claiming victory and threatening court action. Hoping it will stay peaceful. To be continued.

  16. greengiant says:

    Biden has Wisconsin with 99 percent counted by 20,000 votes. WaPo click through has more up todate results that US map. PA went from 74 to 79 percent voted with only 74,000 votes so trouble with the “estimate” of votes to count.

  17. harpie says:

    GOOD NEWS [via Justin Hendrix]
    8:00 PM · Nov 3, 2020

    It’s official. The first-ever recruited Justice Democrat candidate
    @CoriBush [MO-01] is going to Congress.
    Six years ago police officers maced Cori in Ferguson as she helped spark a global movement.
    Three months from now she’ll be holding police accountable as a member of Congress.

  18. dude says:

    I went to bed around the same time and just woke-up about 30 minutes ago. I went to bed feeling the same-day Trump vote was obviously underestimated by pollsters after seeing how Florida and Georgia were turning out. I guess what surprises me is how strongly Trumpists showed up in the other states. I think the appalling thing is what Rayne and others have pointed out: these voters have decided it’s okay over 200,000 people are dead so long as they can go to work without having to look at them. Imagine driving through Durham, NC or Madison,Wisconsin and finding ever single person there dead. In a few more weeks, you can substitute Pittsburgh for either of those two.

    • Epicurus says:

      Trump has many gifts. Because people dislike him so much they miss, and underestimate, his abilities. Jennifer Merceica’s “Demagogue For President” lists six of them. One gift he has is Stalin related. Stalin said one death is a tragedy, a million a statistic. Trump, by standing on stage and chanting “COVID, COVID, COVID” turned COVID into a statistic, detaching him from any meaningful relation or responsibility for death for his listeners or potential supporters. He is a masterful, greased pig.

  19. harpie says:

    Dave Wasserman this morning, after not tweeting anything since 4:30 pm et yesterday.

    8:11 AM · Nov 4, 2020

    So two things:
    1) Biden is well on his way to flipping MI & WI (in addition to AZ & #NE02) and is doing well enough in PA’s completed counties to be on track to win there

    2) Polls (esp. at district-level) have rarely led us more astray & it’s going to take a long time to unpack

    It also seems clear that while Republicans will pick up House seats, Biden will win an outright majority of the national popular vote and win it by significantly more than Clinton in both raw vote and percentage terms.

  20. Pajaro says:

    It is amazing to me that, it seems from some state totals, that so many people actually hurt by Trump’s policies (e.g. poor, POC, elderly, women…) must have voted for him. Cognitive dissonance is rampant in this country. Major failure of dems to work very hard for their constituents (or maybe they did, the corporate kind). Next few months are going to be interesting, with the base feeling more empowered.

  21. harpie says:

    In SCOTUS news:

    9:01 AM · Nov 4, 2020

    Good morning! In an hour, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Fulton v. Philadelphia, which will decide whether the First Amendment requires Philadelphia to fund a foster care agency that refuses to work with same-sex couples.

    Fulton v. Philadelphia also gives the Supreme Court’s ultraconservatives an opportunity to expand religious exemptions for people who do not want to comply with a law because of their beliefs. The court will consider overturning a landmark precedent that limited such exemptions

    Fulton v. Philadelphia gives the Supreme Court an opportunity to reestablish second-class citizenship for same-sex couples and their children, denying them equal rights under the law in the name of religious liberty. It is poised to be a catastrophe.


    • harpie says:

      How it’s going:

      […] It’s extraordinary to hear Kavanaugh peddle the false narrative that Philly went “looking for a fight” when it directed all foster care agencies to work with same-sex couples. It’s simply untrue. It is supported by no evidence. Just an outrageous lie.

      In her third day of arguments, Amy Coney Barrett raises a hypothetical about the government forcing every hospital to provide abortions. […]


  22. harpie says:

    The Man with the USPS numbers:

    10:08 AM · Nov 4, 2020

    This is just incredible. In Atlanta, which will go a long way toward determining the outcome of Georgia, USPS failed to deliver a substantial number of mail-in ballots. Thousands and thousands of ballots. [screenshot[ [link]

    In South Florida, the USPS failed to deliver ~27 percent of the mail ballots. [SEE UPDATE BELOW] /

    In Florida, Michigan and Wisconsin, ballots that arrive after Election Day are not counted, regardless of when they were post-marked. Pennsylvania *might* accept ballots up to three days after the election, but the Supreme Court *could* revisit that in the coming days.

    Update: The South Florida number improved to 85 percent delivered *by Election Day*; another 15 percent didn’t make it to the clerks.

      • P J Evans says:

        We probably should have a federal law setting uniform voting procedures (or at least minimum standards for states to follow).
        There shouldn’t be any reason for requiring witnesses or notarization, and there shouldn’t be any reason for not counting mail-in before the day, or counting all ballots postmarked before election day, except for extremely late delivery (which happens without interference).

