Election Notes – October 26, 2020

…by Jim W. Dean, VT Editor’s Note:

Early voting is open almost everywhere and is generally going smoothly because the later openings have had more time to prepare and to learn from the problems that the earlier states had.

Voting machinery, like all machinery, has been having continuing failures, but they are being addressed. Post election commissions should be set up to learn why, with plenty of time to prepare and test and with tech support, they continue to fail when the voting starts, which then spawns rumors of voter suppression.

To be fair to the election workers, security issues and Covid complications have certainly contributed to stress levels and mistakes being made. In most states, the polling stations are run by locals who ended up estimating what they need, and where to put locations and how many stations are needed.

Overwhelmed places got dealt with best where governors and mayors could rally help with increased poll workers. The earlier problems in the primary elections gave early warnings on the tech issues.

In some places, 10,000 volunteer poll workers were quickly mobilized, and often senior citizens, the most at risk for Covid-19. They could end up being the unsung heroes of this show. VT salutes them all.

Today something strange happened. After cruising all the new YouTube videos that were in my 5 to 8 minute maximum time allotment sweet spot, I noticed the least coverage of what the candidates were saying today, almost like someone had thrown a switch.

But broadcasters can fix that quickly, as they all now have a large pool of at home Zoom guests they can quickly dial up to do a show. Topics included the usual polls, and the projected path to the magic 270 number for Biden, and Trump losing if he croaks in three of the key Midwest states, the ones he narrowly won in 2016.

The Rudy and Hunter Biden story seemed to officially die today, being covered over with Borat video clips with the cutie he found to nail America’s now most unfavorite mayor. Amy Barrett was sworn in today, and she also will disappear for a while. I wonder if she knows that Trump will always be a scarlet letter hovering around her.

As I had expected, the battle seems to be trending toward Covid as the star guest at Trump’s necktie party. Despite Pence having five staff members coming down with Covid, he is not going into quarantine.

The White House was prepared for this, and just designated Pence as a critical worker, who then gets a pass. The exception of course was made for frontline health workers, and public safety people. The analysts are saying he will be positioning himself to make a play for something in 2021, maybe head of the party.

The Pence team will still be going out in the last week, visibily acting as poster children to show the Trump base how to ignore the CDC advice on attempts to cut the peak off the current virus surge. Masks are few and far between, including on the planes they are flying, other than the security people.

The White House seems think it will kill the focus on Covid by betting more people want the economy opened up to save themselves financially, and are willing to take the risk, and have no concern over large numbers of fellow Americans dying from it. Trump thinks they will save him to save themselves. I saw one scary medical video with an estimated figure of 3 million dead by the end of February, a number that even shocked me.

Trump will get even more crazy if he does not see the poll numbers turn. He has bet the farm that the anticipated huge wave of his voters coming in on November 3rd will save the day, so he can crow once again that he did it all with his force of personality.

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