Opinion: Choose The America That Respects Its Electorate

It was a week of contrasts between the democracy we have and the tyranny Donald Trump is trying to build on the ash heap of what use to be America.

Enter Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, representing the America we are, where people seek a more perfect Union. All people regardless of skin color, citizenship, how they pray or who they love are recognized as human beings worthy of respect and dignity.  It’s a place where character and honesty matter.  The law applies to everyone the same way whether they exercise power every day or once every two years. read more

Colorado Secretary of State: Trump is “Lying” About Mail-In Voting

Speaking on CNN, Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold (D) said President Donald Trump “is lying about vote by mail” in an effort to discredit mail-in ballots and cast doubt on the integrity of November’s general election.

“Colorado has a very clean history of running great elections with vote by mail,” Griswold said. ”We have safeguards in place to make sure we would catch any type of double voting including signature verification, rules about ballot collection and a lot of other safeguards,” adding that “vote-by-mail is like wearing a mask. It’s the way that we can save Americans’ lives.”

You can watch the clip of Griswold’s interview below.

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold says President Trump "is lying about vote-by-mail."

"Colorado has a very clean history of running great elections with vote by mail," she says adding, "vote-by-mail is like wearing a mask. It's the way that we can save Americans' lives." pic.twitter.com/iZxBnpUeFp read more

Veterans Group Mocks Trump for “Finally” Going to War––Against USPS

Progressive PAC VoteVets has released a new ad repudiating President Donald Trump for his attacks against the United States Postal Service (USPS).

The video features narration highlighting the military deferments Trump received when he was younger (he crafted the now-infamous “bone spurs” excuse to get out of serving in Vietnam. The narrator also points out how much veterans depend on the Postal Service for prescription deliveries and for receiving their ballots. An estimated 100,000 veterans also currently work for the Postal Service, according to its official website.

“This is just a warmup for the fall,” the narrator says. “Donald Trump plans to disrupt absentee ballots and vote-by-mail for millions of Americans in the middle of a pandemic he failed to control,” the voice-over concludes. “Because Donald Trump knows if the mail delivers ballots to America’s veterans, we’ll deliver a message right back — you lose.” read more

Newt Gingrich Lies About Mail-In Voting, Claims Democrats Are Trying to “Steal” November Election

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich repeated President Donald Trump’s own false claims about mail-in voting, saying that Democrats can’t win an “honest election” so they are trying “to set up an ability to steal it.”

Gingrich pointed to the state of Nevada, which the president announced his administration will sue after its legislature approved a measure to provide absentee ballots to all registered voters.

“They’re going to mail ballots to 200,000 people, who according to the post office don’t exist. They’re either dead, they’ve moved, the address doesn’t work, 200,000 extra ballots floating around out there,” Gingrich said. read more

Poll: Most Voters Are Opposed to Delaying November’s Election

Trump thinks mail in voting is only safe if the governor is a Republican

According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, 66 percent of registered voters are opposed to delaying November’s election despite common concerns about the coronavirus pandemic and President Donald Trump’s continued push against mail-in voting.

The poll found that eight in 10 Democrats and five in 10 Republicans are opposed to postponing the election. Only 23 percent––a number Reuters noted constituted mostly Republicans––supported a possible delay. 11 percent were undecided.

Asked about President Donald Trump’s suggestion that the election be postponed, 54 percent said they thought he was looking to improve his reelection chances. 42 percent said Trump thinks “he will have a better chance of winning.”

The president has repeatedly claimed––without evidence–– that mail-in voting would lead to widespread voter fraud. (Several studies also disprove the president’s notion.) That said, 21 percent said the proposed postponement is related to the president’s concerns about voter fraud. 12 percent said Trump “wants to distract the country from the pandemic and the economy.” 10 percent said he “wants to protect Americans from the spread of coronavirus at polling locations.”

Earlier this morning, the president continued his attacks against mail-in voting, writing in a tweet that the state of “Nevada has ZERO infrastructure for Mail-In Voting.”

