Election 2020 Early Voting New York
AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Previous Post
Next Post

It hasn’t been a good couple of weeks in the courts for Michigan’s governing class. On October 12, the Michigan Supreme Court struck down Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s executive orders restricting most aspects of everyday life in the Big Mitten. The court ruled that she had exceeded her authority under state law by shutting down schools, churches, restaurants among others.

Earlier this month, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson issued her own order banning the open carry of firearms at polling places on November 3. Benson claimed that allowing open carry at the polls would somehow intimidate voters.

But with no legal basis for the open carry ban under Michigan law, a number of sheriffs announced that they would not enforce the Secretary of State’s order. It also brought about a lawsuit by a collection of Michigan gun rights orgs. Yesterday a Court of Claims judge struck down the ban.

From mlive.com:

That doesn’t mean open carry is allowed at all polling places. State law already bans open carry at certain buildings, including churches. Concealed carry of firearms wasn’t part of Benson’s directive.

And Benson isn’t giving up yet.

“As the state’s chief election officer, I have a sworn duty to protect every voter and their right to cast their ballot free from intimidation and harassment,” Benson said in a statement. “I will continue to protect that right in Michigan, and we will be appealing this ruling.”

We’ll see if she’s able to get her arbitrary ban reinstated by another judge before Tuesday. In the mean time, it seems that the general level of anxiety among voters is noticeably elevated these days. Many are predicting even more civil unrest no matter which way the vote goes.

That’s a situation that naturally makes more people consider arming themselves before they head to polling places. Here’s a report on the general feeling of electoral agita as we head for the finish from the Associated Press:

By Laurie Kellman, AP

Gary Kauffman says he does not scare easily. So when men waving President Donald Trump flags drive by his house in downtown Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, he stands on his front steps and waves a banner for Democrats Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

“Sometimes I yell at them. They yell back at me,” says Kauffman, 54.

Still, Kauffman is keeping a closer eye on who they are and what they’re carrying as Election Day approaches. Tension has been rising in his town, known best as hallowed ground of the Civil War’s bloodiest battle. Recently, it’s become a hot spot of angry confrontations between Trump supporters and liberal protesters. Kauffman has seen some of the Trump supporters carrying weapons.

“If there’s guns, I’m a bit more cautious,” he said on Monday.

Americans aren’t accustomed to worrying about violence or safety ahead of an election. It’s a luxury afforded by years of largely peaceful voting, a recent history of fairly orderly displays of democracy. But after months filled with disease, disruption and unrest, Americans are worried that Election Day could become a flashpoint.

With Election Day next week, voters can point to plenty of evidence behind the anxiety. More than 226,000 people have died of the coronavirus in the United States, and cases are spiking across the country. A summer of protests of racial injustice and sometimes violent confrontations has left many on edge. Gun sales have broken records. Trump has called on supporters to monitor voting and has refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power or to explicitly condemn a white supremacist group.

There was the alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and another spate of violent protest this week over a police shooting of a Black man in Philadelphia.

“Human beings don’t do well with uncertainty, and there’s been a lot of uncertainty this year,” said Mara Suttmann-Lea, an assistant professor of government at Connecticut College conducting research on voting. ”Absolutely I’m seeing heightened levels of anxiety … and it’s a more general, existential anxiety — ‘What is the state of our democracy?’”

Polling place voting
Voters line up to cast in-person absentee ballots on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020 (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)

Those worries have shown up in polling. About 7 in 10 voters say they are anxious about the election, according to an AP-NORC poll this month. Biden supporters were more likely to say so than Trump supporters — 72% to 61%.

For some, the worries are a vague sense of looming trouble that could take many forms — conflict at a polling place, protest over the outcome, protest over no outcome, a conflagration that splits Americans over now-familiar divisions.

“You can feel it in the energy,” particularly on social media, says Cincinnati voter Josh Holsten Sr., 42. “There are just a lot of extra tensions that don’t necessarily need to be there.”

