Archives for category: Democracy

Political reporter David Sanger wrote a fascinating analysis of Trump’s attempt to reverse the results of the election. Trump lost the electoral college; Biden won 306 votes, surpassing the necessary 270. Trump lost the popular vote by nearly six million votes. He obviously forgot that he swore an oath on the Bible to defend the Constitution. He is actively subverting it.

David Sanger wrote:

President Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election are unprecedented in American history and an even more audacious use of brute political force to gain the White House than when Congress gave Rutherford B. Hayes the presidency during Reconstruction.

Mr. Trump’s chances of succeeding are somewhere between remote and impossible, and a sign of his desperation after President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. won by nearly six million popular votes and counting, as well as a clear Electoral College margin. Yet the fact that Mr. Trump is even trying has set off widespread alarms, not least in Mr. Biden’s camp.

“I’m confident he knows he hasn’t won,” Mr. Biden said at a news conference in Wilmington, Del., on Thursday, before adding, “It’s just outrageous what he’s doing.” Although Mr. Biden dismissed Mr. Trump’s behavior as embarrassing, he acknowledged that “incredibly damaging messages are being sent to the rest of the world about how democracy functions.”

Mr. Trump has only weeks to make his last-ditch effort work: Most of the states he needs to strip Mr. Biden of votes are scheduled to certify their electors by the beginning of next week. The electors cast their ballots on Dec. 14, and Congress opens them in a joint session on Jan. 6.

Even if Mr. Trump somehow pulled off his electoral vote switch, there are other safeguards in place, assuming people in power do not simply bend to the president’s will.

The first test will be Michigan, where Mr. Trump is trying to get the State Legislature to overturn Mr. Biden’s 157,000-vote margin of victory. He has taken the extraordinary step of inviting a delegation of state Republican leaders to the White House, hoping to persuade them to ignore the popular vote outcome.

“That’s not going to happen,” Mike Shirkey, the Republican leader of the Michigan State Senate, said on Tuesday. “We are going to follow the law and follow the process.”

Beyond that, Michigan’s Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, could send Congress a competing electoral slate, based on the election vote, arguing that the proper procedures were ignored. That dispute would create just enough confusion, in Mr. Trump’s Hail Mary calculus, that the House and Senate together would have to resolve it in ways untested in modern times.

Federal law dating to 1887, passed in reaction to the Hayes election, provides the framework, but not specifics, of how it would be done. Edward B. Foley, a constitutional law and election law expert at Ohio State University, noted that the law only required Congress to consider all submissions “purporting to be the valid electoral votes.”

But Michigan alone would not be enough for Mr. Trump. He would also need at least two other states to fold to his pressure. The most likely candidates are Georgia and Arizona, which both went for Mr. Trump in 2016 and have Republican-controlled legislatures and Republican governors.

Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona has said he will accept the state election results, although only after all the campaign lawsuits are resolved. Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia, where a hand recount reaffirmed Mr. Biden’s victory on Thursday, has not publicly said one way or another who won his state.

Mr. Trump has said little in public apart from tweets endorsing wild conspiracy theories about how he was denied victory. Yet his strategy, if it can be called that, has become clear over two days of increasingly frenetic action by a president 62 days from losing power.

In just that time, Mr. Trump has fired the federal election official who has challenged his false claims of fraud, tried to halt the vote-certification process in Detroit to disenfranchise an overwhelmingly Black electorate that voted against him, and now is misusing the powers of his office in his effort to take Michigan’s 16 electoral votes away from Mr. Biden.

In many ways it is even more of an attempted power grab than the one in 1876. At the time, Hayes was governor of Ohio, not president of the United States. Ulysses S. Grant was, and when Hayes won — also by wrenching the vote around in three states — he became known as “His Fraudulency.”

“But this is far worse,” said Michael Beschloss, the presidential historian and author of “Presidents of War.” “In the case of Hayes, both sides agreed that the outcome in at least three states was in dispute. In this case, no serious person thinks enough votes are in dispute that Donald Trump could have been elected on Election Day.”

“This is a manufactured crisis. It is a president abusing his huge powers in order to stay in office after the voters clearly rejected him for re-election.”

