If you're in the US, vote Biden/Harris and get Trump out of office. October 20, 2020 2:23 PM   Subscribe

Hey. It's cortex. We don't usually do this sort of thing, but: this US election is a couple weeks away and is really important for the future of the US and for the world. We're four years into creeping authoritarianism and outright regressive bigotry from the President and the GOP. If you're in the US, it's really important that you vote Biden/Harris and get Trump the hell out of office. Vote early if you can. There's state-by-state voting information available from vote411 and Ballotpedia.
posted by cortex (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 2:23 PM (302 comments total) 111 users marked this as a favorite

Is this the voting stories thread? I voted (Biden/Harris) in Massachusetts by requesting a mailed absentee ballot and dropping it off in the dropbox at my city hall.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 2:30 PM on October 20, 2020 [4 favorites]

I voted in Vermont by getting a ballot mailed to me (the same as every Vermonter) and sending it back in. My tweet about voting for myself--I also staff the polls on Election Day - I am SO SICK of social media telling me to get informed about all of this--and not the other West on my ballot, made "tweet of the week" in Seven Days our local alternative weekly.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 2:35 PM on October 20, 2020 [10 favorites]

Speaking of Massachusetts, you can see whether your absentee ballot has been accepted here: track my ballot

Mine has been! Success!
posted by zeptoweasel at 2:36 PM on October 20, 2020 [6 favorites]

Thanks for this. If you’re an American citizen and you’re not in the US, you can still vote too! Go to votefromabroad.org and make it happen.
posted by iamkimiam at 2:40 PM on October 20, 2020 [11 favorites]

Got our PA Vote by Mail ballots (which are different than absentee ballots for some reason) and my wife and I went down to the county elections commission offices and dropped them off on Saturday morning. Got emails yesterday saying that they were recorded.
posted by octothorpe at 2:41 PM on October 20, 2020 [4 favorites]

Glad to see this here. I've been doing a little voter texting, and I'll add that the voting info site (also state-by-state) that Victory 2020 is giving out on behalf of Biden and the DNC is iwillvote.com. They have a hotline that I had occasion to call on behalf of one of the voters I texted, so I can state that my call was picked up pretty promptly, and my semi-obscure question was answered expertly and kindly.
posted by daisyace at 2:41 PM on October 20, 2020 [7 favorites]

BallotTrax is the California track your vote thing. California has been request mail-in ballot for quite a while and is now IIRC every registered voter gets the main-in ballot automatically.

And yep, went in the mail yesterday and is on it's way.

The main entry point for Where's My Ballot is here: Where's My Ballot? :: California Secretary of State. The BallotTrax is just saving you a click thru.
posted by zengargoyle at 2:50 PM on October 20, 2020 [7 favorites]

Oregon has been all vote-by-mail for years now, and it's nice; I can't remember the last time I actually even mailed mine, usually just drop it off at the local library branch. Got a text the day after I dropped it off, updating me on it having been received; will get another when it's processed.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:52 PM on October 20, 2020 [8 favorites]

Anyone going to be early voting, in person in Brooklyn? I'll be watching this thread next week - worried it's going to be really crowded with eager beavers and long lines, as there's way less early voting locations. Trying to gauge whether it will really be safer and faster than day-of, which will be at a local school gym with much more space and ventilation and room to stand in line outside than I imagine the Board of Elections office will have.
posted by windbox at 3:00 PM on October 20, 2020 [1 favorite]

As an Elsewherian, I just want to tell you good luck. We're all counting on you.
posted by Too-Ticky at 3:02 PM on October 20, 2020 [75 favorites]

Had same experience as jessamyn. Vermont legislature passed the laws to make it legal to send to all the voters in the state, and that happened in a timely manner. I sent mine back to our town clerk the next day. Come on Democracy! You're not dead yet.
posted by terrapin at 3:16 PM on October 20, 2020 [3 favorites]

Voted in Kentucky. Requested my ballot by mail, using COVID as the reasoning, dropped it in the mail a day later, filled out and ready for it not to matter since I live in a totally red state. But I did what I could.
posted by deezil at 3:21 PM on October 20, 2020 [9 favorites]

As somebody who's lived in the U.S. twice, once as a kid and once as an adult, I love you all. You got this.
posted by signal at 3:27 PM on October 20, 2020 [10 favorites]

Turned in my mail in ballot at a county drop box last Monday.

Early in-person voting began here yesterday. My library is an early polling site, and yesterday the line was out the door and around the building all. day. long. Even when it started raining. I’ve never seen anything like it, and I’ve been voting for nearly forty years. Yesterday was the happiest I’ve been in weeks.
posted by bookmammal at 3:28 PM on October 20, 2020 [10 favorites]

Some clown named Jordan “Cancer” Scott was listed among the presidential candidates on my ballot (CO). WTF?
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 3:31 PM on October 20, 2020

My absentee ballot is on its way. I vote in DC, which is solid blue in any case, but it's the principle.
posted by Pallas Athena at 3:33 PM on October 20, 2020 [3 favorites]

My brave little ballot has been removed from its envelope and is ready for counting!

A few reminders that the campaign has been trying to get out there for mail-in voting:

- Some states require that your mail-in ballot go in a secrecy envelope and then that envelope go inside the bigger envelope. If you live in one of those states, make sure you don't forget the secrecy envelope. People who live in those states are probably very tired of hearing about secrecy envelopes, and I'm frankly tired of saying the words "secrecy envelope" to the point they've lost all meaning, but be sure to check if you need to use the secrecy envelope.

- Be sure to sign and date the envelope where required.

- Vote early. Like right now early, especially if you're returning it through the postal system. Or vote early and return it to an official dropbox offered by the elections department (my county makes this super easy, with drive-through and walk-up service every day with staff that checks to make sure your ballot is signed and gives you a sticker). Really, if you've got your ballot, right now is a lovely time to fill it out and get it in. Voting early gives you more time to track your ballot and deal with any problems while there's still time.
posted by zachlipton at 3:33 PM on October 20, 2020 [9 favorites]

I voted the day Early Voting was available in my town. You go to Town Hall, request an absentee ballot, fill it out in a kiosk, return it. No chance of lost or questioned ballot. Ballot tracking is new this year in Maine, my ballot shows Accepted. So if I get hit by a bus, at least I voted.

On fb and twitter, when someone says they voted, I post an I Voted sticker image, because I am so proud of how very many Americans are Voting, waiting in line to vote, getting friend sand family to vote, etc. Vote in Numbers Too Large to Manipulate indeed.

Thanks for posting this, cortex.
posted by theora55 at 3:35 PM on October 20, 2020 [7 favorites]

Hubs and I got our verficiations that our mail ballots are at the county clerk and ready for counting. We requested them the first day Cook County had the mail-in ballot web page up and filled them out as soon as we got them.

It was weird not going to vote in person -- we usually go to early voting (which is extensive and easy in Illinois) and tow the kids along so they can see the process -- but I'm glad we were able to vote conveniently and safely.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 3:41 PM on October 20, 2020 [6 favorites]

I voted absentee about ten days ago, dropped the ballot in the secure box at the board of elections. The ballot-tracker website for my state shows my ballot has been received but not yet processed. So I've... only mostly voted? According to my imaginary rules I have to wait until I can confirm my ballot was actually counted, before I can wear an imaginary "I voted" sticker.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 3:44 PM on October 20, 2020 [5 favorites]

Also, it was nice to drop my ballot off after a morning in which I encountered non-mask wearers in the grocery store, an open carry chud on a motorbike, and a dude waving a Trump flag (big!) from the top of his convertible. Feeling blue in a red place. (Douglas County, CO).
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 3:44 PM on October 20, 2020 [10 favorites]

I just got back from a Board of Civil Authority meeting which is where we make our plans for the elections. Some notes

- We approved our town clerk to do early opening/tabulating of ballots which is a thing we can legally do. She said that there have been 1300-ish early ballots delivered already which is BONKERS in a town of 4500 people (not registered voters, people)
- We talked about what do do about "election observers" who have to be less intimidating because of social distance this year! I know in some places these folks are to make sure people aren't disenfranchised, but around here they are usually Trump-types who have entirely false ideas about voter fraud
- People can vote by mail, in person, or drop off their mail-in ballot in person. People who can't/won't wear masks can vote in their car or in a special vestibule so they're not outside but also not inside. I still don't love being inside places not my home so I staff a little tent in the parking lot for ballot drop-offs. I am fine with this.
- Question was asked about whether we can work polls if we are ON the ballot (answer: yes, as long as you are a current Justice of the Peace, no if you are merely running for office). This always amuses me.
- We had WAY more people added to the rolls (we have up-to-same-day registration) just even over the week between when we got the list of additions/subtractions, than I've ever heard before. Sad to have to remove two local friends who have died in the past few months (of non-COVID things).

My sister, who works the polls in her smallish town in Massachusetts, said early voting was of the hook there. I have been encouraged by this turn-out.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 3:56 PM on October 20, 2020 [32 favorites]

Dropped my ballot off a few days ago, got the confirmation email yesterday. Philly, PA.
posted by lazaruslong at 3:57 PM on October 20, 2020 [2 favorites]

Just filled my ballot out and I'm going to bike over to a drop box tomorrow at lunch to make sure it gets counted. I've mailed it in the past (woohoo WA State! I only sort of miss voting in person but not really), but I'm going to do the drop box just to be safe this year. King County gives you a neat little link to follow, so looking forward to obsessively checking that until my vote is counted...
posted by kalimac at 3:58 PM on October 20, 2020 [2 favorites]

jessamyn, how many registered voters do you even have? See if you-all can get to 100% before election day! Put like a big thermometer on the village green (I assume you have one).
posted by tivalasvegas at 4:01 PM on October 20, 2020 [6 favorites]

I hate Trump as much as anyone, and maybe more than some, but I have to say it rubs me the wrong way for a man to tell me I need to vote for yet another credibly accused rapist.

And before you get all "BUT TRUMP IS WORSE" at me, I know. I absolutely know. I am an intelligent person. I am well informed and I can foresee the consequences of my vote as well as anyone can.

I am still deciding what to do, whether to vote for President at all, vote for Biden, or write someone in, and quite honestly people thinking they know best and telling me what to do is making me feel even more turned off to the whole process.

I assume people will now shout at me, so that's depressing, but I also wanted to state my discomfort because metafilter feels like a place I go to have honest conversation.
posted by mai at 4:12 PM on October 20, 2020 [25 favorites]

See if you-all can get to 100% before election day!

1/3 of my town's voters more or less are Trumpers and honestly I am among the exhausted right now where sitting and typing and promising to staff the polls in a few weeks is about all I can do. Sometimes it's okay to just say "I've done enough" and that is where I am at.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 4:14 PM on October 20, 2020 [25 favorites]

One of the silver linings of having broken my knee on September 28th is that I realized "welp, I'll be housebound for at least a month and there's no way I can make it out to do in person voting now" and I applied online for an absentee ballot the next day. My ballot arrived a week later, one day after my surgery, and I filled it out right away and sent my roommate to the post office box on the corner. That was about two weeks ago now.

I did also indulge in a social-media thing - John Cusack was encouraging people to vote on Twitter by saying "Post a picture of your mail-in ballot sealed up and ready to go and I will retweet you," and I instead opted to say I was in a huge-ass cast and looked like a smacked ass, so there was no picture, but I voted anyway dammit. And I got a retweet anyway, and a couple random get-well-soon wishes from strangers.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:15 PM on October 20, 2020 [12 favorites]

I'm sorry you feel that way, mai. But I have to think (hope!) that very few people agree with you.
posted by Glinn at 4:18 PM on October 20, 2020 [20 favorites]

We voted early, via drop-in box, in Maryland, about two weeks ago. Couldn’t have been much easier. This is my 18-year-old daughter’s first election! She’s in college in another state but followed the (simple) process to complete her ballot remotely. I’m very proud of her for registering and voting. Her high school and, now, college friends are PUMPED about voting and have already turned out in abundance.

Our dipshit Republican governor, Larry Hogan, apparently voted for Ronald Fucking Reagan this past weekend. Who is, you know, dead. And who was shitty when alive! Hogan gets very, very tiny credit from me for remaining a never-Trumper, but he otherwise is crappy. And, I mean, come on. Way to throw away your vote, Larry. Way to cast a wasted vote, during a horrible pandemic, for the dead guy who had a shockingly inhumane response to the AIDS crisis during his own presidency.

On preview: mai, I’m sympathetic, and I encourage you to vote your conscience if you can’t stomach voting for Biden. If you do choose to write in a candidate, I hope you can take some comfort from knowing that you’re guaranteed to vote more wisely, humanely, and thoughtfully than Maryland Governor Larry Hogan. Who really sucks.
posted by cheapskatebay at 4:23 PM on October 20, 2020 [10 favorites]

I will be voting early and in person on Saturday, the first day it is available where I am. I have been mailing letters, text banking, phone banking. Last time I knocked doors in addition to all of that. I fear it is not enough.
posted by bilabial at 4:25 PM on October 20, 2020 [1 favorite]

Thank you for posting this, cortex. I am very glad to see it here.

Dropped my (Oregon) ballot off last night and I'm pretty sure I heard it make an ominous thump like the One Ring when it hit the bottom of the box. Even just the act of receiving my ballot in the mail spiked my anxiety yet again by making everything all the more real, but I'm glad I voted and am glad to live somewhere where I could do it early and by mail (well, election drop-off box). I did not get a text letting me know they'd received my ballot, though, and am now getting antsy about that - guess I'll do a little digging into the Oregon tracking system.

God, I just want this all to be over. I just want trump out.
posted by DingoMutt at 4:25 PM on October 20, 2020 [3 favorites]

mai, I just want to say that I 100% understand your stance and support your choice in not voting for Biden as a result. I have been pretty vocal about being very uncomfortable with voting for him for the same reason, being a survivor myself. While I have made peace with it and did check his name, I will not judge you for voting your conscience. This comment by Rock'em Sock 'em really sums it up well, I think:
The privilege to vote one's conscience; to have a private moral self; to do the right thing instead of the practical thing, when those two things conflict, despite the fact that the world intends to control and dominate every inch of us, including our mind, is a privilege that every subjugated person rightfully holds. Given that, perhaps we should not be so quick to attempt to impose our moral will, but instead, hold space for humility and some amount of deference to the independent thought and independent moral choice of the subjugated individual.
Anyways, hang in there.
posted by lazaruslong at 4:29 PM on October 20, 2020 [19 favorites]

Yep, mai, totally support you doing what you feel you need to do.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 4:30 PM on October 20, 2020 [9 favorites]

This will be my ninth presidential election and it is the first I've ever voted early in. I live in Hamilton County, Ohio (Cincinnati). The county has a population of more than 815,000. It has only one place to vote early (fair enough) and only one drop-off box for absentee/mail-in ballots (bullshit).

I don't really think my vote matters, (other then to me) but at least I know it will be counted, and that's something guaranteed less this election than ever before.
posted by codex99 at 4:39 PM on October 20, 2020 [8 favorites]

I voted, it has been counted. I am on ballotpedia as a candidate. My opponent is sufficiently threatened he just spent $34,000 on postage alone for his two post cards he sent to 48,420 voters. As my neighbor said, "At least he will have to work for it." I gave Ballotpedia, and Voter's Edge $25.00 apiece, and with a few other donations spent $200.00 on my campaign, plus five Uber rides, whose cost will be offset by a $30. food credit. I obviously don't believe you have to be rich to run for office. The weird way the world is right now, made for much more of a match, than there would have been. I put my stuff up on Next Door and the first five responses were, I already voted for you. Kinda nice. I voted for me. I am wearing my I Voted, sticker.
posted by Oyéah at 4:46 PM on October 20, 2020 [36 favorites]

Having dropped off our ballots today, and being a naturalized citizen to whom the responsibility to vote was granted late in my life, it is even clearer to me now that a positive choice not to vote for Biden is a positive choice to vote for Trump, that this choice comes from a place of deep privilege, just as it did four years ago, and that the consequences could not be starker. Please vote early. Please vote to get Trump out. Please just vote.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 4:47 PM on October 20, 2020 [20 favorites]

I hope it's okay to post a link to my AskMe about texting to Get Out the Vote - I have been merrily texting since Thursday and feel really energized to be doing it.

If you've already voted, may I say (A) THANK YOU and (B) could you take a moment to check in with all your possibly-progressive friends and relations and make sure they've voted, too?
posted by kristi at 5:02 PM on October 20, 2020 [9 favorites]

My vote has been counted!
posted by ChuraChura at 5:09 PM on October 20, 2020 [4 favorites]

I became a citizen in August, and will be voting for the first time this year! (In person this time as required, but will definitely mail-in next time). I am excite!

I have also been texting to get out the vote through the Biden-Harris campaign site, and it's definitely rewarding.
posted by cozenedindigo at 5:13 PM on October 20, 2020 [43 favorites]

I spent some time the other night cross-referencing a whoooole bunch of local voting guides (apparently one person compiled a list of more than 36 applicable here in the East Bay?) and came to choices I feel okay about. My husband dropped our ballots off at the courthouse dropbox, and we've both received the confirmation text messages "your ballot has been received and will be counted".

Can we please, please get rid of California's proposition system? It's ridiculous to have this many measures on a ballot that average people are expected to educate themselves about (in the face of, for example, Lyft/Uber/Doordash pumping more than $190 million of advertising into the campaign). I thought this was why we elect government officials, so they'll take care of this kind of thing. Sigh.
posted by Lexica at 5:24 PM on October 20, 2020 [10 favorites]

I voted two weeks ago, and now I'm doing ballot cure phone calls for the Democrats. We call voters whose absentee ballots have been rejected and help them figure out how to fix it. We've had some technical problems that are making us call people whose ballots have already been fixed, which I feel a little bad about. But mostly it's good. People thank me for calling, which doesn't happen very often when you're doing campaign phoning. I just volunteered to staff the hotline, which I think will be even better.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:26 PM on October 20, 2020 [17 favorites]

I voted, and drove 15 min to the nearest open dropbox (more have since opened) to put it in. I was happy to see that my signature has been accepted. For AZ you can check if your mail-in ballot has been accepted here: my.arizona.vote/absenteetracker.aspx
and there's a general list for all states here:
posted by nat at 5:27 PM on October 20, 2020 [4 favorites]

Here in New Jersey, we dropped our ballots off in a drop box 2 weeks ago. and the website tracker finally says they've been received as of a few days ago. They've not been accepted yet, which is slightly concerning. The entire state went to mail in for our (rather after the fact) primary in June, and everything got processed much faster then. I'll chalk it up to a heavier load for the general election, and every official in the chain is a Democrat, but it's still freaks me out in this year of 2020.
posted by mollweide at 5:34 PM on October 20, 2020 [3 favorites]

I have no idea what kind of lists my cell number has ended up on, but I have been consistently receiving GOTV texts addressing at least three different names (none of them mine) and representing both major parties. Kudos to all of you doing it, but it's all just spam to me at this point.