Nevada has ZERO infrastructure for Mail-In Voting. It will be a corrupt disaster if not ended by the Courts. It will take months, or years, to figure out. Florida has built a great infrastructure, over years, with two great Republican Governors. Florida, send in your Ballots! read more

Michigan Sec. of State Knocks Down Trump’s Mail-In Voting Lies

Jocelyn Benson, Michigan’s Secretary of State, took on President Donald Trump’s lies on mail-in voting during an interview with MSNBC.

“A lot of information and misinformation to unpack there and a lot of alarming stuff. Let me get your general response to what he said,” she was asked.

“I mean, first, again, we have been voting by mail in Michigan and many other states for decades,” Benson replied. “And this year is the first year you can vote by mail without having to state a reason. So more people are doing it. But the security provisions remain in place and they haven’t changed and been time tested.”

She added that “we want people to rest assured that the extra time that it may take us to count our ballots is a reflection of the process working. It is a reflection of us working to ensure we’re checking the signatures, we’re securing the ballots, we’re ensuring an accurate count, and any suggestion to the otherwise is just going to have the impact or the intended effect of sowing seeds of doubt and that is not based in any facts.”

“We’re going to move forward with making sure that whatever the results are of the election in Michigan,” she continued, noting that “today and in November,” results “are accurate, and that people are trusting them and we’re going to push back against any attempts from anyone to otherwise sow seeds of doubt and set up a narrative where people doubt the results of the election when they have every reason to have faith in the results.”

You can watch the interview below. read more

Opinion: Obama Resurrects Hope In His Eulogy to John Lewis

During this past week many of us mourned the loss of John Lewis and the kind of greatness he had.  The iconic civil rights leader was a man who refused to give up or give in after being beaten within an inch of his life.  Those who knew him described him as someone you just had to love. Even Moscow Mitch had to take a moment to speak well of John Lewis. read more

Campaign Legal Center: “No, Trump Doesn’t Have the Authority to Delay the Election”

Trump proclaims himself the best president for black Americans since Lincoln

In a statement, Trevor Potter, president of Campaign Legal Center (CLC), and a former Republican Chairman of the Federal Election Commission, responded to President Donald Trump’s suggestion to delay the November election.

“The President does not have the authority to delay the election. Federal law mandates that the General Election take place on the first Tuesday of November. Suggesting the possibility of moving the General Election is an extraordinary statement from a sitting President and is sure to create confusion amongst voters about presidential powers in relation to the election,” Potter said.

He added: “The country has voted in general elections in the middle of a Civil War, two World Wars and the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918, not to mention the Great Depression. Delay of the November election would violate both federal law and the Constitution. It is critical that members of Congress from both parties forcefully condemn Trump’s statement.”

Potter concluded that Congress “has the responsibility to make sure that the election takes place safely and smoothly, and that requires the Senate to include funding for state election activities in the coronavirus bill they are currently debating so that states can be prepared to handle a surge in mail voting for November.”

Earlier today, the president suggested the election should be delayed to halt mail-in ballot fraud.

“With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”

With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote??? read more

LeBron James’ Nonprofit is Paying Debts for Former Felons Looking to Vote in Florida

Basketball star LeBron James is raising funds to help people in Florida with felony records pay outstanding court debts that prevent them from voting. The initiative is part of More Than a Vote, an organization that has dedicated at least part of its efforts to safeguarding African-American voting rights since James and a team of other black athletes and entertainers formed it last month.

“The right to vote should not come with a price tag,” more than a vote announced on Twitter.

The right to vote should not come with a price tag. #MoreThanAVote @morethanavote is stepping up to help @FLRightsRestore’s efforts to pay these fines and restore our democracy: https://t.co/48p39iS1fA pic.twitter.com/mbhoLeVgii read more

Analysis: Enforcing GOP-Supported Voter ID Laws Have Now Cost Taxpayers At Least $36 Million

White voters abandon Trump and flock to Biden

An analysis of information obtained through open records requests from The Guardian found that enforcing Republican-supported voter identification laws is an extraordinarily expensive endeavor, already costing taxpayers at least $36 million in several states. Expenses pile up because of “the partial costs of litigation, free identification cards, public education and other fees,” The Guardian observed.

Kentucky is one of several states that has spent millions enforcing voter identification laws, even while states make heavy budget cuts to contend with the current economic crisis.