He added: “This is what many of the founders dreaded.”

Mr. Trump telegraphed this strategy during the campaign. He told voters at a rally in Middletown, Pa., in September that he would win at the polls, or in the Supreme Court, or in the House — where, under the 12th Amendment, every state delegation gets one vote in choosing the president. (There are 26 delegations of 50 dominated by Republicans, even though the House is in the hands of the Democrats.)

“I don’t want to end up in the Supreme Court, and I don’t want to go back to Congress, even though we have an advantage if we go back to Congress,” he said then. “Does everyone understand that?”

Now that is clearly the Plan B, after the failure of Plan A, an improvisational legal strategy to overturn election results by invalidating ballots in key states. In state after state, the president’s lawyers have been laughed out of court, unable to provide evidence to back up his claims that mail-in ballots were falsified, or that glitches on voting machines with software from Dominion Voting Systems might, just might, have changed or deleted 2.7 million votes.

Those theories figured in a rambling news conference that Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, held with other members of his legal team on Thursday. The group threw out a series of disconnected arguments to try to make the case that Mr. Trump really won. The arguments included blaming mail-in ballots that they said were prone to fraud as well as Dominion, which they suggested was tied to former President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela (who died seven years ago), and had vague connections to the Clinton Foundation and George Soros, the philanthropist and billionaire Democratic fund-raiser.

“That press conference was the most dangerous 1hr 45 minutes of television in American history,” Christopher Krebs, who was fired Tuesday night by Mr. Trump as the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency of the Department of Homeland Security, tweeted Thursday afternoon.

“And possibly the craziest,” he went on. “If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’re lucky.”

Mr. Krebs has often noted that the purpose of a reliable election system is to convince those who lost elections that they have, indeed, lost.

Even some of Mr. Trump’s onetime enthusiasts and former top aides have abandoned him on his claims, often with sarcastic derision. “Their basic argument is this was a conspiracy so vast and so successful that there’s no evidence of it,” said John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump’s third national security adviser, who was ousted last year.

“Now if that’s true, I really want to know who the people are who pulled this off,” he said on Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “We need to hire them at the C.I.A.”

On this subject, here is another excellent article:

WHY TRUMP IS LIKELY TO FAIL IN HIS EFFORTS TO UNDERMINE DEMOCRACY.


Mercedes Schneider reviewed Douglas Harris’s book Charter City in Commonweal. As a teacher in Louisiana and a close observer of the politics of education, Schneider is well positioned to assess the claims on behalf of the all-charter NewOrleans district. Harris is a respected economist who heads the Education Research Alliance at TulaneUniversity, which received a $10 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to study school choice.

Schneider writes about the determination of whites in Louisiana to block integration of the public schools after the Brown decision. When the courts struck down vouchers, “anti-Black sentiment never waned, and decades of white flight from New Orleans followed. Meanwhile, the state diligently set about eliminating economic advancement opportunities for the remaining Black population, limiting employment and housing options while cutting back drastically on education. Soon enough, the city was bereft of a Black middle class and the tax base needed to fund basic services, including public schools. And so, as one might logically expect, the public education situation in New Orleans became dire.“ She wondered whether Harris would acknowledge this history but he did not.

Harris, the director of the Education Research Alliance for New Orleans and a professor of economics at Tulane University, focuses instead on data—specifically, on test scores and graduation rates in the years prior to the devastating 2005 storm and in the years that followed, from 2006 to 2015. By his accounting, the numbers went up post-Katrina, which he credits to intervention by the state in the form of charter-school initiatives. Now, data can be compelling, and reformers will often point to metrics like improved test scores to make the case for charter schools. But when I look at the data Harris cites, I think of the audit that’s being conducted at the request of the New Orleans superintendent of schools because of missing test scores and irregularities in high-school transcripts and class credits. I think of the numerous lawsuits calling for the Louisiana Department of Education—which was then run by a champion of the charter reform efforts in New Orleans—to release suspect testing data for independent review. So I can’t say I have confidence in the integrity of the data that Harris has analyzed. 