But I voted in person a few days ago - huzzah! - and was pleasantly surprised at how smooth everything was with the new safety measures in place. It was my first experience of being handed a finger condom when entering to use on the scroll wheel. I also found myself staring at the summary screen before I pressed the "cast ballot" button, reading Biden's name over and over and half afraid that I'd had a stroke and was actually voting for Trump by mistake. And then when I was heading home I had a brief moment of panic trying to remember if I'd actually pressed the cast ballot button at all.

It's been a long four years waiting for this vote. I may be losing my mind a bit.

Since this is MeTa, I hope I'm allowed to leave a general good-luck-we're-all-counting-on-you/us message and also say that I'm going to have to be better disciplined about not reading the politics threads on the blue. I'm trying to actually maintain some kind of optimism and hope for the future, and it seems like that's not an acceptable outlook these days.
posted by Salieri at 5:45 PM on October 20, 2020 [7 favorites]

Colorado, received ballot in the mail. My wife and I sat at the kitchen table, over coffee and tea, and spent a good hour reading up on candidates, reviewing the slate of judges, and looking at all the ballot measures and propositions. Afterwards, I drove them to our local drop off box at the city offices and sent them on their merry way.
posted by jazon at 5:47 PM on October 20, 2020 [6 favorites]

Just filled my ballot out and I'm going to bike over to a drop box tomorrow at lunch to make sure it gets counted. I've mailed it in the past (woohoo WA State! I only sort of miss voting in person but not really), but I'm going to do the drop box just to be safe this year.

Same. I've always mailed it in before, but this year hiking to the nearest ballot drop box just felt right.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:55 PM on October 20, 2020 [5 favorites]

jazon: "Colorado, received ballot in the mail. My wife and I sat at the kitchen table, over coffee and tea, and spent a good hour reading up on candidates, reviewing the slate of judges, and looking at all the ballot measures and propositions. Afterwards, I drove them to our local drop off box at the city offices and sent them on their merry way."

We did the same thing and it's so nice to fill your your ballot in your own time rather than try to puzzle it out in a little booth while there's a line waiting behind you. We never get sample ballots and I know I should go online and find my ballot before I vote but sometimes I've forgotten and then gotten hit with choices about judges or clerks of court or ballot initiatives that I had no idea how to answer.
posted by octothorpe at 6:02 PM on October 20, 2020 [6 favorites]

Whelp, I'm in Maryland, and I can't say we've had an easy time of it like cheapskatebay has. First, we didn't receive the mail-in ballot request that "all Marylanders" were supposed to receive in August. So, we went online to request mail-in ballots in mid-September; I personally filled out the request form for each of us, minutes apart. I got my ballot fairly quickly but the other person in my household did not. The online tracking said their ballot was mailed out and we kept waiting... and waiting... and waiting. Finally we tried calling. Couldn't get through. Left a message which was never returned. Called again, spent several lifetimes on hold, finally got someone claiming the ballot would be sent out last Tuesday. Still haven't received it.

Apropos of nothing: Governor Hogan looks like a capybara. Everyone knows capybaras can't govern.
posted by Flock of Cynthiabirds at 6:02 PM on October 20, 2020 [4 favorites]

Voted VERY EARLY in person in Loudoun County, VA. Have tried everywhere to volunteer to work the polls on Election Day (hoping to take a spot so an older and/or more at-risk volunteer can sit this COVID election OUT), but everywhere I’ve checked they say they are already overwhelmed with volunteers
posted by ersatzkat at 6:08 PM on October 20, 2020 [7 favorites]

I voted. I wanted to vote in person on election day but with COVID rates going up, and who knows whatever other craziness could happen over the next two weeks, I decided to vote early. Walked into the library, waited behind three other people, and proudly cast my ballot for not-Trump/Harris.

I just want him out. I'm scared he's not going to go easily but I'm really hoping if there's enough of a landslide he'll have no options. I'm also scared what he's going to do as a lame duck, or rather what his followers will do.
posted by bondcliff at 6:12 PM on October 20, 2020 [11 favorites]

I love that you did this.
posted by BlahLaLa at 6:14 PM on October 20, 2020 [7 favorites]

I want a landslide so strong that when we start fighting the Biden administration to push to the left it doesn't seem like we're cutting off our nose to spite our face. The right trashed Obama so furiously there never seemed much point to fight from the other direction, especially with the constant fear that the guy was going to get assassinated.
posted by rikschell at 6:18 PM on October 20, 2020 [23 favorites]

I voted for Biden-Harris on the first day of early voting in Tennessee. Morning voters were in line 4 hours. I packed a protein bar, a phone charger, a teeny fan (powered by a phone charger) because it was already 80°, a folding step-stool I could use as a chair if they had a tech breakdown (as in Georgia), and a book. I wasn't giving up. But from parking to returning to my car, it took only 48 minutes. The 100 or so socially-distanced people in line outside with me were all wearing masks, and when a youngish woman got in line without one, people up and down the line were pointing at her, noting, "Well, we know who SHE's voting for."

As of tonight, only 6 days into early and mail-in voting, we're at 65% of 2016's entire early/mail-in count. We've got 8 days to go. Plus Election Day. Blue wave, baby!
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 6:33 PM on October 20, 2020 [27 favorites]

Some clown named Jordan “Cancer” Scott was listed among the presidential candidates on my ballot (CO). WTF?

It's a mystery! He's some IT guy. His social media is dormant. He hasn't published any sort of platform. There's zero explanation of why he's called Cancer, even though it sounds like he's been going by that for years? God, I love Colorado.

Anyway, I'm reporting live from the bright blue downtown dot in famously bright red Colorado Springs. Air Force Academy, NORAD, Space Force(!), thousands on military installations, magnet for military retirees, churches bigger than Sam's Club, Focus on the Family, etc. Setting for BlacKkKlansman, of course. But who knows -- we may someday go purple yet!

There's remarkably fewer DJT signs/flags/stickers here than four years ago in my neighboring conservative neighborhoods -- like, you'll see dozens of signs for Senator Gardner there but very few have both Gardner and 45. It's like they're embarrassed. Or maybe they're still firmly on the train and hiding from all those mythical looting/rioting liberals come election day.

The edges of town and out in the prairie have lots of DJT signs, but that's expected. Up north in the forest, lots of DJT signs but they also have signs for Bigfoot Crossing, so whatever. And of course any sort of oversize full-cab passenger truck anywhere in this county has about a 1:2 chance of having a DJT sticker or flag. Our longterm incumbent congressman, Doug Lamborn (R), who never makes appearances here, is likely to be re-elected through pure inertia although there are no signs supporting him anywhere.

I'm sitting here filling out my ballot tonight, judge retainers and all. I love vote-by-mail because you get time to research everything with your ballot in hand.

And then later this week, the dog and I will venture to our usual dropbox and say a little prayer. I have DJT-holdout relatives in Tennessee, and I am figuring that since they don't care if I die without healthcare, then they probably won't miss me when I never speak to them ever again.
posted by mochapickle at 6:40 PM on October 20, 2020 [15 favorites]

VoteAmerica has a huge amount of voting info on their website and opportunities to volunteer for GOTV and voting support. And takes donations.
posted by gingerbeer at 6:41 PM on October 20, 2020

I applied a few weeks ago to be an election worker, took the typing test last week, and haven't heard back. I hope that means that they have enough workers and not that I'm terrible at typing.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:10 PM on October 20, 2020 [5 favorites]

I'm not allowed to vote (reasons) but amusingly enough several of my coworkers have been really irritated at all of the political mailings they've received in the last couple of days after they've already sent in their ballot.

...I mean, one has literally said "why did this guy not mail me before now? I would have voted for him goddammit!" (note: local school district, fight between lefties, nbd nationally. Also, due to this being all internet, I was able to refrain from smacking him).
posted by aramaic at 7:10 PM on October 20, 2020 [1 favorite]

I voted on September 18th, the first day of early in-person voting in MN. I went in at about 12pm and was the 25th person to vote.

As of right now, 33.1% of registered voters in my city have already voted. Direct balloting (actually putting the ballot in the machine staring the week before election day; instead of early-voting-as-absentee-voting, which is sending the ballot to the county to open and count 1 week before election day) will likely be even more popular because people like to see their ballot actually go into the machine. So lots of people coming in to vote, lots of people dropping off their absentee ballots instead of mailing them in.

Ignore the article, and just look at this picture of our voting machines. I think that they look like fancy trash cans. If I could have had a conversation with the designer of these ballot machines, I would have asked them not to make it look so...discouraging.
posted by Gray Duck at 7:32 PM on October 20, 2020 [10 favorites]

Voted early in person last Thursday in Chicago, on the second day of opened early voting sites in each of the 50 wards. We had an open early voting site downtown and in a non-pandemic situation I would have shown up there on Day 1, but since I'm avoiding both transit and crowds, a two-week wait for a site at a school a few blocks away was no hardship. I wish I had enough social confidence to phone or text bank, so instead I'm shoveling modest quantities of $ to ActBlue/SwingLeft senate candidates, plus a little extra towards getting Lindsey Graham, Susan Collins and Joni Ernst unseated.

(Chicago area people - just in case you need it, voteforjudges.org has summaries of bar association reviews for judicial races and judicial retention.)
posted by sencha at 7:38 PM on October 20, 2020 [4 favorites]

My dog and I took a stroll in the early autumn sunshine to drop our ballot in the ballot box at the courthouse. It was lovely.
posted by HotToddy at 7:40 PM on October 20, 2020 [7 favorites]

Virginia's a solid Dem state, so no worries there. I did get Mom registered, and she voted in PA
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 8:18 PM on October 20, 2020 [2 favorites]

According to my imaginary rules I have to wait until I can confirm my ballot was actually counted, before I can wear an imaginary "I voted" sticker.

Being an imaginary stickler for rules seems very Metafilter.

I'm in Colorado and voted by mail. Often I wait until near the election to turn in my ballot. Not this year, Satan. Not this year.
posted by medusa at 8:27 PM on October 20, 2020 [13 favorites]

This thread is really heartening to read. Thank you, everyone who voted for Biden/Harris - whatever your reasons and however you feel about these two specific people - and thank you to everyone who is working hard to GOTV.

To follow up on my earlier post, I checked online tonight (to track my Oregon ballot) and got confirmation that my ballot was indeed received. Today I also talked with my mom in Florida and I think I helped her decide to vote early; that felt pretty nice.
posted by DingoMutt at 8:38 PM on October 20, 2020 [4 favorites]

Pizza to the Polls crowd sources reports of long voting lines and delivers local pizzas! I love donating and watching their Twitter this time of year!
posted by nakedmolerats at 8:41 PM on October 20, 2020 [8 favorites]

Checked my absentee ballot tonight, received by the county clerk on the 16th! Mr Sunny, his mother, my niece and nephew all voted to get that horrible man-baby out of the White House. It felt good.
posted by annsunny at 8:54 PM on October 20, 2020 [3 favorites]

As an Elsewherian, I just want to tell you good luck. We're all counting on you

Strongly seconded.

Also as an Elsewherian I was horrified to learn that unsupervised ballot drop boxes are a thing. WTF, USA?
Hahn said it is "unbelievable" to her "that during this very important election cycle that someone would stoop that low to target an official drop box where people have been placing their ballots and set it to fire."
Unbelievable? Has she not been paying any attention to the behaviour of His Excremency and his flock of danglers-on for the last four years?
posted by flabdablet at 8:57 PM on October 20, 2020 [6 favorites]

I was really nervous, but myself and Mr. Corb just got our ballots today. So hopefully they should be back before the time they're going to be counted.
posted by corb at 9:38 PM on October 20, 2020 [3 favorites]

Dropped off my ballot at the Post Office about ten days ago. The Maricopa County Elections Board sent me a couple of texts a few days ago to let me know my ballot had been received, and then to say that the signature has been verified.

They started counting ballots today, so I hope to get a third text soon letting me know mine’s been counted.

I’ve never been so relieved to cast a ballot.
posted by darkstar at 9:51 PM on October 20, 2020 [3 favorites]

"I have no idea what kind of lists my cell number has ended up on, but I have been consistently receiving GOTV texts addressing at least three different names (none of them mine) and representing both major parties. Kudos to all of you doing it, but it's all just spam to me at this point."

If you text back "I already voted," they will usually stop textbanking you. Democrats are slightly more reliable about this than Republicans, currently, because more Democrats use a (higher-quality) nationalized app/list so when a local race enters "this guy already voted" in the app, the Biden campaign also stops texting you, as does your state Senate campaign. PACs are annoying as fuck to get to stop texting you (they can't share the cool apps), but you can try texting them back "already voted" and sometimes it works.

My little suburb (35,000 people) has had LINES to early vote, which I cannot even get my head around. And not short lines created by Covid, but NINETY-MINUTE LINES created by WAY, WAY MORE PEOPLE VOTING THAN USUAL. After record numbers of mail-in ballots went out and have been received back! Illinois in general has very voter-friendly voting (although the Chicago Board of Elections can be a bit of a nightmare) and it's very easy to register (even day of!), very easy to vote (by mail, early, or on election day), and usually well-staffed. The longest I've ever waited in Illinois was 20 minutes in 2008, when my county had just shifted all its precincts AND turnout was unusually high, so there was more signature-matching than usual and people at the incorrect polling place and requiring provisional ballots. Other than that, I've never stood in a line of more than five people to vote, and I honestly cannot get over the fact that there are 90-minute lines stretching 2-3 blocks. TWO TO THREE BLOCKS!!!!!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 9:53 PM on October 20, 2020 [15 favorites]

mai, I feel your pain. We all have a voice. I am seriously considering voting for the only female candidate in the race, Jo Jorgensen, the libertarian candidate. She has her flaws, but...

A vote for a 3rd party candidate is not a vote for Trump or Biden, two of the worst candidates for President this nation has ever had. I know that no 3rd party candidate has a chance, but the message I would be sending is that I have had enough of politics as usual. Enough old white men beholden to special interests.
posted by AugustWest at 11:52 PM on October 20, 2020

It is strictly vote by mail here. Mine is in the dropbox at Seattle Community College.
posted by y2karl at 12:41 AM on October 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

Like a lot of people here, I was not super enthused to vote for Biden, so I told myself I was voting for Harris instead (and I originally wanted a Warren/Harris ticket because...well, a lot of reasons but I felt like they would do the most to dismantle and prosecute the criminals in and surrounding the current administration). However, I can also see that some people might be uncomfortable with that as well.
I just want things to change for the better.
posted by sara is disenchanted at 1:07 AM on October 21, 2020 [14 favorites]

The only way to get things to change for the better is to vote for Biden/Harris sara, but it sounds like you're doing that, so you're doing the best you can given the circumstances.

Early vote is through the roof which I take as a hopeful sign. You can't read much about the outcome into a heavy early vote but it shows enthusiasm and I would have taken a lack of enthusiasm as a bad sign. So I guess I'd just say so far so good.
posted by Justinian at 1:25 AM on October 21, 2020 [6 favorites]

I voted from out here in the Netherlands. There's an option to fax your ballot in. I don't have a fax machine of course. For fun, I dropped by our local printer and asked if he faxed things. He laughed and laughed and said he hasn't seen a fax machine in over 20 years.

In any case, I followed the instructions here to have FVAP fax them for me. I did check the status of my ballot later with BallotTrax and was able to verify it has been received.
posted by vacapinta at 1:27 AM on October 21, 2020 [9 favorites]

November 3, 2020 General Election
Your ballot was received on October 19, 2020.
According to the Secretary of State, I am also registered for the next election
posted by Cranberry at 2:02 AM on October 21, 2020 [2 favorites]

Not from the US, and this is the most anxious I've been about the elections of a country that is not my own. Good luck, people.
posted by Nieshka at 2:23 AM on October 21, 2020 [7 favorites]

I know that no 3rd party candidate has a chance, but the message I would be sending is that I have had enough of politics as usual. Enough old white men beholden to special interests.

FWIW, in all the previous general elections in my lifetime I've never read the votes for 3rd party candidates as a sign of having had enough of "politics as usual". That was never the message sent. And it doesn't seem to have been the message received by anyone involved in "politics as usual" either.

This election is a fight for people's lives. More directly than I can ever remember.

Please vote for Harris, if not for Biden. Vote 3rd party strategically, in local elections where you can make a positive difference.
posted by trig at 2:36 AM on October 21, 2020 [44 favorites]

Right, the message sent by voting third party is generally not "I'm against politics as usual so you should make major changes to woo me", it's "I can be ignored as I have proven myself to be irrelevant." The people who get to influence policy are the ones who help folks get elected, not the ones who sit on the sidelines. That's always been true and it will always remain true.
posted by Justinian at 3:14 AM on October 21, 2020 [37 favorites]

I originally wanted a Warren/Harris ticket because...well, a lot of reasons but I felt like they would do the most to dismantle and prosecute the criminals in and surrounding the current administration

A vote for Biden and Harris — and a vote for a Democratic down-ticket — is a vote for Warren, as well, who will be able to do a lot more under a majority Dem government to fight for restoring some kind of financial fairness and integrity. (Along with Katie Porter.)

My vote for Biden and Harris supports Buttigieg's fight for LGBT rights, already under attack by SC justices already salivating at the opportunity to overturn Obergefell.

My vote for Biden and Harris fights back against Susan Collins, Cory Gardner, Joni Ernst, Lindsay Graham, Tom Cotton, and other reactionaries who have fought stringently to turn back the clock on pro-choice and healthcare privacy rights.

It's all on the line, across the board, for everything that real progressives genuinely care about. The stakes of inaction — making a positive choice to support Trump through inaction — have never been higher.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 3:18 AM on October 21, 2020 [75 favorites]

I am seriously considering voting for the only female candidate in the race, Jo Jorgensen, the libertarian candidate.

Do you want bears? Because that's how you get bears.
posted by flabdablet at 3:35 AM on October 21, 2020 [74 favorites]

Jo Jorgensen supports getting government entirely out of health care and leaving you to pay for everything and if you can't afford it, enjoy the dying. She also supports the complete elimination of social security and medicare. Opposes mask mandates, opposes government intervention against covid-19 such as stay at home orders, and so on. So yeah I guess its fair to say she "has her flaws" in the same way that dying broke, sick, and alone in the gutter could be said to be a "suboptimal retirement plan". But at least she's not an old guy.
posted by Justinian at 3:56 AM on October 21, 2020 [81 favorites]

The comments in Fizz's June 2015 Front Page Post about Trump seeking the GOP nomination are, more than five years later, one heck of a wild read.

This comment in particular jumps out...

I'm worried that 2016 will be a repeat of 2000, with some on the left so frustrated by the center-right policies the Democrats have backed that they sit out voting or vote third party.
posted by drezdn at 6:23 PM on June 17, 2015

Alas I cannot vote, else it would be for Biden/Harris. I'm guessing the US of A is likely to get a female VP and quite possibly POTUS during the 2020's - a vote for Biden/Harris makes it slightly more likely to be Kamala, rather than Nikki Haley, even if not in this specific election cycle.

