Protecting the vote.

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I’m generally an optimistic guy.

For example, I think science will find a vaccine for this virus and sooner than later.

I am also a realist. I wear a mask when I go outside, I keep social distance and I’m not getting my nails done in a spa any time soon.

Of course, unlike many, I can afford to do all those things since I don’t have to go to a job that puts me in danger.

Recently I blogged about threats to the November election.

Some friends wrote me back and said Trump couldn’t do that because the Constitution didn’t give him the power to delay or stop an election.

That’s not optimism.

That is ignoring evidence coming out of the last four years.

Of course, Joe Biden is the worst vehicle the Democrats could have picked to run against Trump.

And he should not receive any get out of jail card free for either his so-called gaffes or policies.

But Trump must be defeated.

For that to happen there must be free and open elections and voter suppression must be fought. In fact, voting access must be expanded, as it was in California and again this weekend in Illinois where the General Assembly increased access to mail-in voting.

Meanwhile the NY Times reports that there are those who are looking at possible scenarios that the Trumpers might use to delay or abort the November election.

Unlike some of my friends, these people are taking the threat seriously.

Ian Bassin, the executive director of Protect Democracy, a nonprofit group dedicated to resisting authoritarian government, last year convened the National Task Force on Election Crises, a bipartisan 51-member group that includes Republicans such as Michael Chertoff, the former homeland security secretary. The group is dedicated to envisioning and presenting plans for scenarios that could wreck the 2020 presidential election.

The task force began with 65 possibilities before narrowing the list early this year to eight potential calamities, including natural disasters, a successful foreign hack of voting machines, a major candidate’s challenging the election and seeking to delegitimize the results, and a president who refuses to participate in a peaceful transfer of power.

Among the scenarios they eliminated when making final cuts in January, ironically, was a killer pandemic that ravaged the country and kept people homebound before Election Day. After the coronavirus struck, the group reconstituted to publish pandemic-related recommendations for state governments to follow.

The group also produced a 200-page document, which has not been made public. Several members said they had worked on specific scenarios but had not seen the complete draft. They said that while many of the possibilities envisioned an incumbent president’s using the forces of government to his advantage, the report’s authors had been careful not to make the document explicitly about Mr. Trump.

I suppose that I am glad that some powerful people are looking at possible scenarios that Trump might use to steal an election, delay it or stop it.

But I’m a realist.

Protecting the vote is on us. 

4 thoughts on “Protecting the vote.

    1. It is a public service that receives no public money. Crazy. It is the lone government agency that visits our homes and businesses on most days, and with stores largely shut down, the USPS is keeping us supplied with food, clothes, distance-schooling materials for kids, prescription drugs, and books to keep our minds off what’s happening outside our doors. Private delivery companies move a lot of packages, but don’t go to every household in the country; often they pay the USPS to carry small packages for the final stretch.

      In this crisis, the postal service matters even more: Tens of millions of Americans received a postcard from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently that reminded them to socially distance and take other precautions. Some of the people who qualify for relief checks from the IRS will receive them in their mailboxes. And in November, with the virus still on the loose in the population, millions of worried Americans will depend on the USPS to vote.

  1. My point was that a cleverly engineered USPS “fix” could lead to disruption of mail-in ballots. It wouldn’t take that much to create a postal strike in late October. Understood that it’s an independent government “enterprise.” Lot’s of recent online speculation about USPS bankruptcy or bailout. Properly “managed” this could come up in Congress sometime in October and be blocked by a Republican Senate or vetoed by Trump. Postal workers walk out and mail-in ballots don’t arrive on time. You need a more devious mind Prof. Klonsky. You think Trump would pull a Reagan and force them back to work?

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