        • Raven Eye says:

          Judge Sullivan expressed a little frustration on that issue. Very difficult for him to craft an order that attempts to remedy the problem, but which can be applied within the bounds of the myriad state codes.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Sullivan should demand a system-wide audit, to establish whether there was systemic interference beyond the inability to track 300,000 recorded but not forwarded ballots.

        That DeJoy claims he didn’t understand Sullivan’s order as a demand, but as a request – not remotely credible for anyone beyond their first year of law school – is another reason. Ever since Nixon, though, it’s been clear that negligence and incompetence carry lesser penalties that intentional crime, just as it’s been clear that obstruction carries a lesser penalty than most of the crimes it is meant to hide.

        There is some speculation that the 300,000 ballots DeJoy’s people ignored were expedited and delivered, but that that process was not tracked.

        How on earth would that happen? “I did something Great, your honor, but it was So Great, I can’t prove it.” The USPS supposedly invested yugely to track and record the throughput of officially marked ballots. How could so many be tracked on entering that system, but leave it without being tracked. If that’s possible, they could leave it for nefarious reasons inconsistent with actual delivery.

  23. greengiant says:

    Relative reports they worked at the help desk of a precinct in NC. Helped a lot of people, upbeat experience. Helped people file more than 50 provisional ballots.

    • Raven Eye says:

      Interesting. In Oregon there is a movement called “Greater Idaho”. The whining right wing faux constitutionalists and closet fascists want the conservative counties in eastern and southern Oregon to depart the state and join Idaho. (I get some looks when I refer to that as the “Snowflake State”.)

      Frankly, I’m for it, even though I’d have to sell and move a couple of counties north. Oregon would probably be richer, and the “leavers” would have to start paying sales tax.

      Greater Idaho would be easier to peel off…

  24. PeterS says:

    What scares me is that having experienced a Trump presidency, and having witnessed his handling of the covid 19 pandemic, MANY MORE people voted for him this time than in 2016.

    • DrFunguy says:

      This. Right. Here!
      As an American with permanent residence in Canada, I’m planning on applying for citizenship.
      So done with ignorant, anti-science, racist fools.
      Not that we don’t have them here, but they have much less power due to campaign finance regulations and a functioning parliamentary democracy.

      • NVG says:

        @ DrFunGuy, you’re not alone, there are 183,154 other eligible US voters (and their families) here in Metro Vancouver. It wasn’t until this US election that I realized the difference between how our two countries differ when it comes to elections. Canada has Federal, Provincial, and Municipal elections, totally separated from one another. Not even the same date/time. Its astounding, and now understandable, with all the press coverage as to why the US has such long line-ups for voting.

        FOUR pages of boxes to tick off!

        We have one ballot, one topic for a specific level of government. That’s it

  25. earlofhuntingdon says:

    MSNBC’s coverage continues to suck. On Pennsylvania, for example, Andrea Mitchell doesn’t know why the complete vote tally is so delayed. Well, gollleeee.

    For starters, as she and her producers know full well, PA’s GOP legislature required it. Not for the convenience of the news media, but to enhance their own prospects. The legislature refused to allow the SOS to organize and count votes before election day – the day when it is most occupied by same day votes – which means the vote tally was never going to be finished on election day. The same rule affects other states. Another factor is state under-investment in voting and counting equipment and processes. Then there’s Covid, which depresses the number of people working the polls – many of whom are retired – their rate of work, and their endurance. Plus, shit happens, water pipes burst and so on. The coverage is bullshit.

    Kudos to the PA AG for so calmly responding to Mitchell’s question about what he could do to respond to the media’s demand for “improvement,” – producing faster results.

    Mitchell then wants to know what more could and should Democrats have done to get their message out. A useful question, I have the same one. But the better question is why a lifetime criminal so mesmerizes a large number of desperate, needy, or family values Americans.

    • BobCon says:

      Their models completely missed GOP turnout, and I think a big reason is outlets chased endless diner safari stories instead of digging in to social media and getting a handle on what was going on with organizing efforts.

      It’s exceedingly easy to flood the zone with dozens of reporters extracting quotes from Trump supporters, but it tells us nothing — the same stories will come out from paratrooping reporters if they have 30% turnout or 70% turnout. Editors really need to rethink their methods, and start retraining reporters. More time drinking coffee in small towns won’t cut it.

      • P J Evans says:

        If they’re going to send reporters out for small-town stories, choose a different state for each one. And visit blue areas, so the coverage is less biased.

    • Raven Eye says:

      It kinda makes you wonder how he grades the polls that he uses. I’m assuming he’s not modeling the nationwide electorate the same way he models sports, but regardless, this is way more complex than he was prepared to deal with. I hope he doesn’t weasel out of it by blaming the models and reminding us that Trump DID have 2 chances in 100 of winning.

