GOP Makes Voting Great Again By Murdering Ballot Drop Boxes
Having successfully ratfucked the post office to prevent timely delivery of mail-in ballots and create maximal chaos and distrust around remote voting, Republicans have now turned their attention to drop boxes for ballot collection. Because making it impossible to vote in urban areas is pretty much their only election strategy.
Well, that and racism. They're certainly not going to go out and enact policies that appeal to Americans!
In Pennsylvania, the Trump campaign and RNC have filed a gobbledlygook lawsuit alleging that ballot drop boxes violate the Equal Protections Clause. 'Cause, sure, fuckit, why not.
In a 57-page recitation of the entire history of voting in Pennsylvania, the Trump campaign whines mightily about the unfairness of Governor Tom Wolfe and the state's legislature, which broke with hundreds of years of tradition and passed a law to allow voting by mail. Like, how is that even legal?
Naturally, the suit is as CRAZY EYES as every other Trump campaign product:
Contrary to the direction of Pennsylvania's General Assembly, Defendants have sacrificed the sanctity of in person voting at the altar of unmonitored mail-in voting and have exponentially enhanced the threat that fraudulent or otherwise ineligible ballots will be cast and counted in the upcoming General Election.
It's just a firehose of impenetrable nonsense attempting to differentiate postal voting from ballot drop boxes. Somehow voters dropping their votes in a metal canister outside the grocery store that says "USPS" is fine — you know, aside from it sacrificing the "sanctity" of in-person voting in a pandemic — but a big tin can that says "County Elections Office" is a danger to our very democracy.
There's also several pages of blarping about poll watchers being unable to observe the "casting" of votes outside the grocery store. To buy this argument, you'd also have to believe that votes are "cast" when the mailman picks up a postal ballot, but we'll leave that one to sainted Democratic election lawyer Marc Elias to ponder. The Trump campaign is demanding all drop boxes except those at the county boards of election be closed to prevent "fraud," and they've drawn a 42-year-old Trump appointee to hear the case so, maybe they'll get to drag this one out until after November. Who the hell even knows!
Over in Ohio, Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose is taking a less subtle approach. Today he directed all counties to remove all drop boxes except for a single one outside the board of elections.
BREAKING: Ohio's Republican Secretary of State issued a new directive prohibiting boards of elections "from install… https://t.co/uhqXAhACnt— Marc E. Elias (@Marc E. Elias) 1597254191.0
Ohio's H.B. 197 mandated for the primaries that each county erect at least one drop box: "The board shall place a secure receptacle outside the office of the board for the return of ballots under this section." Some Ohio counties have used ballot drop boxes in the past, but in LaRose's telling, there is some question over the legality of placing them at other locations. So he asked Ohio's Attorney General Dave Yost (also a Republican, natch) to issue an opinion on allowing off-site boxes in the absence of specific mandating legislation pertaining to the general.
This would seem to be a priority since the single drops were swamped in populous counties during the June primary.
"In years past, we haven't really had a problem with the fact that there's only been one box, but in April, we had a real problem with that because so many people were trying to get to this one drop box that it created lines extending out the driveway here in a mile in each direction out on Norwood Lateral," said Caleb Faux, a Democrat on the Hamilton County Board of Elections.
But Yost has been too busy washing his hair to bother with ensuring safe voting during a pandemic, ALLEGEDLY. So now LaRose has just gone ahead and limited drop boxes to one per county. That means Vinton County, with 13,000 residents, gets one drop box. And Franklin County, with 1.3 million residents, also gets one drop box. Speaking of the Equal Protection Clause!
"I don't want to subject our county boards of election to a bunch of wasteful litigation," LaRose said at a press conference this afternoon, pointing to the Pennsylvania case. Which makes complete sense if you pretend that the Democracy Docket isn't about to SEE YOU IN COURT, OHIO over this one, too. They were always going to get sued over this one, so naturally the Republican secretary of State went with the option that made it harder to vote in Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati.
(Got a few bucks to throw at lawyers fighting the GOP vote suppression machine? Do it here!)
In LaRose's telling, he's doing everyone a big favor and making sure that they can legally erect one box in every county. But the Ohio Democrats aren't buying it.
"Ohioans have used secure drop boxes to return their absentee ballots for years — and it was never a problem until Frank LaRose decided to make it one," Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper said yesterday. "When county boards of elections and local officials started to explore making these drop boxes more accessible to more voters — by installing multiple locations around their counties as happens in many other states — LaRose decided to step in and stop them. LaRose's claims that he needs statutory authority are baseless and should be viewed for what they plainly are — an excuse to rein in boards of elections that are trying to make it more convenient for voters to cast their ballots safely and securely during a global pandemic. In the end, he didn't even wait for the legal opinion he claimed he needed and that he used to keep boards from preparing to add more drop boxes. What a total sham."
In summary and in in conclusion, these fuckers are trying to steal another election. DO NOT LET THEM.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.