But that is not my principal concern. What’s more troubling is the narrative Harris spins out about the state takeover itself. That effort was led by Leslie Jacobs, former state school-board member turned businesswoman, who with a handful of other affluent whites form the core of what Harris calls the “reform community.” It was Jacobs who instigated things by drafting legislation that classified most New Orleans schools as “failing.” From there, the reform community—working out of office space provided by Tulane University—moved to sideline the predominantly Black community of New Orleans in its planning. Even as the city’s economy was still reeling from Katrina, the group engineered the mass firing of Orleans Parish School Board teachers. Harris describes the firing as an unfortunate necessity in achieving “reform”—that is, replacing traditional board-led public schools with a portfolio of independently operated charters. But the decision was also motivated by the inconvenient fact that the teachers were unionized, and thus a potential force of resistance. 

She laments the fact that schools have been severed from their communities. Despite the celebration of “choice,” the one choice unavailable to parents is a neighborhood school. When local groups of Black parents have asked if they can apply for a charter, they find that they cannot. Community engagement is important, she says, but it is of no consequence in New Orleans.

Schneider says that the Black citizens of New Orleans have been disenfranchised for decades. The charter takeover of their city’s schools is yet another expression of disrespect for their communities.


Many parents look to the president of the United States as someone who is worthy of emulation. He (and someday she) is a role model. What Donald Trump is modeling right now is how to be a sore loser, how to throw a childish temper tantrum, how to undermine the democratic system of government founded on the consent of the governed.

We already have a convoluted democratic system, in which the will of the majority is overridden by the antique “electoral college.” The electoral college made Trump the president in 2016, even though Hillary Clinton won three million votes more than he did. In 2020, Trump lost the popular vote by five million, and Biden has unofficially won 306 electoral college votes, 36 more than is required to be called the winner. World leaders are congratulating Biden; Biden is moving forward, but Trump continues to whine that the election was “rigged” and that he is the actual winner.

The results of voting in the states have not yet been certified, and Trump is well within his rights to ask for recounts where the votes were very close. He has filed lawsuits in many states, and thus far none has been successful. All have been dismissed for lack of evidence of voter fraud or misdeeds of any kind. Based on past history, election experts say that the recounts are unlikely to change the results.

No one should object to recounts or serious lawsuits. Trump commits a grave error, however, in insisting that the election was “stolen” because he didn’t win. That’s the behavior of a toddler or a tyrant or both. It does a terrible disservice to the legitimacy of our democracy. Out of sheer spite, he hopes to undermine the Biden presidency in the eyes of his followers.

We have never seen anything like this in our lifetimes. We have never seen a president intent on destroying the Constitution and smearing the reputations of state election officials in every state that he did not win.

Politico reported this morning that Trump tweeted that Biden won, then withdrew the tweet and replaced it with another spurious claim of victory:

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP offered JOE BIDEN a backhanded concession this morning, tweeting “He won” amid a series of complaints about the 2020 election. LESS THAN AN HOUR LATER, he took it all back. TRUMP tweeted: “RIGGED ELECTION. WE WILL WIN. … He only won in the eyes of the FAKE NEWS MEDIA. I concede NOTHING! We have a long way to go. This was a RIGGED ELECTION!”

Toddler or tyrant?

As reported by CNN:

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs promises to uphold Constitution, not follow a man. Gen. Mark Milley, the top American service member, made this encouraging statement during the opening of an Army museum Thursday.

“We are unique among militaries. We do not take an oath to a king or a queen, a tyrant or a dictator. We do not take an oath to an individual. No, we do not take an oath to a country, a tribe or religion. We take an oath to the Constitution. And every soldier that is represented in this museum, every sailor, airman, Marine, Coast Guardsman, each of us will protect and defend that document, regardless of personal price,” Milley said during remarks at the opening of the US Army’s museum.

I take this bold statement to mean that the military will not enable Trump to seize power with a military coup.


God bless our troops!

Trump fired Mark Esper, Secretary of Defense, because he refused to allow Trump to use the military to suppress domestic protests.

Now the top layer of Pentagon officials is stepping down and will be replaced by Trump loyalists.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/10/politics/pentagon-policy-official-resigns/index.html

Our allies are worried. We should be too.

Is Trump planning a military coup?

