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IN THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, 155,508,985 people voted. That figure doesn’t include the 2020 primary elections or the other votes cast that year in Senate, House, gubernatorial, state legislative, and local races, or referenda, initiatives, state constitutional amendments, and other ballot measures. That’s a lot of votes, and it takes a lot of people to run the system that collects and tallies them all.
Four years earlier, in 2016, when there were about 17 percent fewer votes cast in the general election for president, there were “116,990 polling places, including 8,616 early voting locations, across the country. These polling sites were operated by 917,694 poll workers.” That may sound like plenty of people to staff the country’s elections, but in fact, according to the Election Assistance Commission, “nearly 65 percent of jurisdictions reported that it was ‘very difficult’ or ‘somewhat difficult’ to obtain a sufficient number of poll workers.”
And in the years since 2016, the situation has gotten worse. The number of volunteer poll workers has fallen off a cliff, largely due to the pandemic
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ON AUGUST 8, OHIO VOTERS will go to the polls in a special election that will determine if citizen-proposed constitutional amendments should require 60 percent support to pass rather than the currently required simple majority.
Ohio is one of 17 states where citizens can propose and vote on constitutional amendments, and three of these states require supermajorities—Colorado (55 percent), Florida (60 percent), and Illinois (60 percent). Citizen-initiated amendments have been around in Ohio since 1914, and voters have approved just 19 of the 71 proposed amendments since then.
WHILE THE NATO SUMMIT in Vilnius focused on questions of Ukraine’s future membership in the alliance and of current aid to its war effort against the Russian invasion—genuinely existential issues for Ukraine and for the future of freedom in Russia—the related shadow “summit” of the online activist group that calls itself NAFO, or the North Atlantic Fella Organization, sparked the latest round of verbal wars between pro-Ukraine militants and the liberal Russian opposition.
Happy Thursday! A quick reminder that there is no Thursday Night Bulwark tonight, as we’re on summer break.
Why conservatives… Are saying Biden’s character is as bad as Trump’s. It’s like a whataboutism memo went out or something with all the big conservative outlets publishing similar items this week.
Rep. Matt Gaetz is back in the news… As the House Ethics Committee is reaching out to witnesses to probe allegations of sexual misconduct and illicit drug use.
Rep. Troy Nehls… Thinks Chris Wray “works for Joe Biden” now and his GOP past doesn’t matter. (He works for all of us.)
And, uh, Rep. Eli Crane… Just said “colored people” on the floor of the House. Democrats moved to strike the words from the record.
Meanwhile, in the “Free State of Florida™”… Gov. DeSantis is convinced that insurers will flock back to Florida after Hurricane season.
Will there be a new GOP Memestock? Where will the donor class go if DeSantis fails?
In local news… Despite clear video evidence, a man who pulled a gun on a restaurant owner—in front of his 4 year old who helped subdue the man—is getting a plea deal. Horrifying read.
Are BurgumBucks legal? And will the RNC allow him to buy a podium on the debate stage?
The dangerous consequences of No Labels… Writing at Resolute Square, Stuart Stevens observes: “Like much of the No Label’s tortured logic of the necessity of a third party, there is zero evidence to support its claims.”
DeSantis tries a bold new strategy… Rather than demonizing the mainstream media, perhaps talk to them to reach their audiences? I’m Ron Burgundy? I cannot think of a more poorly run campaign in my adult lifetime.
NRSC Chairman Steve Daines… Has no standards. Here he is talking approvingly about <checks notes> Kari Lake, Arizona’s kooky pretend Governor.
How DOJ’s E. Jean Carroll Reversal… Could Be Used Against Trump in the Next Indictment.
Dopomoga… Or help. Ukraine continues to impress with its platform that allows Ukrainians and foreigners to team up during a time of war.
The tragic end of Wilson.. The hero dog who saved lost children in the Colombian jungle.
Saint Louis, Atomic City… Make sure to read this deep dive on the Cold War consequences of serial mismanagement of radioactive waste in the Gateway to the West.
The last patrol… Donald Trump pardoned Clint Lorance and it pleased his supporters. But, “to members of his platoon, it was a gross miscarriage of justice.” California Sunday Magazine has this worthwhile #longread.
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