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(This is gonna be talking about US 2020 election ballot stuff. I wonder if the US 2020 Election should have its own thread? Though I know that can be a precarious line, especially given how charged this is at every level. If a thread is created, I can move this post there.)
So in the US, there's all this back and forth about concerns of voter fraud vs ballot accessibility during a pandemic. Because of said pandemic and safety, and how some areas are spiking in areas, there have been legal battles against some of the ballot restrictions, arguing that they're too stringent. There are also concerns about changing rules so close to an election. The pandemic also proves an unprecedented time.
In Alaska, the effort finally worked; the Alaska Supreme Court removed the witness requirement for absentee ballots, although the ballots will not change to reflect that as they've already been sent out. (Source) (As for the last part I can personally attest that I got my ballot before this happened, and no one is re-sending anything; instead there are news and email updates.)
As an Alaskan who has trouble getting witnesses in general and is finding it next to impossible to find a witness during a pandemic (I was gonna bring it to one of my appointments, but ballot timing was not on my side), this should be good news for me.
Problem is, I keep looking at other legal challenges fighting back against these, and precedent.
Namely, South Carolina lower court passed a mandate removing witness requirements. However, this was challenged by the Supreme Court, and the witness requirement was reinstated about a week later. (Source) There is a protocol that ballots sent within this time frame and 2 days after will still be counted. Given the amount of legal challenges though, it gives me pause.
Of note, Minnesota also passed a mandate removing witness requirements, and this was not challenged. Thus, despite the Supreme Court stepping in for South Carolina, this does not go for Minnesota. (Source)
So I guess my concern is that with all the legal battles and political back and forth that is making no mandate feel safe, I wonder if it'll be safe to send in a non-witnessed ballot despite mandate saying I can do so, provided I do everything else. (Everything else is no big deal; we already have to provide an identifier and a signature of our own.) I know the safest legal thing would be to get a witness anyway just in case it gets challenged, but I know the safest health thing would be to go through with the mandate and not bother with the witness, and hope that the interim is on my side.
I'm also curious about others' thoughts on this, and other ballot stuff.
Last Edit: Oct 14, 2020 19:04:24 GMT -5 by Gelquie
Pumpkin Ghostie (by Killix) Nocturne the elvish dragon (by Huntress) Lazuryl (Laz) the Gargoyle (by Killix)
Yeah, it's a really difficult situation, especially with the likely successful confirmation of a new justice scheduled for the beginning of next week (source).
How likely is this to be challenged in Alaska? Have there been rumblings about it? My gut tells me that the courts would likely undo the new rules if they were challenged, but I'm not sure if having a lot of votes cast already will change any ruling one way or another.
I also think it's strange that each state has widely different rules. In Kansas, for a while it has been just a signature required and no-excuse mail-in voting as well as advanced voting 20 days prior in-person. In neighboring Missouri, there is no advance voting and absentee ballots require a specific set of excuses and a notary requirement (unless your excuse is an illness or health related).
So this happened in a debate that I did not tune into last night. There was an exchange about climate change and specifically, some back and forth about the oil industry. Joe Biden was talking about a need to "transition away from the oil industry". While the full exchange includes him describing that he was going to stop federal subsidies for fossil fuels and not a full on end to the industry itself, people are already spinning it as "ending the oil industry."
Do you think this would significantly alter the trajectory of the election? I know climate change is an important issue, and there should be some plan to wean ourselves off of fossil fuels as one of the ways to curb it. However, I can't help but wonder how this sounds to someone who works in the industry and depends on it for their livelihood.
There has been a terror shooting in Vienna. Two people are dead, plus the attacker. At present, it is unknown what the motive was but it took place near the main synagogue in the centre of the city. However, it is unclear right now if it was the main target.
I actually visited that synagogue last year. I was the only gentile in my group, and because I did not bring cash with me (tickets were cash only) a really sweet couple from London paid for my ticket until I could get cash. It was quite lovely: the architecture was beautiful and the history of the place was interesting. It is the main Jewish community hub of the city. There is a memorial to the jews of Vienna, and there are active services there to this day. Also, it has really tight security. There is a guard in a booth outside the place, a metal detector, and you have to bring photo ID with you before you are let in on tour. I have personally known Jews, and nothing hit home the thought that anti-Semitism is alive and well in the world like having to go through that security.
