About those mail-in ballots

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

While the Postal Service has no official motto, the popular belief that it does is a tribute to America’s postal workers. The words above, thought to be the motto, are chiseled in gray granite over the entrance to the New York City Post Office on 8th Avenue and come from Book 8, Paragraph 98, of The Persian Wars by Herodotus. During the wars between the Greeks and Persians (500-449 B.C.), the Persians operated a system of mounted postal couriers who served with great fidelity. *

But the Persians never met Donald Trump and his Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.

The Post Office needs funding and Trump is blocking the effort. Why? Because, as he brazenly put it, “that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting.” *

With that in mind, we repeat:

If you aren’t registered to vote, get it done now. And if mail-in or absentee ballots are a new thing for you, familiarize yourself now with your state’s requirements. Lead times may be greater than you think, and the Post Office might not be up to snuff.

If you’ve any doubts about the Post Office delivering your ballot in time to be counted, deliver it in person to the proper ballot box or election headquarters.

24 thoughts on “About those mail-in ballots

  1. Trump’s excuse for sabotaging the USPS is that it has been losing money for decades. That is perfectly true. I researched a paper for my master’s degree in the 1970’s on the subject and little has changed since then. The post office was never intended to be profit-making but rather an essential service to citizens and businesses, a mission it has performed with great success since the founding of the USA. Trump’s reasoning is either disingenuous or evidence of profound ignorance. Doesn’t much matter which it is, it’s appalling.

      1. Interesting story about the American Letter Mail Company, ImA. I hadn’t known about it. It is a good example, obviously, of the benefits of unregulated capitalism, something which, alas, never exists for long in its pure form. Such enterprises often become monopolies, e.g., Walmart, AT&T (before its breakup) and Amazon. On the other hand, non-profits and government enterprises can flourish efficiently, e.g., NPR, the BBC and the Canada.’s national health service. I submit that no society can exist without some regulation of business, but anything is possible depending on the nature of the government. That UPS and FEDEX have flourished is a tribute to the better kind of government. The devil is always in the details, eh?

        Donald Trump vowed to make government smaller and less intrusive. Instead, he has made it corrupt and inefficient.

      2. I’d never heard of Spooner and had to go read up on him. I agree that a total lack of regulation can lead to monopolies and profiteering. It’s hard to put a monopoly out of business by boycotting a needed product or service. Hence, govt regs.

  2. (This comment should have appeared directly under Jim’s first comment at the top)
    His reasoning has been made perfectly clear. He’s trying to suppress the vote, or at the very least, give himself an excuse to contest the vote if he loses. I dread the chaos that will ensue if/when he loses.

  3. Maybe they could have drive thru drop offs for ballets with you personally putting it into a locked box?
    It’s an old problem – people said LBJ only won because so many dead people voted in TX.
    I was a victim of a woman voting in my name across 2 presidential elections – involved mail in voting. I got to be on first name basis with state attorney general ( whom I finally contact out of frustration and despair after several years of county clerks/authorities not stopping it. It doesn’t matter it’s just one vote – it’s mine. It doesn’t;t matter whether she canceled or added votes to a candidate – it’s my right to choose, not hers.) It was quite involved and the postal employees were involved.
    I do not trust the postal service at all. The reason UPS and FedEx exists is because so few trust the US postal service. (I have stories you would not believe – like a postal truck going well above the speed limit on a busy sthrough street with the back door open and mail flying out everywhere…and that’s just a start for around here.
    People who can need to try as hard as possible to show up in person – that’s not possible for all. Not sure what they are going to do about “granny harvesting” where paid nursing home employees either filled out a stack of voter card themselves or “assisted” the diminished capacity voters into filling the cards out.
    You know when the voter fraud stopped? When the state attorney had them write in big red letters “Must show voter ID”. They did actually catch the woman, but did nothing. I was livid. “It’s a felony” I said. But the shuffled and said they were hesitant because she started yelling about “rac___” and “NA__P” and they, the authorities, backed off out of fear of a problem and PR situation. Equal justice for all?
    (Sadly I know 4 other people in the same precinct who were stunned when another person voting in their name started happening to them. One got a voter registration/mail ballot request that was totally in Spanish – which is OK except here you have to request a specific language appropriate ballot if you want one – and she has never spoken/written anything in Spanish)
    I’m almost back to only having paper ballots with only the presidential candidate on it and using a big red crayon/marker to make a giant “X” – and then coloring the voter’s thumb red. Sigh (like it matters – the parties both lie and only care about feathering their own nests – the elites always win)
    I will crawl to the poll if necessary – with a photo ID