Anyway; I've got the end result of 7 of the last 8 US elections right (including 2016 amidst the rain of derision I got on here for predicting Trump would take Wisconsin); only Al "I somehow lost Tennessee" Gore ruined my perfect run. For 2020 am predicting {chooses words carefully} a Democratic POTUS win though the result will not be clear on election night, a very narrow Democratic majority in the Senate and a comfortably large one in the House.
posted by Wordshore at 4:13 AM on October 21, 2020 [8 favorites]

Over four years in office, the Trump administration has dismantled major climate policies and rolled back many more rules governing clean air, water, wildlife and toxic chemicals. Here’s the Full List.
Whatever Biden's flaws may be I don't think we deserve suffer another 4 years of this destruction.
posted by Lanark at 4:41 AM on October 21, 2020 [18 favorites]

Voted on the first day of early in-person here in Florida. Easily 10 times as many people there as there have ever been before. By the end of the day 20% of all registered voters in the County had cast a ballot. Here's hoping the bluer counties are having similar turnout.
posted by saladin at 4:56 AM on October 21, 2020 [2 favorites]

I dropped off my ballot at the US embassy I. Tokyo a couple weeks ago. I was less than thrilled to find out that marking “no intent to return” means I don’t get to vote in Illinois state and local elections, only federal. And I’m not, honestly, thrilled with Biden (my dream was Warren/Castro) or the DNC and it’s decision to try wooing republicans rather than the people who’ve done the work to drive voter turn out (the left, it’s okay if you forgot them, the DNC has too).

I want two things:

I want Trump resoundingly defeated. I want him gone. I don’t want to have to be the person asked on a daily basis about what terribly thing he has done, and why I let that happen to America (see the living in Japan thing). And, even more selfishly, I want him gone so I can’t stop being so goddamn worried about all of my friends and loved ones back home (present company included).

And I want control of the house and senate. I want there to be so many blue seats that when Biden starts trying to nominate assholes like Kasich or Flake to cabinet positions, he gets told no. I want a strong, Democratic congress, one that understands that it wields immense power, and that it doesn’t have to cower in fear of what the republicans would think, but that it should be more concerned with what it’s supporters think. I want to see a party I am happy to vote for.

And, you know, the holidays are right around the corner, and I think I’ve been pretty good this year, so pretty please?
posted by Ghidorah at 5:16 AM on October 21, 2020 [25 favorites]

Wife and I are going to in-person early vote here in NC on Friday. She is more flexible but I have to since I signed up and will be working on election day as a poll worker for the first time!
posted by Captain_Science at 5:29 AM on October 21, 2020 [7 favorites]

In person early voting begins this Saturday here in NY. My best friend and I, who have been in a Covid-pod together for months now, are going together with my kids to vote on Sunday (when, hopefully, we won't have to face quite those first-day-length lines).

Trying to decide if we should invite my ex-husband along: he is in our pod, too, obviously, as the kids' dad, and my best friend is also his friend + colleague of 20+ years, and my ex and I have been getting along rather well this past year, and am I a complete doofus for risking a potentially hours-long awkwardness or is this a secretly fantastic idea for sharing kid-duty while we wait in line...????
posted by MiraK at 6:05 AM on October 21, 2020 [3 favorites]

In Ann Arbor, Michigan, I dropped my ballot off at City Hall just over a week ago. A man who was there at the same time said, "Let's vote the bugger out." I like living in a college town.

A few days after I dropped off the ballot, I got an email saying that it had been received and everything was fine.

I'm not feeling very patient with people who won't vote for Biden. I suppose it doesn't matter for people who live in a state that will definitely go red or blue, but in swing states, not voting for Biden is the same as voting for four more years of the most monstrous president this country has ever had. It is a vote for total destruction of the environment, for children in cages, for support for violent racists, and for letting this pandemic continue to take lives and livelihoods.
posted by FencingGal at 6:30 AM on October 21, 2020 [36 favorites]

Mrs. Example and I live in the UK, but our legal residence for absentee voting purposes is Colorado. Handily, Colorado lets you fill your ballot out online and return it by uploading it to a government website....which we did. Our ballots were accepted a few weeks ago. Fingers crossed.

We also had Jordan “Cancer” Scott on our ballot, and I looked him up. He doesn't seem to have a separate website, but his Facebook page quotes Kevin Sorbo and his platform (posted only two days ago!) starts off like this:
Politics are dumb. Engineering is the future. We need more engineering solutions. Those solutions involve numbers, not your emotions. If something is pulling on your emotions, it's probably a lie or at least manipulative.

posted by Mr. Bad Example at 6:35 AM on October 21, 2020 [5 favorites]

Early-voted in person a few days ago. This was actually the second election we’ve had here since the pandemic hit—the first was a low-turnout local election that might have been a bit of a blessing, as it gave the county a chance to work out the process (it was also the first time our snazzy new paper-trail voting machines were used). Travis County seems to be doing a good job, and something like 95% of all eligible voters are registered here. Early voting in Texas has had a great turnout in general this year. I don’t know if that means the state will flip, but it is not reliably red anymore.
posted by adamrice at 6:44 AM on October 21, 2020 [5 favorites]

Mr. gudrun and I voted early in very blue Arlington, VA. It was very well organized and early voting here has been going on long enough that there was only a short line.

In the gudrun family of origin, we have some 100 years of voting Democratic, including a paternal ancestor who campaigned for Franklin Roosevelt enough that I even have a signed thank you letter Roosevelt sent him. We also regularly give money to folks like the ACLU. This is why I was more than a bit mystified this year to get a recorded call from Cindy McCain asking me to vote for Biden (no worries, Cindy, already done, and I never in a million years thought you and I would share an opinion about a candidate ... what a world).
posted by gudrun at 6:48 AM on October 21, 2020 [8 favorites]

I popped our ballots in a dropoff box in front of the local art museum on Thursday, and the boyfriend and I received emails confirming their receipt over the weekend. In an unrelated bonus, there were landscaping goats grazing on the hillside across the street from the museum, so I got some soothing goat viewing in lieu of an "I voted" sticker.

Also, when our ballots arrived, my boyfriend found a small US flag somewhere and set up a voting station for us to fill out our ballots. I do miss actually going to the polls on election day - I like that specific feeling of civic engagement - but I agree with others that it's nice to be able to leisurely research the various races and ballot issues as you fill it out. Baltimore always has an annoying number of ballot issues.
posted by the primroses were over at 6:51 AM on October 21, 2020 [7 favorites]

I voted from out here in the Netherlands. There's an option to fax your ballot in. I don't have a fax machine of course. For fun, I dropped by our local printer and asked if he faxed things. He laughed and laughed and said he hasn't seen a fax machine in over 20 years.
Though I live in Japan, which is (in)famous for fax machines still being commonplace, I've used the not-so-reliable sounding GotFreeFax to fax PDFs of my ballots for the last couple elections. I did the same for my 2020 ballot last month, which is now just waiting to be counted.
posted by Strutter Cane - United Planets Stilt Patrol at 7:00 AM on October 21, 2020 [5 favorites]

My wife and I voted a week or so ago here in MA, and our ballots have been received. The downticket was mostly uncontested local stuff, for us (other than Senator, but that one was mostly interesting in the primary) with a few no-candidate write-in slots for school board stuff. (I didn't fill any of those out; my wife already won one of those this year and she has too many jobs anyway.)
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 7:10 AM on October 21, 2020 [4 favorites]

If you want to help but can’t abide phone-banking, text-banking is something you can do.

A lot of the major text-banks are full, but per “The State Slate” advice, lots of down-ballot candidates need help, even at the last minute, and they get voters that vote for senate and presidential elections.

Below is my list in order of priority (roughly organized in places with both competitive senate elections and prez, then prez/senate that are competitive)

Volunteer People!

Downballot textbanks that still need help in either swing states or Senate races.

North Carolina
posted by lalochezia at 7:20 AM on October 21, 2020 [9 favorites]

vacapinta, thank you so much to the link to how to fax from outside the US if you do not have a fax machine. Because I am outside of the US and do not have a fax machine and need to get my ballot back to my county's Registrar for Voters. So many thanks!
posted by Bella Donna at 7:20 AM on October 21, 2020 [4 favorites]

We also had Jordan “Cancer” Scott on our ballot, and I looked him up. He doesn't seem to have a separate website, but his Facebook page quotes Kevin Sorbo...

Oh man. I just...

Anyway, last week he had 18 followers, and now he's up to 29. Libertarian, naturally. It's Colorado, so we have a decent margin for Biden/Harris thanks to Denver and Boulder, but where are the libertarians falling in all of this? Would these 29+ votes otherwise go to DJT?

In an exciting turn of events from my Tennessee family, I have just received word that an auntie, a lifelong educator with a masters degree, has broken with her family's enthusiastic DJT vote and is voting her conscience. She is writing in McCain. Who isn't running. And who died two years ago.
posted by mochapickle at 7:23 AM on October 21, 2020 [8 favorites]

I put my vote-by-mail ballot in a dropbox here in Philly a week ago and the website says it's been registered.

Something I learned yesterday: PA House reps are seated BEFORE the electoral college votes which means that if we flip the PA House, the state GOP can't mess with our electoral college votes as has been floated by them. We have a real chance of flipping the House this year (and it matters for so many reason).

Yesterday I had a DM conversation with a person on Twitter who asked me if I had a recommendation between his R incumbent state rep and the D challenger. We talked it through and it looks like he will be voting D! This is one of the seats most likely to flip and I ended the day feeling like I'd accomplished something.

So, to recap:
2. Help flip the PA House
3. It sometimes actually works to talk to people about voting, listen to their concerns and provide them with facts

We can do this!
posted by mcduff at 7:25 AM on October 21, 2020 [25 favorites]

I voted early in my corner of southern Indiana Monday.

It was the first day for wider open voting in local library branches (previously, it was limited to a single downtown location) and I waited in line for 1.5 hours. I walk by the library where I voted nearly every day and while the line wasn't as long yesterday, it was still probably taking people an hour to get inside.

I decided to stick around after the first 30 minutes because a) I had a headache and I wasn't going to get any work done anyway and b) the couple behind me were absolute fucking assholes and the woman was standing maybe a foot behind me and I wasn't going to give them the satisfaction of getting to vote any sooner. (They complained because there was another couple ahead who hadn't closed a gap of more than six feet because they were busy talking, as if the empty space was somehow going to slow things down.) Everyone I saw was wearing masks, at least.

The voting procedure has changed and was pretty weird. Instead of the ID check, poll worker scans ballot information, machine voting, it was ID check, poll worker scans ballot information, machine voting, machine prints the ballot, poll worker leads you over a table, two other poll workers initial the back of the ballot, you fold the ballot in half, one of the poll workers at the table seals the ballot into an envelope, you take the envelope to a ballot box and drop it in.

Why is it suddenly 9 steps, especially when you've got 12-15 people crowded into a fairly small room during a pandemic? Might as well just use paper ballots.

Fuck. Anyway, Indiana is stupid.

My partner's working the polls on election day (thankfully in a much bigger location, but still). Be safe out there, folks. ❤️
posted by minsies at 7:29 AM on October 21, 2020 [6 favorites]

Here in San Antonio we were worried about Gov Abbott doing mail in vote fuckery, so we masked up and went to an in person early voting site.

And here on the whiter north side of town it went smoothly with surprisingly long lines but relatively short waits.

They turned the big stadium here in town into a mega voting place, but we went to a closer one.

And they finally did electronic voting right!

We got a paper ballot that was fed into the voting machine, entered our votes on a touch screen, and after we were finished it spat out the paper with both barcodes for easy computer counting and the names of the people we voted for in human readable format so we could verify it was an accurate reflection of ourr intent. That paper ballot then went unto a locked ballot box through a scanner that did the actual vote counting and recording.

Any worries that the computer was hacked can be dealt with by hand counting the paper ballots if need be. It's exactly the system geeks have been advocating for since forever.

We were in and out in about 15 minutes.

So far early vpting alone has gotten about 45% of the total number of votes cast in 2016. So here in Texas we're on track for a record breaking turnout and I think the Republicans are a bit scared. I doubt we'll flip the state this year, but I do think the Republican dominance in the state lege will be significantly cut.
posted by sotonohito at 7:39 AM on October 21, 2020 [12 favorites]

I'm reluctantly voting for Biden (I hear you, Mai) , because I have a strong enough sense of civic duty to do so. I just hope other people feel more enthusiasm for him or we're gonna get stuck with Trump again. If they lose this time, I'm so done with the Dems - they honestly will have no one to blame but themselves.
posted by Jess the Mess at 7:52 AM on October 21, 2020 [2 favorites]

I will be voting in person on Election Day, for many reasons. We don't have early voting in my state (CT) and I have to admit I was nervous about mail-in ballots this year - but mostly because a) I want to take the kids to vote like I always do, b) I want the ritual of voting in person, c) the lines here are very short, d) I'm not in a high-risk group COVID-wise and will of course wear a mask, and e) I want to be part of a blue wave of results reported ON ELECTION DAY. I want the fucker to sweat and not be able to declare victory because only Republicans voted on the day.

I am so damn nervous about this election. Reading this thread has allowed me to hope, just a tiny bit, but I was so burned in 2016 when I trusted all the polls and thought there was no way the US wouldn't see through that charlatan. I'm scared that the results will take weeks, if not months, to finalize, and I'm scared that BunkerBoy will use that to his advantage. And I'm scared that even if Biden wins, there is still a 35% segment of the US population that thought Trump was doing just fine for them, and I'm scared that we as a nation will not heal, and that democracy here is permanently imperiled.

I'm usually an optimistic realist - but these days I'm just scared. I would like to end this on a positive note, but I don't think I have it in me yet.
posted by widdershins at 7:53 AM on October 21, 2020 [14 favorites]

My cousin and her family live in Pittsburgh, and a few weeks ago she started an aggressive community door-knocking campaign with a community group to register people and get the vote out that they've been doing ever since. Literally the only thing that has slowed her down was kidney stones.

And even then she just went to phone banking and says she had to cut her work back from "60 hours a week to 40."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:15 AM on October 21, 2020 [10 favorites]

I dropped off my ballot here in PA on Saturday, and finally saw it was marked as received yesterday.

This was after rather a long wait for it to arrive in the mail - the online tracker said it was mailed September 26th, and nothing ever arrived. On October 11th, the tracker updated to say it was actually mailed October 10th, and I eventually got it in the mail on October 14th.

Meanwhile, there's several different places on our county website with conflicting instructions - depending on where you look, it says "We don't have dropboxes, you have to mail it back", "We're getting dropboxes, locations TBD", and "Here's where the dropboxes are."

The voting instructions included in the envelope with the ballot also had some issues as outlined here.

At any rate, my ballot has been marked received, but I'm expecting general confusion to come out of our county.
posted by pemberkins at 8:16 AM on October 21, 2020 [4 favorites]

widdershins, Connecticut is one of the seventeen states that pre-process mail ballots in advance and tabulate them on election day, so they should be able to report both in-person and mail-in votes at the same time.

It’s still great that you want to vote in person, but hopefully a comfort to know that your fellow voters’ mail-in ballots will also be counted quickly.
posted by mbrubeck at 8:18 AM on October 21, 2020 [6 favorites]

Thank you, mbrubeck - I didn't know that and it does make me feel better! Not that I'm expecting CT to be anything but blue, but I'll take any bit of good news I can get.
posted by widdershins at 8:31 AM on October 21, 2020

Worried by Texas Gov. Abbott's absentee voter suppression fuckery, I decided to vote early in person in Austin. I've been in quarantine for months, (old, asthmatic, diabetic) but it is too important to vote. So this old night owl got up before dawn to get in line when the polls opened last week. There was already a long long outside of the building and it was dark. I got my wheelchair out of the car and faced a sidewalk with people lined up farther than I could see. I was trying to figure out how I could get up on the sidewalk at the end of the line or have to squeeze by countless people to get there on the sidewalk, when a woman by the curb cut invited me to cut in line ahead of her. The people in line behind her chimed in and encouraged me to go ahead. I thanked them and got in line.

Everyone I could see was masked and distanced. Once the polls opened, the line moved steadily. When I got within sight of the in door, the poll worker asked if I would like to skip to the front of the line and I said no, these kind people have already let me get forward in the line.

I have to say that the Travis County voting system was very well set up. There was hand sanitizer at the entrance and they had a place to put your identification without any hand contact. A finger cot was issued. The room was very large with dozens of machines. Since one of my hands was now holding my paper ballot, a kind poll worker helped me push my chair to the machine. The ballot was inserted and when the voting was done, the paper ballot with my votes was ejected back into my hand so I could see all my selections. I then took the ballot to a machine that accepted the ballot. Picked up a "I Voted" sticker and was out the door in 25 minutes.

So despite and the nasty voter suppression tactics by the state, voting was pleasant and fast. I salute both my fellow voters and the poll workers for their kindness and consideration.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 8:32 AM on October 21, 2020 [62 favorites]

Am I the only person who is going to be voting on Election Day, in person?

I voted in person in the primary with no problems. Wasn't much of a line, everyone wore masks. The ladies who run the polls are terrific, no-nonsense townie folks. When the Democratic ballot had a red border and the Republican ballot had a blue border, they were all over that like a fly on shit. I'm also lazy AF, and set in my ways. %)
posted by Melismata at 8:41 AM on October 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

I early-voted in Little Rock yesterday, a blue city in a blue county in a red state that voted for Bill Clinton several times, but Republicans have won the presidential election every time afterward, and you could count on one hand the Democrats elected to statewide office.

It was the first day of early voting, and we broke the record for the number of votes cast in a single day. Then, yesterday, we broke it again.

I don't think that Arkansas is going to deliver its electoral votes to Joe Biden. I don't think that Arkansas's electoral votes are going to be the ones that put anyone over the top. But we have a shot at electing the first Black person to Congress from Arkansas, ever (Joyce Elliott, she's wonderful), and I am a little bit excited about that.
posted by box at 8:42 AM on October 21, 2020 [22 favorites]

(Sorry, meant to say 'you could count on one hand the Democrats elected to statewide office since--at the moment, you could count the Democrats elected to statewide office with zero hands.)
posted by box at 8:54 AM on October 21, 2020

I voted for Biden, and it’s been received. Thanks for the prod, cortex. In this window between action and results I am allowing myself hope.

I’ve struggled mightily with voting and principles in the past, and these days I mostly think that’s a distraction. An old libertarian friend once said he treats voting as a self defense mechanism, not a test of principle or an endorsement of whatever terrible things the elected does. It took me a lot of years to come around to that view.
posted by eirias at 8:59 AM on October 21, 2020 [6 favorites]

My vote got rejected because of my long struggle to get acknowledged as a Colorado resident, but I'm going to keep throwing potential ID documents at them until they finally take one.
posted by holmesian at 9:17 AM on October 21, 2020 [10 favorites]

Got my ballot on Friday, filled out and dropped off on Saturday, and got confirmation of receipt on Monday.

