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Big Democratic Lead in Early Voting

3 min read

Early voting has started, and Democrats are doing well:

Politico: Democrats build big edge in early voting

The Democratic dominance spreads across an array of battleground states, according to absentee ballot request data compiled by state election authorities and analyzed by Democratic and Republican data experts. In North Carolina and Pennsylvania, Democrats have a roughly three-to-one advantage over Republicans in absentee ballot requests. In Florida — a must-win for President Donald Trump — the Democratic lead stands at more than 700,000 ballot requests, while the party also leads in New Hampshire, Ohio and Iowa.

And we are getting people to vote who skipped it in 2016:

Even more concerning for Republicans, Democrats who didn't vote in 2016 are requesting 2020 ballots at higher rates than their GOP counterparts. The most striking example is Pennsylvania, where nearly 175,000 Democrats who sat out the last race have requested ballots, more than double the number of Republicans, according to an analysis of voter rolls by the Democratic firm TargetSmart.

This is extremely important, because one of the reasons Hillary lost in 2016 was because many voters who had come out for Obama in 2008 and 2012 stayed home. A lot of that, we now know, was the result of Russian social media hacking to discourage the vote. Doesn’t look like it’s working this time.

Democrats, who were widely criticized for running a lackluster turnout operation four years ago, say they are capitalizing on a wave of anti-Trump energy to bank ballots. The party used its convention to press early voting, with prominent figures like former first lady Michelle Obama imploring people to cast ballots as soon as possible.

To a great extent, Republicans are counting on election day turnout to overcome the Democrats mail-in vote advantage. An advantage that used to be more fictional than real — mail-in voting was approximately equal — until Trump decided it helped Democrats. House minority leader Kevin McCarthy has warned Trump that discouraging mail-in voting is hurting Republicans. Trump, as usual, isn’t listening.

As we head into fall and the flu season, there are predictions that the coronavirus pandemic will get worse, meaning that when election day rolls around, fewer people are going to want to expose themselves to a deadly disease in order to vote. That especially includes older people, who (for reasons passing understanding) tended to back Trump last time. Latest reports are that Biden is leading Trump among seniors by double digits (!). But I don’t think we’ll lose those votes on election day, because those are likely to be people who will vote by mail. Even Texas, with its highly restrictive vote-by-mail laws, allows seniors to request a mail ballot without giving any reason.

Equally to the point, the people who are likely to be persuaded by Trump’s rants against mail-in voting (as opposed to absentee voting, which is the same thing) are also the ones who might decide to stay home on election day if the pandemic is raging. As it is very likely to be, unfortunately.

This makes it all the more important to VOTE early enough that the ballots get in, to CHECK with the board of elections that the ballot arrived, and to AGITATE for early ballot counting (which does NOT mean early reporting) in those states that aren’t doing that now.

Here is a link of the early ballot counting procedures by state. It may not be too late to get the procedure changed in those states that don’t count early.

Note: This is early counting, not early reporting. No state allows reporting of the mail-in count before the polls close, and in many states it’s a felony. But the more votes that are ready to be reported when the polls close, the better chance we have of getting the true totals out there before the Malignant Mangoface has a chance to screw with the results.

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