Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Last Call For It's About Suppression, Con't

The GOP jig in Bladen County in the stolen NC-9 election is now so far up that the International Space Station has to dodge it.

Bladen County election workers tallied the results of early voting before Election Day in violation of state rules and are accused of allowing outsiders to view them, a precinct worker wrote in an affidavit released by state Democrats.

The allegations raise new questions about missteps in an election fraud case in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District race that has garnered national attention and held up certification of the U.S. House contest.

The report showing totals from Bladen County’s only early voting location was run on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018 from 1:44 p.m. to 1:46 p.m., according to a copy released by the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement, which is investigating voting irregularities among mail-in absentee ballots in Bladen and Robeson counties.

Due to the investigation, the board has refused to certify the results of the election between Republican Mark Harris and Democrat Dan McCready. The board plans to hold an evidentiary hearing before Dec. 21, but no date or location has been announced.

Under North Carolina election law, “if one-stop ballots ... are counted electronically, that count shall commence at the time the polls close.” Polls closed in North Carolina on Nov. 6 at 7:30 p.m. “One-stop voting,” which is what early voting is called in North Carolina, ended on Nov. 3, according to the state board. A 2016 memo from the state board reinforced those policies.

“Recent events have highlighted the need to ensure that the critical responsibilities of canvassing an election are as uniform across the state as our polling place procedures, wrote Kim Strach, the executive director of the state board to county boards of elections in a June 7, 2016 memo.

A section of the nine-page memo is headlined: “Counting of Absentee Ballots on Election Day.”

But the procedures laid out in the memo were not followed in Bladen County in 2018, according to documents released by the state board and an affidavit signed by a precinct worker.

“On Saturday, 11/3/18, the last day of early voting, the ‘tape’ showing election results at the one-stop polling site was run after the polls closed, and was viewed by officials at the one-stop site who were not judges. It is my understanding that this was improper,” precinct worker Agnes Willis wrote in a affidavit dated Nov. 29.

Bottom line: There's now no longer any doubt that the NC-9 election was 100% fraudulent and that Mark Harris's reelection is illegitimate. He cannot be seated in the House come January, and North Carolina must hold a new election.

The NC GOP is now scrambling to try to save what little dignity they have left to save Harris's shredded political career.

North Carolina Republican Party chair Robin Hayes released a statement on Tuesday saying that if these allegations were true, they alone would be cause to hold a new election.

“This action by election officials would be a fundamental violation of the sense of fair play, honesty, and integrity that the Republican Party stands for,” he said in a statement. “We can never tolerate the state putting its thumb on the scale. The people involved in this must be held accountable and should it be true, this fact alone would likely require a new election.”

Dallas Woodhouse, the executive director of the state Republican party, said it was likely early votes were leaked.

"We're almost sure those early vote totals were leaked out," Woodhouse told POLITICO. "That's where we are. The [state elections] board's got to do whatever it does."

In a press conference later Tuesday afternoon, Woodhouse echoed the call for a new election to be held if the allegations proved true and said that the state board of elections needed to take over any special election. He also defended Harris.

"We have seen nothing that makes us think Mark Harris participated or would condone this behavior," Woodhouse said at the press conference. "We believe it is against his character."

Except of course Harris freely hired a convicted fraudster to run his GOTV operation in Bladen County, and the election officials there leaked vote info directly to the Harris campaign four days before the vote so that they could make a final fudge of the absentee ballot numbers.

Mark Harris stole this election.

He cannot be allowed to get away with it.

The Revenge Of The Return Of The Orange Son Of Shutdown Countdown

With a December 21 deadline for a government shutdown, and right before the holidays too, here's a reminder that Donald Trump is terribly bad at this presidenting thing.

Prior to his meeting with Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer, President Trump brought reporters into the Oval Office and — in an extended, heated exchange before the cameras — clashed with the two Democratic leaders over congressional support for funding for his border wall, declaring that he is "proud to shut down the government for border security."
Why it matters: The president taking ownership of any potential government shutdown takes away a key Republican talking point to pin the blame on Democrats, while also giving a glimpse into what his negotiating style with a Democrat-controlled House may look like over the next two years. Trump has demanded $5 billion for the border wall, but Schumer has drawn a red line on providing no more than $1.3 billion — not for a wall, but for border security. "This temper tantrum that [Trump] seems to throw will not get him his wall and it will hurt a lot of people because he will cause a shutdown," Schumer said in a press conference following the Oval Office altercation.

I mean it was really a lot worse for Trump if you watch it.

And Mike Pence sitting there trying as hard as he could to teleport to Mars with his mind, just to get out of there.  Schumer actually acquitted himself for once, but Pelosi just crushed poor Donald.

Please enjoy the Trump Shutdown, I guess.

Turnout For What?

CNN's Harry Enten recaps the momentous turnout of the 2018 midterms, topping 50% for the first time in a century.

President Donald Trump solved a problem that no other president before him could: Getting people to vote in a midterm election. 
Whether they were voting for or against his agenda, it is now clear that voters turned out in record numbers in 2018. Professor Michael McDonald of the University of Florida, who is a guru of sorts on turnout, estimates that approximately 118 million people turned out to vote. He further calculates that to be 50.1% turnout of the voting eligible population. 
That percentage is stunning when compared to other midterms that have occurred since 18- to 20-year-olds got the right to vote in 1971 through the 26th Amendment. The average turnout in midterms from 1974 to 2014 was just 39.4%. This year's turnout looks to be 11 points higher. 
More than that, the turnout in midterms had previously been fairly consistent. It never dropped below 36.7% or rose above 42%. This year's turnout was 8 points higher than the previous ceiling. 
If we look only at the raw number, remember that turnout in the 2014 midterm was only a little more than 83 million. This year, about 35 million more people turned out to vote.
The turnout is even more amazing is when you expand out the timeframe. The 50.1% turnout is higher than for any midterm in the last 100 years
. This despite the fact that many of those elections took place when those under 21 were not eligible to vote. Remember, those younger than 21 are the least likely to vote, so you'd expect that the the turnout rate of eligible voters would have been higher before the youngest were eligible (in years such as 2018). 
Indeed, the turnout in 2018 is actually more comparable to presidential elections than midterms. The 50.1% turnout is closer to the average presidential turnout (56.5%) than midterm turnout (39.4%) since the 26th Amendment was enacted and it nearly exceeds the turnout in the 1988 election (52.8%) and 1996 election (51.7%). 

People got involved, and more importantly, people voted.  Now we look towards 2020, and I'm hoping we have another election with massive turnout.  It's the only way we clean out the pool filter on this mess.


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