Holsten says he is voting for Trump but thinks neither the president nor Biden is doing enough to calm people down. The car salesman has even stocked up on food, water and bulletproof vests for his family — in case the election sparks something bad.

Law enforcement and election officials are preparing, too. FBI and local officials in several states have been conducting drills and setting up command centers to respond to election-related unrest.

Election officials are training poll workers on how to de-escalate conflict and ensuring they’re prepped on the rules about poll monitoring, voter intimidation and harassment.

“The procedures have always been there. We’ve just never had to use them,” said Ellen Sorensen, an elections judge in Naperville, Illinois, outside Chicago. “Perhaps this time we may. I don’t know.”

A group called Election Protection Arizona says it intends to train hundreds of people at the polls, including on de-escalation guidance in case of confrontations.

The Rev. Joan Van Becelaere, executive director of Unitarian Universalist Justice Ohio and part of an effort to keep the peace, said the virus has fueled fear and division between Trump supporters and others.

The groups, she said, are “extreme places of tension that we really don’t want to meet at these polls.”

Millions of Americans are voting despite the worries. More than 67 million people have already voted in the U.S., and more than 23 million of those cast their ballots in person.

A poll in August by the Pew Research Center suggests that more Americans see the stakes as higher than usual in the 2020 presidential election. Twenty years ago, just half of voters said it really mattered who won. As of August, 83% express this view.

For some, that sense of urgency, combined with fierce partisanship and anger, feels like a recipe for conflict.

“November’s going to be scary because both sides aren’t going to give,” said Bob Stanley, 66, a longtime Republican and Trump supporter from Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

Stanley expressed a hope shared by Republicans and Democrats: “I hope it’s going to be an overwhelming majority, or there will be trouble.”

Another Johnstown resident, Fran Jacobs, a 76-year-old Biden supporter, expressed similar concerns about whether the result would be clear, whether people would be calm and whether the world would look at the U.S. as a functional democracy.

“I’ve never been frightened for the country. I always figured we’re gonna make it. We always pull something up. And I’m really frightened this time,” she said, looking to the sky. “It’s all in your hands, I know.”

Previous Post
Next Post


  1. Look at it this way:

    1) There are reports that people (presumably postal workers) who are ardent Democrat supporters throw away bags of mail — especially ballots — in districts that are extremely conservative. While that tactic obviously throws away some Democrat votes, it throws away a much larger number of Republican votes which is a net gain and an acceptable loss.

    2) If such ardent Democrat supporters are willing to throw away a small number of Democrat votes in order to throw away a large number of Republican votes, all they have to do is start intimidating and/or attacking people at the polls in conservative districts — and/or shut down the polls entirely in conservative districts due to some sort of rioting or worse.

    Given the track record of Democrat supporters, I would not put this tactic past them. Therefore, it is best to be armed for self-defense when going to the polls.

    • “…people (presumably postal workers) who are ardent Democrat supporters throw away bags of mail — especially ballots — in districts that are extremely conservative. While that tactic obviously throws away some Democrat votes, it throws away a much larger number of Republican votes which is a net gain and an acceptable loss.”

      There’s a danger there in getting caught (but by then it will be too late). Records of votes cast are kept on every precinct. So if a wholesale batch of votes gets tossed, large holes in the data will show up. As in, “Why did half the voters in these precincts didn’t bother to vote, when they always had in the past?”

      Stuff like that risks discovery, especially when the precinct totals will be scrutinized by both sides.

      I’m not saying it can’t happen, but, well, you know…

      • Geoff PR,

        I have a hunch that many such Democrat “agitators” really don’t care if anyone knows who they are. First of all, many of them would consider it a badge of honor to have a voter intimidation conviction (either misdemeanor or felony). Second of all and more importantly, many of them do not have to fear prosecution for voter intimidation as long as the local prosecuting attorney is an ardent Democrat. Remember, several Democrat prosecuting attorneys have flat-out refused to prosecute rioters, looters, arsonists, and brute-squads “demonstrators” over the last several months. I can guarantee you that prosecuting attorneys would be far more motivated to “exercise prosecutorial discretion” over Democrat Brownshirts guilty of voter intimidation.

