So far, so okay

The election of Biden and Harris was a relief, but I didn’t feel jubilant as many did. I was exhausted of course, from four years of bullshit, and worn out by days of waiting for the election to be called. But more than that I did not trust the situation. I felt sure that Trump would try to beat his way out of this somehow, even though it seems unlikely he can. I was right.

So here we are, happy to have won the election, but also watching Trump thrash about and refuse to acknowledge reality. His enablers in Congress are doing their enabling thing, as they put our democracy in danger and pretend there is doubt about the outcome of the election even though there is not. It’s a dangerous situation, and an embarrassment for the entire country, but it can be survived. I hope. We shall see.

In the meantime we have one huge task before us, an important one. And that is the runoff vote for two Senate seats in Georgia which will take place on Jan. 5, 2021, before the next Congressional session begins. It’s possible that we could bring the Senate to a 50-50 tie, where VP Kamala Harris would be able to vote for the majority. And on her vote would balance the entire Biden/Harris agenda for the next two years. So as I say, it’s important.

The two Democrats to back are Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff. Rev. Warnock is running neck and neck with the currently appointed Senator Loeffler, while Mr. Ossoff is running a bit behind current Senator Purdue. Everything is going to depend on turnout.

Luckily for all of us, Fair Fight, the organization founded by Stacey Abrams to fight for fair elections in Georgia, is already involved in fundraising and get-out-the-vote work for this special election. You can donate to either candidate through the websites linked above, or use Fair Fight’s ActBlue link which collects donations for both.

If you have some extra time to spend, check out the grassroots organizations I linked in my earlier post. I know Vote Forward is planning another letter-writing campaign, and I suspect a lot of the others will get involved as well.

If you are a voter in Georgia, or if you know some, remember that election day is January 5. You can already request an absentee ballot now. You can register to vote through December 7. And in-person early voting starts December 14.

Let’s keep ourselves useful and work on this final piece of the 2020 elections, even as we watch warily to see what new shit Trump is going to pull every day. Trust me, he will pull shit. We still have to keep our eyes on the task at hand.

Let’s keep hoping that we’ll soon see a happy finish to this election cycle, and let’s keep working to make it so.

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It’s official…

I endorse Joe Biden! And so do all these politicians, including many of my most admired like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

Not that I expect to swing a lot of votes here. But Mr. J and I turned our ballots in today at an official Colorado dropbox (the local library). And on Saturday we will mail out our letters for the Big Send, trying to get voters to the polls in swing states.

And then we wait, along with everyone else who has already voted, to see what our country decides to become.

At least from Oct. 23-25 we can distract ourselves by attending the virtual version of MileHiCon that is still going on this year. Thanks to everyone who will work so we can have that pleasure at least.

Do take care of yourself in this terrible waiting time. I don’t know how you’re doing, but I am pretty stressed, and trying to stay relaxed as I can. I will be on Twitter regularly, and back on the blog once we reach the other side.

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If you run into armed groups at the polls…

Georgetown Law has a division called the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection, and they have put together information for all 50 states concerning unauthorized militias. Since Trump has threatened the election and the country by calling out armed vigilantes, it’s possible you could run into some of these people when you vote in-person.

Addressing the rise of unlawful private paramilitaries

ICAP has created fact sheets for all 50 states explaining the laws barring unauthorized private militia groups and what to do if groups of armed individuals are near a polling place or voter registration drive. Select a state from the menu below to view the corresponding fact sheet.

They also offer advice on what to do if you encounter intimidation at your polling place (.PDF document).

Be aware. Stay informed.

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Plan Your Vote

Listen to Stacey Abrams:

As I write this, there are barely 50 days until Nov. 3. Now is the time to figure out how to vote in your state, and what your best and easiest voting options are. It’s time to make your plan to vote.

First, register if you haven’t yet! And even if you believe you’re registered, check to see that you still are. Many states have been purging voters through questionable means and that could be you.

Then check your state regulations to see if you can vote by mail or otherwise vote early. You may need to request a ballot and that can take time to reach you. Voting early means your vote is safely received before election day and can be counted promptly. If you want to be sure your early vote gets counted, check for drop boxes or state offices where you can deposit your ballot directly.

And if you’re going to vote on election day, make sure you know where you can legally vote. Again, many states have closed or changed polling locations this year and you don’t want to waste time running around on the day itself!

If you aren’t sure about the laws in your state or where to find information, here are some sites that can help:

From the DNC, I Will Vote can help you register or check your registration.

From NBC News, Plan Your Vote helps you find the best ways to vote in your state.

The news site Slate offers a 2020 Voting Guide.

The Washington Post has a 2020 Voting Guide too.

You can do it all at once via the Voter Participation Center or through their partner, the Center for Voter Information.

Want to do more? If you have some time and energy, you can do extra volunteer work. Here are some resources to get you started.

You can compile “Get Out the Vote” letters to targeted districts with Vote Forward.

Write or call voters, get tips and training at The Last Weekends.

Good handwriting skills will help you send Postcards to Voters, again to targeted districts.

For activities focused on Senate races, check in with How We Flip the Senate.

Like to text? Volunteer with the Texting Troops at Open Progress. Texting provides direct voter to voter contact.

Available on election day? Sign up to make sure every voter gets a chance to vote and every vote is counted, with Protect the Vote.

Help with the election and get paid for your work! This year in particular, because of the pandemic, many states are having a hard time finding poll workers. Find out more at Power the Polls.

Extra credit for those of us who are complete election junkies: follow along with Daniel Nichanian’s site (he’s Taniel on DailyKos), What’s on the ballot?, as he tracks hundreds of down-ballot state and local elections and referendums. The DailyKos Elections Team also publishes election information regularly.

The time is now. We have to get it done this year. This is the election of our lifetime. Please do your share.

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Rovers on Mars

Tomorrow NASA will launch a new Rover to Mars, at 7 a.m. Eastern time. This one is named Perseverance, and it’s much like Curiosity, although it does have its own drone to fly around. The launch will stream live, if you’re up that early. I’m gonna try to be.

I love the Rovers. I actually joined Twitter so that I could follow Spirit and Opportunity back in the day. And to remind you of the wonders of Mars, here’s a high-def video of all the things we’ve seen through the Rovers on our neighboring planet.

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