Have you ever wondered how you would have acted at the announcement that Pearl Harbor had been bombed and war had been launched against our country?
We refer to the generation of Americans who experienced that and sacrificed their lives in World War II to defend the U.S. as “the greatest generation”. They were not expecting to be that, like every other generation, they intended to focus their lives on their careers, family, and the pursuit of happiness.
However, in a world where there are always insidious and corrupt people who lust for power and wealth, we can’t choose the times in which we find ourselves nor the duty thrust upon us to protect our freedom and democracy from an immediate threat.
2020 is such a time. All of us, as Americans, have found ourselves in a pivotal moment in history that will shape this nation and the world for decades to come. It is our responsibility, as citizens of this country that previous generations sacrificed to preserve for us, to act now at this crucial moment when our country needs us.
Unlike The Greatest Generation, we aren’t being called upon to risk our lives on a battlefield. But we may need to accept at least a degree of risk.
To be an American hero in 2020, you not only need to vote, you need to vote in a way that gets your vote counted on Election Day. Depending on the state you live in, you may be able to do this by voting by mail or dropping off your ballot at a dropbox. Otherwise, despite the risk of COVID-19, you may need to take all precautions possible and still vote in person.
Why is it so critical that your vote is counted on Election Day?
As The Atlantic’s recent article explains, Trump is already busy organizing his scheme with Republican state legislatures, to subvert our democratic elections and seize the presidency through a legally loopholed coup.
From The Atlantic article, “The Election That Could Break America” by Barton Gellman:
Trump’s state and national legal teams are already laying the groundwork for postelection maneuvers that would circumvent the results of the vote count in battleground states. Ambiguities in the Constitution and logic bombs in the Electoral Count Act make it possible to extend the dispute all the way to Inauguration Day, which would bring the nation to a precipice. The Twentieth Amendment is crystal clear that the president’s term in office “shall end” at noon on January 20, but two men could show up to be sworn in. One of them would arrive with all the tools and power of the presidency already in hand.
According to sources in the Republican Party at the state and national levels, the Trump campaign is discussing contingency plans to bypass election results and appoint loyal electors in battleground states where Republicans hold the legislative majority. With a justification based on claims of rampant fraud, Trump would ask state legislators to set aside the popular vote and exercise their power to choose a slate of electors directly. The longer Trump succeeds in keeping the vote count in doubt, the more pressure legislators will feel to act before the safe-harbor deadline expires.
In support of this plot and to lay the groundwork for other plots of his to cheat in the election using lawsuits, intimidation at polling places, and even ordering law enforcement and/or white nationalist militias to prevent voting and vote counting, Trump has been repeating multiple times a day that the election will be a fraud, a hoax and dishonest because of mail-in ballots (which, hypocritically, is how Trump and most of the people in his orbit vote anyway).
And add to this, Trump’s repeated refusals to support a peaceful transfer of power if he loses, as he stunningly bragged about on Wednesday:
As documented by Gellman and confirmed by other reports, Trump’s plan to steal the election relies on the divide between the ways most Democrats and Republicans plan to vote. A majority of Democrats say they will vote by mail, a majority of Republicans say they will vote in person (the connection to Trump’s lies about COVID-19 not being a threat anymore becomes clearer as part of this strategy, only his followers believe him that it’s safe to vote in-person and that it’s a betrayal to vote by mail).
Due to this, Trump is trying to create a scenario where the votes counted on Election Day in swing states especially, may misleadingly show Trump ahead. His plan is to declare victory on Election Night then use the power of the presidency to either disqualify any further votes from being counted or if they still are counted, declare his loss after a full count of votes as being fraudulent. He would then pursue throwing out all votes by decree of Republican legislatures who would then choose and award to Trump electors to anoint him as an unelected president in power over a newly undemocratic country.
Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? It’s the stuff of provocative films and TV series, a power-mad American president crushing and corrupting democracy to seize power like Vladamir Putin, Xi Jinping, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, etc.. However, the success of these other dictators makes clear that in this era, such a thing is not far-fetched at all.
The Achilles’ Heel of Trump’s scheme to override the votes of the American People is that he needs to be ahead or virtually tied with Biden on Election Night, in enough states that could theoretically give him a win the Electoral College. If at the end of Election Night, Biden is clearly ahead of him and winning the Electoral College, Trump’s best chance to steal the election is destroyed (no doubt he will still try to cheat and steal the election but other avenues are pretty futile against a clear electoral victory for Biden).
So, in order to both defeat Trump and his attempted coup, it is vital that Biden voters vote in a way that provides for their vote to be counted on Election Day. In some states, this can be done through mail-in ballots but in other states, it will require early voting or voting in person.
To help inform voters on how they can do their part to have their vote counted on Election Day (and help block Trump’s plot to stage a coup), the following lists have been compiled.
VOTING IN YOUR STATE SO YOU’RE COUNTED ON ELECTION DAY
First, it’s important to know that just because a voter may send in or drop off their mail-in/absentee ballot well before Election Day, their state may not begin counting them until Election Day which may prevent it from being included in the Election Night vote totals. So, the first list below is of states that will begin counting mailed in or dropped off ballots before Election Day or are all-mail-in states, so they will most likely include your vote in the totals on Election Day (as long as you mail it or drop it off well ahead of time). States that have laws that say they “may” count mail-in/absentee ballots early or that begin counting them on Election Day are not included in this list.
If your state isn’t listed in the first group, proceed to the second group to find the dates for early voting in your state (there are often multiple locations available). These votes are also typically added to the vote totals on Election Night.