I'm starting to feel a bit better about the Democrats' chances for taking back the White House and Senate. What I'm really nervous about is the congressional race in my district. We have a long-time incumbent Democrat who's pretty good overall. People tend to think our district is solid blue because of that + the main city (that I live in) having a very liberal reputation; however, our district is actually fairly purple -- Clinton only won it by 0.1% four years ago. The congressional race hasn't been close for the past decade in large part because the Republicans ran the same crackpot doctor five cycles in a row. Now the Republicans are running a young extremely-Trumpist white guy whose sole qualifications for office are being a veteran, tackling a terrorist on a train in France, starring in a movie about said foiled terrorist attack, and appearing on Dancing with the Stars; the race has been targeted nationally by Republicans as one of their few potential pick-up opportunities, with lots of out-of-state money flowing in. Fortunately the Democrats are taking this threat seriously and have responded with lots of support of their own. I still think we'll manage to hold but if so it'll be too close for comfort.

Future-Mrs-Bassooner is a political field organizer, and she's been reporting that some of the campaigns she's been in contact with are actually struggling with phone banking being too productive. Due to being unable to canvas in person, all door-knocking volunteers are now making phone calls. Normally at this point in the election, they'd be focusing on GOTV for likely supporters. However, they're burning through their call lists very quickly, to the point that (A) they're dialing numbers manually rather than using autodialers in an effort to slow down, and (B) they're able to focus more on persuasion of undecided voters. Fingers crossed that that's a good sign.
posted by bassooner at 9:46 AM on October 21, 2020 [3 favorites]

Dropped off my ballot this morning in Wisconsin and expect an email confirming it's receipt. Doing my part to turn WI back to blue!
posted by Twicketface at 9:58 AM on October 21, 2020 [7 favorites]

Wow, that extremely-Trumpist white guy sounds like a real peach.
posted by box at 10:04 AM on October 21, 2020

I voted for Biden a couple weeks ago in Minnesota and got confirmation my ballot will be counted! My spouse and I both got absentee ballots mailed to us, and we filled them out and brought them in person to our local library to physically drop them off instead of mailing them back. There was quite a line for early voting, but if you had a completed ballot you got to waltz to the front to put it in the ballot box.

For any other Minnesotans, Naomi Kritzer does some excellent analysis of more local races (even down to the school board!) and offers her research and reasoning for why she'd recommend certain candidates over others.
posted by castlebravo at 10:07 AM on October 21, 2020 [5 favorites]

I became a US citizen in 2017 because I hadn't voted in any election since the "True Believers" won in Australia way back in 1993. I voted in 2018 with a feeling of unutterable glee and I voted Biden Harris last week awash with hope and rage so we can get the fuckers out out out. Thanks to everyone who has worked to GOTV.
posted by firstdrop at 10:07 AM on October 21, 2020 [21 favorites]

I tried to get my absentee ballot sent from New York to Canada, but the online request form doesn't recognize non-US mailing addresses and the assistance number and email didn't work, so fuck it. If New York state goes red this year, you can yell at me.
posted by Beardman at 10:10 AM on October 21, 2020

Am I the only person who is going to be voting on Election Day, in person?
The Democrats are basically begging their voters to vote early, for any number of reasons. The biggest one is that some voters, no matter how motivated they are, find themselves unable to vote on election day. Their kid breaks his arm and has to spend all day in the ER. Their car breaks down. They get called in to work. This year, there are going to be people who wake up with a headache and a cough and don't know whether it's COVID. We can't afford to lose a single vote, and we always lose some votes because people can't make it on the day. I truly, truly understand that people enjoy the ritual of election day, but I hope they'll consider making an exception this year.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:17 AM on October 21, 2020 [30 favorites]

My partner and I voted absentee in Ohio. Mailed the request in September, ballots were mailed out the day after registration closed (so, Oct. 6,) received Oct. 8 and dropped them, completed, in the mail on 10/10. It took until this week for the BOE check your ballot website to reflect that they had been received and pre-processed, backdated to 10/13.

Unfortunately once you get downballot in our county it's all republicans running unopposed. I did my best on the state supreme court candidates. It's full trump country out here except in our tiny town and a small stretch of the lovely old part of the county seat. This thread is a tiny breathing space, I avoid the politics threads and try not to talk to my neighbors too much since we are all so anxious. I'm just gritting my teeth endlessly, the election date doesn't feel like any kind of ending to me. May the world surprise me in a good way for once in 2020.

I miss in-person voting, I have always liked it, but am glad to have it over with this time around.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 10:41 AM on October 21, 2020 [5 favorites]

I received my ballot on the 8th, mailed it back on the 9th, and it was ready to be counted on the 13th.

When I checked its status just now at the Pima County Recorder's site, I was met with this message:
Due to the outstanding response from voters mailing their ballots early and dropping them off at our early voting sites, we are presently running 2 shifts to meet the high demand. It is taking us a little longer to start the process where we show your ballot status in “Track your Ballot”. We will be working Saturday and Sunday to catch up. This will take about 4-6 days after you mailed or dropped your ballot off. We ask for your patience. Thank you for voting.
Tucson is awesome.
posted by MrVisible at 10:52 AM on October 21, 2020 [19 favorites]

Early voting started in Florida on Monday.

I was done by 12:30 pm.
posted by wittgenstein at 10:54 AM on October 21, 2020 [7 favorites]

We're voting day of, right when the polls open. We want to be part of the Election Day blue wave too.

Our polling station is a block away and we'll crawl there if necessary. It will be monitored by a legion of fiercely civic-minded Lutherans holding rulebooks and righteous indignation. There will be no shenanigans.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 10:58 AM on October 21, 2020 [13 favorites]

I tried to get my absentee ballot sent from New York to Canada, but the online request form doesn't recognize non-US mailing addresses

The Federal Voter Assistance Program and Democrats Abroad should both be helpful.
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 11:14 AM on October 21, 2020 [8 favorites]

A vote for a 3rd party candidate is not a vote for Trump or Biden, two of the worst candidates for President this nation has ever had. I know that no 3rd party candidate has a chance, but the message I would be sending is that I have had enough of politics as usual.

The only message you will be sending is that it is a matter of indifference to you whether Trump has a second term.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:33 AM on October 21, 2020 [52 favorites]

I voted in at the Town Hall Precinct in the dark blue bubble of Carrboro, North Carolina on the very first day of early voting (October 15). I got there at 9:05, stood in line for about 2.5 hours a spectacularly beautiful morning. Everybody was enthused. At about 10am, an informal "Voter Parade" drove past with a bunch of decorated cars with balloons and homemade Vote signs and at least one pick up truck festooned with paper flowers. The people honked and waved, cried "Thank You" and "Gracias!" and "Black Lives Matter" and I got a little choked up because I'm a cornball who tends to vote in every election, no matter how small (School Bond? I'm there).

Anyway, Biden wasn't my candidate, but he is the candidate. Filling in the little circle beside his name did no elicit the same happy joy that filling the circle by Obama's did twelve years ago, but I don't think I've ever felt more pure satisfaction in voting as I did last Thursday.
posted by thivaia at 11:41 AM on October 21, 2020 [16 favorites]

My family has been voting by mail for a couple of years. We are up to four folks of voting age in the household and we have a bit of a routine down: We pick an evening, get everyone fed dinner, hand everyone a bowl of ice cream, and we all sit down with a sample ballot. I walk us through each item on the ballot, dig deeper where there is nuance to tease out or it's unclear on its face what the progressive choice is, and then we talk through the choices. I often wind up "researching out loud" with laptop in hand.

This process was borne out of the way my wife and I -- who tend to vote nearly identically -- would talk through and record our choices before going to the polling place. Now that there are more adults of voting age in the household, they have been added to the discussion, even though I do not expect others to simply sit there and magnify my vote. Each person records separately what their choice is, and my wife records for the two of us.

Since we started voting by mail we added a tiny ritual of transferring the sample ballot choices to the ballot of record then sealing and signing envelopes. This year we took the extra step of bundling everyone into the car to go to the drive-through, 24-hour-monitored, official county ballot box in front of the veterans' building. We aren't in an especially shenanigans-vulnerable area, but this year all due caution was warranted.

I'm a little disappointed I didn't get a sticker out of the deal, though.
posted by majick at 11:42 AM on October 21, 2020 [11 favorites]

Ballot has been filled in, signed, and dropped off as of yesterday.

I got to vote for shrooms this election. (Oregon voter here).

2020 is weird.
posted by medeine at 11:45 AM on October 21, 2020 [9 favorites]

I voted lasted week at the local library. My state is one of the few (or only, I dunno) that doesn't allow everyone to vote by mail. But we actually have relatively convenient early voting, so that's what I've done the past few years and I like it. Still, the line snaked through the library and down the sidewalk and it took about 45 minutes to get through.

I haven't read the whole thread yet, so sorry if this has already been discussed... I'm trying to figure out what I'm doing election day/night. I know what I don't want to do (drink and anxiously refresh all the sites as the results come in). Ideally, I could just, like, skip Nov 3? And wake up when we know who the winner is? That doesn't sound like a realistic plan, though, but I'm having a hard time coming up with what I can do to keep my anxiety brain occupied all day. Maybe this is a question for AskMe?
posted by Is It Over Yet? at 12:02 PM on October 21, 2020 [5 favorites]

I'm thinking about being a poll observer, Is It Over Yet?, just so I have something to do on election day other than doomscroll and fret. I don't think there are likely to be shenanigans where I live, but the Democrats say they're worried and need more poll observers, so maybe I should do it. I'm having trouble coming up with a good excuse not to, except that I'm way more cautious about COVID than almost anyone I know, and maybe the people who go to restaurants all the time should be the ones taking the risk.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 12:14 PM on October 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

> Not from the US, and this is the most anxious I've been about the elections of a country that is not my own.

I got a text from a Jamaican friend this morning making sure that I had voted.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:37 PM on October 21, 2020 [20 favorites]

I delayed a bit in submitting my ballot because there are a few races/initiatives here in Portland about which I had mixed feelings and indecision. But this morning I finally finished up and drove it down to the local library to drop off. (I love this library because this summer they installed some tents in the parking lot, under which they would regularly set up tables and a half-dozen laptops, so that folks in this relatively low-income neighborhood who don't have computer access at home could still use the internet. Alas, this seems to have ended with colder wetter weather.)

Driving home, I was tootling up 122nd Ave. NE and was considerably shocked to encounter a big-ass pickup truck with a couple of Thin Blue Line flags and an enormous "Trump 2020" banner flapping in the breeze. Even in this less-intensely-blue part of Portland, that still seemed ... a bold move. (I was gratified to see a lot of other drivers rolling down windows and raising middle digits.)
posted by Kat Allison at 12:39 PM on October 21, 2020 [12 favorites]

Votes from the NC and AZ segments of my family are in. My partner is volunteering at the early voting locations over the next few weeks.
posted by jeoc at 1:33 PM on October 21, 2020 [4 favorites]

This interactive decision tree can be useful to people still on the fence about voting. Your voice matters. It can even change a historically-red state to blue, putting a quick end to the obscenities of the last four years.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 2:09 PM on October 21, 2020 [8 favorites]

Our household's ballots are signed, sealed and ready to go out to the Portland library drop-off box later today. My husband, ever the idealist, usually writes in a few protest names on his ballot, said that this time, it was straight Democrat all down the ticket, no hesitation. We also have some amazing new initiatives here that I think stand a good chance of passing: significantly more funding for libraries that will improve an already good system, a tuition-free pre-school program, more funding for schools and parks, and legalizing psilocybin for mental health treatment, amongst others.
posted by nanook at 2:11 PM on October 21, 2020 [4 favorites]

I'm always grateful for Pima County's robust early voting, and this year especially. My ballot's in, and my signature's been verified, but I haven't yet had the traditional Tacos for Democracy celebration. Soon, though. Soon.

Thanks to everyone sharing their excitement and/or grim determination. Thanks to everyone volunteering for campaigns, and thanks for talking about it! Metafilter comments in the leadup to the 2016 election were what got me to volunteer then, too.
posted by mixedmetaphors at 2:40 PM on October 21, 2020 [9 favorites]

My husband and I took our ballots to the dropbox a week ago. According to Utah's ballot tracker, they've been received by the County Clerk's office. We both voted Biden/Harris.

Vote-by-mail as default is one of the few things this state does right, and Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swenson (D) has made it convenient and reliable for a very long time, even when more conservative counties have stumbled.
posted by armeowda at 3:07 PM on October 21, 2020 [7 favorites]

This is a message from Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters. Your ballot for the 2020 General Election was received and will be counted. Thank you for voting!
And done. woot!
posted by zengargoyle at 3:15 PM on October 21, 2020 [8 favorites]

I will vote this weekend (the sample ballot is two full legal-sized pages, mostly of judge races, so I need to do more research on the down ballot stuff).

But I wanted to say that if you - or someone you know - are in Harris County (Houston, TX) then please know that we have drive-through voting, 24-hour voting on the 29th, and extended early voting including on Sundays. Multiple companies are offering free rides to the polls.

I can say a lot of things about voter suppression in Texas, but one bright spot is that the Harris County Clerk's office put an absolutely unprecedented $27 million into making voting work this year. It's paid off, too, with record numbers of people voting early and with Texas leading the country in early voting.

Voting matters, and I am a very-2020 combination of sad and excited to see so many people actively engaged in it this year.
posted by librarylis at 3:40 PM on October 21, 2020 [13 favorites]

I am despondent because I live in a very red area and the idiot signs are everywhere. I am afraid that this will be a repeat of four years ago. I'm seriously seeing it happening again as a very high possibility.
posted by mightshould at 3:42 PM on October 21, 2020 [3 favorites]

I voted - meaning I dropped off my ballot at the drive-through at City Hall. Then I got my scheduled SARS-COV2 test and picked up my CSA veggie box. Feeling like a good pandemic citizen. I even put my "I voted" sticker on my mask.
posted by gingerbeer at 3:45 PM on October 21, 2020 [18 favorites]

Dropped my ballot in the mailbox here in WA yesterday afternoon, within 24 hours, it's been counted.
posted by StarkRoads at 3:50 PM on October 21, 2020 [2 favorites]

Permanent resident only - so can't vote, but have certainly been donating and doing lawn signs etc. Last night someone anonymously added to our current three signs a really nice big "Make America Kind Again" sign. No idea who it was and it's the only one in the neighborhood - and because we are on the main corner and elevated our driveway it is now the most prominent sign. Am going down shortly to add a thankyou note to it - and ask that if any other neighbors have similar progressive signs that they maybe feel awkward to have on their property (its Utah) they should feel free to add....
posted by inflatablekiwi at 4:04 PM on October 21, 2020 [15 favorites]

I am absolutely thrilled that NYC is finally on the early voting train, as it should have been years ago. My polling place is very close by and early voting opens on Saturday, so I'll be voting in person on Monday once the weekend bump dies down.

I can't say that I'm feeling particularly hopeful, but it's been good to see so much earnest engagement and effort from the people in my circle. Multiple friends -- many of them with pretty serious anxiety -- are phone banking for the first time this year.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 4:18 PM on October 21, 2020 [6 favorites]

Ms introp and I voted on 29 Sept right after the early voting opened here. There was the nicest little drive-up tent behind the courthouse. The state website shows that we voted. +1

We moved from the only liberal county in southwestern Virginia to the county just south of it ... and it's very very reliably conservative. There are a lot of Trump/Pence 2020 yard signs here. One of the million reasons I want Trump to lose is to cement Virginia's place as a reliable-D vote. I don't want to yell at my neighbors "you're voting for a loser!" but I slightly want to yell that at the signs.

What a flip from when I was a kid and the state went for the Republican candidate for 36 years straight.
posted by introp at 4:34 PM on October 21, 2020 [7 favorites]

Returned my NJ ballot as soon as I received it in a nearby dropbox.

My Florida parents have already voted by mail, and I'm gonna bug my Florida sisters until they go vote, too.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:39 PM on October 21, 2020 [5 favorites]

Random voting facts from Virginia:
  • the only presidential electoral vote that the Libertarian party candidate has ever received came from Virginia. In 1972 Nixon/McGovern we had a Republican faithless elector cast their vote for John Hospers and Tonie Nathan.
  • That also means Tonie Nathan was the first woman to ever receive a presidential electoral vote.
  • The faithless elector, Roger MacBride, instantly became so popular with the Libertarian party that he was able to run as their presidential candidate in 1976. Is this the first modern incident of Wingnut Welfare?
  • Roger MacBride was connected to Laura Ingalls Wilder's family and inherited the rights to, if I recall correctly, all her works. I remember during college that his death kicked off a nasty fight with Wilder's heirs over the reversion of those rights.
posted by introp at 4:46 PM on October 21, 2020 [3 favorites]

I intensly dislike both Biden and Harris and am in despair about whether they are people who can (or want to) make meaningful change, but I'm damn sure voting for them. We may be doomed if they win, but we're definitely doomed if they don't. I'm planning to vote early in Brooklyn on Monday. I also have an absentee ballot and will use that instead if it's crowded.
posted by Mavri at 5:03 PM on October 21, 2020 [12 favorites]

I got an absentee ballot but went and voted early at City Hall just now, still pretty busy on the third day of early voting (in Alaska voting terms, that means I waited about 15 minutes). It felt safe- distanced, careful, sanitized, orderly, masks required. Absentee ballots in AK do not get counted until a full week after election day so I figured I'd do my best to prevent any weird election-night narratives although I am prepared, as always, to be deeply disappointed by what my state does on election night.

Plus, going in person means you get a sticker. We have awesome stickers this year; a selection of Native women drawn by Alaskan artist Barbara Lavallee designed to "celebrate the diversity, strength and power of Alaskan women." The state provided them for absentee voters to download (get your own here!) but it wasn't going to be the same. We also had rad stickers (for the first time) in 2018; managing neat stickers a couple times in a row is, as far as I am concerned, the only statewide election success I have seen in my 40 years alive here.
posted by charmedimsure at 5:18 PM on October 21, 2020 [7 favorites]

Eastern Oregon - no ballot drop boxes in my town, but we mailed ours back last weekend.

Every now and again I get a little fluttery feeling and I realize it is ... hope. Which I've felt so rarely the last 4 years it takes me overlong to identify it.
posted by hilaryjade at 5:27 PM on October 21, 2020 [4 favorites]

after we were finished it spat out the paper with both barcodes for easy computer counting and the names of the people we voted for in human readable format so we could verify it was an accurate reflection of our intent

Is there an open-source phone app available that can decode those bar codes? Because if I were a black hat trying to subvert that system's software, the first thing I'd try is making some controllable percentage of the bar codes fail to match the human-readable format.
posted by flabdablet at 5:34 PM on October 21, 2020

It occurs to me that the only bad thing about having sent in my absentee ballot weeks ago is that for about a month now I've felt like I'm on the uphill part of the roller coaster, and I won't even reach the first crest and start plunging into the ride proper until November 3rd.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 5:36 PM on October 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

They mail us a sticker with our ballot in Colorado! :-)
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 5:51 PM on October 21, 2020 [5 favorites]

They mail us a sticker with our ballot in Colorado! :-)

Whaaaaaaat. My mother-in-law in FL just texted me the same thing. Some states are so FANCYYYY paying to mail ADHESIVES FOR THE POPULACE. Jeez. Next you’ll tell me you vote as a state for people who are not deranged, or something.
posted by charmedimsure at 6:00 PM on October 21, 2020 [7 favorites]

Hesitating to vote for Biden is like hesitating to buy a car because it doesn’t have a moon roof, when the alternative is a car that will explode when you start the engine.

