Friday, August 14, 2020


The Postal Service is practically boasting that it won't deliver your mail-in ballot on time, according to The Washington Post.
Anticipating an avalanche of absentee ballots, the U.S. Postal Service recently sent detailed letters to 46 states and D.C. warning that it cannot guarantee all ballots cast by mail for the November election will arrive in time to be counted — adding another layer of uncertainty ahead of the high-stakes presidential contest.

The letters sketch a grim possibility for the tens of millions of Americans eligible for a mail-in ballot this fall: Even if people follow all of their state’s election rules, the pace of Postal Service delivery may disqualify their votes.
We might be tempted to believe that the bad guy here is not President Trump's hatchetman, Louis DeJoy, the recently appointed postmaster general.
The ballot warnings, issued at the end of July from Thomas J. Marshall, general counsel and executive vice president of the Postal Service, and obtained through a records request by The Washington Post, were planned before the appointment of Louis DeJoy, a former logistics executive and ally of President Trump, as postmaster general in early summer.
Except that according to a Vice/Motherboard story titled "Internal USPS Documents Outline Plans to Hobble Mail Sorting," the plans coincide with DeJoy's appointement rather precisely.
One of the documents ... suggests these changes were in the works before Louis DeJoy, a top Trump donor and Republican fundraiser, became postmaster general, because it is dated May 15, a month before DeJoy assumed office and only nine days after the Board of Governors announced his selection.
(Emphasis added.)

To me it seems obvious that DeJoy was in on the planning of this as his appointment was being finalized.

The Postal Service is clearly trying to steal the election for Trump. But if so, why the warnings to states that are obviously red or obviously blue? Why bother to sabotage the system in nearly every state?

And why remove sorting equipment in states Trump can't swing to his side? Look at this map from the Post story:

Of the six largest reductions in sorting capacity, two are in obvious swing states: Michigan and Pennsylvania. Two are in states that weren't expected to be swing states but now appear to be: Texas and Ohio.

But why the sorting reductions in New York and California? Trump won't lose those states no matter what happens, right?

Yes, but Trump's popular-vote loss in 2016 is a wound that's never healed for him. He doesn't just want to steal an Electoral College win. He wants to steal a popular vote win. Which were the only two states Trump lost by more than a million votes? California (which he lost by more that 4 million) and New York.

Here's a prediction: Even if this election theft fails, Trump will claim some sort of victory. If there's as much mail voting as we expect and it's somehow handled properly, the mail voters will probably be disproportionately Democratic, because of the right's politicization of the pandemic.

That means that while Biden might win, possibly by a large margin, once all the votes are counted, he might be trailing on Election Night. If that happens, and if Biden is ultimately declared the victor, I expect Trump to claim "the greatest landslide in American history on Election Night!" -- in other words, he'll boast that he won a partial count of the votes. (He'll claim he won this partial count by an unprecedented margin even if his Election Night lead is fairly slim -- he knows no history, so he has no idea that, to take one example, Franklin Roosevelts won the popular vote by 24 points in 1936.) Trump and the GOP voter base will declare for all time that Trump won because he won the partial count; they'll insist that the counting of any vote after midnight on November 3 was electoral fraud.

Trump is determined to get a win no matter what, and he'll claim one even if it he ultimately loses.

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