Special Election Day Open Thread: Chismes, Reports, Citations, and More!

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Oops. Spoiler alert.

Oops. Spoiler alert.

This is a special Election Day Open Thread in which you can report on recent developments in the election, anything worthwhile you’ve recently read about it, anything you have to report, any rumors you’ve heard (anonymous attacks, as usual, may not survive the cut), and so on.

And remember: Hold Your Place in Line!

Various chismes and such will follow below; add your own in comments.

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(1) From Glenn Greenwald:

“This is the perfect symbolic ending to the Democratic Party primary. The nomination is consecrated by a media organization, on a day when nobody voted, based on secret discussions with anonymous establishment insiders and donors whose identity the media organization – incredibly – conceals. The decisive edifice of super-delegates is itself anti-democratic and inherently corrupt: designed to prevent actual voters from making choices that the party establishment dislikes. But for a party run by insiders and funded by corporate interests, it’s only fitting that their nomination process ends with such an ignominious, awkward and undemocratic sputter.”

(2) From our friend Andrew Weber:

*at girlfriends poling place*
Helper girl: You can vote here even tho your names not on our list!
Me: Ok, as long as the ballot doesn’t say “provisional” (won’t get counted)
Helper girl: yeah that’s no problem *points to stack of ballots*

The second word on the friggen ballot is “provisional”…
Me: Yeah, I’ll go to my actual polling place.

(3) Oh Yeah … This Happened

On the eve of the California primary and six other contests, the Associated Press and NBC News shook up the Democratic race for the White House last night by announcing Hillary Clinton had reached the number of delegates needed to capture the nomination, beating challenger Bernie Sanders. Both news organizations reached that conclusion based on unofficial polls of unelected superdelegates. If the projections stand, Clinton would become the first woman to ever be the presidential candidate of a major political party in U.S. history. Sanders criticized the move. “According to the Democratic National Committee, what they should not be doing is lumping pledged delegates, i.e. real delegates, with superdelegates, who may or may not change their mind, but who do not vote until July 25th,” Sanders said.

(4) This One is Big — YUUUUGE EXIT POLL on local legislative races!

This is worth reading.  Many surprises — and a focus on OC.  (Could Issa really lose his primary?)
(5) Have Orange County’s Voting Problems Been Out of the Ordinary?

I’m on record as being a big fan of our local Registrar of Voters office, and it’s leader Neal Kelley, so I’m hoping that the explanations for all of what’s reported here are benign.  Kelley has blamed staffing problems, with fewer than five volunteer workers available for each polling place, but told the Register that “at this point, it seems like workers are showing up and voters are voting.”

And I’m especially hoping that some of the stories on my Facebook feed — like a purported eyewitness report that almost have of the voters in her Aliso Viejo precinct are voting on provisional ballots — are either made up or misconstrued.

The Register’s story is entitled “What Orange County voters are saying after casting their ballots” — here are some of the problems being reported:

  • In one Tustin precinct, the paperwork was not prepared by 7:00 and voters were sent away.  The “setup was completed shortly after polls opened, and by 8 a.m. both precincts were taking voters without trouble.”  Still, that’s often a very busy hour and we don’t know that pre-working-day voters will have been able to return.
  • A polling station in San Clemente was without power.

The Register story includes another quote — attributed to no one beyond the writer, that raises concerns:

In case any other issues pop up, remember that voters registered in Orange County who can’t cast a ballot at their assigned polling station for any reason are able to vote at any polling spot in the county by requesting a provisional ballot.

Y’know, we’re telling people the opposite of that — that provisional ballots are NOT an adequate substitute for being able to cast one’s normal ballot at one’s normal polling place.  They may not allow votes for races outside of one’s district; there are questions as to whether and when and how they are counted.  Some voting rights activist assert that provisional ballots are not counted for two weeks – or even ever — and I’m not sure that that’s largely wrong.  (I’ve been waiting for the provisional ballots in New York primary to be counted for weeks now — and I don’t have any indication that it has happened.)  I’d like to know a lot more about the verifiable proper treatment of provisional ballots before I would recommend them in any but the greatest emergency.

More to come!


About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Corrupt party hacks hate him. He's OK with that too. He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)