    1. In addition to the US Mail, we do have special ballot drop boxes here. Securely locked, lighted at night, and with video cameras. Only officials with the Election Board have access to them. And anyone who doesn’t trust them is free to deliver their ballot personally to election officials.

      I too would be livid if I found out someone else had used MY ballot or voted in MY name. It may only be one vote, but it’s MINE! And I see nothing wrong with requiring ID to vote. I’ve never really understood how that constitutes “voter suppression.”

      I’m afraid this election will make Bush v. Gore look like a walk in the park. Trump has already indicated his intent to contest any result other than a victory for him. I think my son is right. The only way to forestall weeks or months of chaos is for Biden to win by a huge, unmistakable, uncontestable landslide.

      There is, of course, the fact that we get our ballots in the first place via the US Mail. But that’s usually a month or so before Election Day, so there’s time to track them down or otherwise obtain one. As I recall before the last election, one truckload of ballots went missing for a few days, delaying receipt of those ballots. But it was found safely parked at a postal facility. No foul play, but a bit of anxiety on my part.

      1. CO seems to have a great idea with the lights and video cameras
        Honor system is in such decline.
        For the past 2 weeks they have busted USPS employees for having bags of mail at their houses – one DWI drunk caught stopped on the FWY had several bags of mail stashed in his trunk. Last election they had security footage outside a strip center dumpster of a USPS employee trashing one candidate’s flyers and a bunch of mail in ballots that had been requested. Shop owner was checking his tape, saw it, and called authorities and media.
        I hope there’s only one of me voting…that woman was let off “after she promised she wouldn’t do it again.” Somehow that doesn’t reassure me.
        I think you are right – this whole election already stinks of chaos. Both parties are in combat mode
        Maybe if people realize Biden isn;’t the real candidate, Kamela is. Anyone who’s been around many old people can spot diminished ability /declining mental abilities. Biden will step down once elected – or be forced to.
        Why didn’t the party just be honest and let Kamela run with a VP choice. They might have thought she couldn’t pull it off – but they might have been surprise.
        Once again – a blustering older man VS a blathering older man. What choices we have
        (But hey, with a contested election, there is a scenario where Pelosi is voted in as Presidential. Now that would really piss me off as that would mean she was completely unelected by the voters…we at least like the illusion that we select the president.)

        1. The whole thing is exhausting, frightening, infuriating, depressing. I hope the nation is good enough and strong enough to survive all this, but for the first time in my life, I’m having doubts.

          I’ve not seen any evidence of mental decline in Biden, but given Trump’s obvious mental and emotional problems, I’d vote for Mickey Mouse, if necessary, to deny him another four years.

          1. Last month I researched some on his record and found his old campaign speeches. He used to be so dynamic and clear. there is a change.
            Of course the last few years have certainly worn and frazzled both men – and worse all of us!
            Both parties have to back off any more taxes. We’re done for – insurance supplement just went twice since January – almost 40% total – but do we dare do without? The insurance lobby, hospital corporations, and big pharm are killing us…the ones who are still working and trying to take care of ourselves by ourselves. Poor doctors, now salaried employees, are getting being told they are getting pay cuts…after all of them being called in and working day and night during COVID
            Remember that old fiction last minute plot twist: “and then a miracle occurred”? We can hope
            Anyone but Pelosi.

        2. Docs are getting pay cuts because the general public is afraid to go near a hospital unless they have Covid. Hospitals were losing money. I canceled three different doctor appointments in March and April … and am doing them all this month. You can wait only so long when you have important tests that need to be done. At least the postponement gave them all a chance to get their Covid protocols in place and functioning smoothly. I was impressed at the cancer center two weeks ago. Not so much with the ophthalmologist yesterday. His waiting room was still more crowded than I’d have liked.

