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Clutched in our elderly hands were our precious ballots for the October mid term election. We’ve carefully fillled out our selections, rechecked them for errors, voting a blue ticket all the way. Signed the outer envelopes. Taken them to our local supermarket drop box and taken pride in participating in Democery as usual for the past 63 years. 💙🇺🇸 Three days later we were notified our ballots were received and counted. So easy to be a citizen of the USA in California.

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That is one of the reasons I will never leave California. We're not only not afraid of democracy, we try to make it easy for all eligible voters to cast a ballot and know their vote counted.

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Too many of us trapped in Red states but it’s important to keep fighting the good fight

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Yes, California is the promised land. The whole West Coast, really, within 40 miles of the coast, anyway. However, by a 30- to 40-point majority (depending on the state) the white electorate in over half of the states takes the view of the Confederate South in 1868, and the Supreme Court will almost certainly continue to firm up the use of vote suppression methods. Hard to see how this resolves itself on the side of decency. Canada++ (Canada + West Coast + Mexico, with the Canadian legal and political systems) remains my fantasy. World’s third largest economy, not far behind China. I have no hope of Canada++ coming to fruition, but West Coasters are going to find it pretty damn hard to live with the white Christian nationalist kleptocratic autocracy the Republicans are poised to install in 2025.

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Oct 24, 2022·edited Oct 25, 2022

An important service HCR provides is the actual history of the (un)united states as set with the civil war. The two visions of those bound to a confederacy and those to a union is central to today’s divides. Yet, most Republicans and those confused by the divide simply don't know this historical fact and respond with disbelief when it is shared. The civil war was so long ago. We forgave and got past that little squabble. We set it aside and all now believe in the mythical posssibilities of "all men are created equal" and "justice for all under the laws of this nation" and "we hold more in common than what we differ upon" and "every things will be all right if we just believe in our goodness" and "everthing, ideals, solutions, are all about being non-partisan" and I could go on with more paens to our folklore built from the silence or inability of our fellows to discern truth from nostalgia. I feel uncertain today about our future.

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Yes and not too far north. I was shocked to see on page 10 of the General Election Voter Information Guide that only 27 of 53 counties offer early voting. While those that do include the majority of the state's population, it says a lot about the hold the right wing has in parts of CA.

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Careful. Canada has some MAGAs

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Everywhere has MAGAs, even San Francisco. But they’re not 60% of white people in Canada.

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MAGA is a direct descendant of the Confederacy, the "Lost Cause," and the Jim Crow South. Definitely a U.S. thing -- but it's got authoritarian / fascistic first cousins in quite a few other places.

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Good to know

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Same for us just north of you, in Washington. We study our voter pamphlets and fill out our ballots at home. Drop boxes are easily accessible all over town and we can view online when our ballots have been received and tallied. Simplicity.

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Ah. Voter pamphlets.

30+years in Oregon, i took them for granted, thought that all states had them. 90+ pages, candidate statements, endorsements, initiative texts, pro and con statements produced and laid out in a partisan (pro/con) format but with editorial oversight (one cannot pass lies into the voters pamphlet, there is an editor in the SoS office). Production funded by state and modest fee for contributing material. Enforced deadlines. Statewide distribution and stacks in every post office. As a ballot initiative state, Oregon’s guide gets pretty thick with the various, often competing, ballot initiatives. Kudos to Oregon SoS. Washington state, similar.

Moved to Kansas, discovered, Lo, no! No guide to be had!

One must pay to subscribe to newspapers that formulate their own sparse voter guides with limited scope - essentially editorials and endorsements. Hard to find, and I have never seen any newspaper in Kansas publish a guide for all candidates, amendments, initiatives statewide, let alone distribute widely for free in print to all voters. Commerce rules.

Kansas League of Women Voters tries, but, cannot come close to the scope, quality control, visibility and distribution “reach” provided in Oregon. Kansas, as in other states, an information desert.

Here is a link to the Oregon SoS Voter Guide

https://www.oregonvotes.gov/voters-guide/english/votersguide.html

An online search reveals other Oregon “voter guides” near the top of search results, having a .com domain suffix makes me highly suspicious of these other sources and content.

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Smart and absolutely well done. Thank you for providing link. Made me wonder why this is not a mandate for every state in the union, (even states who do not wish to be in the union. ) I was told that, in NH, we even have a couple of Libertarian candidates masquerading as dems. I was able to identify only one name. It left me with the disquieting feeling there might be more. These detailed voter guides should be mandated in every state. Candidates should put their positions on the line devoid of the partisan icing that attempts to make bitter policies sound sweet. Looking at a NH guide, it was interesting to see the candidate who "refused to comment" on a good number of positions of possible interest to voters attempting to assess the candidate. Perhaps he is counting on "shiny brass buttons" to carry him through.

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I'm also in NH, and hadn't heard of the 2 masquerading Libertarians, though it doesn't surprise me, given the Free Staters who have quietly been moving in. They should all move to Alaska and homestead instead of trying to change NH. We were doing fine without them.

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I think many NH residents would be shocked if they took a look the recent bills coming up in the House and Senate. I never much involved myself in local politics, but I am real clear how critical this is now.

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Can no longer homestead in Alaska...

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Yes, you can, just no more free land. And what's available is expensive. Some of my Alaska relatives are moving south to the PacNW, where, astonishly (to me anyway), land is cheaper than AK. Unless you want to try to farm in melting tundra.

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Our state representative district has a guy running as both a R and a D after his name. He wan't nominated by any Ds. But his screed in the voter's pamphlet revealed him to be a total far right regressive down a black hole. Left that one blank. We consulted our all knowing political friend who is in the same district and she says it is so red that it is not worth time and energy for a D to run.

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Eastern WA has several positions with no D candidate. Our primary is the top 2 candidates move forward, so some positions are between members of the same party. On those, I will vote for the non cultists when one is moderate & the other is extreme right.

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Eastern Oregon has the same mind set. It's very difficult for any D to get elected. The Grant County sheriff recently arrested a Forest Service employee who was doing a prescribed burn which managed to get onto some private property. I don't know what will happen with that one.

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What state is yours? And what district? Thanks

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Oregon. We are in the new 6th House Congressional district...Salinas D and Erickson R. We are in the, I think, 17th state house district....totally red. No real D running. We were in a D district before, but I think were sacrificed to get some other things in the new map. Now we are in a largely rural district running out to Stayton and down south near Turner. Our urban area is red north of us and mixed in our immediate area. It is also a pretty diverse neighborhood.

