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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#20121 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2022-July-13, 09:52

The great thing about the committee hearings is that the members fully understand the subject matter. Compare them to past hearings on things like social media, where they needed Twitter's business model explained to them. But democracy is the bread and butter of Congressmen (even when they're not achieving it, they know how it should work), and they can tell when someone is trying to subvert it.

#20122 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2022-July-13, 10:39

View Postbarmar, on 2022-July-13, 09:52, said:

But democracy is the bread and butter of Congressmen (even when they're not achieving it, they know how it should work), and they can tell when someone is trying to subvert it.

While this might be true of the committee members, it does not appear to be the case for the majority of the GOP caucus.
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#20123 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2022-July-13, 13:21

View PostGilithin, on 2022-July-13, 10:39, said:

While this might be true of the committee members, it does not appear to be the case for the majority of the GOP caucus.

I strongly disagree. I suspect that all but a fringe group (mtg and boebert come to mind) do understand how democracy should work, but they either disapprove of democracy (too many uppity poor people or gays or liberals get to vote) or they put avoidance of losing their seats if they speak out in support of the committee ahead of any sense of obligation to their country or their oath (not that many self-professed Christians ever seem to take oaths seriously if upholding it seems even slightly inconvenient).
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#20124 User is online   pilowsky 

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Posted 2022-July-13, 17:56

It's a very unusual politician that would allow anything to stand in the way of being (re-)elected.
The debate about abortion is a good example.

In Australia rabid anti-abortionists number about 10% of the population most lower house elections are decided by a much smaller margin.
But this particular group will vote en bloc on this single issue.

It seems that in the USA [guns|abortion|money] will galvanise millions.
And yet, in the USA the largest number of voters don't.

Even in 2020, "I didn't vote" scored higher than any individual presidential candidate.
Why is this?
This apathy about elections and a general sense that their vote is meaningless suggests a bred in the bone sense of hopelessness and a lack of social cohesion.
The fervent opposition to supporting a meaningful standard of living for all is present on both sides of the aisle in the USA.

Reading this forum I get a sense that Bridge is all about money in the USA (true for all sports) and has little to do with leisure and meeting friends.
Michael Lewis' book 'Moneyball' captures this attitude perfectly: when leisure is solely about making money a society loses its soul.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek.
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#20125 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-July-14, 04:05

Caitlin Byrd at Charleston said:

https://www.postandc...706980886b.html

The debate over whether U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham must testify in Georgia next month as part of an investigation into possible criminal interference in the 2020 elections will now head to a federal courtroom in Greenville.

South Carolina U.S. District Judge Henry Herlong on July 13 issued an order staying the execution of the subpoena for Graham, a South Carolina Republican who is one many figures from Trump’s inner circle who have been asked to testify before a special grand jury in Fulton County, Ga.

The judge has scheduled a hearing on the motion for July 20.

The legal action came after Graham’s attorneys argued in federal court filings that Graham should not have to comply with the subpoena issued last week by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.

Graham, who remains one of former President Donald Trump’s closest Republican allies in the Senate, is being asked to testify about at least two phone conversations he had with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Raffensperger’s staff in the days after the 2020 presidential election.

In her subpoena, Willis said she sought Graham’s testimony as part of an investigation into what she alleges is a “multi-state, coordinated plan by the Trump Campaign to influence the results of the November 2020 election in Georgia and elsewhere.”

After Graham and his legal team said they would fight the subpoena, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney issued a ruling that ordered Graham to testify on Aug. 2, describing him as a “necessary and material witness” to the grand jury probe.
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But Graham’s attorneys argue in their July 12 filings that their high-profile client should not have to testify, largely because of the unique legal privileges afforded to Graham as a member of the Senate.

The legal argument, which was outlined in a 13-page document filed in Graham’s home state of South Carolina, cites the obscure “speech and debate” clause in the U.S. Constitution that grants elected officials some degree of legal immunity.

That clause states that in all cases “except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace,” senators and representatives “shall not be questioned” outside of Congress “for any Speech or Debate in either House.”

According to Graham and his attorneys, those protections are absolute.

“What I’m trying to do is do my day job,” Graham said in a July 12 interview on Fox News Radio. “If we open up county prosecutors being able to call every member of the Senate based on some investigation they think is good for the country, we’ll ruin the place.”

Laurence Tribe, a professor of constitutional law at Harvard Law School, said the clause specifically grants members of Congress special privileges. It allows senators and representatives to not be subpoenaed or investigated by outsiders with respect to their official functions, such as why they voted the way they did or what they wrote in a legislative report.

