democracy

Politico
"But there are no results to ‘flip’ until all valid votes are counted. And nothing could be more ‘suspicio[us]’ or ‘improp[er]’ than refusing to tally votes once the clock strikes 12 on election night. To suggest otherwise, especially in these fractious times, is to disserve the electoral process."
The idea that we have election results on election day is a TV invention that the Supreme Court is now using in arguments. It’s going to be a long week and an even longer post election time.
The Atlantic
"If Republicans keep the White House and the Senate, many will conclude that Democrats lost because people did not vote. But if that happens, it’s likelier that Democrats will have lost because people who wanted to vote could not vote."
Great summary of voter suppression efforts across the country. By the way, we should get rid of the electoral college.
Twitter Blog
"Though this adds some extra friction for those who simply want to Retweet, we hope it will encourage everyone to not only consider why they are amplifying a Tweet, but also increase the likelihood that people add their own thoughts, reactions and perspectives to the conversation."
This. But seriously, happy to see Twitter adding some friction to the system to slow misinformation. If friction helps the system during an election, why not all the time?
The Atlantic
"Your vote is your most tangible connection to the idea of democratic government. It’s the only form of political power most Americans possess. It’s proof that government of, by, and for the people hasn’t yet perished from the Earth. Your vote is personal. For a president to throw it out would be an audacious undertaking."
Voting has become a partisan issue: Democrats want everyone to vote and Republicans want to limit access. Keep that in mind as you hear arguments about the futility of voting—that argument works in favor of one party. If there’s no difference between the parties for your life, think about friends and neighbors like Elaine Atwell. I thought this tweet was a heartfelt way to explain the difference.
CNN
"While Facebook allows politicians to make false claims in their ads — arguing that voters deserve an unfiltered view of what candidates and elected officials say — advertisements by super PACs and other independent groups are subject to the company's policies on misinformation"
"Despite the rules, the super PACs have not faced significant repercussions, said Avaaz, nor have users who engaged with the ads been notified that they have been exposed to misleading content."
10 million micro-targeted views of misinformation. How much damage can one monopoly do before we use our antitrust laws? We're going to see this same story over and over until we do. Facebook is so handy for swaying voters for people in charge of using antitrust laws that I'm not sure we'll see it without public pressure.
The Atlantic
"Call it the Interregnum: the interval from Election Day to the next president’s swearing-in. It is a temporal no-man’s-land between the presidency of Donald Trump and an uncertain successor—a second term for Trump or a first for Biden. The transfer of power we usually take for granted has several intermediate steps, and they are fragile."
Oh nothing, just doing some light reading about America's pending existential crisis. We've seen so many unlikely events around the minority party ruling after elections in this country that I think we should take the current minority vote-getting President's frequent threats to democracy seriously.
popular.info
"There are 44 states that don't require any reason to vote by mail or allow concerns about COVID-19 as a valid reason. All 44 states provide alternatives to the USPS to return your mail-in ballot."
You might want to know how to return a ballot without using the postal service. Just in case it’s needed.
washingtonpost.com
“Some stories demand collaboration, and this one is a plain example. The nation’s newsrooms — working together and, crucially, with the help of the public in communities around the nation — could find out and explain what is going on, at the macro and micro level,” he said.
Dan Gillmor on how the media should work to ensure the postal service story is told.
washingtonpost.com
"Twenty-three postal executives were reassigned or displaced, the new organizational chart shows. Analysts say the structure centralizes power around DeJoy, a former logistics executive and major ally of President Trump, and de-emphasizes decades’ worth of institutional postal knowledge."
Oh good, Democrats have requested an audit to get to the bottom of this. That should be swift and effective. *headdesk*
NYMag
"Given these possibilities and Trump’s well-known opposition to voting by mail, logic might suggest that he would attempt to strengthen the USPS to alleviate those concerns. Instead, he’s weakening it and then using that weakness as a reason to argue against mail-in voting."
Congress needs to step in quickly here to make sure the right to vote is safe and available during a pandemic.
nytimes.com
"But at the highest levels of most news organizations and the big social media platforms, executives and insiders told me that it simply hasn’t sunk in how different this year is going to be — and how to prepare audiences for it."
TV and social media executives are experts at engagement, not democracy. They thrive on conflict and chaos, not on functioning government processes. They have no business incentive to educate their audiences. We have to require it through regulation.
The Atlantic
"The election is in 160 days. That's usually not enough time to pass new laws, let alone build new voting infrastructure, and it’s certainly not enough time to test any of these systems before they are implemented. And most state legislatures are now working remotely, slowing them down even more."
Throw another log on the anxiety fire.
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