Saturday, August 22, 2020

Motown: The City That Can Mess Up a Two Car Parade

Just a side note to this week’s Democratic National Convention: One of Thursday night’s speakers was Michigan's top election official, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. As her party stressed the need to “protect voting rights” this fall, Benson touted the virtues and safety of voting by mail.

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson speaks at Democratic National Convention on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020.

“There is absolutely zero difference between voting by mail and voting absentee, [except requesting an absentee ballot requires that you be, at a minimum, alive] Benson said at another point, referencing Republican President Donald Trump's arguments that there are differences between voting absentee and widespread voting by mail.

“Millions of Americans have been voting absentee for decades, [even after they’re dead] Benson said. "Donald Trump, his family, his staff, they all vote by mail." – Detroit News

Benson’s position is interesting whereas she reported just a week earlier that over 10,000 otherwise legitimate ballots in Michigan’s August 4th primary were invalid and could not be counted due to late arrival or invalid signatures.

“With turnout and absentee ballot numbers expected to double or even triple in November, we could be looking at tens of thousands of Michigan citizens disenfranchised if the Legislature again fails to act.”

Then yesterday, a day after her spot at the DNC, all four members of the State Board of Canvassers blasted problems with counting ballots in Detroit's primary election as “alarming” and “concerning.” To be specific, 72% of Detroit's absentee ballot counts were off, meaning that the number of ballots tracked in precinct poll books did not match the number of ballots counted. Beyond the obvious, this is a particularly thorny issue in Michigan because by State law precincts whose poll books don’t match with ballots can’t be recounted. This is a recurring problem in Michigan; in 2016 election officials couldn’t reconcile vote totals for 59% of precincts, 136 of them in Detroit where “significant discrepancies” in votes were noted due to “an abundance of human errors.”

Lest Democrats view the inability to do recounts as a feature rather than a bug,

allow me to remind them that while it might allow the original vote tally to stand, an alternate remedy provides that all of the votes in the out-of-balance precinct could be invalidated. Since most of the out of balance precincts are always in Detroit, where few if any vote Republican, that will benefit - that’s right - Trump! Your arch-nemesis.

Boy, where is Jimmy Carter when we really need him?

From Venezuela: An Open Letter to Jimmy Carter | Babalú Blog

Jimmy Carter, monitoring the Venezuelan election, declares Hugo Chávez the winner and the Venezuelan election process "the best in the world." Ooh ooh ooh! Do Detroit next! 

Detroit: the city that can mess up a 2 car parade.