My take is covid forced the hand of many states in ways I barely understand, to approve mail in voting. People are scared and didn’t fancy standing at the polls. I live in Oregon and we’ve been doing vote-by-mail for decades. There’s tight integration of voter rolls and DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles).
I expressed skepticism as the election drew nigh that other states would experience smooth sailing. I predicted real logistical problems becoming more like Oregon on short notice. I think Trump saw the potential for a train wreck and chaos and determined that if it were announced he had lost, he could always fight, because of all the scrambling, in turn because of covid.
My read on what happened next is bureaucrats rose to the occasion and the creaky infrastructure delivered a fairly tight election by American standards. The recount in Georgia, going to paper ballots (not relying on voting machines) showed at least one example of an orderly election.
I used to work for Americans for Civic Participation (Project VOTE!) way back during Reagan vs. Mondale. I’m not new to the elections picture. My blogs contain criticisms of the election practices in this country over decades. But voters voting twice, or dead people voting, is not that common anymore. The way to tilt elections is by purging the voter rolls. I’ve long followed Greg Palast and watched his The Best Democracy Money Can Buy when it came out.
But the fact remains, because of covid, the bureaucracy was able to galvanize by-mail voting in ways many states could never have imagined doing if left to develop at their own stately pace. The pandemic made a difference. Citizens demanded the right to vote by mail, and although the political right wing was all about putting its watch dogs everywhere, so was the political left wing.
The GOP would be in a better position if it had pushed back hard against vote by mail in the lead up to the election. They raised a lot of FUD about just when to cut off the voting.
Like could I vote by mail up to the in person deadline? Not in Oregon. But some states were like, OK if you get the ballot postmarked by the voting date, especially since there could be no counting until after the polls closed anyway.
But these were earnest voters and real people behind those ballots, in my view. Those voting for Trump were outgunned by the other side, figuratively speaking. 2020 was in no way a rerun of 2016. Thinking Biden was just a slower less credible version of Hillary, so of course Trump will win, is sloppy thinking. Covid changed everything.
Trump would say things like how could Sleepy Joe have won when he didn’t have huge rallies with adoring fans. The answer is the Bidenites believe very strongly in covid and have no interest in rallies of an evangelistic flavor.
Having “large crowds” is in no way a measure of anything significant. I thought Trump was being cynical in bringing that up, as he was clearly betting on the lower half of the bell curve not realizing his logic is full of holes. As long as they don’t see that, he can get away with rallying up their patriotism and convincing them they’re saving the Republic.
I’m not a Dem myself, but I’m happy to see the Trump family getting a vacation. Lower48ers deserve a less cynical administration. Lets see what happens next.