John Young is a journalist transplanted from Texas to Colorado. He wrote this brilliant column which lucidly explains why so many people were dancing in the streets on Saturday after Biden’s victory was announced.

It begins like this. Open the link to read the dazzling ending.

This is not fake news.

            Donald Trump does not run the country.

            You say he never did. You say the Constitution does. Ah, but he was prepared to show you differently.

            When he was impeached, Republicans in the U.S. Senate told him he could. All but one of them barely flexed an eyebrow over his illegal act of extorting a struggling nation to help him torpedo a campaign rival — that rival who just became president-elect.

            After those proceedings, Trump knew he could get away with anything.

            Oh, yes, Barack Obama was right: The fate of democracy itself was at stake in this election. Democracy won.

            This just in: Vladimir Putin has no more sway over U.S. foreign policy.

            Today, like Trump, Vlad paces his quarters, steaming at what our voters have done. Vlad would never let this happen in his election.

            Russia invested so much in destabilizing this nation. The good works of the 1,000-plus-employee Internet Research Agency paid off in 2016. Now? Nyet.

            So much invested in making Americans disbelieve in their system.

            Freedom. Many a Trump supporter has sent that word ringing through hills and valleys. But what does that word represent to them? For too many, it represents the freedom to stomp around in camo, an AK slung over the shoulder.

            Freedom from fear? Don’t change the subject. The camo crowd couldn’t care less if you are a fearful person of color, or an immigrant, or if you are gay, or lesbian or transgender and fear for your rights.

            GOP support wasn’t necessarily about freedom anyway. Look at the Republican Party platform. Basically it says, “What Trump says.” 

            Now he’s bound for civilian life and the life of a criminal defendant. What does his party do now?

            Back to the Russians’ designs to mess with American voters’ minds, particularly people of color. Trump gloated over the lower-than-expected Black turnout in 2016, rightly pointing out that a no-vote by them was a vote for him.

            As his presidency seeped away it was mostly Black votes that provided the drip, drip, drip that took him down, in Detroit, in Milwaukee, in Philly, in Pittsburgh, in Atlanta, in Savannah.

            If ever an American election had a fitting coda, it was provided there in those communities.

            Trump had trashed voting by mail. We in Colorado who have been doing this for years knew he spewed bilge. Now voters in many more states fully appreciate the process.

            In the end it was mail-in votes — drip, drip, drip — that caused the waters to swell around and snuff a Trump dictatorship.  

Read on. The ending is the best!

The Boston Globe wrote about what Trump might do next. He could graciously concede his loss, but that doesn’t look likely. He could try to undermine the legitimacy of the election, by tweeting that it was rife with fraud, as he has done on Twitter and his public statements.

“The simple fact is this election is far from over,” Trump said in a statement that was issued while the president was reportedly out playing golf. “Joe Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor.”

He could try to overturn the election results by another method:

Ian Bassin, who worked in the White House counsel’s office during the Obama administration and now serves as executive director of the Washington-based nonprofit group Protect Democracy, worries more about Trump’s legacy.

“While I think the president poses an immediate danger to the functioning of the federal government … I’m actually more concerned about the threats Trump, and especially Trumpism, will pose to our country in coming years,” he said.

Democracy can survive smaller anti-democratic movements, he said, but when they grow to represent large swaths of the population, there are grave risks.

“He has unleashed a toxic political virus on the nation — a mix of white supremacy and authoritarianism — that is not going to be so easy to contain, even if he leaves office,” Bassin said. “So while Congress, courts, and responsible executive branch officials will have to protect our institutions from any Trump-led assaults during a potential lame-duck period, the rest of us have our work cut out for us.”

But there may be more pressing concerns, especially if Trump leans on Republican legislatures in Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Georgia to dismiss the results and submit a slate of electors to Congress who favor him, as some right-wing commentators have been suggesting.

Such a move may be unlikely, but it’s allowed by the Constitution, which designates that states appoint electors “in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct.” Since the 19th century, the popular vote in each state determined the slate of electors. But as recently as 2000, after the deadlocked election in Florida, the Supreme Court affirmed in Bush v. Gore that states “can take back the power to appoint electors.



