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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/1/20

The 2020 Election Demands 3-Way Protection and a Nationwide Grassroots EP Upheaval

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The 2020 election will be decided by 3 factors:

Registration Rolls, Vote by Mail, and Ballot Counting.

How effectively a national grassroots election-protection upheaval can affect them will decide the fate of the Earth.

THE REGISTRATION ROLLS have been stripped of 16 million or more citizens mostly of youth and color, but many have been re-registered.

Election Protection (EP) activists must fight to make voter registration as easy and fair as possible, contact and re-register the disenfranchised, confirm the registrations of those who think they're registered but are not, and register millions of new voters, especially among those who have just marched for racial justice and police reform.

VOTE BY MAIL (VBM) has successfully provided paper ballots in Colorado, Utah, Washington, Oregon & Hawaii. All states have always provided absentee ballots. But the virus could force 2020 VBM totals from 5% overall to 40-80%, overwhelming unprepared counties & states.

The obvious Trump strategy is to whine on the Big Lie that VBM is inherently corrupt while letting the virus decimate the public's ability to vote in person. Stripping the voting centers, providing the few that are left with faulty machines, delegitimizing vote by mail, and destroying the US Postal Service equals the basic Trump plan to sabotage the election.

But Vote by Mail can be made to work well. Here's how:

EP activists must proofread outgoing ballot drafts for mistakes (willful or otherwise); make sure they are properly printed; make sure enough are printed both to be sent eligible voters and to be available for those coming into polling stations; make sure they're printed on time; make sure they're delivered to election boards on time; make sure they're sent to voters on time; make sure every eligible voter gets one; fight to eliminate disenfranchising requirements like Photo ID, multiple witnessing, notarization etc.; make sure return deadlines are clear (unlike April's Wisconsin primary); fight to save the US Postal Service; fight to provide return postage; make sure every voter can easily mail back the ballot or walk it in to a secure election board or protected drop box; make sure early voting is greatly facilitated; fight to provide as many voting centers as possible, and to publicize their locations; encourage all who come to vote in person after signing up for a ballot bring it in with clear understanding of the "surrender rule," or get a proper ballot upon coming in to vote without one; make sure all ballots received at election boards are protected, with clear and secure chains of custody; make sure received ballots are NOT counted before the polls close on election day; make sure the ballots are preserved 22 months as per federal law.

COUNTING THE BALLOTS demands maximum use of electronic imaging devices, now in 80% or more precincts, which automatically create digital images while preserving the paper ballots. These easily countable images are protected by federal law, but local election officials often destroy them. Unworkable reporting deadlines (as in Florida) must be extended. As per Florida 2000, Ohio 2004, and Wisconsin-Michigan-Pennsylvania 2016, all phases of ballot counting and recounting (including by hand) must be closely monitored.

Trump has allocated $20 million to hire 50,000 armed cultists to "protect" the voting places and infiltrate the electoral system. Many are already shaping the process. Thousands will come on election day with Confederate flags and guns to terrorize the citizenry. We can also expect some kind of 9/11 "October Surprise" event to undermine the process.

Yet in the wake of the George Floyd killing and others, millions have just marched for racial justice and police reform. Every one of you must now work to protect the 2020 election. Merely voting is nowhere near enough.

Because the presidency is decided through the Electoral College on a state-by-state basis, this is not a national election. Most likely 2020 will be decided in 18 swing states, many with key US Senate races, nearly all with extreme right-wing legislatures, including Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida, Arizona; then Ohio, New Hampshire, Georgia, New Mexico, Nevada, Iowa; then South Carolina, Alabama, Texas, Kansas, Montana, Kentucky.

Election protection demands at least two coordinators in each state with a thorough, detailed understanding of all the nuances of the election laws in that state.

In turn, every county must have EP activists tightly bound to the local election board. They must know all about the registration rolls, re-registering the disenfranchised, and registering new voters, especially among those who marched.

Based at the election boards and in neighborhood storefronts and elsewhere, this network of EP activists must:

  • guarantee that all eligible citizens are registered

  • work closely with all phases of Vote by Mail

  • neutralize Trump cultists already infiltrated into the electoral system

  • physically protect election-day voters lined up at election centers

  • work through the post-election night to guarantee a fair vote count

The election is barely four months away. Without top-to-bottom protection, it will be America's last.

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Harvey Wasserman Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Harvey is a lifelong activist who speaks, writes and organizes widely on energy, the environment, election protection, social justice, grass-roots politics and natural healing, personal and planetary.He hosts "California Solartopia" at KPFK-Pacifica and "Green Power & Wellness" atprn.fm. (more...)

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