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Although your idea of "mandated voter information pamphlets" is one that I support 100%, pretty certain that RW objections to federal imposition on states' rights to run elections as they see fit would immediately challenge its passage. Before the majority of local newspapers were shuttered/nationalized by corporate takeover, the public service of informing voters by newspapers was taken for granted. As many of the comments in this thread indicate, the difficulty in getting clear info of candidates' policy positions is one that needs to be widely addressed. Especially with the new phenomena of candidates refusing interviews with what MSM still exists and refusal of participation in debates!

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This dearth of election information is just one of the reasons why local newspapers have been bought out and shut down! It is so very frightening! Why OH WHY can't something be done to bring them back or to bring back some semblance of ordinary, LOCAL news services???

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excellent point that at least one independent R-leaning - yes! - journalist addressed just last week in her monologue.

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None in Texas, either. Really loved having that in Washington and California!

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...and of course the TX Republicans are deliberately preventing easy voting by mail/drop boxes-I remember that they cut Houston's drop box availability to ONE box for Harris County, where Houston, the largest city in the state, is located and the population is 4.7 MILLION.

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Moved from CA to TX and I have been appalled at the lack of transparency and information to vote.

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For all of the Republican distain of California's alleged liberalism, it's a lot more American democracy than the Republican version in Texas.

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We have to face the fact that Republicans no longer want a democracy where everyone gets a voice.

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So true!

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R M Jory - near Topeka Kansas. -- "Here is a link to the Oregon SoS Voter Guide

https://www.oregonvotes.gov/voters-guide/english/votersguide.html

An online search reveals other Oregon 'voter guides'”

Colorado, also, has this data widely available.

“𝘛𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘢𝘵 𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘵 𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘯 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺 𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘭𝘦 𝘣𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘰𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘢𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘤𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶, 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘪𝘵’𝘴 𝘮𝘪𝘥-𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘮 𝘰𝘳 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘢𝘭 𝘪𝘯 𝘕𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘮𝘣𝘦𝘳, 𝘰𝘳 𝘤𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘪𝘯 𝘈𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘭 𝘰𝘳 𝘴𝘤𝘩𝘰𝘰𝘭 𝘣𝘰𝘢𝘳𝘥 𝘪𝘯 𝘧𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘰𝘳 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘏𝘖𝘈. 𝘠𝘰𝘶 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘦𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘤𝘩𝘰𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘪𝘨𝘯𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘪𝘵 𝘰𝘳 𝘥𝘰 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘪𝘵.”

Voter guides are one way to learn about candidates and issues.

https://gazette.com/news/elections/plethora-of-colorado-voter-guides-to-inform-after-that-its-up-to-you/article_fd284536-466f-11ed-8279-3b74da1592a0.html

Most important of these is the "Blue Book" which every registered voter gets whether they ask for it or not.

"𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘶𝘳𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘰𝘵 𝘪𝘯𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘣𝘰𝘰𝘬𝘭𝘦𝘵 (𝘉𝘭𝘶𝘦 𝘉𝘰𝘰𝘬) 𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘪𝘥𝘦 𝘷𝘰𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘦𝘹𝘵, 𝘵𝘪𝘵𝘭𝘦, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘢 𝘧𝘢𝘪𝘳 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘪𝘢𝘭 𝘢𝘯𝘢𝘭𝘺𝘴𝘪𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘦𝘢𝘤𝘩 𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘰𝘳 𝘳𝘦𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘳𝘦𝘥 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘵𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘢𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵, 𝘭𝘢𝘸, 𝘰𝘳 𝘲𝘶𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘰𝘵. 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘢𝘭𝘺𝘴𝘪𝘴 𝘮𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘭𝘶𝘥𝘦 𝘢 𝘴𝘶𝘮𝘮𝘢𝘳𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘶𝘳𝘦, 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘢𝘫𝘰𝘳 𝘢𝘳𝘨𝘶𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘣𝘰𝘵𝘩 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘢𝘨𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘴𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘶𝘳𝘦, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘢 𝘣𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘧 𝘧𝘪𝘴𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘶𝘳𝘦. 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘢𝘭𝘺𝘴𝘪𝘴 𝘮𝘢𝘺 𝘢𝘭𝘴𝘰 𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘭𝘶𝘥𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘺 𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘪𝘯𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘩𝘦𝘭𝘱 𝘷𝘰𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘶𝘳𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘦𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘤𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘢 𝘮𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘶𝘳𝘦."

This document is quite detailed (perhaps overly so) and this year's booklet is 86 pages. Denver, also, has a local version put out by the Denver Election Division that (this year) is 48 pages.

https://leg.colorado.gov/content/initiatives/initiatives-blue-book-overview/ballot-information-booklet-blue-book

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The official voter guides in Oregon are put out by counties and the state. Any other voter guides are suggestions by some other entity on how to vote. There's been a complaint from a R about a D one.

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Still getting them here in Oregon. Got my voter guide marked and expecting my ballot to be at USPS by now. (No street delivery in our town.) Redistricting here created an additional district (yay) but condemned my district to double the GOP population it had. Not best pleased with the trade off. Rural urban divide made worse for where I live, and has emboldened local politics to be even uglier than it was.

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I feel for you. Our local politics were a little dicey also because of gerrymandered districting. The city council was ordered by the state to rework them, thank goodness. I live in CA.

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In Indiana we have a button that you can push for Democrat or Republican. Most people have no idea who the candidates are that are on the ballot. They don't really care and they just push the button. I am glad my granddaughter lives in California rather than Indiana.

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Do you mean "One button that votes straight Republican and one button that votes straight Democrat" and you are done voting for everything? Or as some do, you just vote party line?

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Yes! Many people can't read but they can push a button!

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Not formally in Missouri either, although a couple of local papers try hard. At least two candidates, however, didn't bother to respond to the questionnaire that was sent; whether too busy, too confident or just didn't care, I have no clue, but neither will get my vote.

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Alaska makes it easy to vote also and I took it for granted. Our voter ID is tied to the PFD, which everyone applies for, and the state sends out the pamphlet.

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Oregon's LWV started the voters pamphlet, and it was a marvel: very even-handed and thorough. At some point the state picked it up because it not only became a big job, but the people of Oregon valued it enough to fund it. I also had no idea that other states did not have a guide like this. Stunned when I moved to Vermont and there was literally NO guide at all, not even a list of candidates, and the media was hit and miss. I took to calling candidates or their reps to try to figure out who was about what. Gradually, the media here started doing some comparative coverage, but again, hit and miss and mostly state candidates. Still no where near what Oregon has been doing for well over 60 years- I don't know when it started, but remember it as a child, and I am not young.

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None in Maine either. That came as a shock after living in California where it was standard fare. Now that I'm living in Washington state, I'm back to "normal" and better informed that I would be if I depended on nothing more than the endless, and relatively unproductive, television ads.

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Way cool to hear that SOME states actually DO believe in DEMOCRACY!!!! I had no idea that any of what you're describing existed anywhere. Wow!