I dropped mine and my wife's ballots in the early voting box by the library the first day it was open. There were 7-15 people also around the box with their ballots in-hand at around 2pm on a Monday. I had promised to break my finger voting for the Democratic nominee, but I guess I didn't have to while voting at home, which was remarkably better and less stressful than voting in a booth. We got to actually sit and research the at-large council seats: which are actually very important! Remember to vote local!
posted by General Malaise at 6:09 PM on October 21, 2020 [11 favorites]

(oh, also DC sends an I Voted sticker with the ballot)
posted by General Malaise at 6:10 PM on October 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

Next you’ll tell me you vote as a state for people who are not deranged, or something.
I got a sticker with my ballot in Iowa, and I don't think you can claim that as a state we fail to vote for people who are deranged. For example: Steve King. However, individual counties are in charge of the ballots here, and my county tends not to go for deranged. Someone should do a data analysis about the correlation between stickers with mail-in ballots and electing the unhinged.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:45 PM on October 21, 2020 [2 favorites]

They mail us a sticker with our ballot in Colorado! :-)

What??? Here in El Paso County CO, no joke, my mail-in ballot instructions have a jaunty little drawing of an "I Voted Early!" sticker on the back. No actual sticker. A PICTURE OF A STICKER.
posted by mochapickle at 7:00 PM on October 21, 2020 [19 favorites]

I have always found the sticker a little patronizing, but I was still glad to see it this year. Sent in my Biden/Harris vote in DC a couple weeks ago, and it was confirmed last week. I don't vote for the president, I vote against the fucking fascists.

I hope at least some of the people who have decided their deeply held beliefs prevent them from voting for Biden, at least are paying attention to downballot races and initiatives. Because those also matter, quite a bit.
posted by aspersioncast at 7:10 PM on October 21, 2020 [5 favorites]

My husband and two adult kids and I voted early together, last week. We waited until the third day we could vote here in Texas, to avoid the big first-day lines. We put my wheelchair in the car in case lines were too long for me to wait in, but ended up leaving it in the car. We wore masks, of course, and I wore safety glasses, but the voting site was in the stadium of the nearby university, covered but mostly outdoors, exposed to a nice breeze, which further reduced our risk.

My kids happily accepted my list of suggestions as to whom to vote for and why, when it came to down-ticket races that they weren't as sure about. We all agreed that the most important thing is to vote for whoever can defeat the orange menace. It doesn't matter if you don't like Biden: a vote for a third-party candidate is truly a vote for the continuation of the current regime. I learned that lesson when I idealistically voted for John Anderson in my first presidential election, thus helping Reagan to win.
posted by chromium at 7:14 PM on October 21, 2020 [10 favorites]

California also mails you a sticker. I got an email this afternoon letting me know my ballot had been received and it came with a link to this tweet. So, two stickers!
posted by mogget at 7:17 PM on October 21, 2020 [2 favorites]

I've tried tracking my absentee ballot, and the most updated info they have is that the post office "has my completed ballot" as of 10/13/20 - a week ago.

I'm in a blue state so I'm pretty sure my vote would be backed up by copious others, but I'm still a little worried about that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:57 PM on October 21, 2020 [2 favorites]

We dropped our ballots in the drop box this weekend, and checking the tracker this morning showed them received and counted. It was a good feeling to see that.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:10 PM on October 21, 2020 [2 favorites]

So I handed my ballot to my postal person (because it did not fit in the slot in my building's lobby) . I kept checking to see if it had been received and accepted (not certain about my signature matching) and -- last night, there it was -- "Your valid absentee ballot was received at the BOE." It took exactly 10 days from mailing to that notice.

I am in NYC , and I am so pleased to have this done. Now if I can just survive until the count is done. And ...if Trump is finished, I can take a breath.
posted by alwayson_slightlyoff at 9:11 PM on October 21, 2020 [4 favorites]

I received my ballot and an “I Voted” sticker on Oct 10th. I immediately got to work filling out the ballot and decided to use an ultra-fine point black Sharpie, thinking to myself “no one’s gonna mess with my vote.” After filling in the bubbles on side one, I turned the ballot over to select the judges and to my horror found that some of the marks had bled through. So, instead of mailing the ballot, I took it to an early voting site that opened Oct 12th. A poll worker and a supervisor at the polling site both reassured me that the ballot was fine and that the machines can distinguish between a filled in bubble and a bleed through mark so I put my ballot in the box and they gave me a second sticker! The next day I received a text that my ballot had been received and shortly after I received a text that my signature matched. Then I packed my bags and traveled out of state (from AZ to WI) for a month-long vacation. Yesterday, AZ started to count the early ballots but I haven’t received confirmation of my vote and now I’m feeling anxious – what if the polling site folks were wrong? I know it’s ridiculous, but I feel like my vote is needed to turn AZ blue and that AZ's electoral votes are critical to Biden/Harris winning the election. I’m so angry with myself!

BTW, it’s lovely in Madison and I haven’t seen a single Trump sign within city limits – most homes have a Biden/Harris, BLM, or NOPE sign in the yard. I think I’ve found my peeps!
posted by kbar1 at 10:11 PM on October 21, 2020 [8 favorites]

From a non-American: Please think about us. We can't vote but the world can't handle another four years of Trump. His vile bigotry, denial of science, and dragging the planet backwards is going to destroy us all. I'm honestly sick with worry that he'll win.
posted by daybeforetheday at 3:06 AM on October 22, 2020 [15 favorites]

We dropped our ballots off when the individual ward drop-boxes opened in Chicago and I got notification a week ago that it had been received and would be counted. First time voting at home and I appreciated the opportunity to wrangle the ridiculously lengthy Cook County ballot (two oversized pages! both sides!) from the comfort of my couch. And yes, they mailed us stickers. Really big ones, actually!

I get the most satisfaction these days voting not to retain shitty judges. Historically, it's really hard to get bad judges out, due to low voter engagement and awareness. But there are now websites that make it easy to see the various bar association ratings and I always try to raise their visibility on social media. Every bit helps when it comes to these down-ballot issues!
posted by merriment at 4:41 AM on October 22, 2020 [6 favorites]

From a non-American: Please think about us.

Seconded. Also remember that Trump has his fans outside the US mainly among the far-right and Qanon supporters in Germany and other countries so not voting him out means more power for those antidemocratic forces outside the US too. Just a thought. Please vote Biden/Harris no matter what you think of them, thank you!!
posted by bitteschoen at 5:28 AM on October 22, 2020 [9 favorites]

Georgia voter here. Dropped my absentee ballot for Biden/Harris at my local library and it's been received. I think Georgia has some dumb rule about when they can be counted, so it's not COUNTED but it's accepted. I hate waiting.

I am trying not to get my hopes up about flipping this state, but maybe, just maybe. Turnout has been wild. I live in John Lewis's district and I hope we can do it for him.
posted by Medieval Maven at 5:37 AM on October 22, 2020 [6 favorites]

Minnesota says my ballot is received and will be counted. Same for my spouse. We sent them back in the same day we got them.

I work in a federal building and the smirking photo of the Orange Menace is posted by the main entrance. I refuse to walk past it, I have used that entrance only once in the past 4 years and that was under duress (walking with my boss, who did not know I had sworn a vow to avoid that fucking photo... I averted my eyes, which she said kept the spirit of my silent protest)

I CANNOT WAIT to see that fucking picture come down.
posted by caution live frogs at 6:01 AM on October 22, 2020 [13 favorites]

Early voted on the second day in TN. This involved going to the site of my county's main summer covid outbreak, the county courthouse. I was surprised the signin did not check my ID at all, which is unusual here, as my main worry had been they would ask me to remove my mask. The voting booths were in the county election office, which is a small room, too small for even the 2 poll workers and 2 people ahead of me voting to fully social distance.

Everyone was masked, except the poll worker who sanitized machines between votes, who wore only a face shield. Ugh. I kind of know her; she was the head librarian before retiring. I'm still trying to get to grips with what to do about that.
posted by joeyh at 7:11 AM on October 22, 2020 [3 favorites]

Oregon went vote by mail shortly before I turned 18 so I have never been to a polling location. Our normal voting parties with our friends were obviously out this year but my sweetie and I still sat down together and turned voting into a nice date. My distaste at having to vote for Biden was ameliorated somewhat by being able to vote for some incredible measures, as Oregon has decriminalizing small amounts of all drugs, therapeutic psilocybin, and universal preschool on the ballot this year. I have done harm reduction volunteering for 10+ years and I got teary when I checked the yes box on the drugs measure because it felt like such progress. And it was easy as pie to drop off the ballots at the election office and I will get a text message with receipt, acceptance and counted. It is a great system and I wish it for everyone. Though, i have never received an I voted sticker!
posted by Hopeful and Cynical at 7:23 AM on October 22, 2020 [6 favorites]

We are doing car voting in my town in Iowa. It took about an hour to get through on Oct 6. It was safe and convenient, but also seems like sort of bad for the environment. Maybe I should have mailed mine. Oh well. It has been received and counted.

I was happy enough to vote Biden because he's not Trump, but I was honestly elated to vote for Theresa Greenfield over Joni Ernst because fuck Joni Ernst. Plus Theresa Greenfield knows the price of beans.
posted by Lutoslawski at 7:32 AM on October 22, 2020 [8 favorites]

DC sent me not one but two (!) different stickers with my mail-in ballot last election (this year's primary, I think? I'm not sure, time is weird.)

This election I'll be voting in North Carolina, likely early next week. This is my first time ever living/voting in a battleground state, and I was wholly unprepared for the volume of communication one receives along every possible channel. I get probably 10 different mailers per day addressed to different previous residents of my apartment. It's wild.
posted by mosst at 7:32 AM on October 22, 2020 [5 favorites]

In Michigan, I was emailed an online sticker to use for social media.
posted by FencingGal at 7:37 AM on October 22, 2020 [5 favorites]

Husband and I went to our county Board of Elections on the second day of early voting here in Ohio (Cincinnati). They annexed a massive warehouse to get a larger space, which is good because the regular BOE space is kinda small. It took longer to park than to vote because the streets were full of people waiting in line in their cars to drop their ballots off at the drop box. Everyone in the warehouse was masked and efficient and I triple-checked my ballot before putting it through the machine.

Son dropped his absentee ballot in the box the next week, daughter sent hers back by mail from Chicago and they've both been received and accepted. They both asked for advice on the downticket candidates, mostly judges, so we all ended up straight ticket. Same for my mom; I'll pick up her ballot today to drop it off in the box.

Now we wait, which is so hard because I just want that man gone.
posted by cooker girl at 7:37 AM on October 22, 2020 [5 favorites]

Arizona also mails a sticker! (Well, at least Pima County does. Not sure about the others.) I wore it to Zoom choir practice the night after I dropped the ballot at the recorder's office. At least a couple people noticed.

This is an exciting election here; we have some good candidates for local offices on the ballot as well as the competitive President/US Senate races and state initiatives for marijuana legalization and education funding. The amount of support I see around Tucson for Dems and their causes is heartening.
posted by egregious theorem at 7:40 AM on October 22, 2020 [8 favorites]

Update, I re-checked the ballot tracker and my ballot has been counted, which means it's imaginary sticker time: I Voted!
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 7:58 AM on October 22, 2020 [6 favorites]

I find it excruciatingly hard to do anything now. The next two weeks are just an anxiety swamp. I can't focus on anything productive or creative. So there's going to be a shit ton of watching bad TV and knitting.
posted by rikschell at 8:00 AM on October 22, 2020 [4 favorites]


If you did not get a sticker and you still want one, send me a Memail. I have a whole pile of them from early voting here that I can send out to you. I also have a bunch of postcards and postcard stamps that I wouldn't mind using up (I can tape the sticker to the postcard).

We did not have stickers at our primary (we gave away "I voted!" pens instead) and it was the #1 complaint by far. People like the stickers. I'd be sad if I didn't get one!! Ours are the red circle that say "I voted".
posted by Gray Duck at 8:03 AM on October 22, 2020 [8 favorites]

I will be doing early voting on Sunday in NYC (trying to avoid any first-day lines), at one of the ugly new buildings on Columbia's still-under-construction Manhattanville campus. Normally I vote at Riverside Church, which is a magnificent polling place.

This will very likely be my last election voting in the city, and casting a vote for Biden/Harris AND against the The Fucking Moron seems like a fitting sendoff. (My first NYC election in '93 was voting against Rudy.)

I really really miss the old-time mechanical voting machines.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 8:04 AM on October 22, 2020 [7 favorites]

My vote has been marked as accepted and tabulated in my locality.
posted by tilde at 8:26 AM on October 22, 2020 [3 favorites]

We talked about what do do about "election observers" who have to be less intimidating because of social distance this year! I know in some places these folks are to make sure people aren't disenfranchised, but around here they are usually Trump-types who have entirely false ideas about voter fraud

I’m now imagining the Venn circles of (a) self-appointed MAGA hat election observers with their Fox-news-fueled ideas about voter fraud, and (b) people who are strong believers in maintaining a safe social distance, and it delights me not.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:54 AM on October 22, 2020

My husband and I voted early in person (I didn't even trust the mail to get me my ballot in time, honestly) a few weeks back in Ohio (Cincinnati). There was a huge line of cars to get in because of people dropping off their ballots, but no line to vote once we were actually in the building. This time I went in armed with my list of judges that the Dems sent me a flyer to vote for. There was a contingent of Trumpies outside the board of elections with flags and nonsense, but then right next to them a big group of Dems who had a megaphone and they had the judges and downballot race lists to hand out to people. And I didn't look at the Trumpies but my husband confirms they looked sad that they were being vocally drowned out by the Dems.

I'm checking in with all the liberal-leaning people I know to make sure they voted, and I wrote letters to Ohio and Georgia voters for Vote Forward this year. We got a Postcards to Voters postcard the other day and it made me so happy!

And I'm thrilled about Biden/Harris. Harris was my top-of-the-ticket choice in the primaries and I really went into it all thinking "oh God no, Biden is too old, this isn't what we need" but the closer we get to the election and the more stories I see like this, the more I think that Biden is really the perfect candidate after four years of hate and divisiveness.
posted by jabes at 9:18 AM on October 22, 2020 [9 favorites]

I have been so worried and depressed for all the obvious reasons but I must say that after reading through this smells like team spirit thread my mood is very much lighter. To be on the right and same side feels so good. Thank you all.
posted by y2karl at 9:21 AM on October 22, 2020 [7 favorites]

I voted in person in San Mateo county last week. Went to a polling station on a weekday, no line. In and out in under 10 minutes, and I don't need to stress about my absentee ballot signature not matching.

Can we please, please get rid of California's proposition system?

We need to. Here's the thing: The proposition system helps corporations and vested interests. It seems like it shouldn't, but it does. I guarantee you if we tried to ban them the corporations would be the major funder the "Vote No" campaign (and dress it up as Californians for Democracy and Accountability or something.)

The extra complications it adds just favor those with full time lobbyists and staffs to handle this sort of thing. My personal bugbear this year is Uber trying to write a law letting them exploit Uber drivers, which looks like it is could well pass. :(
posted by mark k at 9:44 AM on October 22, 2020 [5 favorites]

I really really miss the old-time mechanical voting machines.

Oh god, me too. There was something so viscerally satisfying about them. The click-click of the little selection levers, the SSSHHHHUNK of the big red-handled lever you pulled to finish...it was all great.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 9:52 AM on October 22, 2020 [7 favorites]

Here in my small town in western CT, I will be voting in person. The polling place is around the corner from my house, so if I have to crawl on suddenly broken legs, I'll be there. My mother voted by mail a couple of weeks ago. My 22-year old son, who sat out the 2016 election, will be voting in this one, as he got to see what can happen when you don't vote. I emailed my local democratic town committee, to volunteer at the polls, but I never received a response.

This is probably a derail but I was thinking about the story back in 2017 or so about Ivanka Trump getting patents for voting machines. Whatever happened with that? At the time, I found it odd that she would apply for patents for something like that, but now I realize of course she would. Did those machines ever get manufactured and if they did, where are those machines right now? The fact that this has been out of the news for some time gives me pause.

Thank you to all who have voted.
posted by sundrop at 9:52 AM on October 22, 2020 [4 favorites]

I voted early-in-person today, *before* lunchtime, and spent about 5 minutes in total, start to finish.

It helps, for this at least, that all the municipal general elections were held back in August or whenever during the statewide primary. All I had to do was President, Senate, House, and a state House election.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 9:53 AM on October 22, 2020 [3 favorites]

Yeah, this is the first time in ages and ages that there hasn't been a statewide bond issue or 2 or 4 to vote on here in Maine -- the legislature scattered in March so didn't pass any.

Anyway, I voted and dropped my ballot off at City Hall and the website says they love it so good to go. Boyfriend down in MA was going to wait until election day and vote in person and then said to himself, oh, what if I get covid and die before election day, I won't get to vote, I better do it now, so he did.

I have a feeling that this thread has only been preaching to the choir, but it is nice to hear everyone's voting stories and hopes for next month.
posted by JanetLand at 10:48 AM on October 22, 2020 [5 favorites]

Just dropped off my ballot in my nearest ballot dropbox here in Arlington VA. Voted for Biden/Harris with mixed feelings. Though Biden was way down on my list of the primary candidates who would have been best at the job, he's not Trump or a Republican, so at least liberals and progressives will have a seat at the table when the decisions are being made. I expect I will be calling my House rep and Senators on a weekly basis to hold their feet to the fire to back whatever bills have Warren's support. I also voted against the abortion that is the proposed anti-gerrymandering amendment for Virginia's constitution (no criteria for what constitutes a fair district, a redistricting commission chosen by politicians, and a super-majority requirement that will allow two GOP members to throw the mapmaking to GOP-dominated state courts = my strongest "hell no" to all of this). Good luck with exercising your franchise to everyone and hopefully we can end the nightmare of the last four years.
posted by longdaysjourney at 1:13 PM on October 22, 2020 [6 favorites]

I don't trust any of it, any of it, ANY of it. I don't trust the people who collect the votes, register that they've been accepted, tally the votes, report the results, none of it. I am torn between a red rage driving me to want to punch people in the face and wanting to take enough pills that I sleep until January 1 because this thing is *not* going to be done on the day.