One of the security staff guarding it was injured in the attack. I wonder if it could have been the guy who checked my passport when I visited...
I hope this was not an explicitly anti-Semitic attack. I really, really hope so. But given the state of the world and how things are, it is not possible to rule out just yet. As the story continues to develop, we shall see.
That's awful what happened in Vienna. D= I wish I could rule out such a thing, but that's all been... disquieting lately. May the memories of the victims be a blessing.
I came here to talk about the US 2020 election, but I wanted to give that due attention first.
As for the US election, it's finally today. That is, it's the last day to vote.
I've been saying this around places, and I feel I need to say it here too. Don't count on election night counts being the decisive total. Because there is a record amount of absentee and early voting ballots that may not necessarily be counted until later. This depends on the state. I don't have a comprehensive list. Just I won't expect full results until about the end of November. (Technically the final days are later, but I expect it all to be clearer by the end of November.)
I say this for the sake of peoples' mental health. We have a long month ahead, and I don't want people getting disheartened from early results when it could very well switch.
I don't plan to even look at the early results because of this. It was one thing in previous elections where the number of absentee ballots and such were small, that you could still get a good estimate from election night. This year? No.
Take care of yourselves.
Pumpkin Ghostie (by Killix) Nocturne the elvish dragon (by Huntress) Lazuryl (Laz) the Gargoyle (by Killix)
As we continue waiting on final ballot counts, Georgia turned blue overnight--a big deal for a southern state. Pennsylvania also flipped blue just a little while ago.
Basically if current numbers stay consistent, Biden has won.
Yes. It certainly is surprising with Georgia. I think the last time GA went blue was for Bill Clinton. Georgia has some other rules with regards to the Senate. Candidates basically have to capture more than 50 percent of the vote or it goes to a runoff. Both senate races will now move to that phase.
So, there are still more things to decide and there is also litigation about the vote counting process which may not go anywhere since it’s really hard to say there’s any solid evidence of any alleged fraud. As Joe Biden has said... “We are going to have to be patient.”
In spite of what I said and in spite of myself, after a couple of days I did start paying attention to the numbers and keeping track. Mostly because... they seemed kinda promising, even if there's not so much of a gap as I'd like.
I had a good feeling first time I looked, because honestly, I really thought Nevada would go blue, and it looks like it's going that way. Based on projections, that would be the last state Biden would need to win.
(Well, barring recounts and such. Which I fully expect to happen in some places even without... well, y'know, because some of the margins are really narrow. But I honestly don't know how much it would change, unless the gap is in the hundreds or lower. Or unless it's really rushed, but it doesn't look that way at all.)
Anyway, it was really interesting to see Georgia and Pennsylvania flip, though it remains to be seen just how much. But then at the same time, I was sorta all "well, projections and my own opinion on the data is that it'll look red at first and then go blue as the absentee and other ballots are counted," and that's exactly what happened. So, yeah, I feel it too, but I think there's a collective "surprised Pikachu" going on.
(I am very surprised by Georgia though. I thought that'd be red for sure, given how it's a big southeastern state.)
I'm pretty confident Biden will win, at this point. Barring extreme circumstances and/or changes, which I won't go into now. But not calling anything yet; I'm trusting AP on this, as the understand the process way better than me. Plus, there's all the crap going on that I again won't get into now that'll probably slow things further, at best. We do have to be patient. This is really testing Americans on that, but honestly, maybe a lesson in patience is just what we need. I'd rather the count be slow than rushed. There are other countries that are used to getting slow results; we're just spoiled by TV and instant media gratification. Not anyone's fault; we're too culturally enmeshed in it. But maybe we should just focus on breathing.
The sanest approach is probably honestly "just tune out and do your own thing for a while, unless you're helping the process or actively preventing crap from happening, and wait for social media to blow up." Which'll take a while, but hey, life doesn't stop anyway. I think I'll keep an eye on it still; once my anxieties alleviated, it's actually kind of interesting to watch the flipping and the sheer electoral college gap. But that's just me; do what you need to for your mental health.