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We're here. We just don't make as much noise as the others. Maybe because we're not trying to sell what is unmarketable to those who love and serve (or have served) our country and fellow citizens.

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Of course we're drowning in "shoulds". In the very early 1980's a statistic made it to a headline that told us that the total spent on ads of all types has surpassed the national total spent on public education. Willie Horton has been resurrected in the New York governor race. Trumpist Zeldin is rising in the polls, now necknneck with the Dem. Yelling crime wave does it. It's actually the visible rise of homelessness that makes that crime claim plausible. My "should" for today is that public H. S. education should include a course in interpreting advertising. The subject of interpreting ads is a huge subject pertaining to cultural values and personal development. It is the dominant pedagogy. "Relatively unproductive" doesn't come close to explaining why races a inexorably predicted according to the money raised for the campaigns.

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YES!!! Excellent idea... and part of teaching students .. critical thinking... OMG... we'd put all of these nasty advertising campaigns outta biz... and they'd really hate that... sooo their lobbyists would surely outlaw it... as they do.

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I was today years old when I learned that any State would make such a comprehensive voter guide. I have lived in Georgia (now), Pennsylvania and Ohio.

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We have to be careful WHERE we live. I live in triple Blue Colorado. I got my guidebook to voting several weeks. Now have my mail-in ballot. Ballot box 3 blocks away! Yeah, I LOVE it here!!!

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Me too!

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Massachusetts does one too. The hardcopy version came out in the summer, and it's updated on the secretary of state's website. (One of the ballot questions wasn't certified till after the booklet was published, but its text and pro and con statements are on the website.)

General observation: If your state government publishes such a thing, it's probably coming from the secretary of state's office. In most states, that's the office in charge of elections. Quite a few election deniers are running for this office in certain swing states.

iVote (https://www.ivoteforamerica.org/), a leader in the ongoing fight for voting rights, has targeted the secretary of state races in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, and Nevada, so if you live in or know people in any of those states, put the word out!

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Oct 24, 2022·edited Oct 24, 2022

Whoa!! I had NO IDEA that most other states do NOT create and distribute Voter Pamphlets!! I can't imagine voting without one. Ours are available in a multitude of languages, contains a wealth of information on bills and measures up for vote - - you get the full content of the bill, plus a "plain English" explanation of what happens if the bill is passed, a statement 'for' plus a statement 'against', and a list of who endorses it etc - - for candidates, a very informative profile that includes previous elected experience, education, community service, a personal statement, contact info, and more. We receive our pamphlets about 2 weeks before election so we have plenty of time to do our reading. This should be mandatory in every state. Otherwise how do folks find their information - - - the internet?!! Facebook?

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Apparently mostly from Fox Entertainment and their buddies!

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A scary number of people vote without getting any detailed information and just mark R or D.

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sometimes it's all we have...

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Yes, but to just vote for one because you always do without knowing anything about them is part of how we got where we are.

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Yes, it should be mandatory in every state.

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The entire state of OREGON votes by mail. Thank you Ellie Kona.Thank you RM. And, thank you Professor Joyce at Lewis & Clark Law School (Sister in Law).

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Ditto the state of Washington! With free postage if you choose to mail it back rather than taking it to a drop box.

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Postage FREE in CA; all you do is just seal the Ballot envelope.

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And SIGN the back flap. I do not like that part as I fear many miss that thus making their ballot invalid.

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Very good point, sign on the VOTER's signature line not the one for a Voter's representative signature.

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Ditto Vermont, who simply morphed the absentee ballot into a postage paid mail in that is automatically mailed to every registered voter, which is almost every one eligible. (This is for the full election- primaries are slightly different: you have to request a mail in and you pay postage, because primary elections are not state elections, but party elections.) In both, you can still vote in person if you wish, but you take your ballot in with you.

Or if it's misplaced (happened to me one year- I had buried it under a pile of books, eh...), then you can cast a provisional ballot, which will be counted at the very end to make sure the other ballot doesn't somehow show up. In my case, I found the original day after election day and took it in so it could be invalidated on the spot. Since then, I've been more careful about where I put the dang thing.

In Vermont, the ballot has two envelopes: You put the ballot in the inner one, sign and seal. After some problems with people not realizing that a few years ago, they redesigned the inner envelope so that it is clear where it needs to be signed. Then the inner ballot goes into the larger prepaid outer envelope, which is also sealed. And into the mail or post box. Since I live only three blocks from the town office, I just walk down, drop my ballot into the box, and then stop at the bakery a couple doors away. Perfect.

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"Stop at the bakery" ... very positive reinforcement. :)

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Bryan, The Supreme, supreme Justice Thomas is singing the song, and I thought we would benefit from your comment on this if you care to share it with us:

'Supreme Court puts hold on order that Graham testify before grand jury'

'Justice Clarence Thomas Monday put at least a temporary hold on an order that Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) appear before a Georgia grand jury investigating possible attempts by President Donald Trump and his allies to disrupt the state’s 2020 presidential election.'

'Thomas’s short order appears to be an attempt to maintain the status quo as the petition advances. Prosecutors face a Thursday deadline for responding to Graham’s request.'

'A unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit last week turned down Graham’s attempt to block a subpoena from Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (D), in which the lawmaker claimed a sitting senator is shielded from testifying in such investigations'.

'A district court judge had said Graham must appear, but narrowed the range of questions that prosecutors can ask.'

'Without a stay of the lower courts’ rulings, Graham’s lawyer, Donald F. McGahn, told the Supreme Court, “Sen. Graham will suffer the precise injury he is appealing to prevent: being questioned in state court about his legislative activity and official acts.”

Justice Clarence Thomas Monday put at least a temporary hold on an order that Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) appear before a Georgia grand jury investigating possible attempts by President Donald Trump and his allies to disrupt the state’s 2020 presidential election.'

'Thomas’s short order appears to be an attempt to maintain the status quo as the petition advances. Prosecutors face a Thursday deadline for responding to Graham’s request.'

'A unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit last week turned down Graham’s attempt to block a subpoena from Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (D), in which the lawmaker claimed a sitting senator is shielded from testifying in such investigations.'

'A district court judge had said Graham must appear, but narrowed the range of questions that prosecutors can ask.'

'Without a stay of the lower courts’ rulings, Graham’s lawyer, Donald F. McGahn, told the Supreme Court, “Sen. Graham will suffer the precise injury he is appealing to prevent: being questioned in state court about his legislative activity and official acts.” (WAPO) The article is in today's paper. Sorry, no gifting opportunity.