        • This is where having ACB on the Court can really pay off.

          RGB croaking when she did could really spoil Leftist plans in a week…

    • Do what we did if you can. My daughter was home from college for an extra day (online classes), so we went together and she participated in her first general election. I know it isn’t this easy for many in urban areas, but we were in and out in 10 minutes. No mailed ballot to purloin and no crowds to deal with.

      • We voted Saturday afternoon. We were planning to vote on Sunday since many of you Christians would be at church. My wife pulled up the website to see what time they started on Sunday and noticed there was a zero to three minute wait. So we hopped in the car and went there and easy peasy. We walked right in and were voting within minutes. I wonder if everyone figured it would be crowded and decided to not go at that time.

    • “There are reports that people (presumably postal workers) who are ardent Democrat supporters throw away bags of mail — especially ballots — in districts that are extremely conservative.“

      I’m not familiar with that story, do you have a source or citation?

      I have seen the reports of the fake ballot boxes marked ‘official’ that the Republican party has set up in California cities in order to interfere with the election.

      • “That story”? Try a solid dozen of them in the past few weeks. They’ve been well-reported…you just don’t want to see them, or you’d have known already.

      • Those were not “fake”. They were made legal during the last election. The Republicans were collecting ballots just like the Dems were last election. No one has been caught molesting ballots in tis case – I am not saying it did not/will not happen, but it is legal.

      • “ Top elections officials in California are scrambling to find out how many illegal ballot drop boxes Republican staffers put up in three counties across the state over the weekend, as local law enforcement authorities continue to search for outstanding witnesses and potential suspects. The state’s Republican Party, meanwhile, has indicated that it won’t comply with an official order to remove the boxes, and may even add more.

        On Monday, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla said his office, in conjunction with the state justice department, issued a cease-and-desist order to the California GOP to remove the illegal ballot drop boxes that have appeared in Los Angeles County, Orange County and Fresno County.”

    • People said I was a right wing idiot (thanks for the compliment!) when I said I didn’t trust absentee ballots a few months ago.


      That’s just one incident in my state and I believe it was reported on mainly because the area is Democrat voters. C’mon man! Vote in person!

      Already got my vote in. County clerk said I could keep the ink pen because covid.

      Well other folks are generally polite and left their ink pens in the privacy area because that is societal norm not to steal pens. Not me, I grabbed about 20 of those coof infected pens and disposed of them in my pocket so I’ve already won this election no matter what happens!

      • Uh…. the societal norm is to not take something offered to you….. since when is that stealing???

        I can think of several ways societal norms are being violated and not one includes taking FREE PENS at the dirty polling booths…

    • The general public isn’t buying the leftard BS in the bloomturd funded slowjoe\skankhoe campaign ads.
      More 👎s then 👍s, and comments have been disabled!
      Trump/Pence 2020! The latest polls are showing the “Trump Train” has begun rolling in the week leading up to election day.
      It’s 2016 all over again, only the TDS will be SOOOOOOO much sweeter! 🤣🍿

    • Oh yeah, they plan on storming DC, that’s why they applied for a permit from the national Park service with an estimated attendance of 10,000.

      Honestly, you’re right wing extremist news sources can whips you folks into a frenzy with a few short lines, here’s some actual reporting on the protest:

      “Though plans to gather on the Mall are off, Shutdown D.C. still expects 10,000 people, as it indicated in its permit. It’s now calling for members of multiple groups to meet at Black Lives Matter Plaza on Election Day with plans to continue the event throughout the week.