Pumpkin Ghostie (by Killix) Nocturne the elvish dragon (by Huntress) Lazuryl (Laz) the Gargoyle (by Killix)
Happy fourth day of the United States election. Sorry, international friends; we want off this ride too.
I'll just start with the fact that I went to bed last night, I woke up, blearily checked stuff on my phone like I know I shouldn't do but I do anyway, and Georgia is now a blue state. Yeah, no going back to sleep after that.
Just as a bit of a fun fact, a lot of PA's democratic residents live in and around the big cities. Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are my first two thoughts. I was looking at a map of current blue areas and they include places like Erie. Center County is also blue. I should have expected that, honestly; one of the state's biggest colleges, Penn State, is right there and I've noticed younger / college aged people have a more "democratic" view.
(For those who don't know, I live in PA, have all of my life. I live near Philadelphia and my school (where I'm currently residing) is definitely more liberal. I myself have a somewhat liberal mindset, so I'm chill with that. Anyway, that would be why I'm interested in PA directly, sorry for rambling about it.)
Anyway, a lot of people are looking to Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania, as well as some other states, have yet to completely count their ballots. I think Pennsylvania might have the most eyes on it, since it's has the most votes tied to it out of the remaining few states that have yet to "declare" a winner, if that makes sense. I just want to say it's kind of scary when the president threatens to sue the state for how the mail in ballots are handled. (I can go on, but I feel like that's a topic more suited for mini rants.)
I know it's best to be patient, but anxiety does not work like that. I'm doing what I can to stay calm and safe. I'm trying to limit the amount of news I know I can safely handle, but admittedly sometimes it gets to be a lot. I have gum in my drawer because that helps me calm down from an anxious high. I've been talking with friends to help me stay sane.
So yeah. Wish PA luck. If not with the ballot counting, then for the aftermath that I know will follow.
(In more important news, since I thought we all need levity, know that one of my kittens at home just loves to climb things and it's both adorable and kind of scary. XD)
The name is stars44. Chasing_stars44. Feel free to check me out on Neo.
Waiting for the results of the election to come in has been like watching that scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail of Lancelot endlessly running towards the castle, but on loop for three days long.
Mentally, I'm... calm and but cautiously optimistic, I suppose? I know what the data says and how things are likely to go at this point, but 2016 was such a shock that it's harder for me to have that kind of hope now. So I can't see myself truly releasing that breath I've been holding since Tuesday til the news officially comes in.
One thing I can say is that my sleep cycle is completely messed up by this week. I went to bed around 2:00 AM Wednesday morning, and past midnight the next two nights. I've been trying to get in some naps here and there when there's a lull in information, but part of me is still worried that something big is going to happen when I'm not paying attention. When I'm awake at least, playing Stardew Valley has been just the right balance of relaxing and engaging to keep my head level between checking updates.
As far as news in my neck of the woods goes, Biden won the popular vote overall in Maine, but Trump won District 2. This matters because Maine and Nebraska are the only states that splits their electoral votes by district. District 1 covers the southern coast of the state, contains the capital (Augusta) and our biggest city (Portland), and is overall rather liberal. District 2, which is where I live, covers the rest of the state and is more conservative. I hear people say that Maine is a blue state, but I'd describe it more as "purple," really.
Which more or less explains why Susan Collins got re-elected. (Much to my own chagrin and disappointment; I gladly voted for Sara Gideon) And unfortunately, Maine's ranked choice system didn't make a difference in this particular race, since Collins got over 50% of the vote. (Second choices onwards only come into play if no candidate gets more than 50%) So yeah. Plenty of people have been furious with Collins over the past couple of years, but not enough of them lived in Maine, apparently. :/
This one really hits hard. I'm not a regular watcher of Jeopardy -in that I don't make it a point to watch it every weeknight- but my grandparents are. And so I've known who Alex Trebek was and had been seeing him on TV for as long as I can remember.
First of all, I want to say again that as someone from the Philippines, I'm really jealous of America right now. Our next election isn't until 2022 and we're really hoping we can make a change like that after the shoddy and authoritarian leadership that Duterte's administration has been demonstrating lately. While he can no longer run for president under our Constitution, there is nothing that will stop him from running as vice president, or choosing someone from his administration who will carry on his brutal legacy and run for president. Possible candidates for president include Duterte's personal assistant-turned-senator, boxing champ Manny Pacquiao who really should never have gotten into politics, and Duterte's daughter Sara, who can be just as brutal as he is and who is a politician currently taking over the family business in their province while daddy runs the entire country, so to speak.
