As Of Probably Right Now, Drop Off Your Absentee Ballot, Don't Mail It

Just to be safe!

If you requested an absentee ballot and haven't mailed it yet, you should probably avoid sending your ballot through the mail starting today, on the principle that you don't want to take any risks with this election. That goes double for voters in swing states, where — quelle surprise! — the Postal Service's ontime delivery rates appear to be slumping again. The Washington Post has some numbers that ought to convince you to drop that ballot off in person before the election. (If you're not sure where to take it, Vote.org has links to all state elections offices!)

Nationally, only 85.6 percent of all first-class mail was delivered on time the week of Oct. 16; that's the 14th consecutive week the on-time rate sat below 90 percent for mail that should reach its destination within three days.

Now, if you've already mailed your ballot this morning or in the last few days, don't freak out, because as Government Executive details, the Postal Service is, in general, making efforts to process election mail faster than regular first-class mail, particularly since the USPS is under several court orders to do so. In all but a few states, you can track your ballot after it's been mailed.

But from a logistical point of view, taking your ballot to drop off personally is probably the best way to avoid stress and anxiety at this point.

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Federal Judge Halts Ohio Voter Suppression Scheme

Secretary of State tried to limit the ability of city dwellers to vote. It ... didn't work.

For decades, Republicans have made it clear that they don't give a flying fuck about the principles underpinning our democratic system. To the GOP, the will of the people doesn't matter; the only thing that actually matters is gaining and holding onto power.

As part of the Republican Party's plan to steal the 2020 elections by any means necessary, earlier this week, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose issued a directive limiting every county in the state — with no regard for geography, population, or feasibility — to just one drop box each to collect absentee ballots.

After initially dismissing the case, Ohio federal Judge Dan Aaron Polster reversed course on Friday, reinstating the lawsuit filed by civil rights organizations and individual voters alike, and striking down LaRose's one Dropbox per county rule. Finding that LaRose's ratfucking violates the rights of voters under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the US Constitution, the court held that the directive “significantly burdens the right to vote, and, ultimately, may have the effect of deterring many people from voting or forcing them to risk their health by voting in-person." As such,

The Secretary is enjoined from enforcing that portion of Directive 2020-16 that prohibits a county board of elections from installing a secure drop box at a location other than the board of elections office, and the Secretary is also enjoined from prohibiting a board from deploying its staff for off-site ballot delivery.

Suck it, LaRose.

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Wonkette's Five Factchecks Of What The F*ck We Could Hear Him Lying

A far from comprehensive listicle.

If you want a complete factcheck of every time Donald Trump lied during last night's debate, simply look up the debate transcript (weirdly, the Daily Mail seems to have gotten the jump on other outlets), find the parts where Trump is saying anything, and you've found the lies. As for the specifics of what he got wrong, there are fact-checks all over the place; we will share with you some of the whoppers that we called out while Team Wonkette was liveblooging, before we hung our heads in whipsawed defeat. Hoo boy. This is an accurate representation of Trump's disinformation spew:

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Trump Bans Diversity Training In The Name of Diversity

Yay, more white supremacist, sexist propaganda!

Donald Trump has lost his fucking mind.

Whether he was ever all the way there to begin with is debatable, but we have now reached peak racist old grandpa who yells at the TV while slobbering all over himself. The problem is that this particular racist old grandpa who exclusively gets his information from Fox News also happens to be the commander-in-chief.

This week, the White House released Trump's "Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping," which, amazingly enough, bans trainings on how to combat race and sex stereotyping in the workplace.

While those of us in the US who aren't white supremacists have taken the last few months to really look at how to combat systemic and institutional racism, the GOP has taken this time to really work on perfecting its white nationalist talking points. So here we are.

The background

Earlier this month, Trump issued an Executive Order banning certain types of diversity training from federal agencies. This week's order also bans federal contractors from using them, too.

The EO, naturally, was announced via Twitter in the midst of one of the commander-in-chief's adderall binges.

Donald Trump and the other Stephen Millers white supremacists in the administration are at war with the 1619 Project, critical race theory, the concept of white privilege, and anything that might not instill PRIDE in American history. Appropriately, Trump's obsession with murdering critical race theory appears to have originated with a segment on white supremacist Tucker Carlson's show.