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FERN: All good questions in correct procedural posture, thank you. I typically go to www.scotusblog live or news analysis. In this matter, Amy Howe at scotusblog has updated her analysis as of 10/24/22 at 12:45 pm Amy time. In short, do not be distracted by Thomas' 11th District managerial duties; you got it right ... Sen Graham gets the status quo until a full SCOTUS review which is all Lindsey Scam could hope for at this stage ... to possibly narrow the scope of questioning to any degree. SCOTUS must look at future rough Constitutional waters with "Icebergs dead ahead". A "Shadow Docket" ruling is likely. I am looking for our new Justice's concurrence or dissent & possible new alignments. Say it with me now: "No person is above the Law" including Senators who are overtly disrupting GA procedures & Congressional Constitutional duties.10/24 UPDATE: 1 Million (1,000,000+) citizens have already voted in GA.

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This is why I go to you, Bryan: 'I am looking for our new Justice's concurrence or dissent & possible new alignments. Say it with me now: "No person is above the Law" including Senators who are overtly disrupting GA procedures & Congressional Constitutional duties."

I confess that I like you, too.

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You tutored me during my "silent months." Thank you again.

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Gift:

https://wapo.st/3zcxYst

The last part of the article is interesting reading, too

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Thank you Annie; the recusal issues involve three (3) Justices not just Thomas.

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Arizona has 2 voter pamphlets, 1 for candidates & 1 for initiatives. I read them, then share the relevant parts with friends & family who ask. Knowledge is power.

Pima County is less crazy than Maricopa, but my daughters & I have made plans to go together & film any "watchers" who may be filming us.

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We’re in Maricopa county and our voter pamphlet was printed black ink on brown paper, some of it in 8 point font. It was difficult to see. However we persisted, looked up the propositions online, checked the records of the judges, marked our ballot a straight democrat ticket and mailed them on Friday.

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Your sheriff was just on MSNBC. I like him a lot. He is looking out for people who are trying to vote and put their ballots in ballot box. He’s watching those jerks who are intimidators.

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Bravo!!👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

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I am in TN. I guess I take for granted that I have a drivers license and a car. But driving to a local church for early voting is pretty darned simple. What I do not have however, is the ease and the time of studying a ballot beforehand and doing a bit of research so that my vote can be done more intelligently. There were local candidates (like school board) who I had no idea who they were or what their party affiliation is. And I just skipped over them. Others I only knew of because they were endorsed by a local Democratic candidate who I know and respect.

What about those persons who are without a car, or do not have an "acceptable" identification? I guess that's a problem isn't it.

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You can offer to pick them up and drive them to that church to vote. That’s what you can do!

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Here in Idaho no more voter guides. Not much choice either.

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This does not surprise me. From what I've learned from relatives, just about everything in Idaho is determined top down, with heavy input from church (in Idaho and Utah, "church" means one thing). It is an advantage to them to keep as many in the dark as they can.

When I was working on projects that involved interstate MOUs with Idaho, often an agreement to collaborate on a simple project would be held up because the legislature did everything as a line item in the state budget (to the frustration of the very staff who were participating in the project. And you know who dominated the legislature. The ID budget itself was pretty opaque- you literally had to read the thing line by line to find what was in it.

Can't say how they do things now, but given Idaho resistance to any kind of change, I wouldn't be surprised to learn it is the same. It is to credit of some of the people who worked for Idaho that they hung in there to try to get things through. Lake Pend Oreille is seriously contaminated now anyway. That hurts.

It was actually easier to work with BC, though I wasn't involved in those projects, a number of my co-workers were. BC has voter guides too. Some days I wish I'd moved there. Or New Zealand, where I was actually offered a job (and the opportunity to teach while getting a PhD). But it would have meant taking my kids too far from my parents, who had no other grandchildren. The trade-off was worth it, but I do kind of wish I'd had a chance to finish grad studies.

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Some days I wish I'd done it, but then I remember how close my parents were to my kids. It was worth it. BTW, that's the second good thing I've heard about Texas this week, so thinking there are some good people doing some good things there. The other one is a very impressive "lights out" project that is really growing. Purpose is to convince cities (and residents all over) of benefits of turning off exterior lighting during bird migration season. It's better for us too- all that light is not healthy!

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Oct 24, 2022·edited Oct 24, 2022

Same here in Colorado! We get a state issued voter guide with petty wordy explanations of pros and cons as well as impact on each item on the ballot, then - of course - the local papers have similar articles and debates between contestants. No wonder Colorado is Blue!

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For all the people missing a voter guide, here is a resource to help plan your vote. Look up your address:

https://www.vote411.org/

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And I found another source here, Ballotopedia nonprofit does a good job.

https://ballotpedia.org/Main_Page

Their ‘sample ballot’ tool was spot on. Here:

https://ballotpedia.org/Sample_Ballot_Lookup

Not only did it have ballot initiatves, it had all the state appeals court and supreme court people. And they had biographic info they compile for every name on the sample ballot.

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Writing from NC. I too carefully filled out my absentee-ballot, took it to my credit union where my signature on the envelope was notarized and walked my ballot to the post office.

I was surprised to receive two successive emails notifying me of my ballot's journey. First, that it was received by the post office and the second one a few days later informed me that my ballot had arrived at the county elections office for counting.

I was greatly reassured by this tracking of my ballot.

NC is purple by a razor thin margin.

A few months ago I I applied to become a poll worker. I received a reply thanking me but saying that the poll worker slots were filled completely and that I would be placed on a stand-by list. Another encouraging sign of citizen participation.

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We used early voting in NC last week and it went were smooth. In our very small far western country, Clay, where we have a total population of 10,800 we have one early voting location. No wait on the afternoon of first day and we were numbers 151 and 152 voting. The county does have 9 precincts for in person voting on "election day". In other words it all is easy to vote here, and we also have curb side voting for those with limited mobility.

But one thing really buged me was our local paper printing an ad from the Republicans of a fake sample ballot, made to look like a real sample ballot but showing only Republicans on the ballot, no Democrats or Independents. How do you pay for such an ad and call yourself a Patriot and Christian.

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And how can your local paper do that in good conscience? It’s not a community newspaper; it’s a propaganda arm of the repubs.

I just now finished a book called The German Wife about German scientists relocated to Huntsville, AL to work on our space program and the conflict that ensued. But another theme throughout is how a country and its citizens fall to propaganda, willingly or fearfully, families and friendships are strained and broken, children are indoctrinated… it could happen here.

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Oct 24, 2022·edited Oct 24, 2022

Wonderful podcast series by Rachel Maddow digs into the eruptions of pro Hitler activites in the US during the early 40's. IMHO I found it to be an "edge of your seat" story line based on Charles Galleagher, SJ's work on the explosion of Christian extremists in American politics. Blind hearts and minds, there too, helped make it possible. The name of the series, of course, is ULTRA. Don't miss it!!!