“But that does not extend by any expert’s view to when a senator tries to look into an election in another state,” Tribe said in an interview with The Post and Courier. “When Lindsey Graham calls people in Georgia — even if he doesn’t do anything improper and is trying to find out about the Georgia election, or especially if he’s trying to influence it — that’s completely outside what the speech and debate clause is about.”

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#20126 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-July-14, 04:21

View Postpilowsky, on 2022-July-13, 17:56, said:

Reading this forum I get a sense that Bridge is all about money in the USA (true for all sports) and has little to do with leisure and meeting friends.

Michael Lewis' book 'Moneyball' captures this attitude perfectly: when leisure is solely about making money a society loses its soul.

'Moneyball' ends with Billy Beane turning down Boston's offer of $12+ million, so perhaps there is a case for optimism?
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#20127 User is online   pilowsky 

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Posted 2022-July-14, 05:59

View Posty66, on 2022-July-14, 04:21, said:

'Moneyball' ends with Billy Beane turning down Boston's offer of $12+ million, so perhaps there is a case for optimism?


Seriously? That's what you took away from that book?



non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek.
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#20128 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-July-14, 08:02

Hoping not to sound like a raving maniac, is there any likelihood that certiorari was granted in Moore v Harper for the sole reason to give the insurrectionists some degree of legitimacy?
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#20129 User is offline   Evies Dad 

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Posted 2022-July-14, 11:40

View Postpilowsky, on 2022-July-13, 17:56, said:

Reading this forum I get a sense that Bridge is all about money in the USA (true for all sports) and has little to do with leisure and meeting friends.
Michael Lewis' book 'Moneyball' captures this attitude perfectly: when leisure is solely about making money a society loses its soul.

I thought it was a book about about trying to take on the might of Baseball tradition and doctrine.
Yes, it was a small market team where this opera was played out, but that was largely incidental to the point of the story.
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#20130 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-July-15, 08:39

Jonathan Bernstein at Bloomberg said:

https://www.bloomber...author_18529680

As former President Donald Trump moves toward formally announcing his 2024 candidacy for another term in the White House, it’s becoming more and more obvious that he should be prosecuted for his attempts to overturn the 2020 election.

This isn’t something that should be undertaken lightly. Attempting to imprison a former president — especially one who is a leading candidate for the presidential nomination of his party — is something that should be reserved for the gravest circumstances. People will say that the rule of law requires presidents to be prosecuted just as any other citizen would be, but it really is more complicated than that.

The Justice Department says that it investigates crimes, not people, and that’s the way it should be. Nobody should want the Justice Department to be turned against the leaders of out-parties for offenses that would never have been charged against anyone else. The justice system depends on prosecutors using their discretion properly, so that the immense power of the government isn’t used to hound people over trivial or technical details, and that really needs to apply even more to political leaders — especially from the party that does not control the White House.

That’s why it’s so awful that Trump encourages chants to “lock up” his political opponents.

I’m also only somewhat impressed by arguments about deterring future presidents from committing crimes. It’s not clear to me that the possibility of prosecution and imprisonment would ever be the main thing keeping presidents from breaking the law. Political consequences are paramount to most presidents, who have spent most of their lives trying to reach the White House. Trump may not care that he was impeached twice and provoked the first-ever same-party conviction votes in the Senate, but if so he’s probably unique among presidents in that way. I suspect that Richard Nixon cared more that he was driven out of the presidency and politically humiliated than he would have been about a prison term.

And yet …

Trump didn’t commit ordinary crimes (well, he probably did, and that weighs on all of this too, but it’s not the main thing). He attempted to overturn an election that he had lost, and used the presidency to do so. That’s become clearer and clearer as the House committee investigating the assault on the US Capitol of Jan. 6, 2021 has presented its case.

Experts seem to believe that the evidence is there and that conviction is likely for Trump’s efforts to pressure election officials to falsify results, to gin up slates of fake electors and to provoke the Capitol mob. And it’s highly relevant that Trump to this day, long after the election, continues to try to overturn the legitimate result. Prosecutors should take it into account if a person constantly takes to the biggest stages and in effect brags about his crimes and promises to commit them again if he has the chance.

The possibility that Trump supporters would respond to an indictment with violence or political sabotage should not constrain prosecutors. It’s one thing to work hard to preserve the ideal of equal justice under the law. It’s another to be cowed by extra-constitutional threats.

There’s a fair argument that the proper venue for all of this was Congress, and that impeachment, conviction and disqualification from holding further office would have been sufficient. But whether it’s correct or not, that ship has sailed.

