This last Tuesday Missouri law permitted the mailing out of ballots for the November 3rd election. Wednesday, we received our ballots in the mail. We filled them out and I mailed mine back in. Anne is going to work as an election judge and needs to get hers notarized first, but she will be voting early also. I’m using the Covid excuse that does not require a notary. My ballot has 40 days to make it across town. I think that it will get there in time. Anyway, I can check up on it and make sure that it got there. I believe that I correctly filled out my ballot, so that my vote will qualify. No hanging chad here, thank you very much. All I have to do now is kickback and wait until election night, for this long national nightmare to be over?
Not so fast there! Because I then made the mistake of reading Barton Gellman’s new article in The Atlantic entitled, The Election That Could Break America. In this piece he details all of the possible ways things could and likely will go wrong after the polls close on November 3rd. Fundamentally, the problem is that Donald Trump will never concede defeat. This convention of American politics has been a cornerstone of fair and free elections, a smooth transfer of power and in a word, our democracy. The only way that he will abide by the outcome of the election, is if he is declared the winner. He has just explicitly stated this and if we have learned nothing in the past four years, he always says what he means.
Trump has been railing against mail-in voting. Lying that it is fraught with fraud. Meanwhile, he has little problem with absentee voting and in fact votes this way himself. In Missouri, the same document doubles as both an absentee ballot and a mail-in ballot. It is even labeled as such. It can either be dropped off in person as Anne’s will be or mailed in as I did.
He has been consistently behind in the polls for months now. He knows he has little chance to repeat even his razor thin Electoral College victory. His only option now is to steal the election and he has announced that he will do just that.
He doesn’t want to count mail-in ballots, in part because more Democrats than Republicans have requested them. He wants to suppress the Democratic vote. How say you? Once a ballot is mailed that person has voted. How is that person’s vote suppressed? Voted—yes, counted—no. On election night, Trump could hold a lead in the ballots counted. He’ll declare himself the winner. That’s why he has been saying lately that the election night totals should stand.
However, on election night not all ballots cast will have been counted. This phenomenon called the blue-shift was seen in the 2018 midterms. Republican candidates who led on election night saw their leads disappear after all the votes were counted. He will do everything in his power to prevent this from happening to him. Having planned the heist, this is when he will steal the election.