The GOP are liars, cheaters, thieves, criminals, rapists, torturers, murderers and genocidal maniacs and *worse.*

There was more to this comment but I don't need the blowback.
posted by tzikeh at 3:04 PM on October 22, 2020 [2 favorites]

I volunteered at the polls for the primary when they sent out a plea for volunteers a week before, as not enough had signed up. It was right after George Floyd was murdered, and the protests had just begun. Was a crazy time wiping "I Voted" stickers down with hand sanitizer before handing them out to people who didn't want to get caught out after curfew without one. This time around, they had so many people sign up to volunteer way ahead of time - there's a waiting list! So, dropped off my ballot 2 weeks ago instead - just checked BallotTrax, and it has been accepted! The über-progressive local candidate has a really good chance of winning, as does the measure to decriminalize psychedelics. Can go back to not paying attention to the national news for a bit.

(Also, sundrop, Ivanka got some Chinese trademarks for handbags, coffins, and voting machines right after Trump eased sanctions with China. I guess it's common to register for trademarks there that you may potentially license and sell, and so others can't sell stuff under your name. But, as always, super sketchy...)
posted by bluefly at 5:37 PM on October 22, 2020 [2 favorites]

I voted Tuesday at my county's Election Commission in Tennessee. Took my daughter, who turned 18 last January, so this is her first election.
Masked up, and inside they had separators to keep us in a general line and socially distanced. They had hand sanitizer and gloves, a pen and voted sticker in baggies, and had plexiglass/hanging vinyl setup to separate us from the election workers. I showed ID, signed a paper attesting I am who I say I am and that I have the legal right to vote, and printed my name in their backup election roll book (I presume to keep the plague from arising in the depths of the archives), then got a piece of paper and my access code. Voted on a touch screen tablet with cling wrap on the screen and cleaned in between each voter. We had a light down ticket this year in my city since the city elections wrapped up in August, so for me, it was the House, Senate & Presidential elections plus the state Senate & House. Got to see my picks on the paper before I fed it into the scanner, which fed it into the lockbox. Even with a line, we were in and out in 30 minutes.

I wished it was Warren I was voting for, but even Biden's better than Trump.
posted by tlwright at 8:04 PM on October 22, 2020 [5 favorites]

I'm a little disappointed I didn't get a sticker out of the deal, though.

I have been informed that our household received stickers in the ballot package. We simply neglected to distribute them. I know what I'm wearing for my video meetings tomorrow!
posted by majick at 8:31 PM on October 22, 2020 [2 favorites]

We will win.
posted by dmh at 8:36 PM on October 22, 2020 [2 favorites]

I sure hope so. We're definitely at a fork in the road. Good luck, everyone.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 8:38 PM on October 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

Remember; when you come to a fork in the road, take it!
posted by Justinian at 3:05 AM on October 23, 2020 [3 favorites]

Beyond all the usual reasons for not voting third party in the presidential election (and especially this one), Hawkins and Jorgensen are both exceptionally uninspiring candidates. Like Hawkins' entire CV is losing lower tier elections and being nearby when Murray Bookchin said something insightful. At least pretend you'd be able to wield power if you somehow got it.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 7:46 AM on October 23, 2020 [2 favorites]

my households' two votes in southern MN were accepted by the SoS office and will be counted!
posted by dismas at 9:36 AM on October 23, 2020 [3 favorites]

Ohio. Voted by mail. Mailed it Monday, it was counted today. Not enthusiastic about Biden or Harris at all, but very sick of having the actual antichrist as president.
posted by SystematicAbuse at 9:48 AM on October 23, 2020 [9 favorites]

Philly - voted early by dropbox at the local high school (they were also registering people and taking those ballots) on a Sunday and got the confirmation the next day.
posted by Pax at 10:45 AM on October 23, 2020 [2 favorites]

I was worried about my Oregon ballot because I can’t remember how I signed my registration card. So I called the registrar's office and was informed that they have trained signature checkers and look for the style of writing rather than whether you are signing full name, just initials or whatever. And if there is any problem, if your signature is rejected, you will be notified and will have up to 14 days post -election to correct it.
Hubby and I will vote about October 30 and have a celebratory dessert afterwards.
I love Oregon.
posted by SLC Mom at 11:58 AM on October 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

Add another Biden vote if you're counting, but I slightly disagree with the vote early admonishment. The safety of the local poll was impeccable for the primary, just me and the poll workers in the gymnasium with lots of Plexiglas barriers. But also a core of traditional utterly unambiguous voting on Tuesday will not hurt the legitimization of the count.

And almost certain for anyone reading this but: VOTE.
posted by sammyo at 12:57 PM on October 23, 2020 [3 favorites]

Huh! In Washington State you can look up what votes were rejected by county, and I guess contact the people if you know them? Or if you don't? It's interesting, anyway.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:06 PM on October 23, 2020 [2 favorites]

Oh no, I just saw that someone who I know had their ballot rejected, and I suspect that they're a Trump voter... I am on the horns of a dilemma.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:08 PM on October 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

My son just told me not to let partisanship stand in the way of being a good person. Ugh. He's the worst. FINE. I'll tell the person.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:13 PM on October 23, 2020 [9 favorites]

I just looked up my WA family (Skagit county) from your link, corpse, and NONE of them have voted yet?! Shame on them. They are a branch with whom I'm not in direct touch, though, so I won't be the one to prod them.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 1:43 PM on October 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

Minnesota. Voted absentee by mail a few weeks ago. Have tracked both mine and spouse's ballots and they are both received and verified will be counted. Biden/Harris, Smith, Omar for the national offices.

I am mostly fine-ish with Biden, but I am unapologetic and enthusiastic about Harris. Not taking a victory for granted, but I really think there's a strong set of people to slot into cabinet roles to help start picking up the pieces of this wreckage. I'm not going to worry about Biden potentially screwing that up until the psychopath is kicked to the curb.
posted by mcstayinskool at 1:47 PM on October 23, 2020 [3 favorites]

WA family (Skagit county) from your link, corpse, and NONE of them have voted yet?!

Spooky confluence, I'm NOT going to look up my valley family votes, best they sit this one out, and as much as I appreciate the son of The corpse in the library saying the right thing, I do not want to be put in that position. ;-)
posted by sammyo at 2:01 PM on October 23, 2020 [2 favorites]

The missus and I voted last week. It took maybe 30 minutes from getting in line to leaving the building. Voted a straight Dem ticket.

We killed time in line critiquing the various yard signs of the candidates surrounding the building. The ones that I actually “saw” were the ones that broke with the seemingly mandatory red-white-blue color scheme. All those signs just blended together into this pseudo-patriotic sea of bland. Then there were the ones where the candidate’s name was about half the size as the office they were running for. Bob Whatsisname for TREASURER. I don’t quite get the thinking on that approach.

As a favor to a friend, I designed a candidate’s yard signage for a state office back in the day. The guy lost (thankfully) but the local paper, in their post-election coverage, went out of their way to say how much they liked the look of his yard signage, so I figure I have standing to critique today’s signage 😎
posted by Thorzdad at 2:04 PM on October 23, 2020 [5 favorites]

The Dashy household ballots have been recorded by the state of PA.

I think I'm safe to whine here? I can't believe that, after all this, I have voted for Joe freaking Biden for president. I mean, yay decency and all, but ... I'm really sad that I missed voting for Warren AGAIN (we moved out of MA just before voting in 2012). I'll stop here. But still.

And now we wait.
posted by Dashy at 2:23 PM on October 23, 2020 [5 favorites]

About forty minutes wait outside in a cold drizzle in order to vote this afternoon just north of Chicago. It's Biden signs everywhere in my neck of the woods, for which I feel both grateful and lucky. I just can't imagine living among the other kind.
posted by Glinn at 3:05 PM on October 23, 2020 [3 favorites]

Voting in 12.5 hours. I thought we were voting last Saturday. Apparently, I misread the weekend schedule for my local polling place. For weekend votes, they are only open this Saturday. It's a bummer, because we naturally woke up early last Saturday, so we got breakfast burritos and jugs of coffee for the poll workers. Depending on what my bank account looks like, we will do it again this weekend when they will actually be there.

I would have gone first day to any of the number of places that are available, but I really like voting at "my" place and all the early voting places matched my work hours. Company does allow time off for voting but see above about liking my place. It's 2 blocks away and I get to do nice things like the burros/cafe for the poll workers. They got me on the list to be a poll worker, and I did receive a text a couple of weeks ago asking if I would volunteer. I declined, as I work in a hospital-esque area and don't want to accidentally bring CoVid in.

Speaking of the hospital, we have a polling place in my building! They are only open election day. In 2018, they had a line all day. It will be interesting to compare crowds this year.

Finishing up making dinner, then it's off to send some GOTV vote texts.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 4:34 PM on October 23, 2020 [2 favorites]

I dropped my ballot off at the US consulate a couple of weeks ago and started checking the tracking site obsessively a little over a week ago. Am feeling perhaps unreasonably anxious about whether the ballot will get there on time.
posted by bardophile at 3:02 AM on October 24, 2020 [3 favorites]

I ended up not going to the library, but to a drop box near where I was donating cat food to a local organization that helps give veterinary care to pets for low-income folks. The box is on a narrow street, and there was already a line of cars waiting to use the curbside dropoff, so we had to park across the street and I went on foot to deliver the ballots. Just as I was crossing the street, some poll workers arrived and emptied out the box, so the lineup of cars increased and I was joined by other masked people on foot waiting to drop off their ballots. The poll workers finished emptying the box and cleared out, and we all rushed forward to get our ballots in the box. It was slightly surreal, to think there is still 11 days left of this.
posted by nanook at 9:22 AM on October 24, 2020 [2 favorites]

Voted early in Austin last Saturday morning. Sanitized my hands, masked up & was ready for a long wait, and when I got to Northwest rec center, there was... none. I walked right up, and as a humble nudibranch noted above, they had contactless registration confirmation & ballot issuance, with a little place to put your id while they read it through the plexiglass & little finger cots for the voting machines. It was a snap, and I also voted dem in ALL the down-ballot races, down to dog-catcher. All politics is local.

In other good news, Travis county changed machines to a new one that prints human-readable choices onto a paper ballot that you then can verify IN WRITING before feeding it into the tabulating machine by the exit. A++ would vote again!

If you’re in Travis co. TX and are concerned about wait times for early voting, here’s a handy map of locations with current wait times shown for each.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:36 AM on October 24, 2020 [7 favorites]

1.5 hours into what's supposed to be a 3 hour wait. My fellow New Yorkers are masked, distanced, well tempered and very ready to do the thing. Our poll workers are excellent at managing the multi block tangle. It's genuinely kind of nice.
posted by larthegreat at 9:53 AM on October 24, 2020 [11 favorites]

I’ve seen pics of super long lines in Coney Island, Jackson Heights, and Harlem. It’s really inspiring.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 10:58 AM on October 24, 2020 [1 favorite]

2.5 hours later, we got tunes, the supers of one of the NYCH buildings we're circling opened the basement bathroom, and an old lady with a cart is on her second snack distribution round. We got 2 hours or so to go but we good! NYC is most definitely voting.
posted by larthegreat at 11:28 AM on October 24, 2020 [14 favorites]

Didn't get my damn mail ballot until yesterday - I requested one in mid September - so rather than take a chance on the mail I dropped it off in the collection box at the downtown Cleveland office of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections and, uh . . . holy shit.

Today was the first Saturday of in-person early voting and apparently this morning the line was so long it stretched onto the off ramp of I-90. (Clevelanders should totally recognize where that picture is.)

I was driving and it was very smooth and quick, but there were designated lanes blocked off and multiple cops directing traffic and a constant flow of cars and people even in the late afternoon. This is definitely gonna be a record-setting turnout.
posted by soundguy99 at 12:43 PM on October 24, 2020 [9 favorites]

soundguy99, I do recognize that spot! Makes this native Clevelander's heart happy to see it.
posted by merriment at 1:17 PM on October 24, 2020 [2 favorites]

4.5 hours, but we voted! people had pizza delivered to the line, we enjoyed an afternoon outside NYC as best we could. Apparently close to 2,500 people voted before me, and there were a solid 5-600 on line behind me

I just hope it's worth it.
posted by larthegreat at 1:24 PM on October 24, 2020 [10 favorites]

My roommate left the house early this morning; on his way home, he passed by one of the early voting locations in our neighborhood, at Brooklyn's Masonic Temple. He reports that even though early voting had only opened just shy of a couple hours before, the line was already stretching around the corner, up the block, around that corner, back around down that block, and back towards the door again. "When you got into line you were actually closer to the front door at that moment than you would be for another couple hours."

The Barclays Center is also an early voting place, and a kids' marching band turned up to entertain the people lined up there.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:33 PM on October 24, 2020 [2 favorites]

lalochezia, thanks for that great list of texting opportunities. I've been texting a lot this week, and sometimes the campaigns are actually running out of texts to send, so it's really nice to have a few extra options.

I took a quick look at your link for North Carolina (just because it was the first one on the list), and it's texting opportunities for Pat Timmons-Goodson, who's running for US Congress, a woman of color looking to unseat Richard Hudson, who is against gun control and against abortion rights, supported the Muslim ban, and doesn't believe humans are causing climate change. She and Hudson have had a close race, but the latest polls show her slightly ahead, and with a significant fundraising advantage. In other words - she has a decent chance, but could use some help.

I've signed up to text for her tomorrow, and I'll be looking at those other links you provided if I have any more free slots in my texting schedule.

(As someone who never texts, I've been finding GOTV texting to be easy, and it makes me feel like I'm contributing. I LOVE asking people "will you remind 3 friends to vote, too?" and getting back enthusiastic YES replies. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to chip in right now.)
posted by kristi at 6:27 PM on October 24, 2020 [5 favorites]

Not to be a downer, but the texting campaigns do not seem to be as effective as they could be -- I can't vote, but I'm getting swamped by texts. Texts for me, texts for someone elsewhere in the country with a name similar to mine, texts for names that are utterly unlike mine, and they just keep coming.
posted by aramaic at 8:06 PM on October 24, 2020 [1 favorite]

Thanks for this cortex. Kinda figured you for a Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente guy but pleasantly surprised
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:18 PM on October 24, 2020

How does texting through those platforms work? Are you using your own phone numbers and plans, or can you do it through their website or an app?
posted by trig at 3:44 AM on October 25, 2020

When I do phonebanking/texting for Democrats Abroad, it's all set up through CallHub on a Chrome browser -- it's really slick, you login, enter the open campaign (only open during time zones where you're not bothering people at odd hours), review the script and start answering calls/texting. When you're on the call the person's details are available, plus the script is customised with their details. You ask them questions and go to the relevant parts of the script to reply. Then after the call, you pick the relevant text to send, customise it and send it off. Really easy.

Bet it's even easier if it's just texts!
posted by iamkimiam at 6:55 AM on October 25, 2020 [4 favorites]

When I do textbanking, I do it through a website called thrutext, which sends the texts from a number associated with the campaign. (This is important, because I can only do it for an hour a day, and some people respond after I've signed off. Thrutext routes my numbers to a different volunteer.) It's mostly automated. There's an initial message, and I go through and make sure all the initial messages look ok. The only thing I ever change is that sometimes the recipient's name is in all caps, and I'll change it so it looks normal. Then I send the initial messages and wait for responses. When the recipient texts back, most of the time I select an appropriate automatic response, click on that, and send it. (95% of the time, it's either a thank you response or a "we'll take you off our list" response.) Sometimes I get a situation where it seems appropriate to modify the canned response or compose my own response, and I can do that and send it off. It's really ridiculously easy.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:57 AM on October 25, 2020 [4 favorites]

Just to put this out there -- there are millions of Americans living abroad and this group has the lowest voter turnout. Most Americans abroad don't know they *can* vote, and if so, they don't know *how* to vote. With Democrats Abroad phonebanking, you're actually calling people who are registered with Democrats Abroad and want to vote. We're raising awareness and helping people get past those hurdles. It's literally votes on the table that just need a little help to make their way home. And the campaigns are set up to prioritise calls to those abroad who are registered in key states. It's very rewarding and friendly work.
posted by iamkimiam at 7:00 AM on October 25, 2020 [10 favorites]

I voted early because I volunteered to work the polls, and because in my line of work being sick in 2 weeks is a possibility I can't ignore.

I was happy to learn that you can still vote if you're in the hospital on election day. May none of you need this info! patientvoting.com appears to be a nonprofit dedicated to helping patients vote from their hospital beds.
posted by dbx at 8:16 AM on October 25, 2020 [8 favorites]

That’s great info dbx, thanks to you and to the others sharing links about texting opportunities, etc. I was finally able to fax my ballot back to California along with the mandatory signed documents not allow me to fax the ballot. I couldn’t use the government fax machine because there is a 48-hour delay. So I used a commercial but still free service and will check later in the week to see if it actually made it.

There are many opportunities to be annoyed by being neurodivergent and voting is one of them for me. It was a huge pain in the ass to get the documents printed out and then scanned because I don’t happen to own a printer or scanner. The first time I tried it, I had misremembered the ZIP Code for my foreign mailing address. The next time I tried it, I couldn’t find scanner software for my friend’s machine that works with the operating system on my laptop. Luckily, my friend was willing to scan in the documents and send them to me. I know this is ridiculous but there’s a part of my ADHD brain that thinks standing in line for almost 5 hours would actually have been easier for me. Which cannot possibly be true.

Anyway, I did get it done and I’m thrilled and happy that it wasn’t more complicated. I really appreciate all the efforts made by everyone in this thread to vote. I especially appreciate the efforts of people who have gone above and beyond in helping others vote and sharing info. Thank you all so much. I hope you guys are being kind to yourselves. I had some chocolate and took a bath because sometimes you need to reward yourself even if you have simply done the right thing.
posted by Bella Donna at 9:55 AM on October 25, 2020 [3 favorites]

Okay, I've been tracking my absentee ballot since about the 15th, and the BOE has confirmed that it sees the post office received my ballot on the 13th. But....there have been no updates since then. I'm getting a little worried.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:14 AM on October 25, 2020

I asked about how text banking works last week and those answers were great - as are the answers here in this thread. It's surprisingly easy - and yes, there are a fair number of "STOP" and "wrong number" replies, but there are also a number of people who respond with support. I do think it's worthwhile, if you're so inclined.
posted by kristi at 2:01 PM on October 25, 2020 [2 favorites]

taquito boyfriend & I dropped our absentee ballots off in Maricopa County -- in & out, walk past the guy with the Trump signs in the parking lot, show the signatures to the signature-checking abuelita, slip the envelopes into the big ol' box, grab the sticker of the stoned-looking anthropomorphic ballot, & bam, back past Trump guy to the car.

checked online & mine's been accepted \o/

(we also got passports, not that we know of any country that would take us, and not that we've decided 100% we wouldn't stay & fight for democracy, but it feels better than not having them)
posted by taquito sunrise at 4:34 PM on October 25, 2020 [5 favorites]

Here is my Ballot, I already voted for Biden/Harris, and for me!

