Wednesday, December 09, 2020

Untrustworthy Data

Dig this.

Multiple states have thrown their support behind a Texas election lawsuit against Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin at the United States Supreme Court which alleges that those four states exploited “the COVID-19 pandemic to justify ignoring federal and state election laws and unlawfully enacting last-minute changes, thus skewing the results of the 2020 General Election.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed the lawsuit late on Monday night, arguing that “Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin destroyed that trust and compromised the security and integrity of the 2020 election.”

I don't disagree with the lawsuit at all. The entire election was untrustworthy. For example, we have private voting booths to prevent coercion. Mail-in voting makes the privacy of any particular vote uncertain to the rest of us. It's like a physics experiment to calculate the gravitational constant where you can't be sure if the dropped balls were stationary at the start.

Almost all of the raw data is unusable.

And so here we are.

Texas is asking the Supreme Court to order the states to allow their legislatures to appoint their electors. If this is successful it opens the door for the next step. 

The genius behind this is they don't have to prove fraud, there's no doubt there are "election irregularities" all that has to be proven is that they changed election laws by executive order and not by legislation as required by the US Constitution. Article II, Section 1 Clause 2...

Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, & South Dakota have prepared Amicus Briefs to join the Texas Lawsuit, we are expected an even dozen before this is heard by SCOTUS. 

Either way, this is horrible. If Texas wins and the four defendant states hand the election over to their legislatures, we will get ... hmm, those all have Republican legislatures. Well, you'd think we'd get Trump electors. Trump would then win.

And cities would burn. Lots and lots of cities. The rage on the left would be perfectly justified.

If Texas loses, it means that all of those states believe they are being governed by a sham administration. Cities won't burn in that case, but another layer of gasoline and dynamite will be added to the pile. The simmering fury on the right would be perfectly justified.

Yep, it's a good thing we didn't vote in person with IDs. Genius move, that.

Brilliant, guys. Just brilliant.


tim eisele said...

Well, I can't speak for the other states, but Michigan was using "no-excuse absentee ballots", where you have to specifically apply for a ballot before you will receive one. And, the change to allow voters to request absentee ballots without needing an excuse was explicitly approved by an amendment to the state constitution, by statewide ballot proposal 18-3, in 2018. And, it passed by a 2:1 margin, so it wasn't even close. I fail to see how that was in any way violating the Michigan constitution, or taking away any perogatives of the state legislature.

And on the one hand, yes, there are ways to mess with absentee ballots if one is willing to take some risks. On the other hand, 2/3 of the part of the state population that cared enough to vote two years ago, felt that the advantages outweighed the risks. And as far as I can see, the state made a good faith effort to do it cleanly. And on the third hand, when Giuliani and Company were in town recently, the theory they were pushing was some hanky-panky with voting machines, which applies to in-person voting, and is not specific to absentee ballots.

And, in closing: If [expletive deleted] Texas thinks that they can [expletive] the affairs of any other state because their [expletive] feelings are hurted, they can [expletive] off and [expletive] themselves with their [expletives], sideways. And their little dogs, too. And if Texas and their toadys somehow prevail, I really hope that they appreciate the flood of other states trying to [expletive] their affairs in return, because they are going to [expletive] deserve it.

Ohioan@Heart said...


First, I agree with KT that no matter what happens next in this there will be vast numbers of very angry people, and that is bound to be very bad (up to and including a forcible self-disassembly as alluded to in the image). I also agree with you that one State suing another is fraught with issues. However, if indeed one State believes that another State has failed to follow the strictures laid out in the US Constitution then said first State has every right (and some might say they have the obligation) to take the matter to court (and only the Supreme Court of the United States has jurisdiction). I believe the States have such an obligation because the US Constitution is an agreement between the States which also protects the citizens of each and every State.

I read the Texas complaint. Texas agrees that Michigan did as you say allow "no-excuse absentee ballots" "without needing an excuse" in 2018. Texas claims that that 2018 law still expressly requires a signed request from the voter (they actually quote MI law describing the three methods whereby a voter may make such a request). Texas also claims that MI law also says that "only local clerks" have the power to distribute absentee ballots. Texas then claims that the MI Secretary of State actually sent out the ballots and did so without signed requests in violation of MI law, and that these actions invalidate the election result (this last step is where I think this argument breaks down).