For those who live in states that don’t count mail-in ballots early or offer early voting, the most likely way to have your vote counted on Election Day is, unfortunately, voting in-person on Election Day. This is a personal choice and presents a potential risk as well as possibly requiring a commitment of time to stand in line. As much as one might want to do all they can to prevent a Trump coup, those who are in a high-risk category for COVID-19 or are around people who are, need to really consider the risk that voting in-person could represent and if they’re willing to accept that risk. Those at low risk might consider taking all precautions to stay safe and voting in-person if their state is in this category and has a real potential to swing towards Biden. Otherwise, in a deep red state, it would clearly make the most sense not to take any risk and vote absentee or by mail if at all possible (and hope it’s counted on Election Night).
STATES THAT COUNT MAIL-IN AND DROPBOX BALLOTS EARLY
- Arizona (Counting begins 14 Days before Election Day)
- California (19 Days before)
- Colorado (All mail-in state – 15 Days before)
- Delaware (4 Days before )
- Florida (22 Days before )
- Hawaii (All mail-in state)
- Nebraska (1 Day before )
- New Mexico (4 or 14 Days before based on 10k or more ballots)
- North Carolina (14 Days before )
- Oregon (All mail-in state – 7 Days before)
- Utah (All mail-in state)
- Vermont (1 Day Before)
- Washington (All mail-in state)
STATES THAT PROVIDE EARLY IN-PERSON VOTING
- Alaska (Oct 19 – Nov 3)
- Arizona (Oct 8 – Oct 30)
- Arkansas (Oct 19 – Nov 2)
- California (Oct 5 – Nov 2)
- District of Columbia (Oct 27 – Oct 31, in-person absentee voting Oct 19 – Nov 2)
- Florida (Oct 24 – Oct 31 – can be increased)
- Georgia (Oct 12 – Oct 30)
- Hawaii (Oct 20 – Oct 31)
- Illinois (Oct 19 – Nov 2 & Sep 24 – Nov 2 at temporary polling locations)
- Indiana (Oct 6 – Nov 2 at noon)
- Iowa (Oct 5 – Nov 2 at 5 pm)
- Kansas (Oct 14 – Nov 2 at noon)
- Kentucky (Oct 14 – Nov 2)
- Louisiana (Oct 20 – Oct 27)
- Maine (in-person, no-reason-needed absentee voting – Oct 4 – Oct 31)
- Maryland (Oct 26 – Nov 2)
- Massachusetts ( Oct 23 – Oct 30)
- Michigan (in-person, no-reason-needed absentee voting – Sep 24 – Nov 2)
- Minnesota (in-person, no-reason-needed absentee voting – Sep 18 – Nov 2 at 5 pm)
- Montana (in-person, no-reason-needed absentee voting – Oct 4 – Nov 2)
- Nebraska (Oct 4 – Nov 3)
- Nevada (Oct 17 – Oct 30)
- New Jersey (in-person, no-reason-needed absentee voting – Oct 19 – Nov 2 at 3 pm)
- New Mexico (Oct 17 – Oct 31)
- New York (Oct 24 – Nov 1)
- North Carolina (Oct 15 – Oct 31 at 3 pm)
- North Dakota (Oct 19 – Nov 2)
- Ohio (in-person, no-reason-needed absentee voting – Oct 6 – Nov 2 at 2 pm)
- Oklahoma (in-person, no-reason-needed absentee voting – Oct 29 – Oct 31 at 2 pm)
- Pennsylvania (in-person, no-reason-needed absentee voting – Sep 14 – Oct 27 at 5 pm)
- Rhode Island (in-person, no-reason-needed absentee voting – Oct 14 – Nov 2)
- South Dakota (in-person, no-reason-needed absentee voting – Sep 19 – Nov 2 at 5 pm)
- Tennessee (Oct 14 – Oct 29)
- Texas (Oct 13 – Oct 30)
- U.S. Virgin Islands (Oct 20 – Oct 31)
- Vermont (in-person, no-reason-needed absentee voting – Sep 19 – Nov 2 at 5 pm)
- Virginia (Sep 19 – Oct 31 at 5 pm)
- West Virginia (Oct 21 – Oct 31)
- Wisconsin (in-person, no-reason-needed absentee voting – Oct 20 – Nov 1)
- Wyoming (in-person, no-reason-needed absentee voting – Sep 24 – Nov 2)
STATES TO VOTE IN-PERSON ON ELECTION DAY TO BE COUNTED THAT DAY
- Idaho (some counties may allow early voting)
- Missouri (provides restricted in-person absentee voting)
- New Hampshire
- South Carolina
Some of the states in the last two lists may be able to include mail-in/absentee votes in their Election Day totals even though they begin counting on that day but in-person voting is far more reliable when it comes to having your vote counted that day.
Trump is betting all of his Captain Queeg marbles on his voters outnumbering Biden voters in the totals on Election Day. It’s the only way that any of his plots to steal the election can work. If we take that away from him, if Joe Biden is ahead of Trump in enough states on Election Night to be poised to win in the Electoral College, Trump and his schemes will be defeated.
Of course, an outright declaration of Biden being elected president on November 3rd would be the best possible outcome and perhaps, if a majority of us make sure that our votes are counted on Election Night, we may be able to make that happen.
Spread the word, encourage everyone you know, and are connected to on social media to verify that they’re registered to vote and will vote in a way so that they’re counted on Election Day.