Good luck!
posted by Pax at 5:33 PM on October 25, 2020 [2 favorites]

Voted by mail in early September from out here. My county e-mails me a PDF that I print and send back. Helped another person from my state vote for the first time from overseas and wrote a little thing about it for a small microblogging site you may have heard of called Facebook:

"I've been helping an overseas American I know here through the process of registering, getting a ballot and voting. They are from a major city, a place that you might think would make voting pretty easy. On the surface, everything worked and was available as promised (with some digging on the city's elections website). But from a user-friendliness perspective, the process was an absolute disgrace and took far, far too long to manage. Happily, their ballot's now in the mail. Here's what it took to get this done:

1. A few weeks ago, I approach this person and ask if they've voted yet. They tell me they'd tried to register their new postal address and got stuck on the registration page because they didn't have a fax number (?!). We visit the site together. It's not at all apparent where to click. We eventually find the correct page. To log in, it requires some information that most folks at home would have to hand or have memorized, but which would be odd for overseas citizens like us to have right then and there. We bookmark the site and say we'll come back to it later.

2. A few days later, I see them again. They have the information they need now to log in. We go through the process of entering all the information. It asks for the voter's preference to receive a ballot, but won't accept just 'email', leaving the other preferences blank; instead, it seems you have to list your preferences for all the ways you could receive a ballot (including fax and postal mail), with the corresponding information. We list email as the first preference, put in a string of zeroes as the fax number, and put in the relevant postal address. It finally lets the voter click "continue" at the bottom of the page and says the equivalent of "hey, congrats, you're registered!". It does not say when a ballot will be sent, what it will look like or where it will come from, but we trust the process.

3. A few days after that, I see the voter again. I ask if they've received their ballot via email - we think it must be an automated process and not a person or office who does it manually given the amount of personal information we had to put in to log in in the first place - but they think they haven't. We search their inbox on their phone's email app for "election" and find an unopened email from a sender that, with smaller print, would be visible as "[City Name] Board of Elections" but with this voter's larger-print screen settings is only visible as "[Ci]". The voter is on their way somewhere so we set aside time to go through the process today.

4. Today we open the email on their phone and inside there's a link, in normal text at the end of a sentence - no graphics or images, no larger-sized font - to "[city]elections dot gov slash election" or something similar. (It's odd to me that this doesn't seem to be a personalized link, but I do not share this.) They click the link and it takes them to a page with a dot-com (!) address that initially looks from the URL to be suspicious, but is actually the official, city-dot-gov generated ballot for the voter's precinct.

5. The first page is instructions. We read them and realize that the ballot cannot be printed, filled in by hand and then posted - instead, the vote has to be cast on the screen, and then the voted ballot is printed out, and then THAT is posted. This means we can't use the phone to do this since we can't print from a phone where we are. It also means the ballot has to be cast there and then if the voter wants to vote now. They're in a bit of a rush - they have something to do in about 30 minutes' time. They log into their email on a printer-linked computer nearby.

6. We open the page we were just on on the phone. The ballot takes up the entire screen and is very long. They vote. We look for a "next" or "continue" button somewhere on the bottom right of the page for a few seconds and can't find it at first; turns out it's the same font, color and shape as the rest of the ballot's boxes and shapes.

7. We get to a confirmation page that relists all the votes the voter has cast. We find the "continue" button this time. We click it.

8. A new page appears. It's a printable ballot with a huge QR code at the top right, presumably to allow for faster vote counting; however, there's nothing on the printout that I notice at first with a quick scan that says what the QR code is or what it contains - is it just votes, or does it include identifying information about the voter? There's no way to know. (Again, I do not share this.) There is a huge blue "PRINT BALLOT" button in the center of the screen. The voter presses it. The ballot prints.

9. We need to mail the ballot now. We need two envelopes AND a ballot return form; the ballot return form is only available as a PDF on another part of the city election website; it doesn't just print with the ballot. The first envelope is to hold the ballot itself, and the second one holds both the ballot return form and the envelope containing the ballot, and is addressed to the city's elections office. This is only explained at the end of the process. I obtain two envelopes, print the form and find a pen.

10. The voter then follows the instructions on the ballot return form to actually mail the ballot. First, they need to hand-write this text on the ballot envelope: OFFICIAL BALLOT - TO BE OPENED ONLY BY [CITY] BOARD OF ELECTIONS. Then they enclose the ballot and seal the envelope. Then they fill in the ballot return form, which has quite small print. I quickly read it and see what they need to fill in: name, address and signature. The signature must match that of the voter's driver's license, which the voter does not carry around all day in a city where they do not drive but has with them today because it also contained information they needed to use to log into the voter registration website to change their mailing address from step 1 a few weeks ago. They sign the form exactly as is on their license, and then fill in their name and address. The voter worries that the form might require block letters and I tell them that I'm sure legible printing is fine as long as it's correct.

11. The voter encloses the sealed ballot-holding envelope and ballot return form in the second envelope and seals it. I write the address of the city board of elections by using the still-visible screen of the PDF because the address was printed on the ballot return form that is now inside the sealed envelope. The voter triumphantly mails the ballot."
posted by mdonley at 5:25 AM on October 26, 2020 [10 favorites]

yes, there are a fair number of "STOP" and "wrong number" replies

If there is a way to unsubscribe from whatever service all these campaigns are getting my number from so I can do that instead of replying STOP to each one as it comes in (20 different numbers since August, and counting), I'd like to know about it. It is extremely annoying.
posted by fedward at 7:45 AM on October 26, 2020 [3 favorites]

I've voted, my state's website says my ballot was accepted, and then I got a notice about my registration having an issue which seems to be my state not catching up with itself - I moved apartments in March, but got set up to vote by mail over the summer and had no issues with my ballot in the primary, so... I'm guessing this isn't something serious.

I dropped my mail-in ballot at an early voting site, and there was a line out the door. This is quite unusual in Minnesota, since we actually want people to vote here and so don't typically have huge long lines. I'm taking it as a good sign and partly that the line had to be very stretched out for social distancing.
posted by bile and syntax at 7:54 AM on October 26, 2020 [2 favorites]

If there is a way to unsubscribe from whatever service all these campaigns are getting my number from so I can do that instead of replying STOP to each one as it comes in (20 different numbers since August, and counting), I'd like to know about it. It is extremely annoying.

Sadly, there almost never is.

Lists are rented, not bought. Dummy profiles are put in there to ensure lists are only used once. Once you interact with any list (not just political), they can move you to their own list as a verified person.

My spouse and I gave contact info at a Beto event in 2016. Someone, somewhere switched our names in a database to where I get texts directed at them and vice versa. It wasn't Beto's campaign that messed this up, as spouse started getting the incorrect texts months before I did. But, it bothers them, so they keep replying to get the info corrected. I just ignore it. 20 months later is when I think I got the first incorrect info. Which is really, really odd as I am much more of the pol junkie.

Point is, each campaign keeps their own list and they are gold. It's essentially free money for the campaign, as having a good list and as well as being able to rent it out to other campaigns.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 6:07 PM on October 26, 2020 [2 favorites]

I mailed my ballot today. It came by email, along with a template for the special envelope. Cutting out the envelope and gluing it together felt like a school craft project. Maybe I should have added some glitter.

I had a fun time researching all the candidates for city council and school board. There are surprisingly strong candidates for both; it was hard to choose!

Then I sealed the special envelope, put that inside a normal envelope, took it to the Post Office and sent it by priority mail. Hope it gets across the ocean safely.

(My ridiculous town will go blue in any case. What I REALLY hope is that everyone else who's on the side of the angels has their ballots arrive safely.)

Tonight I donated to a bunch of Senate candidates. Now it's quarter to 3 in the morning. No Sleep Till Biden.
posted by Pallas Athena at 7:44 PM on October 26, 2020 [4 favorites]

I want Trump out of office as much as anyone. The use of official channels on Metafilter to support one candidate over another kind of bums me out, though. I feel like opposing viewpoints have been driven away here, and it's gradually turning into yet another echo chamber. Sure, no one misses the shit bags, but if I was a fiscal conservative who had principled objections to the Democratic platform and was choosing not to vote Biden, I sure as hell wouldn't feel welcome on this site. I am not, but the lack of opposing viewpoints makes this a less interesting community, in my opinion. (/my2cents)
posted by chrisamiller at 7:03 AM on October 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

I feel like opposing viewpoints have been driven away here

That will largely be due to the good moderation we have in these parts making it relatively easy to refute specious bullshit with well-informed arguments that don't immediately get trampled under the customary Gish Gallop of bad-faith garbage and abuse.

I have no problem at all with my preferred online gathering spaces being dominated by the reality-based community. It's refreshing and energizing to be among people who don't just echo the same tedious Murdoch-addled talking points all the livelong day.
posted by flabdablet at 7:26 AM on October 27, 2020 [27 favorites]

but if I was a fiscal conservative who had principled objections to the Democratic platform

Then you'd be one of, like, fourteen people in the entire country. If there's one thing we've been shown over the past 20 years it's that there is virtually no such thing as a principled "fiscal conservative". All that means is someone who is ok with a neverending money spigot when a Republican is President but sheds crocodile tears and pushes austerity when there is a Democratic president, solely as a means of crippling that Presidency.

Opposing viewpoints haven't been driven away. People are fine to argue that they think lower corporate tax rates combined with eliminating tax shelters are good. Folks might argue against them, but they wouldn't be driven away. What isn't welcome is supporting racist white nationalism and if you're voting for Trump you're supporting racist white nationalism.
posted by Justinian at 7:40 AM on October 27, 2020 [34 favorites]

Folks might argue against them, but they wouldn't be driven away.

In my experience, all it takes to drive away the typical Free Speech Good, Group-Think Bad contrarian is to create a space where folks feel free to engage in speech that doesn't toe their party line.

Also in my experience, not many conservatives cope well with finding themselves to be a minority. No idea why that might be.
posted by flabdablet at 8:02 AM on October 27, 2020 [5 favorites]

If you were a fiscal conservative wouldn't you be just fine with this privately-owned site being subject to free-market forces and possibly going out of business due to low participation and financial support if said fiscal conservatives aren't here to donate because they feel unwelcome?
posted by soundguy99 at 8:19 AM on October 27, 2020 [9 favorites]

Early voted today in Nashville. Easy in and out and the poll workers were extremely PPE'd up. They issued every voter a coffee stir to use to poke the touch screen machines. Even though our early voting locations are different from election day locations, I saw one of the poll workers that always works my local voting spot and it was nice to chat with her.
posted by ghharr at 8:59 AM on October 27, 2020 [5 favorites]

If you're a fiscal conservative who isn't bothered by e.g. Trump adding $8 trillion to the national debt, I'm not sure you're a fiscal conservative. And if you're a fiscal conservative who's not bothered by the Republican party's gradual transformation into a white Christian supremacist authoritarian death cult the Muslim travel and transgender military bans, I'm not sure you're somebody I want to be around.
posted by box at 9:12 AM on October 27, 2020 [16 favorites]

We do have opposing viewpoints on this website, it’s just that it’s Liberals/Democrats vs. Leftists/Socialists and if we yell enough eventually those people will definitely agree that we’re right.

In the meantime we just have to settle for voting for the same or at least immediately-adjacent candidates in primaries.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 9:28 AM on October 27, 2020 [5 favorites]

My faxed ballot has been accepted and "will be counted" according to the email I got yesterday from the county's Registrar of Voters. I'm so relieved. I just tossed a bit more money toward an attempt to flip the Wisconsin State Assembly because that place needs more democracy and it won't get much unless it flips.

Vote on, y'all!
posted by Bella Donna at 10:55 AM on October 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

"Then you'd be one of, like, fourteen people in the entire country. If there's one thing we've been shown over the past 20 years it's that there is virtually no such thing as a principled "fiscal conservative"."

I mean there were -- I grew up in a community full of fiscally-conservative Republicans who liked science and gave zero shits about the culture wars -- but they all started voting Democrat sometime between 2004 and 2016, because Republicans sure aren't the party of fiscal responsibility anymore. People who don't live up their own asses recognize that being a "tax-and-spend" Democrat is more fiscally responsible than being a "no-taxes-but-spend-even-more" Republican.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 11:09 AM on October 27, 2020 [26 favorites]

One of my oldest friends has been a Republican for most of his life. He campaigned for Bush. I have always disagreed with many of his views but he is an intelligent person who was able to articulate clearly where we differed on ideology.

Now he is a huge Biden supporter. We still differ in our ideologies. He is a still a white-guy liberalism, mostly maintaining the power structures sort of guy. I am much farther to the left. I believe the government is in violation of its basic reason for existence if it fails to protect all, especially the most vulnerable.

Supporting Trump is not a reasonable viewpoint or a matter of opinion to be debated. The country is in peril. If The Lancet, Science, Scientific American, New England Journal of Medicine and Nature and others can come out and oppose Trump then certainly little old Metafilter can. The right and courageous thing to do is to speak out against this creeping fascism and I would have been dissapointed in a Metafilter that chose to engage now in both-sidesism.
posted by vacapinta at 12:17 PM on October 27, 2020 [31 favorites]

(Sorry to add to the derail, but:)

I think "echo chamber" is maybe not the most helpful framing for this proposition. This site/community can *either* be welcoming to US Republicans (in their current iteration) *or* to people from marginalised groups. So we either have a left-to-center "echo chamber" or a white/cis/het/abled "echo chamber."

And given that the community (myself included) already has plenty of work to do to become a better, safer and more supportive place for people from marginalised groups, I would vastly prefer that we continue along that path.

I do value the contributions of members who have experience of spending time in US right-wing circles and can explain how they see themselves, how they rationalise their aims and the nuances between their communities. But I'd rather get those views at second hand from people who have been there than deal with the fallout and flame wars that would instantly suck the air out of every thread if the site started welcoming Trump supporters.

Back to voting!

Found via Voto Latino:
Nevada Latino voters on horseback (and mules too!)

Compton Cowboys prancing down to the ballot box

Voting with a kitten
posted by Pallas Athena at 1:21 PM on October 27, 2020 [19 favorites]

I had a passing thought about writing “This ballot kills fascists” on mine before I sent it in, but thought better of it.

Nevertheless, I consider my vote this year to be the most consequential I’ve ever cast. It’s the first time that my state is enough of a swing state that the result isn’t a foregone conclusion AND also happens to coincide with an opportunity to reject the worst, most corrupt autocrat to occupy the White House — and the political party enabling him — in my adult life.

Crossing my fingers, but I have realistic hopes for AZ to go blue in the Presidential race, its Senate race (giving us two Dem senators), a majority of the US House races, and we may even be able to flip the State House this year to finally get some power in the state lege.
posted by darkstar at 3:39 PM on October 27, 2020 [9 favorites]

Voting with a kitten

Awww, cute li’l floof!
posted by darkstar at 3:42 PM on October 27, 2020 [3 favorites]

Late to the party but my vote is done and counted. My first vote in Oregon! I was expecting to be sort of sad - I always liked the in person day of the election voting, the ritual of it and the sticker and the going out with friends afterwards, waiting for the results. But it turns out that voting by mail is excellent, so easy! So delightful! I dropped it in the ballot box by the county offices and felt proud. However, I must say, come on Oregon, we should have gotten stickers and not just boring stickers either but weird Oregon stickers, possibly with mushrooms on them.

My phone has been blowing up with people trying to get me to vote in North Carolina. Usually I reply, sorry, I moved to Oregon two years ago and most people have either not texted me back or been nice but two were downright snippy. One said I should have taken myself off the voter rolls in NC, which turns out to be a gigantic PITA that's almost as bad as registering there in the first place. Look, I get it, I deserted the swing state, sorry, but I did my part for many years. I wish the texts would go away too but I am resigned to getting them for the next week.
posted by mygothlaundry at 8:19 PM on October 27, 2020 [3 favorites]

I voted! I'm assigned to be an election officer at my own polling place on Election Day, so I was going to vote then...but at training they said that Election Day can get so busy that they want everyone to vote early, regardless of where they're assigned. So I went last night after work.

It was very busy, but the election officers had organized the poll so that there was basically no line. I mean, I had lots of people ahead of me and lots behind me, but I was sent so smoothly from station to station (the welcome station, the absentee ballot surrender station, the poll book station, the ballot pickup station, the desk to fill out the ballot, the ballot box, the thank-you-and-here's-a-sticker station...) -- there was absolutely no just standing there waiting at all.

Phew! I can't believe my vote is in and registered!

Everyone has been in such a huge mood the last few days, including me. Just incredibly tense. We're all dealing with A LOT. I wish we could just fast forward the tape to Jan 21st or so...but in the meantime, hugs to everyone! We'll get through this together!
posted by rue72 at 6:43 AM on October 28, 2020 [6 favorites]

Oh, just reading this thread and crying in my office. I confirmed today that my absentee ballot was received. I'm in New York, so safe blue, but nonetheless this needs to be an absolute blowout condemnation of white nationalist fascism. Particularly after Barrett's confirmation this week.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 9:07 AM on October 28, 2020 [8 favorites]

We just got back from early in-person voting in Minnesota. There was a line to vote and the people there were all very friendly and helpful. They were ringing a bell for first time voters and it rang a few times while we were there with cheers from all of the workers. I was very encouraged to see so many people there today and it felt really good to finally fill in that bubble. Bonus - in MN votes are counted upon receipt so even though it was a form of absentee voting I got to slide it into the machine, hear the DING and watch the voter count go up by one for that location.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 12:01 PM on October 28, 2020 [4 favorites]

My Washington state ballot has been accepted.

(My natural tendency in races where I don't know the candidates is to vote for women and people of color if possible--but only after reading their statements in the info pamphlet. Glad I did that this time, as there's a position where one candidate is a typical white guy and the other is a latinx woman, and, boy howdy, I am glad I checked, even if it means voting for another typical white guy.)

I must commend Tim Eyman, as I've rarely had as much pleasure as I did filling in the "maintain-the-tax" boxes on all of the boo-hoo "advisory votes" whinging about taxes our state legislature levied "without a vote of the people" (you know, levied as our elected representatives). It felt like raising a middle finger to him and his douchebag supporters every box I carefully filled in. Very cathartic.
posted by maxwelton at 12:13 PM on October 28, 2020 [3 favorites]

We voted by mail in the primary and my ballot was PENDING for weeks, while my wife's was ACCEPTED on the same day it was received. We'd been planning to vote by mail again (DC mailed ballots to every registered voter) but my wife volunteered as a poll worker and texted me from her first early voting shift yesterday to say how slow it was. So I voted in person yesterday and moved my "I Voted" sticker to the shirt I wore to work today. She had another shift today, but I think she still hasn't voted because the local races are out of control. There are 24 names on the ballot for two at large seats on the DC council, and six for an at large seat on the State Board of Education. Washington Post endorsements in local races are always out of touch so I spent a few days finding various lists of endorsements in order to narrow down my own choices. I hope I chose well!
posted by fedward at 2:15 PM on October 28, 2020 [2 favorites]

> Huh! In Washington State you can look up what votes were rejected by county, and I guess contact the people if you know them? Or if you don't? It's interesting, anyway.