However, Texas continues its complaint by describing in some detail specific actions that Wayne County took (wherein Biden won by so many votes so as to reverse the State-wide result). If true, such actions are (in my non-legal opinion) such that Wayne County did not follow the requirement to follow the State law uniformly in each and every county (to ensure that all MI voters receive equal protection under the law). It is worth noting that it was this point about equal treatment, and the discrepancy between how hanging chads and dimpled chads were counted, that in the end was the basis for the Gore v. Bush decision in 2020.

This is clearly a mess that I am afraid will get much worse before it gets better. And I expect a version of this in every election until all the State's clean up their processes in order to bring confidence back to the electorate, assuming that is still possible.

Ohioan@Heart said...

For another way to look at all this see this link
(sorry I couldn't get it to actually link...).

tim eisele said...

OK, so while I did request a ballot application, I didn't actually send it in (I could see that all efforts were going to go into discrediting the mailed ballots, and didn't want to take a chance, especially since we have a small voting precinct that never has more than a couple of people waiting in line to vote). Nevertheless, as I recall it did in fact require a signature, and the instructions said to return it to the township clerk to get a ballot, and not to the Secretary of State. It sure looks to me like the Texas Attorney General may be misinformed (to put it as charitably as possible).

Granted, I am about 500 miles from Wayne County, and have no direct information on how things were done there. But, by the same token, he is closer to 2000 miles away, and I don't believe that he has any useful information on how things were done, either.

Mostly Nothing said...

For my part. I requested an absentee ballot because of covid. My wife had exposure to a student who had tested positive. And so we quarantined. This was a couple weeks before the election. I didn't want to take the chance that I wouldn't be able to vote.

Normally, your signature has to be witnessed, but that was waved this year. We took our ballots into City Hall where there was early voting. The woman at the check-in table took our ballots, pointed to our name on the signature line, and asked "Is this you?" And that was it.

I wish there was an ID check, but the DFL in Minnesota is dead set against reasonable assurances against fraud.

Mostly Nothing said...

So, this morning we are greeted by the headline from the Enemy Paper (Minneapolis Star Tribune) - US Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota is among a large group of House Republicans formally supporting a dubious last-ditch bid to get the US Supreme Court to overturn the presidential election.

Ok, no surprises there. The Star Tribune has long since abandoned pretending to be "fair and balanced".

The thing that gets me, is the response of the party of "Unity". RT Rybak, former mayor of Minneapolis, has tweeted that supporting a lawsuit is treason. And the throngs of supporters are piling on.

One Brow said...

Mostly Nothing,

Overheated rhetoric comes from both sides.

However, there is a difference here. Hillary lost by much smaller margins Pennsylvania-Michigan-Wisconsin, and could have easily raised the same types of questions and filed the same types of lawsuits you are seeing in 2020. She chose not to, as have pretty much all losers of close elections, for the good of the country. So, when Trump is fine tearing the country further apart, and most Republican politicians are will to go along (even throwing fellow Republicans under the bus to do so), the overheated rhetoric in this case is too far (it's not actually treason, nor is it a coup), but not misdirected.

Mostly Nothing said...

I am not a Trump supporter, and I don't believe this lawsuit is in the best interest of the country. Since I started voting, the candidate I voted for for President has won 3 times. My first vote for President was 1984.

The 2016 election was a no-win situation. 2020 is worse.

What I am is opposed to the end goal of the Democratic party. Unfortunately, I believe the Republican party is in such disarray that they have no goals. For a long time they were all about 'limited government'. But that devolved to 'limit the government that the Democrats want'.

The Democrats idea of 'unity' and 'reaching across the aisle' is to tell the
Republicans 'shut up and do everything our way'.

Compromise is completely gone. And the only hope for we peons is gridlock.

Ohioan@Heart said...

MN - “the only hope for we peons is gridlock”. Truer words were never spoken (typed).

One Brow said...

Mostly Nothing,
The Democrats idea of 'unity' and 'reaching across the aisle' is to tell the
Republicans 'shut up and do everything our way'.

Liberals regularly feel the same way about Republicans.

Mostly Nothing said...

To be clear. I feel abandoned by both parties.