      “We are concerned like many people that (President Donald) Trump may try to steal this election,” said Kaela Bamberger with Shutdown D.C. “He’s given us a lot of evidence to indicate that he has no problem trying to confuse the results or prematurely declare victory. At Shutdown D.C., we’re preparing to be able to mobilize quickly in D.C. if he should attempt to do so.”

      No calls for violence, no plans to attack federal buildings, just a big protest against Typhoid Trump.

      Don’t be scared, remain calm, all is well.

      • ” No calls for violence, no plans to attack federal buildings, just a big protest against Typhoid Trump. ”

        No need to go public about. Everybody going to that dance already knows violence is an implied part of the plan. Seriously, you can’t really be that stupid.

      • @the resident malcontents and Trolls,

        It’s going to be a long 4 years for ya’ll, but on the bright side President Trump being reelected in a landslide will fuel your hate and give you concrete ‘victim-hood status’.

        Practice saying these phrases… “Orange man stole the election!….”Orange man is a White Supremacist”
        and the dreaded n-word….”Orange man is ..a NAZI!!!

  2. Whitmer, Nessel, and Benson have shown unparalleled willingness to declare themselves powers not granted to them. And they will appeal every court that tries to force them into compliance with the law.

    Short of recall elections, you’re stuck with them for 2 more years.

    Oh, BTW, once the forced gerrymandering amendment to your state Constitution is implemented, you’ll never again have a Republican House or Senate.

    Have fun, Michigan.
    Aren’t the Republicans glad they pushed the potheads to show up and vote Dem in 2018?

    • Amen. The “Bipartisan Michigan Redistricting Commission” is just a Democrat Gerrymandering Politburo.

      Potheads seem to be Goosestepping Democrat Voting Sheeple Fuck-Ups.

      To be honest, these “Bipartisan Redistricting Commussions” that are just Pro-Democrat Gerrymandering Politburos are violations of Articles 1 Sec. 4 and 2 Sec. 3 of our Constitution saying that only STATE LEGISLATURES can draw Congressional Districts.

      The GOPee really don’t give a fuck though. They rode high off that 2010 Tea-Party Wave, then fucked it raw, sucked it dry, feathered their nests with a taxpayer funded salary, and gave the Country back over to Pigshit Pelosi.


    • “Oh, BTW, once the forced gerrymandering amendment to your state Constitution is implemented, you’ll never again have a Republican House or Senate.”

      The same can be said about those who are giddy at the prospect that demographic shifts mean there will never be another Conservative government in power.

      That’s a dangerous path to walk down.

      I seem to recall in history what happened when one group of people finally awoke to the reality that they had no representation in government :

      “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

      Pray that we are never compelled to correct a grievous injustice…

      • Don’t forget about the movement to pick Electoral College delegates based on national popular vote instead of the state votes. We’ll see which states choose to cede their power to CA and NY.

        • What if Trump wins the popular vote, and with all the blue state ‘popular vote rules’, ends up with 500 electoral votes?

        • “What if Trump wins the popular vote,…”

          As I understand it, they can chose whether or not to exercise that option if it benefits them…

  3. Let’s get the record right. The President has condemned numerous white supremacists/groups, numerous times for years and years. He has further stated that he does support a peaceful transfer of power, he just wants it to be honest. Watch the first & last debates for proof!

    • The “Trump refused to condemn white supremacist groups” canard is getting really annoying. It’s a flat-out lie.

      Every time they bring it up, he says “Yes, I already have,” and “Fine, I’ll do it again. I don’t support white supremacists.”

      And they keep saying he has refused to do what they ask, even though he’s jumped through that stupid hoop over and over and over again, to the point where the only sane response left is a middle finger, and we’re starting to see him treat them like that when they bring it up.

      What the media really mean when they bring it up is that until Trump denounces himself as a racist meanie and agrees that ALL Republicans are literally “the Proud Boys” or whatever racist meanies figure in leftist fever dreams at the moment, they’ll never be satisfied.

      • Once identified as an enemy, you are whatever they say you are, and everything you say or do will be shown as evidence to support the allegations.

