2020 Election

Democracy is calling: Poll workers desperately needed for 2020 Election

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Add this to your list of critical essential workers during this pandemic:

Many county elections directors started recruiting poll workers earlier than normal, are using new recruitment strategies, have increased pay and are partnering with the North Carolina State Board of Elections, political parties and voter rights groups to find people to work the election.

Officials anticipate a shortage of poll workers could cause longer lines, last-minute precinct closures and voter confusion. That was the case in Georgia and Wisconsin, where poll worker shortages during primaries caused precinct closures, hours-long lines and disenfranchised voters.

While it's true that absentee by-mail voting is going to increase substantially this year (the more the better), we're still only talking about maybe 1/3 of all votes. We need, now more than ever, properly-staffed and prolific early voting locations, and poll workers for all the precinct voting sites. The fact that many county BOEs have had their budgets cut due to a major drop in local revenues merely exacerbates a problem we knew we were going to have, since elderly volunteers usually make up the bulk of election workers, people who are extremely vulnerable to COVID 19:

Foreign interference in 2020 Election is already rampant

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Be extremely careful of the information you share on social media:

The intelligence warning on Friday did not accuse the Chinese of trying to hack the vote; instead it said they were using their influence “to shape the policy environment in the United States” and to pressure politicians “it views as opposed to China’s interests.”

Russia, the warning said, was continuing to “spread disinformation in the U.S. that is designed to undermine confidence in our democratic process,” and it described Iran as an emerging actor in election interference, seeking to spread disinformation and “recirculating anti-U.S. content.”

Guarding against being involuntarily manipulated by these operations is even harder than it was four years ago. Their process has evolved, their skills have been sharpened, and their work will circulate into your orbit at one time or another. And our own strong desire to expose and fix corrupted elements of our society will be used against us, if they can. But we need more information about these developments, some specific examples of such, and the intelligence community's innate desire to keep these things secret is causing a rift between them and Congress:

Voting during a pandemic: Advocates and officials chime in

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Hat-tip to Melissa Boughton for putting this together:

It’s not easy to forget the photos of masked Wisconsin voters standing in large lines waiting to cast a ballot in the middle of a pandemic. Residents there risked their health and lives to make their voices heard; they chose democracy in the face of uncertainty, and now, the rest of the nation has a chance to learn from them.

One big lesson that I hope the NC GOP learned from that fiasco is this: You screw around with the election process to try and protect one (or several) of your candidates, and the people are liable to punish you for it. With Jill Karofsky's win over uber-conservative Daniel Kelly, the Wisconsin Supreme Court is now 4-3 conservative, perched on the edge of a flip to Liberal control. The fact that very Court was poised to purge 200,000 voters from the rolls with Kelly's backing likely played a role also, as well as the Court's decision to force the election itself. Back to NC and the things we need to do to help voters:

Open thread: 2020 NCDP (virtual) County Conventions today

I hereby declare the alternate title of these proceedings shall be referred to as "Herding Cats Online." Just kidding. But seriously. This is going to be complicated enough as it is without our usual standard, "I would like to speak, even though I really haven't formulated a relevant argument on that subject I have yet to choose to be outraged about, I'm just counting on the Holy Spirit of Democracy to move me in the right direction." I'd like to say that was hyperbole, but I cannot tell a lie. Let's just get the business done. See you at High Noon.

Voting alert: Counties want to cut budgets for election boards

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When they should be contemplating increases:

Officials in multiple counties have told their local elections officials to find ways to reduce spending for the upcoming budget cycle, which begins July 1. Such cuts could impact preparations for the 2020 general election, as well as increased precautionary measures to ensure voters' safety at the polls.

State Board of Elections Director Karen Brinson Bell said several local boards have already noted that they expect at least some budget reductions as county commissioners finalize budgets in the coming weeks. That includes Chowan County, whose elections officials were asked to make a 10 percent cut.

Not just no, but hell no. Find those cuts somewhere else, because our democracy is already on a fricking ventilator right now. We actually need to expand early voting sites to keep people from having to travel across the county and lining up, and unpaid volunteers (especially elderly) are going to be even harder to find than usual. And we can't make the mistake of assuming General Assembly Republicans will do the right thing:

Video messages from Wayne Goodwin: Chairman, Candidate, Citizen

Though I still wear many hats these days, including as Chairman of the NC Democratic Party, below are several brief messages of mine that are either public safety, campaign, or Democratic Party related.

Video #1

Video #2

Video #3

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