      I haven’t checked his models in the House and Senate races yet.

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      I agree that polling has been abysmal, but what exactly does anyone propose replacing it with?? I would rather have faulty polling than none.

      Somehow the Trump campaign managed to cover all of the critical areas with their internal polling, even doing the ridiculous superspreader event that nearly froze his voters in Omaha. I’m guessing that major Trump campaign screw up might have been the reason that Biden won the split electoral college vote from the Nebraska 2nd District.

      Trump’s internal polling is what sent him racing all over the country in the last few days. Everyone is wringing their hands because his numbers are up from ’16. Well, he worked for it. The Democrats have not. Biden should have been in South Florida AND Texas in the last 6 weeks. He should have been in Texas again at the end of last week.

      Everyone wondered about Trump calling Biden and Harris ‘socialists’, but they had done the groundwork to know that the Venezuelans and Cubans in South Florida would respond to that. Sure he spent a lot of time golfing in Florida, but he also spent some of that time kissing butts and feeling up babes in those communities. They had a better read on the Latino community in Florida and their viewpoint as compared to the Latino community in Texas and the Southwest.

      Where have the Democrats been in those communities for the last four years ?? I agree with the critics who say that the Democrats take the Black and Latinx communities for granted and show up for photo ops with a mariachi band or at the Black barbq only in election years, just assuming that those voters will always turn out because the Democrats have the policies that are best for them.

      As you can see from the increase in Trump votes, people are perfectly willing to vote against their best interests, or simply not show up to vote at all.

      I also agree that the media better rev up the data/social media analysis and stop spending so much money on ‘man on the street/potential voter’ interviews that make them look like they are ‘on top of the common man’s viewpoint’. They are an utter waste of time. Watching some simpering Trump cougar and her girlfriends wave Trump campaign signs in the reporters face like over the hill Southern sorority girls tells NOTHING about how the vote is going to go.

      Believe it or not I am actually holding back on how I REALLY feel about this.

  26. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The same critical races – such as WI, MI, and PA – that were expected to have delayed vote counts are experiencing delayed vote counts. But the MSM is still raising the angst level by stupidly asking why. Its preference for invented theater rather than reality is destructive.

    Biden has an excellent route to victory, Trump’s recedes with each ballot counted.

    • PeterS says:

      To be fair, the MSM might be sincerely trying to address the (stupid) questions they believed their uniformed audiences were asking.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I think that misreads the MSM. It reports to further its own ends. It wants to captivate its readers, not inform them.

      • Rugger9 says:

        Dan Froomkin over at Salon (as well as others) has been on this topic for a while, and his take is that the MSM (or as I prefer to call them the “courtier press” like Wolf Blitzer and Chuck Todd) wanted another horse race and so refused to call out the GOP talking points for the garbage that they are. Same problem as 2016, but Biden’s not HRC and as of now his structural path is better than 2016.

      • PeterS says:

        Well yes, but it’s not exactly an either/or situation.

        Though I fully admit I don’t follow all the MSM so no doubt some parts are worse than others.

    • P J Evans says:

      I hope the court tells him where to put that. You shouldn’t be allowed to file suit to stop counting after you’ve said you want all the ballots counted.

      • Jenny says:

        Not surprising. Trump steps in implying election fraud and corruption then claims victory when all the votes are not counted.
        Chaos is like a drug to a bully.

    • harpie says:

      here’s the notice:

      November 4, 2020 Trump Campaign statement on Michigan lawsuit
      “As votes in Michigan continue to be counted, the presidential race in the state remains extremely right as we always knew it would be. President Trump’s campaign has not been provided with meaningful access to numerous counting locations to observe the opening of ballots and the counting process, as guaranteed by Michigan law. We have filed suit today in the Michigan Court of Claims to halt counting until meaningful access has been granted. We also demand to review those ballots which were opened and counted while we did not have meaningful access. President Trump is committed to ensuring that all legal votes are counted in Michigan and everywhere else.”
      – – Bill Stepien, Trump 2020 campaign manager

      • dude says:

        CBS reported that both Democratic and Republican poll watchers were inside the counting facilities monitoring the ballot handling. Hardly a case of “not being allowed access”.

  27. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I’ll never understand why Californians passed Prop 22, which reverses a state statute that classified workers such as Uber and Lyft drivers as employees, not independent contractors, giving them substantially more rights.

    It might be because Silicon Valley billionaires and their PE investors spent over $200 million on it (nearly double the amount spent on the runner up, twelve years ago), making it the most expensive measure in Californian history. Uber has never made a dime and has no business model that will credibly make one: it exists solely because of the perverse optimism of its PE investors.