        They can NEVER point to actual racist (or homophobic, xenophobic, whatever) actions, only what someone has said as proof of their supposed beliefs, no matter how twisted the words must be.

        Any time anyone TELLS you what you think or are, they are not interested in being correct, nor listening. In other words, present day progressives. Every single person who is told how they think, or who they are, should be incensed at the behavior. Sadly, many are willing to be led down that road.

      • Their problem with his comdemnation of white supremacist groups is that he ONLY condemns ACTUAL white supremacist groups. What they WANT is for him to declare any group not aligned with identitarian marxism as being white supremacist. For example, they want him to declare the Proud Boys white supremacist. They aren’t so he won’t. That’s why they keep saying he hasn’t, because they want everything in their way to be declared racist. What they’ve done instead is cry wolf over and over, and we all know thay just ends up leading to being eaten by the wolf…

        • They want him to say Black Lives Matter, the exact words.

          BLM believes these to be magical words. Witness BLM demanding this of people at sidewalk restaurants in various cities.

  4. “…extreme places of tension…”
    yeah, you’ll get tension when patriotic americans who love being here are confronting commie pinkos that would rather be somewhere else, but will settle for handing power to traitors.

  5. Meanwhile in the Republican controlled “gunshine” state of Florida it is illegal to carry any weapon concealed or open at a polling place. Because people waiting to vote might start a knife rampage if they get mad! Or something. And no open carry except while fishing, hunting, or camping or enroute to it. Though stopping by to vote before fishing wouldn’t cut it.

    So Michiganders should be glad, with Republican leadership like this, who needs Democrats?

    • “Meanwhile in the Republican controlled “gunshine” state of Florida it is illegal to carry any weapon concealed or open at a polling place.”

      Concealed means ‘concealed’…

    • “So Michiganders should be glad, with Republican leadership like this”

      1st- Whitmer and friends are Democrats.

      2nd- My voting location is a school so Federal law already makes carry an issue but legally I can open carry to a school in MI.

      3rd- As someone above mentioned letting marijuana go to a vote in 2018 brought the left leaning potheads out in record numbers. I’m hoping they’re too high to show up on Tuesday.

  6. Here in CA, we’re still waiting for our state-wide open carry ban to be struck down. 🙁

    Well, technically it was, but our Dear Leaders in Sacramento sent the challenges to Appellate Purgatory to sit in molasses until the Second Coming.

    • “Here in CA, we’re still waiting for our state-wide open carry ban to be struck down.”

      Things are happening that the Leftists can’t control, but it won’t happen quickly.

      Grin and bear it… 😉

    • I Haz a Question,

      While the open and concealed carry laws in Michigan are far better than California, the weather in California is WAYYYYYYY better than Michigan. On the other hand, Michigan doesn’t have to worry about forest fires nor earthquakes, just tornadoes and ice storms!

      Moral of the story: there is good and bad in every location.

      • True. Tell you what, though…I’ll trade you some of our brown dry hills and 115 degree summer heat waves for some of your rain and snow. I’ll keep the beaches. 🙂

        • We have beaches & coasts that can rival some of California but can only enter the big lakes a few months out of the year or sufer hypothermia.

      • You do have those mayflies. That was quite impressive when we were there a few years back. Never saw 1/2 foot thick layers of bugs on parking lots before.

  7. We don’t really have this issue in CO, though I imagine you’d get some static if you OCed to go and vote.

    But I guess it is an issue. Here in CO we have in-person voting this year and if you “made a mistake” on your mail-in ballot you can “fix” that by voting in person which cancels your mail-in ballot.

    I sort of wonder how that works in other states because the “laptop issue” seems to have created a lot of “early voter remorse” with “Can I change my vote?” trending as a search term on Google after that story broke.

