Monday, November 02, 2020


Many terrible things can still happen, but so far, according to ProPublica, the Trumpers aren't intimidating people at the polls to the extent we feared.
... the poll-watching army that the Trumps have tried to rally hasn’t materialized. Although there’s no official data, election officials across the country say that they have seen relatively few Republican poll watchers during early voting, and that at times Democratic poll watchers have outnumbered the GOP’s. In Colorado and Nevada, where the Trump campaign was particularly active in recruiting poll watchers, its efforts largely petered out.

Jordan Fuchs, the deputy secretary of state in Georgia, a swing state experiencing a record voter turnout, said both county governments and political parties can supply poll watchers in Georgia. Most are showing up in Fulton County, whose seat is Atlanta.

“I am receiving reports of a few thousand poll watchers from a variety of left-leaning groups. There are very few poll watchers from right-leaning groups,” she said. “The Trump campaign is simply calling for additional poll watchers because they know there is a dearth of right-leaning poll watchers.” ...

In Williamson County, Texas, a swing county just north of Austin, election administrator Christopher Davis said that the few poll watchers there were mostly sent by a local conservative activist who promotes unfounded claims of voter fraud. When the county opened up its central count office this past weekend to process mailed ballots, only one poll watcher showed. The watcher, Davis said, was from the Trump campaign and behaved according to the rules.
In his rallies, the president talks as if the Trump campaign will have a lot of muscle at the polls, but apparently the campaign treats poll watching as the dull job it is.
More than 20 Trump campaign training videos for poll watchers, reviewed by ProPublica, make clear the mundane nature of the task, encouraging volunteers to be on time, to bring a water bottle, to not interact with voters and to be respectful “even to our Democratic friends!”

Poll watching “is like watching paint dry,” said Justin Levitt, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, specializing in elections. “If you’re waiting for the busloads of fraud to arise, and what you get is small American-flag-waving democracy, you begin to go out of your head....”
There might be armed goons at (or outside) some polling places tomorrow, but it's remarkable how little of that sort of intimidation there's been during the early voting period, when a great deal of this year's voting actually took place. Is it possible that these guys aren't the effective fascists they imagine themselves to be?

I link this to the Trump caravan phenomenon. Some people have been intimidated, and some roads have been jammed up. But why were the mooks jamming roads over the weekend in New York and New Jersey, two states where they can't possibly tip the outcome to Trump? Is it effective in any way? And if it is effective, why isn't it -- at least so far -- happening routinely in swing states (outside of the obvious example of that intimidation of a Biden bus in Texas)?

I'm not generally upbeat, and I probably won't be upbeat tomorrow. I know that some aspects of the Trump electoral theft are working well -- the slowing of the mail, for instance. I don't trust any of the court victories until the final appeals are exhausted.

But the goons don't seem very effective so far. Let's hope the Trumpers continue failing at this and at least a few other aspects of their electoral theft plan.

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