I realize satire died somewhere back in 2016, but the lack of self-awareness here is really astounding. In the same breath as he bloviates about the importance of "defend[ing] the legacy of America's founding, the virtue of America's heroes, and the nobility of the American character," Trump actually refers to diversity and inclusion training as "propaganda." Because this is the bad place.

As badass founding critical race theorist and intersectional feminist and law professor at UCLA and Columbia University Kimberlé Crenshaw told Vox,

"They've lumped everything together: critical race theory, the 1619 project, whiteness studies, talking about white privilege," Kimberlé Crenshaw, a founding critical race theorist and UCLA and Columbia University law professor, told Vox. "What they have in common is they are discourses that refuse to participate in the lie that America has triumphantly overcome its racist history, that everything is behind us. None of these projects accept that it's all behind us."

The fuckery

The Executive Order, as you might imagine, is quite the read.

At the very beginning of the executive order banning racial sensitivity training, Trump invokes the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement. So that's adorable.

As you might imagine, Trump's version of America's history is ... just a little bit entirely bastardized.

From the battlefield of Gettysburg to the bus boycott in Montgomery and the Selma-to-Montgomery marches, heroic Americans have valiantly risked their lives to ensure that their children would grow up in a Nation living out its creed, expressed in the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." It was this belief in the inherent equality of every individual that inspired the Founding generation to risk their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to establish a new Nation, unique among the countries of the world. President Abraham Lincoln understood that this belief is "the electric cord" that "links the hearts of patriotic and liberty-loving" people, no matter their race or country of origin. It is the belief that inspired the heroic black soldiers of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment to defend that same Union at great cost in the Civil War. And it is what inspired Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to dream that his children would one day "not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

Thanks to the courage and sacrifice of our forebears, America has made significant progress toward realization of our national creed, particularly in the 57 years since Dr. King shared his dream with the country.

Fucking YIKES.

I, for one, am particularly impressed with the fact that the EO talks about the Civil War without actually mentioning slavery. The retconning here is kind of incredible.

Without irony, the EO says that

Today many people are pushing a different vision of America that is grounded in hierarchies based on collective social and political identities rather than in the inherent and equal dignity of every person as an individual.

... and then immediately trashes any attempt to come to terms with our country's racist and sexist past (and present).

This ideology is rooted in the pernicious and false belief that America is an irredeemably racist and sexist country; that some people, simply on account of their race or sex, are oppressors; and that racial and sexual identities are more important than our common status as human beings and Americans.

Because apparently, we should just ignore systemic and institutionalized white supremacy and misogyny. It makes the old white men uncomfortable.

Yes, this is fucking unconstitutional

How is Trump's latest bullshit illegal? Let me count the ways.

There are obviously some pretty major First Amendment issues with this racist, sexist nonsense. The feds have the ability to place limits on their contractors, but the breadth of this order is NUTS. The EO may even limit what colleges and universities teach in courses about critical race theory and women's studies, since basically all higher learning institutions receive federal money.

I will just be waiting here for the Bretbug Stephens's of the world, who love to bloviate about free speech on college campuses, to get all up in arms about this one.

There are also First Amendment issues with the vagueness of the language and the broadness of the order. Even after reading the whole order, it's hard to figure out exactly what it seeks to ban. Snopes looked into what the EO actually banned and basically came back with "idunno." The First Amendment requires that laws not be overly broad or overly vague and this seems to be both.

There are several potential statutory problems with it, too, since there is a very real chance that it conflicts with federal civil rights laws and rules promulgated by federal agencies. Since, you know, diversity is actually a good thing and we have been passing civil rights laws for the last half-century in an effort to improve the lives of people who had historically been disenfranchised.

Does it matter that this bullshit is illegal?

Ehhh, probably not.

This thing is going to be challenged. That's a given. But where, exactly those challenges will go remains to be decided.

The way I see it, by the time this disaster works its way through the court system, one of two things will be true; either Trump will still be president, Amy Coney Barrett will be the ninth member of SCOTUS, and the Supreme Court will rubber-stamp all the fascist Trump ideas ... orrrrrrr Joe Biden will be President and rescind every executive order Trump ever issued.

[ Executive Order / Army Times / Vox / Snopes ]

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