I dared to vote by mail

I am doing something many Trumpsters think is dangerous — I am voting by mail. In fact, I already have.

I have mailed in my primary ballot. I have made a voting statement, not a political statement.

President Donald J. Trump has said voting by mail was “corrupt” in an April 7 press briefing.

Here is the exchange with a reporter:

“I think mail-in voting is horrible,” Trump said.

“You voted by mail in Florida’s election last month, didn’t you?” the reporter asked.

“Sure,” the president replied. “I can vote by mail.”

“How do you reconcile with that?”

“Because I’m allowed to,” Trump said.

This was not written for a Saturday Night Live sketch.

Until now, I opposed voting by mail and early voting. I still don’t like early voting, but I have changed my mind about voting by mail.

I voted by mail because of two things: 1- The COVID-19 virus is still out there. Why take chances? 2- Philadelphia will have only 190 polling places on election day, instead of the usual 831.

Why? Mostly because of a shortage of poll workers, said City Commission Chair Lisa Deeley, a Democrat. In Pennsylvania, applications can be found at www.votespa.com.

Like everything else, the vote-by-mail issue has been politicized, with (generally) Democrats in favor and Republicans opposed, even though, NPR reported, mail-in ballots in Florida actually helped the GOP.

The president insisted mail-in voting was ripe for fraud, without presenting any evidence for his claims. As usual.

Any thinking person knows some elections in the past have been tainted, in some cities. 

But how about today? How does the Philadelphia system work and what shields it from fraud?

An excerpt of my ballot

I asked City Commissioner Al Schmidt, the solitary Republican on the three-member commission, representing the party with supposedly the most to lose.

Schmidt started by reminding me that voting by mail in Pennsylvania became law at the end of last year when Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law a bill that was passed by the Republican House and Senate.

It is bipartisan, allowing, but not ordering, mail ballots. You can still vote in person if you care to.

Here’s how it works: You get an application and apply online or by mailing it to the city commissioners. (To apply online you need a state driver’s license or PennDOT ID number.)

If the commission finds your information valid, it sends you a ballot and two envelopes — an inner envelope that contains your ballot, and an outer ballot on which you sign your name. The idea, says Schmidt, is “to separate the vote from the voter,” so no one knows how you voted.

The organizing of the ballots and the counting are done in the City Commissioner offices at Delaware and Spring Garden, starting on Election Day, but not before.

It’s done in a large room that is open to the public, to representatives of the political parties and to the political campaigns, “which are hovering over our shoulders while we are doing all this,” says Schmidt.

One question to be answered, he says, is whether mail-in ballots “will grow the pie” or will mail-in voters be former in-person voters. He suspects the latter, because requests for ballots are coming from neighborhoods with traditionally high turnout.

”It’s going to be bumpy,” he says. “No one would choose to have an election under these conditions.”

19 thoughts on “I dared to vote by mail”

    I am glad that you vote, regardless of political affiliation. As I say to people that don’t vote. Such that it is, the right to vote is too often dismissed. No vote, no voice.
    We had this conversation before. I don’t have the time to prove if there is a way to beat the system. I’m sure that it can be done. In every state that I looked at, the form is similar. State driver license or state issued I.D. card is required. “Other” Federal recognized I.D. is also acceptable. All of which can be gotten with some effort.
    The big question is, Who actually checks the info on the application ? How is it checked ? Then the counting. Some one is going to physically sit there and separate the democrat from the republican from the other and other other ?!? Better you than me !
    I am a republican. I am against mail in voting because it is too ripe with opportunity for fraud. I don’t think that this method was well planned. How can it be so, when the machine voting is so screwed up.
    stay well,

      1. you’re starting to sound like one of our favorite contributors ! good thing that I like you !
        BTW the Prez did give one of his famous non-answers. he could of summed it up in one word
        as to mail -ins. “see ya in court” will be ringing through out the nation !

  2. Questions apropos of mail-in voting: (1) How will I know my vote was counted? Will I get a receipt? (2) What controls will be in place to prevent multiple votes? (“Vote early, vote often” is a joke, but true in Chicago and other areas); (3) What controls will be in place to assure illegal immigrants don’t get to vote? (4) Who (party affiliation, etc.) will do the ballot counting? (5) Who is watching the ballot counters? (“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?”); Will there be a cutoff date for considering a ballot valid? (6) Will there be standardized ballots across the nation, to prevent the ‘hanging chad’ problem as occurred in Florida? (7) Will one be able to drop a ballot into any mailbox in the country, and if so, who is watching the mailboxes?

    If we can stand six feet apart in a grocery store, we can stand six feet apart at a voting site.

