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Archive for May 28th, 2020

100,000

100,000 COVID-19 USA deaths and growing daily.

We have no idea when this will end.

The public health experts are advising us to wear masks.

The Texas Supreme Court has a virtual hearing on mail ballots because they are afraid of COVID-19.

Fu_k them! Vote by mail.

Commentary will say it again.  Here is how to do it.  Let’s go back to the Texas Secretary of State’s April 2 Election Advisory on COVID-19:

Upon reviewing the Advisory, State Rep. (Anna) Eastman directed me to work with the Harris County Clerk’s election officials to develop a vote by mail application to send to all voters based on the Secretary of State’s Advisory. After a few drafts and revisions, that the Secretary of State’s office saw and reviewed, we came up with one that they said, “looks fine to us.”  The last thing we wanted to do was make an investment in an application that would subsequently be rejected by the Harris County Clerk’s and the Secretary of State’s elections folks.

Rep. Eastman’s application included the exact same language on disability from the Secretary of State’s Advisory.

Here is the language again:

One of the grounds for voting by mail is disability. The Election Code defines “disability” to include “a sickness or physical condition that prevents the voter from appearing at the polling place on election day without a likelihood of needing personal assistance or of injuring the voter’s health.” (Sec. 82.002). Voters who meet this definition and wish to vote a ballot by mail must submit an application for ballot by mail.

Commentary has posted recently on my Commentary the Rep. Eastman campaign application for folks to see.

Let me repeat.  The Chief Election Officer of the State of Texas, the Texas Secretary of State said Rep. Eastman’s Vote by Mail application “looks fine to us.”

The Rep. Eastman campaign did it the right way.

Here is from the Statesman on the Supreme Court hearing yesterday:

The court, however, rejected Paxton’s request to order county election clerks to reject applications for mail-in ballots from voters who fear exposure to the coronavirus.

County officials lack the authority to question or investigate claims of disability, Hecht noted, adding that clerks are expected to faithfully convey the ruling’s outcome to voters.

“The Clerks have assured us that they will fully discharge their duty to follow the law. We are confident that they will follow the guidance we have provided here,” Hecht wrote. “Accordingly, we conclude that (ordering) them to do so is unwarranted.”

From Trib on the hearing:

Although the court sided with Paxton’s interpretation of what constitutes a disability, it indicated that it is up to voters to assess their own health and determine if they meet the state’s definition.

“We agree, of course, that a voter can take into consideration aspects of his health and his health history that are physical conditions in deciding whether, under the circumstances, to apply to vote by mail because of disability,” the court ruled.

The high court also rejected Paxton’s request to prevent local election officials from sending mail-in ballots to voters who were citing lack of immunity to the coronavirus as a disability. Those officials denied they were operating outside the law and argued they cannot deny ballots to voters who cite a disability — even if their reasoning is tied to susceptibility to the coronavirus.

When voters cite disability to request an absentee ballot, they’re not required to say what the disability is. The voters simply check a box on the application form, and if their application is properly filled out, locals officials are supposed to send them a ballot. The state ultimately conceded that officials can’t reject those voters.

And from Kuffer on the hearing:

Now for that caveat. The Supreme Court has made it clear what the law is, and what is – or, more to the point, is not – a disability. Your county clerk will send you a mail ballot if you ask for one, but Ken Paxton could have you arrested, or some wingnut activist like Alan Vara could file a complaint against you, if you request one because of COVID concerns. I think the risk of the former is small unless you make yourself a target, but the latter is non-trivial since who gets a mail ballot is a matter of public record. That doesn’t mean that your local DA will agree to press charges, or that they would be able to get a conviction, but who wants to deal with that? We know how vindictive the legal system can be to people charged with violations of the electoral code, especially to voters of color. I’m planning to vote in person regardless, but if I had been thinking about applying for a mail ballot, this would definitely make me reconsider. You have to decide for yourself what your risk of exposure is.

Here is all of today’s Kuffer that has nothing but good takes today: http://www.offthekuff.com/wp/.

It is all about today’s Chron front page headline: 100,000.

It is a fu_king pandemic.

Go to Harrisvotes.com and fill out a mail ballot application, check the Disability, annual, and Democratic Primary boxes, sign it, stick it in an envelope, slap a stamp on it and mail it. It is a lot safer.

We need to encourage folks to vote by mail.  Get a lot of folks to do it and when it is all said and done, folks will see that it is not a big deal.

63 years ago today, MLB’s National League owners gave permission to the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants to move to Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The MLB owners and MLB players can’t agree to terms on compensation for a short season if we have a season at all.  If this dispute heats up and forces fans to pick a side, you know it is going to be players.  They never have owner bobblehead day.

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