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What I loved about Ultra were the "add ons," the recorded comments, et al. Reminded me of radio dramas from my youth. Plus, it's very informative a la RM as always.

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Yes yes yes! Old time radio drama about the madness of hate speech and how galvanizing it was... and continues to be.

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Rachel is the best storyteller! If you haven’t heard her other podcast, Bag Man, please hear that after “Ultra”. It’s dynamic too!

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Absolutely! We are fortunate to have RM and HRC as well as a number of people who grace these pages with their stories and information.

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It IS happening here...

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I believe it is happening here....have you seen Frontline: Michael Flynn's Holy War?

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I thought so too! I can't quit thinking about that and 6 year olds learning how to shoot a gun!

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It is happening here.

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I’m in Henderson County and have no idea how the new trump party gets by with doing such but somehow they manage. I’m early voting today and taking a friend. I would love to see a Democratic sweep this year.

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Should not be legal.

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Sadly, my guess is that you are outnumbered there. But don't give up!!

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In Washington (state of) I sign my ballot envelope and when it arrives the signature is compared with one they have on file (whether by human or machine I do not know, never asked, just trusted.) My email address is also written on the ballot so if there is a problem I am notified. And the ballot has a tracking number so I can find out if it has been received or counted. AND the ballot goes in a business reply mail postage paid envelope. So a dropbox is not necessary, although they are available. Yet, in non Presidential elections in King County (where Seattle is) even with two voter pamphlets to each residence, only about 45 percent of eligible voters return their ballots. Democracy inaction is NOT democracy in action. Lack of desire to vote is eventually a greater threat than having a narcissistic psychopath in the White House.

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Martyrita, does NC require all absentee ballots to be signed AND notarized??

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I voted absentee from NC recently, as I'm working in CA for a spell. I had to either have my ballot notarized or find 2 witnesses to witness and sign my voting envelope. It isn't as easy as you would think to find 2 witnesses at the same time! I had the idea to go to the library, thinking the librarians would help-- but they told me they were not allowed to serve as a witness for voting. I eventually found two coworkers who helped me out. The process seems to me to be designed to suppress the vote.

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Oct 24, 2022·edited Oct 24, 2022

I'd like to know the answer to that too. Notaries charge for notarizing a document ($10 last time I needed to do it). If that's a requirement (which I doubt), how would that not be equivalent to a poll tax? There's also the issue of finding a notary in many places. I think many people wouldn't know how to find one.

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NC requires that a ballot's envelope either be witnessed by two signatures or notarized.

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So what if you had to vote by absentee ballot because of an illness or hospitalization?! They're just making it more difficult to vote. Grrr.

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I believe there are provisions for family or other designees to carry your ballot for you.

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Being in a hospital, the trouble is getting it notarized, not getting it mailed. A relative had to have papers notarized while in a rehab hospital, staff said they were not authorized, we had to call a “mobile notary” to visit while unsure of cost j think it was on the order of $100. Also, some states are not allowing drop-offs of multiple ballots. Think of nursing-home staff trying to drop off 30 ballots from residents, some states (Texas?) that is now a serious crime with jail time.

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ALL absentee ballots?

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Yes, Here;

https://www.ncsbe.gov/news/press-releases/2020/07/31/statement-about-absentee-ballot-security-north-carolina-updated-september-2022

“1. Election officials send ballots only to registered voters who request them using official request forms.

2. The voter or their near relative or legal guardian must fill out and sign the request form. Required information includes the voter's date of birth and the voter's driver's license number or last four digits of their Social Security number.

3. Fraudulently or falsely completing the request form is a Class I felony.

4. In 2022, voters must vote their ballot in the presence of two witnesses or a notary public. Witnesses must sign the absentee return envelope, certifying that the voter marked their ballot and is the registered voter submitting the ballot.

5. Only the voter or their near relative or legal guardian may return the ballot. County boards of elections keep a log of who drops off absentee ballots.”

And so on…

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Oct 25, 2022·edited Oct 25, 2022

I wonder how many pro bono notaries there may be in NC? /s Surely the requirement for notarization, if one cannot find 2 witnesses to agree to witness. I'm also troubled by the line that "..voters must vote their ballot in the presence of two witnesses...." In other words, NC voters can no longer vote in the peace & quiet of their own home (and take their time as I do) but must either have 2 witnesses while filling in the ballot (that's how it reads to me) or pay (poll tax!) to have the ballot notarized. Surely this would be the basis of litigation... why hasn't it been?

And then there's the requirement to keep a log of who drops off absentee ballots! This is beyond unacceptable and seems like an additional, perhaps subtle, form of voter intimidation. I expect those logs will be wide open to the public including some who may want to use them for nefarious actions.

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I am horrified to learn that mail-in ballots must be notarized. They don't be want to invest in the readily available machinery that can read and validate signatures. That requirement is a poll tax.

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I had a choice of using a notary (free to me as a credit union member) or getting two people to sign the envelope.

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And yet we must remain vigilant everywhere, including California. An antisemitic hate group spread its toxicity in Los Angeles this weekend with flyers to homes and with banners on a freeway overpass inviting honks of support.

https://twitter.com/ellie_kona/status/1584374339536707585?s=20&t=1G6IraGBHkG8QBTAP0DHVg

https://twitter.com/MrSoNso21/status/1584401561676967937?s=20&t=1G6IraGBHkG8QBTAP0DHVg

BTW Adidas sponsors Kanye West AKA Ye:

https://twitter.com/dabeard/status/1583628194623520769?s=20&t=1G6IraGBHkG8QBTAP0DHVg

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The barbarians make sure that no place is safe from their chaos-inducing rhetoric and increasingly in-your-face actions. How I wish it weren’t so….

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Oct 24, 2022·edited Oct 24, 2022

Ellie,

Such things may be disgusting, but I would think it might be protected by the 1st Amendment. I saw a pickup truck flying a giant Trump flag just last month in my conservative California city. I didn't like it, but then I realized that the driver was within his rights, as long as he wasn't trying to intimidate or hurt anyone. Voter intimidation if course is a whole different ballgame.

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I find bubba trucks with giant Trump flags more offensive than truck nuts.

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Then there are those with huge F*CK BIDEN stickers on the back windshield. Actually, the flag size itself is meant to intimidate. Today it's ok to be mean and hate filled and spew that hate out onto others.

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Sorry, Jenn, this is not meant as a criticism of your comment! It's just that I don't think being mean and hate-filled and spewing hate onto others is a recent phenomenon. To a good many people, it's a part of our lives (the receiving end). Though I do have to say I have noticed a decided increase in plain old rudeness in the past few years, in general, beyond the regular old meanness and hate.

