The Great Equalizer?

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CNN / YouTube LeBron James explains why he called...
CNN / YouTube

Before I get to the main event, I just want to provide a quick update. A day or so ago I posted an article about how former New York Mayor and Democratic Presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg had cut a check for $15 million to pay the illegal and unconstitutional poll tax imposed on former Florida convicts in return for their right to vote.

Chris Hayes had former Florida felon and reformed activist Desmond Meade, as well as singer John Legend, who backed Meade in the 2018 ballot initiative to restore voting rights to former non violent convicts. Hayes pointed out that in 2016, Donald Trump won Florida by 104,000 votes, or 1.04% of the vote. When you combine Bloomberg’s $15 million with more than $5 million that had poured in from other sources, there is the potential that by October 5th, the closing date for the cycle, there could be 774, 000 newly franchised former felon voters ready to go to the polls in Florida. Their choice? The party that gifted them their vote back, or the party that tried to strip that right with an unconstitutional poll tax.

And now on to the main event.

Q: What two things do the following cities have in common? Atlanta, Charlotte, Philadelphia, Detroit. Milwaukee, Denver, Phoenix, Houston, and Dallas?

A: They are all cities in competitive 2020 presidential and Senate states, and they all have NBA teams where the owners of those teams have already agreed to open their arenas as polling places for election day, including in most cases providing qualified poll workers.

I wrote about this previously, but recent events have brought a fresh urgency to the issue. because, due to traditional voting patterns, along with the pressures of the coronavirus, have made this factor something more than what it would have been otherwise.

I’ll explain. The Democrats’ reliance on following the science in this election has led to an expected large surge of early, mail in voting by Democrats, while Trump’s bashing of mail- in voting is expected to bring about a large election day voter turnout. Trump’s strategy is to seize on high election day numbers showing him in the lead, and, defying local state laws on the validity of mail in ballots, insist that all ballots that cannot be counted on election night as illegitimate. Therefore, the Democratic election scam with massive mail in voting fraud.

Now sadly, here I must intrude with a detailed explanation. There are three types of ballots for most election, mail-in ballots, early absentee in person ballots, and election day ballots. In most states, mail-in ballots cannot even be processed until election day, which is a taxing process, the ballot must be validated, then opened and set up for counting. In some states, the ballots can be processed as they arrive, but cannot be counted until election day. Either way, mail in ballots are not counted until after the election day ballots have all been counted. In person early voting ballots are taken to the election headquarters, and counted on election night when the election day ballots are counted.

This could be critical. Because Trump is counting on a sluggish election day turnout from Democrats who voted early and safely by mail, allowing a massive GOP election day turnout to give him the illusion of winning the election, and then pivot to claim that all ballots counted after election night are invalid.

This could be the game changer. I wrote in my previous article that for various reasons, most indoor sports arenas are located in or near the city center, much closer to the inner city than the suburbs. Opening these arenas is a godsend for lower income minorities to show up to vote in conditions that are much more friendly than being packed into a high school gym to cast your ballot. Many of the teams have pledged not only to open the doors, but to have poll workers ready and on site, and some athletes such as superstar LeBron James are mounting their own pledge to provide election staff. And major companies are starting to answer the call. Old Navy became the first major retailer to offer their employees election day off in return for them volunteering to work as poll workers for the day. The ultimate dream would be for these owners to be able  open the doors for any early voting days, as well as election day.

Remember, Trump’s gambit requires him to have a substantial lead in key battleground states that allow him to claim that votes counted after election day are invalid. A close tally in those states make it harder for him to challenge the validity of votes that are counted after election day, but within accordance with established state election laws. Having a race within the margin of error in a battleground state actually promotes the counting of state valid mail in votes as an ultimate arbiter of the election, rather than sinking into the morass of endless federal litigation.

And there is one more factor to consider. A recent poll shows that there has been a softening in voter enthusiasm among some Trump supporters. In looking at the cross tabs, the Trump voters seemed to be saying that, since Trump was already saying that the election was rigged, it didn’t really matter if they cast their ballots or not. Throw in that while Trump may be bleeding senior votes right now, they are still a staple of votes for the GOP in general, which could be critical in close Senate races. And Trump decrying the validity of mail in ballots, which many of them use, could move them to just sit the whole damn thing out instead.

So yes, Trump’s brand new threat to democracy, by attempting to overthrow the results of a free and fair election is alarming, and I’ll have more to say about that tomorrow. But there is already a circumstance in place that could throw a monkey wrench in his plans by not allowing him the election night advantage that he needs in order to put the rest of his naked power play in motion, and now you know what it is.

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Chris Whitley
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I surely do hope you are right. We need to toss trump out on his fat ass come January 2021.