If all of this sounds as if the ultimate decision by the Justice Department will be political in nature … well, that’s correct. Prosecutors have to balance the threat to the nation from indicting a former president against the threat to the nation of not doing so. Given the facts we’ve seen, it’s just not that hard a choice. Trump’s crimes are too important, and too dangerous, to ignore.

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#20131 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-July-15, 09:10

Heather Cox Richardson said:

Thursday July 14

Department of Homeland Security Inspector General Joseph Cuffari, a Trump appointee, yesterday sent a surprising letter to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and its House counterpart. The letter said that the Department of Homeland Security had notified Cuffari’s office that “many U.S. Secret Service (USSS) text messages, from January 5 and 6, 2021, were erased as part of a device-replacement program. The USSS erased those text messages after OIG [Office of Inspector General] requested records of electronic communications from the USSS, as part of our evaluation of events at the Capitol on January 6.” Further, the letter said, DHS personnel had repeatedly refused to produce records without first showing them to attorneys, which had created long delays and confusion over “whether all records had been produced.”

In other words, an inspector general thought the Secret Service had deleted texts from agents on January 5 and 6 after being instructed to produce them. Representative Bennie Thompson (D-MS) chairs both the House Homeland Security committee and the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol. Cuffari’s letter sent the information about deleted texts directly to the top.

The Secret Service immediately responded that “the insinuation that the Secret Service maliciously deleted text messages following a request is false. In fact, the Secret Service has been fully cooperating with the OIG in every respect—whether it be interviews, documents, emails, or texts.”

But this information raises questions about the role of Secret Service members in the events of January 6. Trump blurred the lines between the Secret Service and the presidency when he appointed Secret Service assistant director Anthony Ornato his deputy chief of staff in December 2019. We know Vice President Mike Pence refused to get into a car driven by a Secret Service agent on January 6, apparently concerned that the driver might not follow his instruction, and that President-elect Biden had to be assigned a new Secret Service team out of concerns that the presidential detail was allied with Trump. And last week, the Trump-appointed director of the Secret Service, James Murray, resigned.

The only good news here for Republicans is that the outrage over these deleted (or lost) texts has distracted from the firestorm over the 10-year-old child from Ohio forced to travel to Indiana for an abortion after being raped. That story, reported by the doctor who performed the abortion, was picked up by national news and by President Joe Biden, who asked people to “imagine being that little girl” in a speech about abortion rights.

Ohio’s attorney general Dave Yost told the Fox News Channel that he doubted the story because he had not heard that there had been any report of a rape, although as journalist Magdi Semrau noted on Twitter, sexual assault, especially sexual assault of a child, is rarely reported. Yost later said “there is not a damn scintilla of evidence” that such a thing happened. Right-wing media immediately began to assert that the story was false, and the Indiana attorney general, Todd Rokita, went further, telling Fox News Channel host Jesse Watters that his office would investigate the doctor who provided abortion care to the child, suggesting she had not filed a report on the case as legally required.

Today, law enforcement officers in Columbus, Ohio, arrested a 27-year-old man who confessed to raping the child. In addition, Politico found the required report filed correctly. A lawyer for the doctor released a statement saying the doctor “took every appropriate and proper action in accordance with the law and both her medical and ethical training as a physician. She followed all relevant policies, procedures, and regulations in this case, just as she does every day to provide the best possible care for her patients. She has not violated any law, including patient privacy laws, and she has not been disciplined by her employer. We are considering legal action against those who have smeared my client.”

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#20132 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-July-15, 09:25

Quote

Given the facts we've seen, it's just not that hard a choice. Trump's crimes are too important, and too dangerous, to ignore.


Let's not forget Steve Bannon, either.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#20133 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-July-15, 09:31

A new campaign motto for Joe Manchin: The best Republican Democratic donors can buy.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#20134 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-July-15, 15:00

View Postmycroft, on 2022-July-11, 12:28, said:

This assumes that Joe Manchin will work in good faith with the Democrats. Or knows how to.

Of course, it also assumes that the Democrats know how to understand English when it is spoken by anyone. Or can recognize the second (thousandth) time someone tries to pull the wool over their eyes.

Seriously, I can't tell if they're terminally naïve, literally incapable of learning from experience, or just assuming the public is. Or, literally don't care as long as their life isn't affected, I guess.