    1. How do you know your vote is counted with the machine? People have been using absentee ballots for 100 years! Why are people against it? Because Trump is talking against it? He doesn’t own me. I think for myself. I agree with some stuff he says but I disagree with him as well. Some of the things he says are positively fucked and I’m not going to go along with them . I don’t think it’s patriotic to go along with everything the president says. In fact I think people who do that aren’t very bright. I wish people would think for themselves instead of regurgitating what they see on TV or read in a tweet

      1. Joe,
        No counting process is fool proof. The phrase, “vote early, vote often”, didn’t just come around. The machines are probably the most accurate and the hardest to “fix”. Here, in Chester County, you stand there and “fill in the blanks”, then slip it into a sealed box, to be open at the county election board office, where all counting takes place. So what happens if the truck makes a detour, or the back door opens or what ever.
        Absentee ballots were just that. Military and other special reasons. They would come in and be counted often after the official count. The number was so low, that it would not effect the outcome.
        You are a little bit “tiffed” with our President. So be it. That’s your right, and I hope that you have good cause. Never mind getting in line with all of the sheep.
        I agree, that anybody follows any politician 100 % has to have a reality check.
        Sorry to say, most people don’t have the time or interest to study this important subject . They get their info in 10 second sound bites from one of the cable channels. The talking heads swear by the written word, and they hope you keep their ratings up and follow the rest of the sheep.
        President Trump has his moments. He likes to argue with the fake news. That gets old fast. He’s too quick to jump on the words of his team, and it makes him look foolish. He tells you what is on his mind, and if he thinks that you are wrong, you’ll hear it, and likewise, if you are right. Mr. Trump puts it all out there. He and his administration are an open book.

        1. In my opinion voter fraud isn’t a thing. Election fraud is. So the absentee ballots are used by legitimate voters. Elections, close ones, have been stolen in the past with voting machines used by legitimate voters. Absentee ballots are fine. What they do is make it easier for people to vote. Some people want to make it harder to vote. Think real hard. Why would they want to do that?

          1. Joe,
            you say tomatoe, I’ll say tamatoe……..
            Sorry to say, in this country, if there’s a way to turn anything upside down, it will happen.
            Mail-in voting was suppose to start in November for PA. It was moved up because of the pandemic. Almost every senior citizen that I spoke to while canvasing, said that they would be using the mail-in. That’s a good thing, but isn’t it easy to commit fraud ? You have a relative or friend that doesn’t vote.Get their drivers’ license and vote for them ! Illegals with drivers license will be voting. Count on it ! Most likely, prison inmates will join in, also.
            Sorry to say, again, nothing is fool proof. How about taking every step possible to prevent fraud.

          2. Getting driver’s license won’t do it. Ballot is mailed to the address on the license, so the fraudster will have to commit a federal crime by stealing the mail.
            Any system can be beat, but you can make it harder for thieves.

  3. Stu,
    Let me think about this……….done.
    you live with anyone who is registered to vote. you check the mail first……………………

    1. It’s more likely that mail in ballots from select zips get intercepted on the other side, much like ballot boxes have disappeared in the past. Hopefully that won’t happen in either case. Mail in ballots are nothing new. What do you propose making them illegal?

      1. HAPPY THURSDAY !!!
        Will you agree that there is/was tampering with elections? Be it voting often ( which we will presume has been cleaned up), or the many numbers of illegal votes from the many sources and possibilities that exist ?
        If we admit to needed reform, then we must admit that there is a problem through out the country. Proper I.D. would surely eradicate 99 % of the problem – provided, of course, that the voter is challenged. Meaning, provide the required proof to vote.
        You may remember, that back in the day, you were required to present your voter registration card. Because we voted at the same poll over the years, many of the poll workers, watchers, politicians were our neighbors, and showing I.D. was waived. But for those that were not known, proof was required or no vote.

      1. pallie
        she knows where you live ! you are in for it,now ! Pam is “Tea Party”. I’m just a deplorable.
        Is it proof ? Am I right ? You could fill all of us in on some of your accumulated knowledge on Philly shenanigans – I mean politics.

        1. still HAPPY THURSDAY !!!
          pallie my pallie,
          Did you see this coming, or what ?!?
          Ex-judge of elections in Pa. accepted bribes, ‘fraudulently stuffed the ballot box’. Read it in Penn Live – Patriot News.
          Not for nutt’n’, do ya tink dat he’s the only guy dats on da take ?!?

          1. HAPPY FRIDAY !!!
            Hey Donald Duck ! It’s rain’n’ again ! ( term of endearment from my construction days )
            Stu, I said above “stuffed the ballot box”. That should be clear to almost all of your readers that it was not “mail in”. We already agreed many times that all systems are not fool proof, therefore, we all have to take part in protecting ourselves. It can not be left to the committee of 70, or any other watchdog group.
            (sic) for amusement. the election judge – that’s the guy that “challenges you” when you go vote in person is almost 80 years old. He was charged for 3 years. ’14, ’15 & 16. Think about it. ONLY THREE YEARS !!! As I said to my wife. The guy was probably civil service. Your pension is based on your last three years of employment, so he loaded up the dollars. (That, is sarcasm, for the uneducated masses). So what about his early years ? What about his buddies ? What about how corrupt Philly is and always was ? When are people going to wake up, and stop being sheep being led to slaughter ?

  4. Don’t be ridiculous, Stu. I never even hinted at no vote. If you’re a socialist, then find, don’t vote, don’t need to. If you’re a dimocrat, switch parties.
    How about like we said. Everybody get involved. Stop depending on some one else to do everything for you. Today’s phrase for terrorism is, “if you see something, say something”. I say, in all matters. ‘IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING” !

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