William John Antholis, director of the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, which specializes in presidential scholarship, said the size of Biden’s lead would make that approach more difficult, given that it would require multiple states to take the unprecedented step of overturning the will of voters.

“Every state that Biden wins will reduce the possibility of something crazy happening,” he said.

While Trump has lost the popular vote decisively — by more than 4 million votes, so far — some 70 million Americans voted for him, or nearly 48 percent of the electorate. His ultimate fate in the Electoral College, however, won’t be clear until the tight races in several swing states are certified.

Antholis hoped the margin would be great enough for other elected Republicans to recognize that the election was lost and persuade Trump to do so as well.

“Trump’s decision-making sometimes appears mercurial, but he does talk to a lot of people, and the messages those people provide to him, I think, will determine the fate of the country,” he said.

No matter what he hears, Trump is facing legal peril if he leaves office and loses his immunity from prosecution as a sitting president.

Paul Waldman, a regular columnist for the Washington Post, lays out a nightmare scenario in which Senate Majority Leader McConnell stifles Biden’s presidency.

It now looks likely that on Jan. 20 of next year, Joe Biden will become president of the United States. And after the inaugural balls are over that evening, he will take off his tuxedo, put on a scratchy jumpsuit and check into a prison cell whose keys are held by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

For months, we’ve been contemplating a world in which Biden wins the White House and Democrats narrowly take control of the Senate. We asked ourselves if they should get rid of the filibuster (yes, they should) or grant statehood to the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico (also yes).

But we didn’t spend nearly enough time contemplating what it now looks like will be the reality: a Democratic president and a Republican Senate.

We’ve seen this before, most recently in the last two years of Barack Obama’s second term. But this will be far, far worse than it was then. We’re about to witness something unprecedented in American history.

In 2014, McConnell became majority leader after Obama had already achieved most of his major legislative goals, including passing the Affordable Care Act. But now he has a chance to sabotage a Democratic president right from the start. Just as important, he knows that no matter how far he goes, the Republican Party is likely to pay only a small political price. What they get in return will be worth every penny and more.

As of now, Democrats lost one Senate seat and gained two, giving them 48. While it’s theoretically possible for them to get to 50 given the races where votes are still being counted, it looks extremely unlikely. Which means McConnell will remain as majority leader.

What does that mean? For starters, you can take all those meticulously prepared policy plans Biden and his team devised during the campaign and toss them in the trash. There will be no expansion of health coverage, no aggressive legislation to address climate change, no move toward universal child care, no increase in the minimum wage, no new Voting Rights Act and no infrastructure spending. None of it.

Nor will there be a new stimulus bill to help the economy recover from the pandemic, since McConnell knows that Biden will be blamed if the economy continues to struggle. At most — and even this is no guarantee — McConnell may allow continuing resolutions that keep the government open at its current funding levels. There will be no other significant legislation as long as Republicans retain control.

That’s just the beginning. McConnell now clearly believes that conservative domination of the courts is his most lasting legacy. Between now and January, during Trump’s lame duck period, McConnell and Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) will run a conveyor belt to confirm judges to every last open seat at every level.

And then the confirmation process will simply shut down. Forget about filling a Supreme Court vacancy if one occurs; McConnell won’t permit Biden to fill any judicial vacancy. Not one.

“Oh, come on,” you might be saying. “He’d never go that far.” You don’t think so? Just wait.

We’re not done. The president gets to fill about 4,000 positions throughout the executive branch, and a remarkable 1,200 of those require confirmation by the Senate. What if McConnell and the Republicans just decided to confirm none of Biden’s appointments? No secretary of the Treasury, no EPA administrator, no assistant secretary of the Interior for Land and Minerals Management — none of them. We’ve already got all those bureaucrats, Republicans will say, why do we need to keep adding more?

Or at the very least, they’ll tell Biden: You can have a secretary of State if you really want one. But we get to tell you who it can and can’t be. First rule: It has to be a Republican. Take it or leave it.

Such a comprehensive stonewall would be unprecedented in American history. But McConnell has shown not just a willingness but an eagerness to violate any norm or rule if it serves his party’s purposes and he thinks he can get away with it. He’ll come up with some ludicrous justification (“No president whose election was decided when it was 52 degrees in Washington in a year ending in zero has ever had his Cabinet confirmed!”), then every Republican will dutifully repeat it, and eventually Democrats will stop complaining, because what are you gonna do?

