Regrets – Too Few To Change Me

I am an advocate of early voting. I was among the Super Tuesday voters who got “burned” by it last week. I still have every intention of voting early in the general election and suggest you do if that option is available to you. Let’s explore.  

I have voted in three states New York, Florida and North Carolina. New York did not have early voting when I lived there; I first became familiar with it in Florida. With the exception of the 2019 municipal elections (where I cast my ballot via a traditional absentee ballot since I knew I would be out of town) I have voted via early voting in every election since 2002. It is simply more convenient.

I encourage people to vote early because life happens. Cars don’t start, people get sick, the plumbing breaks, etc. The lower on the social economic scale you are the worse it is.

Last summer I went to bed one night perfectly healthy and feeling great. About 8am the next morning I was experiencing discomfort like I never had before. I was confused and certainly ill. Being the stubborn old guy I am, I figured it was some passing thing, ignored my wife’s sage advice and waited for it to pass. About two days later I was in the operating room getting my gall bladder removed. The surgeon told me I had a matter of hours, not days. What if I woke up that way on Election Day? There is no way I could have stood in line for even a very reasonable half hour.

I voted for Amy Klobuchar in the 2020 North Carolina primary. By Super Tuesday she had dropped out and endorsed Joe Biden. This was a vote not a wager. I wasn’t trying to pick the eventual winner. I voted for Senator Klobuchar because she was one of the several candidates I found acceptable on policy (think: goals) and the one I felt the opposition would have the most problem attacking. Had I waited until Super Tuesday to vote I would have voted for Elizabeth Warren (who dropped out Thursday) or Biden; I’m still not certain which and it doesn’t matter at this point.

Before I move on I want to spend a bit of time on those who we lost along the way. Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg (who we “met” this campaign), Kamala Harris, Klobuchar and Warren were all great candidates and I feel would have made good and possibly great presidents. (Circumstances have a lot to do with the difference between good and great in the case of presidencies.) The sad reality is that like the NCAA basketball tournament there is only one winner.

I outlined my primary reason for voting early. Here are a few others. The fact that you voted is public record and well run campaigns will stop contacting you when you do. This better allocates their resources and is less annoying for you. Since whom you voted for is secret unfortunately the emails appealing for money still will continue.

2020 will present another set of reasons. Some I am certain of others I’m speculating.

There will be disinformation and it will pick up in frequency as we near Election Day. The October surprise is part of the political lexicon but the Trump people have transformed it into an art form – an ugly art form. France has a law that prohibits political messaging in the hours before an election because it denies a chance to refute it. Expect flat out lies about the Democratic nominee emanating from the Trump campaign and/or its surrogates (domestic or just portraying itself to be domestic – Tennessee, Russia anyone?) Mitch McConnell pulled the switch just a tad too early when he interfered in the 2020 North Carolina Democratic U. S. Senate primary which allowed Cal Cunningham time to expose the plot and win handily. GOP campaign operatives may be evil but they are not stupid; they won’t make the same mistake twice in the same cycle.

Now to Election Day itself: America’s and allied intelligence communities believe that the Russians have penetrated at least some Boards of Elections. What is to prevent them from interfering with the voting process on Election Day? There is reason to believe they may have done just that in (heavily blue and densely populated) Durham County, North Carolina in 2016. It appears that no totals were manipulated but there were strange malfunctions that prevented people from casting ballots for the first few hours. How many had the chance to vote after work? Polls close at 7:30pm in North Carolina. If you had the ability to interfere with the election process you would do so on Election Day. It is the heaviest turnout day and there is no tomorrow.

Now I come to a domestic nefarious suspicion that the coronavirus made me think of. What is to stop Trump from, via his sycophants, ordering the closing of certain polling places as a health concern? I bet they will be in urban areas and of course we have to protect the students so they will be near college campuses, especially HBCU’s.

I may be overreacting but I want to protect my vote and give it the best chance of being counted. Remember in the General it is a binary (and very clear) choice. Therefore I will vote early in the fall. I suggest you do also.

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