          Maybe Biden sounds fine to me because we’re both the same age — 77. Plus on the news tonight they were talking about a campaign by Russia to say Biden is in mental decline. I don’t buy it.

          1. We’ve done the same with appointments – except on where something serious was possible. So far OK. Our general docs are doing the video appts, but not sure that is a good idea for a couple of our issues, so in person is the only thing that makes sense to me…the cancer centers /MD Andersen are back up and running with serious patient adjustments. Are the docs asking you to wait in cars until they call you to come in for appointments? Some are here – especially with the kids. Ours is giving you a 15 min window to show up – to limit people in waiting room. If you are later than that, they want you to not come in but to reschedule. All very cumbersome and awkward.
            Once the mandate came down with banning elective surgeries, the hospitals went into financial crisis. Those and patient insurances pay the bills.
            Some do 77 better than others. (we’re there, but my dad’s family were all clear thinkers until 90-100. One was married to a lovely woman, my aunt, who slipped happily into her own world – quite pleasant and cheerful and she often thought I was her daughter. Husband’s father has Alzheimer – I was the first to see the signs from dealing with multiple family elders – but he had the angry ugly difficult version. It started years earlier with small signs that got more intense. The impulsive irrational bursts of anger…which Biden has also done although his staff tries to explain those away.
            I do watch interviews and speeches by all the candidates..stuck inside with covid for one reason – and it is an important vote. Biden is struggling with word retrieval. He also has periods of glazed disorientations – brief – where he looks like he’s trying to remember what’s going on. Happened in an interview Sunday morning. These will get worse. He is getting names of people confused – even his wife’s – calling another person her name when she’s standing right there. The party is cruel doing this.
            Let Biden go – give Harris the front spot and let her pick a VP. A better chance to grab more people.
            We’ve got 2 older millionaires running. So little changes.
            I laughed about the report a day or two ago when Russia threat showed up again. Battle of the super powers? China is suppose to be helping Biden. Can it get any better? (anyone but Pelosi). Can’t the voters get a breaK? Come on. Let Kamela run. She can do it without Biden

        3. The headlines are unavoidable (I follow a number of different sources) but I don’t watch a lot of politics in depth. Nor civil unrest. It’s all so damn depressing. Watching more of it doesn’t help, and there’s not really much I can do about it except hide from Covid and vote in November.

          1. ditto
            Even the headline get barely a glance. Too disheartening.
            Honestly this is hurricane season and we have immediate things/people that need attention
            I’ve tried to catch actual interviews with candidates Just to get a heads up on how it -either one- will effect us, but the regular news – even the “sports” segments? UH, no thanks
            Voting starts in many places/states before the debates. I think we are on track for Oct early voting
            Wake me when it’s done HAHA

        4. No mail concern in my neighborhood. We have those community boxes, big banks of locked mailboxes, every block or two. I often get annoyed that I have to go so far (a long block, up hill) to get my mail, but at least I know it’s safe. (Usually I wait until I happen to be driving by, maybe every 10 days or so.) I think I’d be concerned if I still had a mailbox like in OKC, either on my front porch or out by the street. Neither one locked.

          1. We have mailbox banks here.
            (Great if the mail person manages to get the mail into the correct slot…another long story covering months…the whole block used to meet at 6 PM at the boxes so we could all switch mail that was incorrectly “delivered” It was not the happy hour we really wanted. Went on forever – and you’d love the stories of encounters with that mail person.)
            We used to live near where that story was from. One reason we moved – that post office was full of thieves and there were so many drive up and steal out of boxes thefts. HOA had to let people put in mail boxes with narrow slots and locked compartments.
            What is wrong with people?

        5. Oh that really is bad. Having to meet to exchange mail! I usually check mine while I’m at the box and if I find something that isn’t mine, I just stick it in the outgoing mail slot. It only happens a few times a year.

... and that's my two cents