“While the rest of the state was under “stay-at-home” advisories because of coronavirus, the Kentucky legislature convened in early March and April in order to pass its voter ID bill and then again to override the governor’s veto,” The Guardian noted. The law, SB2, requires voters to present identification at the polls as well as when sending in absentee ballots. The mere provision of the law would cost at least $3.6 million per year.

In Indiana, implementing voter identification legislation has cost nearly $30.5 million since January 2006. And in Texas, “the process of implementing a strict voter ID law dragged on for almost seven years, during which the state spent at least $3.5m on attorney’s fees, outside counsel, travel expenses, and expert witnesses.” The case dragged on so long that the state’s attorney-general had to enlist the help of lawyers from other departments. Although the law survived these legal challenges, the state was ultimately ordered to pay plaintiffs $6.8 million in fees.

Public outreach has also added to the expense. For instance, Kansas spent at least $430,000 on its public outreach during the first three years of passing its voter identification laws. Wisconsin spent $631,899 in its first year alone. “Even with heavily discounted rates from TV and radio stations, the critical swing state has spent nearly $1.2m on its “Bring It to the Ballot” campaign, which includes radio spots, brochures, and TV ads,” The Guardian notes.

Voter identification laws have been criticized as both ineffective and discriminatory. For example, an April 2017 study published in The Journal of Politics found that strict identification laws have a differentially negative impact on the turnout of racial and ethnic minorities in primaries and general elections.” Moreover, these laws “skew democracy toward those on the political right.”

Trump Claims Mail-In Voting Will Lead to “Most Corrupt Election” in History

In a tweet earlier this morning, President Donald Trump claimed mail-in voting would lead to the “most corrupt election” in American history.

“Mail-In Voting, unless changed by the courts, will lead to the most CORRUPT ELECTION in our Nation’s History!” he wrote, finishing off his message with the hashtag #RIGGEDELECTION.

The president’s Twitter message come just days after he disparaged mail-in voting during a highly contentious Fox News interview with host Chris Wallace.

“I’m not a good loser. I don’t like to lose. I don’t lose too often. I don’t like to lose,” Trump said at the time. “You don’t know until you see. It depends. I think mail-in voting is going to rig the election, I really do.”

Trump *isn’t* going to accept losing:

TRUMP: "I think mail-in voting is going to rig the election"

FOX: "Are you suggesting that you might not accept the results?"

T: "I have to see”

F: "Can you give a direct answer that you will accept the election?”

T: "I have to see…” pic.twitter.com/jK6MlIZKrj read more

34 National Security Leaders Sign Letter Requesting Congress Approve Increased Election Security Funding

In an open letter, 34 national security leaders requested Congress approve increased election security funding. The signatories include former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and John Kerry, former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

The letter is addressed to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

“American elections, the bedrock of our democracy, face two extraordinary challenges this year: Covid-19 and combatting foreign interference. While these twin challenges are first and foremost a test of our democracy, they are also a threat to our national security. We urge you to provide election officials with the resources they need to protect our elections this year,” they write.

“As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, state and local governments face significant and unexpected costs as they prepare to provide safe in-person voting options, meet the increased demand for mail voting, and bolster online systems that have become essential resources for voters at home,” they continue. “Bolstering and securing this infrastructure will require more staff, supplies, and technology. And this increased need for resources is coming at a time when many government budgets are facing a revenue crisis.”

Noting that “hostile foreign actors like China, Iran and Russia seek to cast doubt on the integrity of our electoral system,” the national security experts warn that these “actors influence Americans by exploiting fear and confusion around the voting process.”

“Failing to make sure that all citizens can vote safely and securely will only give them material to further erode faith in our democratic system,” they write.

The experts recommend that Congress provide more funding for election security in the next coronavirus stimulus package because the pandemic has forced state election officials to redirect federal funds that were intended for election security improvements. They note that election security officials from both sides of the political aisle “have expressed the need for more resources to ensure that voters can participate safely in elections this year” in addition to pushing for more funding in the next round of federal coronavirus relief.

“Americans should feel confident that their election officials have the resources needed to provide healthy options for all voters and ensure integrity in electoral outcomes,” they conclude. “We urge you to provide funding to make sure our elections are safe and secure.”