Biden’s presidency would then limp along pathetically until the midterm elections in 2022, when there would be at least a glimmer of hope. More Republican Senate seats will be up that year; I count six that could be vulnerable, especially in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

But midterm elections usually favor the opposition party. Are Democratic voters going to turn out in droves to help a president who has been unable to deliver on any of his promises?

Of course, this all depends on every Republican senator going along with McConnell’s plan for the Mother of All Stonewalls. Which they will. They’ve shown again and again that they don’t care what norms are violated — if they can do it, they will do it. Just ask Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

Then in four years, Republicans will say, “Look what a failure President Biden has been! Democrats can’t get anything done!”

I wish I could say that the voters will rise up in outrage and cast them out. But right now it’s hard to feel optimistic.

W.H. Auden speaks to us, about his time, about our time:

 

September 1, 1939

W. H. Auden – 1907-1973

I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.

Accurate scholarship can
Unearth the whole offence
From Luther until now
That has driven a culture mad,
Find what occurred at Linz,
What huge imago made
A psychopathic god:
I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.

Exiled Thucydides knew
All that a speech can say
About Democracy,
And what dictators do,
The elderly rubbish they talk
To an apathetic grave;
Analysed all in his book,
The enlightenment driven away,
The habit-forming pain,
Mismanagement and grief:
We must suffer them all again.

Into this neutral air
Where blind skyscrapers use
Their full height to proclaim
The strength of Collective Man,
Each language pours its vain
Competitive excuse:
But who can live for long
In an euphoric dream;
Out of the mirror they stare,
Imperialism’s face
And the international wrong.

Faces along the bar
Cling to their average day:
The lights must never go out,
The music must always play,
All the conventions conspire
To make this fort assume
The furniture of home;
Lest we should see where we are,
Lost in a haunted wood,
Children afraid of the night
Who have never been happy or good.

The windiest militant trash
Important Persons shout
Is not so crude as our wish:
What mad Nijinsky wrote
About Diaghilev
Is true of the normal heart;
For the error bred in the bone
Of each woman and each man
Craves what it cannot have,
Not universal love
But to be loved alone.

From the conservative dark
Into the ethical life
The dense commuters come,
Repeating their morning vow;
“I will be true to the wife,
I’ll concentrate more on my work,”
And helpless governors wake
To resume their compulsory game:
Who can release them now,
Who can reach the deaf,
Who can speak for the dumb?

All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope the sky:
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.

Defenceless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.

After the 2000 election, which George W. Bush won by a few hundred contested votes in Florida, I was appointed to the National Commission on Federal election Reform. It was completely bipartisan. The co-chairs were former President Gerald Ford and former President Jimmy Carter. It’s report was released in August 2001.

The overriding goals of the commission were to ensure that elections were free and fair, that every citizen had the right to vote without hindrance, that every vote was counted, and that the results were accurately and fully reported.

Today, it is worth your time to review the recommendations of the Commission.

Amomg other things, the Commission recommended that all properly filed absentee ballots should be counted if they were postmarked no later than Election Day, even if they were counted after the election.

Today, our society is witnessing efforts to suppress the vote. There ar3 states like Texas that limited the number of drop boxes for mail-in ballots to only one per county, meaning that the more than four million people in Harris County (Houston), a sprawling district, would have only one place to register their ballot. People casting early votes acros the country have had to wait in lines for hours.

These shameful tactics are encouraged by Republicans across the nation,to help their unpopular president. Shameful.

We know that Trump’s lackeys will do whatever they can to suppress the vote.

Vote as if your life depends on it. It does.

Vote as if the future of our democracy depends on it. It does.

Oppose those who tacitly support the Ku Klux Klan and white supremacy.

Oppose those who think the Confederate flag is “our heritage.” It is not.

Vote for Biden and Harris.

Vote for anyone challenging Trump’s enablers in the Senate.

Everyone should vote, and every vote should be counted.

If you want to build a better future, vote.