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Cornell Law School's Law Information Institute (LII) has a free call-in service: www. law.cornell.edu. LII has state law resources & state statutes as well as Federal law.

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good to know! thanks, Bryan!

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The issue is not if people have a right to speech. The issue is propaganda publicized to whip up racism and antisemitism: othering a target group with hate-speech to unite the white corpo-christian-fascists and move them from a statistical minority to power majority. Just like Hitler did to the Jews from 1919 to 1945.

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Of course I agree and despise what they say. It's still protected free speech.

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When I was looking for a place to live in 2021, I passed on a town where there were many trucks with Trump flags, one neighborhood where someone had painted Trump in huge letters on their garage door, one where every house had an American flag and it wasn't a holiday. The other side of the free speech coin is that I don't have to listen to or look at it.

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MisTBu,

Sorry for the late reply. I'm still getting used to how this app works. I just had to mention that I've been flying my American flag every day since the 4th of July. I decided to leave it up for many reasons, but the main reason is that I want to show that I love this country. About half of the houses on my street fly American flags, and a couple of them also fly flags showing a military service branch. I'm glad that they are proud of their service. They should be. I'm fairly new to my neighborhood and I don't discuss politics with them. It's just too awkward these days. I do get why you didn't want to live on a street with 100% American flags though. I did not put mine up to be a conformist. But one thought I had was that I'm showing that I refuse to accept that Republicans can just co-op the flag. It's my flag too. In fact I would bet if the truth be known, that I have a better understanding of the Constitution and American history than the flag flying Republicans do. There are no Trump flags or anything outlandish on my street though. That would be a different story. Not that I would fear them, but I would probably react the same way I would if there was a sign in their yard saying "A hard headed MAGA bigot lives here". That said, I could tolerate an Archie Bunker or two. We all need to get along.

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Jay, thank you for your thoughtful, well-balanced response and welcome to the LFAA community. I'm impressed that you are able to assert ownership of our beautiful flag in such a fierce, quiet way. While I'm happy that our homeowners association puts flags on everyone's street-side mailboxes for federal holidays, I'm glad they save it for those occasions.

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MisTBlu I mean. typo. I have to used to new no editing rule. I understand the reason for it though.

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Jay, are you in Southern CA? I live in Northern CA and saw a “Go Brandon” sticker on a big white hydraulic-lifted truck. My city has a Repub running for Mayor who has never been seen because he hasn’t debated but has money in his coffers. Then we have a woman running for school board who gave money to Trump’s campaign. It’s ugly out there!

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I want to know if honking was plentiful, sporadic, or not at all. 🗽

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Tweets reported a disturbingly lot of honking.

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This happened in Orlando and also my county just before the holiday last year. It was allowed to go on for several hours despite the fact it’s illegal to hang any signs over an overpass.

https://www.clickorlando.com/news/local/2021/12/20/hate-speech-signs-displayed-from-i-95-overpass-in-port-st-john/

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I never wear Adidas, only New Balance, and wish the name could be applied to the Supreme Court. Maybe someday. Good morning, Ellie!

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New Balance is owned by a Republican and an ardent Trump supporter: https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/01/13/new-balance-founder-gave-nearly-trump/HEoVw5ig6OHhLKOc3dDorO/story.html

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I wear ASICS sneakers as I need 4E width shoes. The Dunham brand is also owned by New Balance. https://fdra.org/latest-news/new-balance-affiliate-pe-firm-acquire-rockport/

A little digging goes a long way.

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You’d have me go barefoot? Or check the CEO’s political stance before every purchase I make? I wish I were so pure, or could afford to be so pure. I still put gas in my car, too, although less these days since it’s a hybrid.

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In the modern world we all have to make trade offs between our values and the products or services we purchase.

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I would go barefoot

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What do you wear on your feet, if I might be so bold to ask? Barefoot isn’t an option for me.

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Shame on the Boston Globe. New Balance was founded in 1908 so I rather doubt that William J. Riley donated anything to anyone what with being dead and all. The chairman of the board, Jim Davis, is a billionaire who supports Republicans, including Trump.

I wish I could find an alternative but New Balance is the only shoe I can wear if I'm going to be walking or standing for a long period of time and even then it's only one of their styles. They're well built so I don't have to replace them very often. My current pair is over 6 years old.

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I thought LL Bean was a right wing contributor as well.

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Man has lost his marbles if not his humanity...

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Ellie, I saw that picture and it made my skin crawl. We have to fight back hard, but you and I already do that.

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Same experience in Massachusetts. So grateful. And soon we will have a woman as governor. At least there is election integrity and growing equality in some states. I fear that we are breaking up into radically different regions. A fragmented country where truth, election security, democracy and benevolent, tolerant leadership is only available in certain zip codes.

To correct this national disintegration, we first must expand the Supreme Court and reverse its direction towards oligarchy and anarchy. The dark money in elections must be removed. The process of voting easily and safely must be guaranteed.

Those idiots who intimidated voters at a drop box should be in the slammer. And guess what? We'll put a drop box in the prison cafeteria.

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A friend told me she early voted Friday and there we’re proud boys types hanging around the parking lot. Her husband wanted to have a conversation with them, but she convinced him not to. And so it begins.

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She was wise. The chat would have solved nothing.

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It all sort a' makes me want to holler, "Circle the wagons!" (With apologies to our Native American ancestors.) The radical right wingers are enjoying their rights to free speech, gun use, and religion. In each case they have twisted the intent of those freedoms in order to bully, endanger and "eliminate." From my POV they are toxic and dangerous. They are delighting in misinformation, violence and white supremacy. The movement seems to be collecting minions, or am I just frightened?

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deletedOct 24, 2022·edited Oct 24, 2022
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We live in MetroWest near Concord. Pretty safe here. But we were raised in Western MA. Lots of MAGATs in that world. I rarely return.

I think Maura will be an outstanding governor. Decisive, articulate and nobody knows the law better. Let the macho dinosaurs whine. Forward ho in MA!

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I love that my state of Nevada also makes it so easy to vote. We get a phamplet that explains all the initives, politicians and all the other stuff. Then we get our mail in ballot in our mailbox about 5-7 days before early voting. We fill them out and I take them 1/4 mile down the road to the senior centers drop box. Voting is our only power of change and I'm so glad that my state not only sees that but wants to make sure everyone has the chance to use their power. It still astounds me how many people don't seem to understand that their vote might be the vote to tip the scales. Dont give me that ole my vote doesn't count bs, only reason it doesn't count is if you don't vote.

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If a vote didn't count, those seeking power wouldn't work so hard to prevent certain people from submitting one.

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We vote at our local CA library drop box.