I'm sure you can't blame people for asking where our president is at a time like this. But see link for the reply that we get. Apparently the presidential spokesperson still thinks that this is a ploy by the opposition and that we have no right to ask where Duterte is. Look, at least he's doing an ~aerial inspection~ over the flooded area, that's great, isn't it? Surely that's enough!
Malacañang also released that day a two-minute video showing the President on a chopper conducting an aerial inspection of the flooded areas.
The video came complete with a theme song—a reworked version of Freddie Aguilar’s “Ipaglalaban Ko (I will fight for it).” The song—now titled “Para sa Tunay na Pagbabago” (For Genuine Change)—has also been a recurring soundtrack of the President’s late-night briefings on the government’s pandemic response.
Duterte's other response? Make another task force. But we already had one. You'd think after x number of typhoons, earthquakes, volcanoes and other natural disasters we'd have better responses to disasters like this, but no. No. Nope. Not at all.
Duterte said Sinas is as good as pardoned, noting that the criticisms against him over the birthday celebration are nothing compared to corruption.
“Akin na ‘yun. At kung may kasalanan siya doon, pardon na siya. Wala akong nakitang kasalanan na masama na may moral implications,” Duterte said. “Maliit na bagay lang yun… dun ako galit sa mga corrupt.”
(Kat translation: That's on me. And if he has done any wrong, he is pardoned. I see nothing wrong with moral implications. That's just a small thing, I am angry at the corrupt.)
(Kat note: No, he's not angry at the corrupt. More on Duterte coddling officials accused of corruption in his administration some other time but let's just say he likes to play favorites very much, even going as far as to consider dictator Ferdinand Marcos a hero despite Marcos having plundered the Philippines to within an inch of its life.)
The Philippines is a disaster. But I am hoping that all these events will give us a record turnout in our elections by the time 2022 rolls around. There will be many angry, jaded, frustrated, and disappointed people who will cast their votes, but at the same time there will still be die-hard supporters of Duterte and his toadies who continue to make excuses upon excuses for the incompetence of his administration, and as if that wasn't bad enough, they would foist higher standards on Robredo, opposition politicians, and public figures and ask where THEY are during a typhoon. Not only that, Robredo's efforts to aid the people affected by the typhoon are constantly written off as publicity stunts, and people still claim she is the "fake" vice president because she won by a thin margin of over 200k votes and her closest competitor, who by the way is the son and namesake of Marcos, is still contesting, to this very day, the results of the election, not realizing that these very same results catapulted Duterte into the presidency.
Why can't we hold our president accountable? What is so wrong with criticism and asking where he is during national disasters? Why can't we ask where he is, but when the vice president shows up, why is she immediately written off as someone seeking attention when she has already worked above and beyond her constitutional duty of standing by to take over in case something happens to the president? Why is it that every time a disaster hits the Philippines we have to be the ones to get up and use social media to call for donations instead of the government (with some notable exceptions) taking the first step?
I'm tired. I'm so very tired. And I'm angry. I will be voting in 2022 and I can't blame people for wanting Duterte out even before 2022.
Everyone's hoping that Robredo will run for president in 2022 and that the opposition - the left, the Liberal Party, and everyone else in between - will unite under her because she is most likely the only presidential candidate who will be worth voting for, much like Biden was for America. Her only flaws are that she can be a little too soft with criticism (although she has stepped that up lately), she is not as experienced (she became a congresswoman, then vice president) and that she is still under the banner of the Liberal Party, which people still associate with the incompetency of the previous administration and which people still demonize (even though that previous administration was far better than the one now despite its own pitfalls).
If you can, please raise awareness about the typhoon (and the other typhoons, holy fudge, it's like a queue) that ravaged the Philippines on your social media platforms. Because our national government is, to put it lightly, a pile of dung, we have to ask elsewhere for donations and exposure. On Twitter a lot of Filipinos will straight up tell you to NOT donate to the government unless you are donating to an organization handled by the Office of the Vice President.