    • My wife messed her mail in ballot up and all We had to do was go to the Treasurers office at the court house. She explained her mistake on the ballot. They took the ballot she messed up asked to see her ID and signed a form signifying she was requesting a new ballot. She had the choice to receive a replacement ballot through the mail or vote right then which it what she did. It took all of maybe 10 minutes. That’s in Iowa.

      • I sort of figure with all the redundancy in voting machines to “make sure this is the vote you really want to cast” that there had to be a system for it with mail-ins.

        It’s just interesting to me that the laptop story breaks and suddenly the “can I change my vote” search term suddenly spikes in blue states.

        Whatever, this entire year is a fucking joke. Forbes is breathlessly reporting that Trump’s screwed because Republicans hate him with a passion. Why? Because there’s a lot of negative sentiment towards him from Republicans according to LUXelection2020.

        Of course, other than telling you that’s not a poll they don’t tell you what it is in any detail. (So I will.)

        It’s a machine learning program that, honestly, is in early testing. It looks at social media comments and tracks “sentiment” based on the content of those comments.

        Now, ignoring that this thing is at best a beta, it’s really just a test of machine learning rather than anything that would tell you anything useful.

        1) It doesn’t actually know who’s saying what or if it’s even a person saying it. A bot and an actual person are essentially the same to this thing.
        2) How well does it track “sentiment” in comments? How good is its interpretation of English, particularly in terms of idiom? We don’t know. The code’s proprietary so I guess we’ll “find out”.
        3) Does it detect sarcasm better than, oh I dunno, 75% of the people here?
        4) It doesn’t know the actual affiliation of the “people” saying these things. Twitter/FB/Disqus/whatever comments of “I’m an R and I hate Trump” can come from anyone or from bots.
        4) At absolute best it’s studying a self-selected population of the most partisan people engaged in using the most divisive platforms imaginable.
        5) Even if it’s right about a the above it can’t predict shit because loads of people, in EVERY election cycle, say “Well, I don’t like the person for X,Y,Z… reasons but I’m going to hold my nose and vote for them anyway” and this thing can’t know if the person feels that way or not.

        This passes for news, and not tech news about machine learning but political news, these days. Way to go Forbes.

        Strange year. And I suspect that next year will be far, far worse.

        • “And I suspect that next year will be far, far worse.”

          We’ll find out. At least the polling is showing they won’t get to control the senate. And if he over-performs by a percent or three, we may get a buffer in the upper house.

          We shall see…

        • I’m just tired of the bullshit. Forbes is saying that this thing essentially proves that Trump’s done because he’s underwater with his own party.

          Yet Rasmussen’s daily has him at 81% staunch support across all Republicans. Other agencies have similar numbers.

          There’s too much push polling and push coverage on this shit and that’s no accident.

  8. Perhaps Michigan’s governing class should learn the rules of governing. Ruling by edict went out with the overthrow of King George III’s rule.

  9. “Fran Jacobs, a 76-year-old Biden supporter, expressed similar concerns about whether the result would be clear, whether people would be calm and whether the world would look at the U.S. as a functional democracy.”

    It took her 76 years to get that stupid? Huh. Most people can get that stupid much faster if they go to college. Oh, and I’m so concerned about the way “the world” views us that I would give then an intercontinental mooning if I could.

    • Maybe I’m just an asshole but I’d give some of them a different kind of intercontinental insult if I could.

  10. I live in Michigan. And while we can vote early, we cannot, ourselves, put the ballot into the machine (this is only if we vote early). A clerk takes the ballot from us, into another room and (supposedly) puts MY ballot in the machine!
    I don’t think so!
    I’m voting in person, on Election Day.

  11. Well…..for America’s survival we need to keep the Senate preferable all 3 branches!

    Get out and vote.. get all ur Family, Friends & Neighbors to vote 2A!

    If Biden wins then drops out & Harris becomes Potus we will need the House & Senate to impeach her ASAP!!

    Its Crucial for all of us to work hard on this one to get Trump re-elected!

    Plz Put aside ur differences & get to work!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here