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Did the same with our ballots in MA!

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“Dropping” ours off today in drop box down the street at local sports complex. Within 24-36 hours we’ll receive email from Orange County Registrar of Voters letting us know they were safely received. At 81 does it make me a “mule” because I’ll be inserting three ballots in box, mine, my invalid husband’s, and adult daughter’s who lives with us and is working? I don’t think I’d be very quiet if accused.

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If you live in a state that offers vote by mail, remember to thank the people of Oregon for leading the way.

We experimented, voted, experimented some more, and finally perfected the system that is now copied in many states.

Oregon has been voting by mail for every election for over 20 years now.

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Oregon points the way to the future as it's the only state that votes only by mail. While VBM has been available for decades, it took Oregon to prod others to liberalize the process. Sad that so many red states are so afraid to open themselves to this effective and secure method to allow broader participation in the democracy.

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Actually there are now 7 states with real vote by mail for every election. Oregon was the first but Washington and California soon found that something like 80% of voters were getting "absentee" ballots so they switched.

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Well then, thank you!

Is there a list of Vote By Mail states? I believe Utah (yes!) has been voting by mail for a long time, as well. Oh, just found the list. 27 states. Should be 50, of course. Voting should/could be safe, secure and EASY!

https://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/vopp-table-1-states-with-no-excuse-absentee-voting.aspx

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One of the unsung but important results of vote by mail is the increase in the percentage of people who vote in an election.

Another is the lower cost of holding an election.

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Only 7 states have true vote by mail for every election. Vermont allows voting by mail for general elections only.

Every other state requires some action by the voter...not quite a poll tax, but designed to make voting cost something.

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It's criminal, IMO. Voting should be secure. That is not hard. But most of all it should be EASY and safe for the voter. Anything shy of that is an effort to disenfranchise certain members of society. The bottom line is that the MAGAts know they are outnumbered. So they rig the game. This won't last in the long run. But the damage in the short run is devastating.

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Yes, to the mailed ballots in Colorado. And, I've served as an election judge. There is no VOTER fraud. Liers deal in fraud.

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imagine that!!

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Got that right Janet; only 56 years of voting in CA for me. I did receive my confirmation promptly as well. All blue 🔵

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Same thing happens in Maryland. I was delighted when we requested our mail in ballots this year that we were able to make the request permanent.

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Here in Kansas City--and solidified by an overwhelming vote for "excuse-free absentee" voting access--there is one place in the city where one can vote early. Absentee ballots that are mailed in are hard to come by. There are no state-established voter pamphlets, but my local public radio station, KCUR, has done a good job of making sure everyone has access to info on both sides of the MO and KS border. But I also have to say that the Dems have run one of the most inept campaigns I have ever seen, assuring the election of some of the worst of the worst. It's appalling. But it is also oh so similar to the area of western New York where I lived for 17 years before coming to KC: impoverished, neglected, and Republican with Albany having no interest in ameliorating the situation. At least my city is a Dem stronghold.

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The friends I know at the local Democratic office said some mail in ballots have been rejected and they’re contacting the voters involved. It’s purposely confusing with many layers and hoops to jump through. But I think it will actually make it harder for republicans as well. Early voting starts today.

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That's the thing, isn't it? They work on the assumption that their draconian, anti-democratic rules will only "own the libs" and their voters will be fine.

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I too am a Californian and have sent our voting procedures to my good friends in Alabama and Mississippi. They were very impressed as they should be. Sometimes I think those of us in California and particularly where I live in San Francisco are living in a different country.

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The expression, “Vote for the world you want to live in, or live in the world that you didn’t vote for,” becomes more important day by day.

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That's very true, and my impression is that vote-encouraging PSAs overemphasize the "choice" as aspect of voting over the DYI responsibilities of self-government. It affects, in so many ways the world we live in, for us and others, other species included. It seemed to me that I saw this lack of perspective in the PSA's in COVID lockdown as well; scant attention to the consequences of one's choices upon others compared to the impact on ones own, especially to those who already most struggle for influence and survival.

There are also impacts forced on subsequent generations. Recall that the mission statement of the Constitution pledges its benefits to " to ourselves and our Posterity". This contrasts, for example to many of my peers in 1968 who vowed to vote for no one after Hubert Humphrey's nomination by fiat. I was outraged about it too, but saw a Nixon victory as worse; and while not abandoning visible protest against the war, I feared enduring consequences from a Nixon presidency, specifically mentioning the Supreme Court.

It seems to me that "protest" votes" or resistance-is-futile abstentions are typically only briefly palliative. Republicans and commercial interests reap short-term benefits by appealing to narcissism. I think that wisdom probably involves a lot of making the best of so difficult pragmatic choices, as well as abidingly keeping one's eyes on the prize.

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Thank you for sharing your story. One of my daughters (not the one in VT) voted for Jill Stein- the Green Party candidate in 2016- "out of conscience". I tried and tried to get her to understand that her vote could help elect Trump, and that at this stage, we needed to use our votes strategically. But she was adamant. Only later, as she and her family were directly impacted by Trump's so-called administration, was she able to admit she made a mistake. And one bigger than expected as Jill Stein was revealed to be a fraud- not Green at all. This year my daughter has been working on getting out the blue vote. Whew.

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I see pros and cons to establishing viable alternative parties in the US, but would never vote for a party with no prayer to win. You have to build a party to viability, and I think you do that by forming alliances. Had Ralph Nader been willing to work with Democrats while maintaining independence, he might have been able to build on that, but instead wound up helping Bush II; a very bad strategic move for anyone who cared about the environment. Partial progress is generally better than enabling disaster, even when it is admittedly not enough. One needs a far-reaching strategy as well as immediate tactics.

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For folks who don't have a voter guide or want a neat resource for planning their vote:

https://www.vote411.org/

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As a Foreign Service Officer, I had witnessed gross violations of the right to vote in Egypt and Congo. In the 1950s/1960s I never imagined that I would witness the same in the United States.

Heather vividly describes the history of American voting intimidation, including countless thousands of murders. 150 years ago the Supreme Court ignored these calumnies. In recent years the Supreme Court, morphing into the Stench Court, increasingly has diminished the Constitutional right to vote.

I spent much of my early professional life in Third World countries. Now I am fearful that I might die in one. Democracy is not a spectator sport.

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Oct 24, 2022·edited Oct 24, 2022

Keith,

My wife and I are a member of a dinner party group where a group of grossly overeducated white people "discuss" items with some significant diversity of thought around the table.

Even though I am from East Texas, I am invited, mostly because of my wife who is brilliant and good looking and grossly overeducated, but, also because I am likewise grossly overeducated and, also, I have the best vocabulary of the group. The group tolerates me, like I am a colorful rock to look at.