Yikes -- that might be a bad site. It's unclear what's going on.
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:11 PM on October 28, 2020 [2 favorites]

I grew up in Kansas and I'm here for the next several months looking after my sick mother, so I registered to vote here. I voted for Barbara Bollier and Sharice Davids. I'm a big fan of the Democrat governor, Laura Kelly. I'm hoping Kansas turns Blue.
posted by shoesietart at 6:37 PM on October 28, 2020 [9 favorites]

I voted by email from Russia! I'm registered in NJ and the process was pretty easy and my county clerks office was very responsive to confirming receipt of documents and also promptly alerted me when there was an issue with one of the attachments and confirmed when a second attempt worked correctly.

only bummer was that I don't get to vote on the ballot questions and recreational marijuana is up for vote in NJ with this election.
posted by WeekendJen at 2:00 AM on October 29, 2020 [8 favorites]

we're coming down to the wire. It's now time not simply to vote but to pester all your non-voting friends and acquaintances to vote until they do it just to get you to shut up.
posted by Justinian at 6:17 AM on October 29, 2020 [8 favorites]

Last time, I'd saved up those "staffing the White House" memoir puff pieces (that came out toward the end of October 2016) to read after the election. Obviously I never read a single one! This cycle's puff pieces are about what people do when they're locked in their homes for months on end. (Tie-dye or gibbering conspiracy theories, mainly.)

I voted a week ago, and my state accepted my ballot already. It's incredible how bad this week feels. At the beginning of the month, I felt fairly confident in Biden winning and hoped Dems would do well at the local levels. Now I don't even know. We have to get rid of the electoral college. It's obscene that you could go into a election knowing one candidate will get millions of votes more than the other, but not be sure which candidate will win.
posted by grandiloquiet at 10:48 AM on October 29, 2020 [7 favorites]

There are only two choices on the ballot that have a statistical chance of winning.

An abstention is a vote for whoever wins. Choosing not to vote does not absolve you of responsibility for that person winning.
posted by tclark at 11:35 AM on October 29, 2020 [6 favorites]

Voted early and only had to stand in line for 25 minutes.

I look forward to the possibility of making it as easy to vote as it is to give money to a political candidate.
posted by Ouverture at 1:44 PM on October 29, 2020 [5 favorites]

Apparently if you went out to vote at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn today, there is a chance that you also got a cookie from Paul Rudd.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:55 PM on October 29, 2020 [4 favorites]

Voted a straight Democratic ticket in Kansas. Hoping that it goes blue this year!
posted by reenum at 5:13 PM on October 29, 2020 [4 favorites]

I voted on Monday, third day of early voting in NYC. I'm another one working the polls on election day. I'm quite curious to see how busy election day actually is, given that this is the first presidential election that New York has had early voting for, combined with the overwhelming early voting numbers (enthusiasm to vote Trump out + concerns about pandemic?)
I'm really glad I'll be busy on Tuesday, because I think otherwise I'd be a mess.
posted by gaspode at 6:12 AM on October 30, 2020 [3 favorites]

I actually agree with chrisamiller's point. As much as I appreciate communities with like-minded folks, I think living in the world means living with other people, and changing hearts and minds means understanding their positions and talking about them, meaning I don't actually want conservatives (or leftist/libertarian abstainers) driven off MF (with an exception for people overtly demeaning others, whether or not we think their preferred policies demean others in the longrun).

Even some of the most left-aligned sites and organizations I follow are using this moment to emphasize the pivotal importance of showing up and getting out the vote, as we face one of the most important elections in modern history, but not explicitly prescribing the candidate to vote for, which I believe is a strong principle on which a community can operate. But that's just me.
posted by psappha at 7:33 AM on October 30, 2020

I don't actually want conservatives (or leftist/libertarian abstainers) driven off MF

I don't either.
Trump supporters are another story.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 7:42 AM on October 30, 2020 [5 favorites]

I'm not clear on what a conservative is these days. (I'm not sure they are either).
posted by octothorpe at 9:45 AM on October 30, 2020 [3 favorites]

meaning I don't actually want conservatives (or leftist/libertarian abstainers) driven off MF

I appreciate that but this isn't that moment. This moment is an existential threat to civil discourse of any kind. "Civility" and the double-standard of Democrats playing by the rules while the GOP cheats and lies its way to dominance has been the playbook of the last four years. When I see evidence that conservatives intend to meaningfully participate in real "civility" I'll be there for it. But it sure as hell isn't happening right now.
posted by daisystomper at 9:53 AM on October 30, 2020 [16 favorites]

Also worth making a point about tone policing in moderated online spaces before the Right co-opts and weaponizes that term and folds it into its ever-growing list of spurious grievances: enforcing a fundamental requirement that participants in a discussion do so in good faith is not tone policing.
posted by flabdablet at 10:13 AM on October 30, 2020 [6 favorites]

changing hearts and minds means understanding their positions and talking about them

I have no objection whatsoever to understanding conservative positions and talking about them.

That's an entirely different thing from having to spend 80% of my online reading time attempting to sift something resembling a defensible position out of the blinkered self-serving wilfully ignorant special pleading that has been masquerading as conservative "thought" for as long as I've been paying attention to politics.

Understanding somebody's position and talking about it can't change hearts and minds unless there is good faith engagement from all contributors to the discussion. The fact that so few conservatives do end up sticking around on a site where skepticism about Fox talking points cannot simply be overwhelmed by flooding the zone with shit says to me that conservatives are simply not, in the main, interested in good faith engagement because they know in their own hearts that their fundamental position is indefensible outside their own bubble.

I remain more than willing to have my own heart and mind changed on this, if any genuinely principled conservative thinks they're up for it.
posted by flabdablet at 10:42 AM on October 30, 2020 [7 favorites]

using this moment to emphasize the pivotal importance of showing up and getting out the vote, as we face one of the most important elections in modern history, but not explicitly prescribing the candidate to vote for

To be a conservative now is to align yourself with literally every single thing Trump does, because opposition to Trumpism (and McConnellism, for that matter) within the Republican party is some combination of nonexistent or inconsequential. It is no longer possible to be "a conservative, but ____." There have been no Republican checks on Trump's abuses. There is no moderate Republican check on Trump's judicial appointments.

Trump is an existential threat for the country as a whole, for the environment, and for a great many individuals or groups that face at minimum the loss of legal protections, if not actual threats of bodily harm or death from people who have Trump's implicit, if not explicit support ("a lot of good people on both sides," "when the looting starts, the shooting starts," "stand back and stand by," and so on). Not to mention how minimizing and politicizing the threat of the coronavirus has resulted in thousands of needless deaths and will continue to cause more, probably many thousands more. There is one (1) candidate with a chance of beating that existential threat. If you do not vote for that one (1) candidate, by abstention or by a protest vote, you are effectively placing a vote for Trump. It is not enough to exhort people just to vote; it is necessary (for some damn reason) to tell them, repeatedly, that there is only one anti-Trump choice, and they better fucking go exercise that choice.
posted by fedward at 11:17 AM on October 30, 2020 [17 favorites]

91,530 new cases yesterday. Jesus.
posted by flabdablet at 11:25 AM on October 30, 2020

FINALLY the BOE has received my ballot! I put that damn thing in the mail on the 12th.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:32 AM on October 30, 2020 [7 favorites]

I rarely comment on metatalk/main metafilter because I don't feel like I have things to add to the conversation.

I voted, in person, in Missouri, using religion as my "excuse" (thank you local rabbis) and thought hard about the local issues on the ballot. Those are important to me - we vote for constitutional amendments every cycle, then the legislature says "no, the voters didn't mean that", and then we vote for it AGAIN.

But, despite my Biden/Harris vote, I didn't feel nearly as excited or happy about it as I did voting for Clinton 2016. I was so excited to teach my students that day, and so hopeful, and then.... it was like 2020 came early.
posted by Ms Vegetable at 12:30 PM on October 30, 2020 [9 favorites]

mollweide, I know you made your comment about voting in New Jersey ages ago, but it is my understanding that our ballots won't be processed and counted until election day itself. So, if I understand correctly, our ballot tracking pages will only say "received" until election day here in the garden state.
posted by k8lin at 4:48 PM on October 30, 2020

I voted in person today and got to take my 18-year-old to vote for his first election!
posted by Daily Alice at 6:20 PM on October 30, 2020 [14 favorites]

Worcester, MA. requested a ballot by mail and dropped it off on Thursday at city hall in between other errands. there were two drop boxes outside: one smaller and painted gray, one larger and white. as I was staring at them trying to figure out which one my ballot should go into, a municipal employee came out and told me "don't worry, they're the same; we started with the little one and we emptied it every hour but it still kept overflowing." my city historically has very low voter turnout, so I'm taking this as a good sign. fingers crossed!
posted by Old Kentucky Shark at 1:56 PM on October 31, 2020 [6 favorites]

I took advantage of nap time to make some GOTV calls and texts. The Victory 2020 setup is pretty polished and I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to help. It’s much better than sitting around refreshing the news.

I was amused when I got someone in Georgia who was also calling for Biden. Lots of positive energy — hopefully enough to make it over the line. I haven’t seen Slack get overloaded like this before, which hopefully is a good sign.
posted by adamsc at 6:02 PM on October 31, 2020 [3 favorites]

I checked the DC BOE website, and my ballot's been received. In DC it hardly matters, but I feel slightly relieved. My tiny bit of democracy is accomplished.

Among other things, it was a great pleasure to vote for Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, who I hope will get to cast a vote in Congress someday soon.

I wrote a whole FB post based partly on they sucked his brains out!'s comment above, hoping to speak to those on the left who disdain Biden. We can disdain him all we like once he's in office and Trump's gone.

I've mentioned before here that my Dad works with DACA recipients. I can't imagine what they must be feeling right now, watching their neighbours vote for or against their families' civil rights. I can't imagine how they feel watching people who theoretically support them prepare to throw their vote away.
posted by Pallas Athena at 6:30 PM on November 1, 2020 [8 favorites]

Voted in MD. We miss Rep. Cummings and would not miss this civic opportunity.
posted by childofTethys at 5:36 AM on November 2, 2020 [2 favorites]

I'll be an election officer tomorrow. I'm actually pretty nervous because it's a long day and I'm worried about somehow screwing up and ruining someone's vote (there are a lot of safeguards against that, but votes are so important that it still feels like a lot of responsibility!). I have applied to be an election officer before, but they never needed any new people before. I actually don't think they need all us new people now, but the city is staffing this election day more heavily than usual, I guess to guard against no-show workers and in case it's very busy. So many people in my precinct have voted early, though, that even if we get 100% turn out (and we likely will hit close to that, 90+%), it'll be at the level of a normal busy-ish election.

I voted. I donated, I volunteered (more for voting rights/access stuff than for any candidates, although I did some Biden volunteering, too). I was a delegate for my district and state Democratic conventions, which I was incredibly excited about but didn't come to much because of the pandemic. To be honest, I've been exceptionally politically involved since I got "radicalized" by the Kavanaugh hearings lol.

Anyhow, now we basically just wait. It's so scary, I can't think straight. I hadn't really been worried about civil unrest until that story out of Texas this weekend about the rally being scuttled by violent Trumpers... that actually freaked me out. Stay safe, everybody. Stay safe, but get your voice heard. It's our right and in our power to determine who leads us and how.
posted by rue72 at 8:25 AM on November 2, 2020 [14 favorites]

The three people ahead of us in line today voted for Trump. I had to listen to their whole conversation about how they hate him, but they’re voting for policies not the person. This in one of the most Democratic heavy states in the country. It’s also the most Catholic state, so policy often means anti-abortion. And just, fuck you very much for hanging your “pro-life” hat on Donald Trump. What is the fucking point of forcing birth into, gestures broadly, all this? The world is figuratively and literally on fire, but gotta keep those embryonic cells safe. Everyone and everything else can just burn, I guess.

Anyway, it was super cold and windy in line, so I used my simmering rage to keep warm.
posted by Ruki at 11:20 AM on November 2, 2020 [11 favorites]

I would have faked a cell phone call and loudly talked to the mouthpiece about how I think people who ignore Trump's awfulness because of some misguided belief the ends justify the means are idiots and doing evil.
posted by Justinian at 8:25 PM on November 2, 2020 [2 favorites]

Ok fine, but I would have fantasized about doing that! You can't prove I wouldn't!
posted by Justinian at 8:26 PM on November 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

Early morning voting in northeast Minneapolis. Fairly decent line, stretched out way down the sidewalk for distancing, but everything moved very smoothly and easily. Took about 45 minutes, which is comparable to the wait in the big line to vote in the general in 2008. By the time I was done, the line was a lot shorter.

Overheard an election judge saying that 2/3 of the precinct had already voted, so if there's a nice crowd on election day, plus a boatload of early votes.....that sounds like a really big turnout overall.

Also, weather is very pretty: probably in the 40s now, sunny, not much wind, jacket weather, very pleasant. Nice weather is also good for turnout, and for DFL (aka Democratic) turnout in particular.

Most recent voting experience in the primary in August: Ilhan Omar blew the roof off of turnout numbers in a contested primary and won by 20 points, so that's another positive indicator.
posted by gimonca at 7:52 AM on November 3, 2020 [3 favorites]

I set my ballot on fire!

No, really, I did*. My wife and I, both of whom think of ourselves as intelligent people, accidentally put each ballot in one of the envelopes we were supposed to use, sealed it, and then wondered why it didn't fit in the other envelope. Oops, we got the inner and outer envelopes mixed up, so we figured we'd steam them open and fix it. She claims the electric kettle, and I'm holding mine over a pot of water on the stove. Somehow, in spite of keeping it a good half-foot above the water's surface, and even further from the flame, a section of the envelope burned and then got that slow-burn ember condition around the edge of the scorch. I extinguished it with a damp sponge, but there was a dime-sized hole in the envelope. We got the envelopes sorted out, and in the end her ballot looked passable, and mine.... well, it was OK except for the wrinkling and slight tearing and huge-ass scorch mark. Off we go to the election center, where she stays in the car, figuring on idling somewhere while I see what's to be done about my shameful ballot. I drop hers in the box, and say to the attendent, "I, uh, might have to go upstairs to get this one sorted out." He says, "we can probably figure it out right here. what's the problem?" I show him the burn-hole and the tearing and the general crappy condition of the outer envelope and he says, "but the ballot and inner envelope are OK?"I say yes and then he takes a roll of Scotch tape, puts some on the flap, and says, "that should be fine. We see worse all the time."

And the clerk sent me an email acknowledging receipt, so I guess it was.

As for the actual ballot, around here there wasn't much to decide. There were of course several partisan office votes, some unopposed (my part of Louisville is very Democratic), a non-partisan commission where we were supposed to choose no more than 5 out of 2 candidates, one district-court election, a local ballot initiative (which turned out to be moot, because the power it was meant to grant to the local government has been upheld judicially anyways), and two state constitutional amendments (one being that "Marsy's Law" thing that the self-proclaimed law-and-order types keep pushing, the other a rather mixed bag of judicial reforms (higher qualifications but longer terms).

The only remotely tricky calls were the second amendment, which seemed a mix of good and bad parts, and the district-court election, where even searching pretty hard could not really give me a sense of how the priorities, policies, and qualifications of the three candidates differed. Basically all I could find out was that one of them was an incumbent and none of them had eaten a baby on live TV.

*Fine, technically, I set the envelope on fire, to be precise.
posted by jackbishop at 7:58 AM on November 3, 2020 [10 favorites]

Voted in Alameda, CA, three weeks ago, by mail. I had enrolled in the vote tracking system, and received confirmation that my vote had been registered a few days later. I used the USPS rather than the plentiful dropboxes (walk to mail box vs walk 10 minutes).

In CA we had maybe a dozen local and state ballot issues, which are accompanied by a small phone book explaining what's involved in them all. This is "democracy" and it's ridiculous. More so it's a way of forcing laws beneficial to commercial interests through.
posted by grubby at 9:11 AM on November 3, 2020 [2 favorites]

I wanted to throw some belated support towards mai and lazaruslong for even having to make such a rough decision. Browbeating them for a dilemma that is not of their own making feels like a wrong move to me, no matter the stakes. I'll try to scrape up enough money to donate to RAINN in the next week, and I hope we can all work toward a future where no one else has to make the choices you have.

Day-of voting was absolutely effortless for me here in Atlanta. So many people seem to have jumped at the chance at early voting that it left my polling place casually accessible this morning. There was a group of friendly but kind-of-enormous Omega Psi Phi alumni manning a table outside, presumably to help ward off any self-appointed "fraud investigators"; the inside of the voting precinct was stocked with anti-COVID supplies (I naively brought a few masks and some sanitizer to leave there and they were like "ha ha thanks but we've got tons"); even the super-suspect voting machines now spit out a paper copy of your finished ballot for you to peruse and deposit into an on-site ballot box. (It's not illegal to take a picture of your own finished ballot, is it [*he asked, completely hypothetically*]?)

Got right in, wrote myself in as a candidate for "Surveyor" (no one was running at all), squinted over a handful of strangely worded amendments ("What's this 'sovereign immunity' crap? Sounds like a portal to infinite frivolous lawsuits, so... no"), and was through and out without a hitch.

Whatever the election's outcome, I hope we're all ready and resolved to keep working to make the world the kind of place that it needs to be. Remember that politics is not a Brigadoon-type affair, where people vote once and then become helpless spectators for the next X years until the next election. Political power and basic human rights are inherent, and if a representative fails to represent us in a manner we see as fitting, it is our duty to drag those self-satisfied smegheads over to where we feel they need to be. Politicians are our servants, not our rulers.

Come what may, don't ever let them forget that.
posted by tyro urge at 11:39 AM on November 3, 2020 [2 favorites]

In CA we had maybe a dozen local and state ballot issues, which are accompanied by a small phone book explaining what's involved in them all. This is "democracy" and it's ridiculous. More so it's a way of forcing laws beneficial to commercial interests through.

What do we need to do to get rid of our ridiculous Proposition system? It's so frustrating and anti-democratic (small d). Prop. 22 is now the most expensive proposition in California's history, with the corporations behind it (Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, and others) having spent more than $200 million trying to pass it. (The #NoOnProp22 campaign has spent $11 million on advertising.)

And even when it's not a high-money battle like this, given the known bias of some (many?) Californians to default to "vote no on all of them" it's so easy for the drafters of a proposition to use misleading language.
posted by Lexica at 1:34 PM on November 3, 2020

I press hard anyway and the pen was scratchy and the surface of the too low wobbly screened table was pebbly enough I had to wonder about nepotism in the supply chain when the whole thing fell over.

Lady behind me says at least it fell to the left.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 5:59 PM on November 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

I had to wonder about nepotism in the supply chain when the whole thing fell over.

We have the gankiest and wobbliest voting tables in my town and clip-on lamps that break easily and aren't very bright. And the reason is: we're spending taxpayer money on them and any money we don't spend on them is available for snow plowing and road repair and a number of other needed things. It's always a weird balance between "good enough" (i.e. kinda ugly, but functional and does not fall over) and "not good enough" (what you experienced) but at least around here, the difference isn't nepotistic.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 8:39 AM on November 4, 2020 [3 favorites]

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