    • MB says:

      There were tons of misleading Yes-on-22 ads aired locally which featured drivers touting the benefits of remaining independent contractors with new undefined “enhanced” benefits. The tiny print at the bottom of screen which flashes at the end of the commercials reveal Uber, Lyft etc. were the sponsors of the proposition, but I’m sure 90% of viewers didn’t bother getting within 1 foot of the TV screen in order to read that.

      They were already worried about AB5, and the timing of the election relative to the beginnings of AB5 enforcement was very fortuitous. BTW, AB5 is horrible for musicians, but due to the pandemic, there’s very few gigs anyway these days…

    • P J Evans says:

      I voted against it. If Uber wants to claim drivers aren’t necessarily employee for their business model, then they need to explain what their business model is. If they want to be employee-contracting agencies, then they get to play by the rules that other employee-contracting agencies play by. (I worked that way for years. We got paid better than minimum wage and had some benefits.)

  28. BraveNewWorld says:

    Assume Biden wins. The Senate Republicans will likely refuse to allow a vote on any new judicial appointee proposed by Biden. That will leave lots of vacancies for the Republicans to fill next time they win the White House again possibly under a Trump in 2024 as Biden has already hinted at a forgive and forget policy and will be under even more pressure to do so with a squeak through election victory. They may also block other nominations as well. In 2022 the Republican are favored to increase their majority in the Senate so have no reason to change course from their scorched earth policy . Is there any thing the Democrats can do other than their patented and time tested usual “OK we give up”?

  29. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The polling industry needs to reboot – or enter bankruptcy. The polling in Maine, for example, consistently showed Susan Collins trailing her Democratic opponent, Sara Gideon, by several points. She won by almost ten. With results like that, pollsters should switch fields and become economists.

  30. harpie says:

    Armed Agents Are Allowed in Ballot-Counting Venues, Justice Dept. Tells Prosecutors
    Former officials expressed fears that the department’s legal interpretation would allow federal investigators to intimidate vote counters or interfere with their work.
    Nov. 4, 2020, 9:05 p.m.

    The Justice Department told federal prosecutors in an email early on Wednesday that the law allowed them to send armed federal officers to ballot-counting locations around the country to investigate potential voter fraud, according to three people who described the message.

    A law prohibits the stationing of armed federal officers at polls on Election Day. But a top official told prosecutors that the department interpreted the statute to mean that they could send armed federal officers to polling stations and locations where ballots were being counted anytime after that.

    [Richard P. Donoghue, sent an email around 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday.] […] about half an hour before Mr. Trump made reckless claims including falsely declaring himself the winner of the election and began calling for election officials to stop counting ballots. […]

    • harpie says:

      From Steve Vladeck:

      1] https://twitter.com/steve_vladeck/status/1324172575229005825
      9:11 PM · Nov 4, 2020

      Except that any federal officer who “orders, brings, keeps, or has under his authority or control any troops or armed men at any place where a general or special election is held” would be violating 18 U.S.C. § 592—and subject to criminal prosecution: [link]

      As @ktbenner notes, DOJ has apparently interpreted that statute to only apply to polling places, but that’s not what § 592 *says,* and it’s certainly inconsistent with its purpose and intent.
      See also 18 U.S.C. § 245(b)(1)(A)

      2] https://twitter.com/steve_vladeck/status/1324193621269192705
      10:35 PM · Nov 4, 2020

      The ban on armed federal officers interfering in elections has the same ignoble origins as the Posse Comitatus Act (which limits use of military for law enforcement): Preventing Republicans from using the military to protect Blacks’ civil rights in the post-Reconstruction south.
      Today, they both speak to far more salutary understandings of civil-military relations and the lines of demarcation between state and federal authority. But it’s a powerful reminder of how many of our legal traditions have … complicated … origins in slavery and its aftermath.

    • harpie says:

      Or, as Max Kennerly notes:

      10:00 PM · Nov 4, 2020

      “Conservatives” on federalism:

      *Voting Rights Act = interference with states

      *Consent decrees for police depts violating constitutional rights = interference with states

      *An 11th-hour order to commit federal and state felonies by sending armed officers into ballot-counting = [thumbs up]

  31. harpie says:

    TRUMP plans to announce [LOL!] a lawsuit in NEVADA

    9:21 AM · Nov 5, 2020

    Confirmed: Trump campaign plans to announce that it is filing a lawsuit that seeks to count every “legal” vote in Nevada. They are alleging that at least 10,000 people voted in the state, despite no longer living there.

    (Trump campaign now has lawsuits in PA, GA, MI, and NV.)

  32. harpie says:


    All of Trump’s tweets are being FLAGGED by Twitter
    so the Campaign has to send ALL CAPS EMAILS to the press:

    12:49 PM · Nov 5, 2020

    Not going to repeat it, but interesting that Trump campaign just emailed an all-caps “statement” about voting to reporters rather than (so far) tweeting it, which probably would have gotten it flagged by Twitter. Did he assume he has better odds of distribution this way? […]

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