However, during these conversations many of the folks in the room are totally unaware that within each city in the United states AND in today's rural south, America is ALREADY a third world country, and has been since inception, something that I routinely point out to the insulated folks in the room. I mean, not just third world, but, one with benchmark levels of poverty and under education.

So, Keith, you WILL die in a third world country called the United States. However, you will likely be buried in that part of the country that is not (yet) third world.

Hope that helps.

:-)

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Bet your dinner conversations are worthy of an eavesdrop…

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Jeri,

Not too bad really. Once in a while one of my northern dinner partners will slip into the mistake of imagining that the south is more racist than the north.

I am there to dispell that notion instantly, which, can bring on some angst for those living in all white la la land.

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I recently escaped 10 years in the south (Little Rock, Atlanta) to move back to Michigan, and despite the Trump flags in my rural area, and the relative blueness of both LR and ATL, it just feels more progressive here. Less religion and better education both contribute to that- plus all the glorious farm stands and native wines, which I missed so much. If it's an illusion, I'll happily take it.

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Not an illusion! But here in northern Michigan and the U.P. our good common sense farmers and small business folk have been conned by the likes of Louisiana (oil) transplant, Republican U.S. Rep Jack Bergman (planted here to keep Line 5 under the $traits of Mackinaw) and his down home commercials claiming he got us broadband and The Soo locks repairs when he voted AGAINST the infrastructure bill. ALL LIES!

Democrat Dr. BOB LORINSER is a PHENOMENAL CANDIDATE. More of his commercials would really help.

https://www.votedrbob.com/

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Your reply has led me to what I believe was my first conversation that should have had the moniker of “you can’t reason with unreasonable people”. I was in high school, and at a lunchtime conversation mentioned that Medford, Oregon was quite racist. One of my classmates said “No we’re not, Gene doesn’t have any problems” (Gene was my first AND ONLY Black classmate in 12 years of Medford public school education; his family left mid-year for “employment”). At that point I knew a bit about slavery still being in the constitution and sundown laws) and have a sort but fairly thorough explanation; her response was “no, that’s not right”. Sigh.

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When I was in high school (early 60s) Portland high schools would take their teams back to Portland after games (300 miles) because of Medford sundown laws...I understand there were no actual laws on the books, but the hotels/motels would not have rooms for Black players.

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I grew up in Dow Chemical's Midland, Michigan. We had no racism. No Blacks either. No Native Americans, even though the company was built on an Ojibwe tribal village.

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So many people think they are without prejudice just because they don't encounter someone different from them in their daily life. EVERYONE IS PREJUDICED to some degree.

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Mary Pat You grew up in a Middle America enclave where there was no ‘racism.’ I suspect that some Southerners at that time said much the same, as they didn’t permit Blacks to go to white schools, sit at lunch counters, or drink from ‘white only’ foundations.

I encountered my first in-your-face racism at age 20 in Egypt. [Egypt’s color racism was worse than in the American South.] I had just returned from filming a documentary in Sudan, where Negroid features were dominant. [Negroid Sudanese had actually ruled Egypt for a hundred years 700 BCE.]

I was at a coffee house when I saw a Black person being treated shamefully as he sought to enter. I got up and invited him to join me. Carlos Lindo, an American Black citizen born in Panama, was working for the UN. He told me that being a Black in Egypt was worse than in the US.

Four years later, when I was dining at the home of a senior editor of Egypt’as leading newspaper, he was chiding me for racial relations in America. When his Black servant brought him a Scotch with inadequate ice, he kicked the person in the balls. I had some Egyptians tell me ‘There’s no racism in Egypt.’

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I have mentored S. Sudanese families for 20 years (started with the “Lost Boys of Sudan) The lighter skinned (mostly Muslim) were the aggressors on the darker skinned folks in the southern region (now South Sudan). It continues today.

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Wow, Keith!! That last paragraph made my heart bleed.

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Is this you Keith? Your insights so well earned.

https://www.towntopics.com/feb1809/stratton.php

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No words.

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Oct 24, 2022·edited Oct 24, 2022

Hello, there, MaryPat. I hope this message, off topic, reaches Ally, too. I'm doing a pre-winter pruning job. I canceled TAFM last night. As the fascist wildfires burn across our country, I decided to win back some time from politics and high emotional content as well as cool my head and space. You both are valuable compatriots and friends, so this was just to keep you informed. We go on in strength! Salud.

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FERN Huh? I Googled TAFM and got Tibetan American Foundation of Minnesota.I’m not that esoteric.

You raise a point of interest. I am a devotee of Heather and fear the day that she no longer blogs (initially she intended to keep at it until Biden took office—and now she’s married and working on another book). Are there other blogs that you MaryPat or others follow that provide distinct perspective on Hellzapoppin (actually this was a pre-WW II Broadway show that included vaudeville and two professional badminton players)?

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From our Michigan Governor today!

https://fb.watch/gmszHtImo5/

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Finally, you admit it. You, Mike S, are our Coloful Rock. And appreciated. Thanks for failing to follow the Norm of Silence assigned to spouses of highly overeducated and verbally and better looking spouses.

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I’m a grossly over educated east Texan from Woodville, where tea party fascists have taken over. I’ve lived with these people for more than 50 years and still don’t get it.

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John, howdy!

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Mike Because my mother was British, I had the right to claim British citizenship. Alas, that might not have spared me demise in a Third World country.

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Oct 24, 2022·edited Oct 24, 2022

Mike S.....SMILEY FACE?????? Tough words but fearful you speak the truth.

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I think it's meant to be ironic.

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OMG...well said.

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“I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how; but what is extraordinarily important is this: who will count the votes, and how.” - Josef Stalin

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Oct 24, 2022·edited Oct 24, 2022

TC, In my view, how we vote in 22 is critically important, because the outcome largely will determine how votes are counted and certified in 24.

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Needs to be heard and acted upon. This goal by repubs was obvious in 2020, as the politicization of the USPS, and state action re voting, kicked into high gear. It was practice.

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Isn’t that exactly what the repugnants are saying? 45’s playbook, too.

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Thanks TC. I had read that once before long back, but, it is great to see it again now.

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Good God. Frightening.

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Heather, I am stunned, but not surprised, by this news of intimidation-through-violence by 45’s vigilantes. He spawned this movement in its current form and his lust for power is represented by the men threatening voters in Arizona. Florida is another terrible example of what is going on. I am not disheartened and hope all voters who are menaced or kept from voting follow through with law suits. We still have courts...and all of us have cell phones to record these goons....

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Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida is a fascist. He has lots of company.

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Friendly correction: DeSantis is a Christofascist.

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