I concede that Manchin has not been working in good faith with fellow Dems. I understand why he refuses to support a lot of stuff Dems want. I don't understand why he won't say upfront what he will and won't support when the stakes are so high except as a cynical ploy to gain leverage for the next round.
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#20135 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-July-15, 19:19

View Posty66, on 2022-July-15, 15:00, said:

I concede that Manchin has not been working in good faith with fellow Dems. I understand why he refuses to support a lot of stuff Dems want. I don't understand why he won't say upfront what he will and won't support when the stakes are so high except as a cynical ploy to gain leverage for the next round.

Until he gets more details he doesn’t know who to squeeze for “contributions”.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#20136 User is online   pilowsky 

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Posted 2022-July-16, 04:55

Our World In Data have just released a Data Explorer showing the development of electoral democracy on a scale of 0-1 around the world.
From none 200 years ago (apparently) to much more now.
In 1900 AUstralia and New Zealand were the only two.
Canada and others in 1928.
The USA in 1966/7 - but oscillates a bit from there.

The definition of democracy is unsurprisingly open to interpretation.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek.
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#20137 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-July-18, 07:37

We vote tomorrow in Maryland and I thought I would give my fwiw thoughts. Here is from the NYT
https://www.nytimes....-wes-moore.html

Quote

Tuesday's primary elections for Maryland governor come at a moment when Democrats are jittery, unsure of the future and perhaps willing to bet on a flashy, unproven commodity.

That could be a real problem for Tom Perez.

As he did in early 2017, when he won a contest among party insiders at the dawn of the Trump era to become chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Mr. Perez is pitching himself as the safe establishment choice.

But polling in the Democratic race for governor shows a dead heat between Mr. Perez and Wes Moore, a best-selling author, television show host and nonprofit executive who has been endorsed by Oprah Winfrey. Peter Franchot, the state comptroller and a fixture of Maryland politics since the 1980s, is close behind.



I probably surprise no one by saying the safe establishment choice of Tom Perez will get my vote. Some friends and I were chatting at lunch Saturday and their choices were varied.


Also from the NYT:

Quote


Republicans will choose between Kelly Schulz, a former cabinet secretary for the departing Gov. Larry Hogan, who is term-limited, and Dan Cox, a first-term state delegate who has been endorsed by former President Donald J. Trump and who wrote on Twitter during the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol that Vice President Mike Pence was a traitor.




I am very much hoping that Kelly Schulz wins that race. It is usually described s close. There was a story a while back, I think in WaPo, that there is some Dem effort to help Cox since he should be easy to beat in the general election. A video was available shown with the Dems denouncing Cox by saying he was supported by Trump and that Cox supported gun rights, the thought was that this sort of "denunciation" was designed to encourage right-wing support from Cox. The Dem response was that of curse they were doing no such thing they just wanted to get an early start on campaigning against Cox. Perhaps so. But Larry Hogan, a Republican, is finishing his second term as governor in 'deep blue" Maryland. Many Dems, including me, voted for Hogan and would consider voting for Schulz. I can see why the Dems might be far more worried about Schultz than about Cox. I would very much like to see a fall contest between two strong candidates, one D, one R. No jerks, no idiots.

I still have to figure out who to vote for to be on the school board. This used to be easier. But I will manage.

And I have been "re-districted". I'll cope.
Ken
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#20138 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-July-18, 17:29

View Postkenberg, on 2022-July-18, 07:37, said:

We vote tomorrow in Maryland and I thought I would give my fwiw thoughts. Here is from the NYT
https://www.nytimes....-wes-moore.html

[/size][/font]

I probably surprise no one by saying the safe establishment choice of Tom Perez will get my vote. Some friends and I were chatting at lunch Saturday and their choices were varied.


Also from the NYT:

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I am very much hoping that Kelly Schulz wins that race. It is usually described s close. There was a story a while back, I think in WaPo, that there is some Dem effort to help Cox since he should be easy to beat in the general election. A video was available shown with the Dems denouncing Cox by saying he was supported by Trump and that Cox supported gun rights, the thought was that this sort of "denunciation" was designed to encourage right-wing support from Cox. The Dem response was that of curse they were doing no such thing they just wanted to get an early start on campaigning against Cox. Perhaps so. But Larry Hogan, a Republican, is finishing his second term as governor in 'deep blue" Maryland. Many Dems, including me, voted for Hogan and would consider voting for Schulz. I can see why the Dems might be far more worried about Schultz than about Cox. I would very much like to see a fall contest between two strong candidates, one D, one R. No jerks, no idiots.

I still have to figure out who to vote for to be on the school board. This used to be easier. But I will manage.

And I have been "re-districted". I'll cope.


In normal times I would have no quibble with a crossover vote to a Republican candidate; these are not normal times. The dangers are real and significant and must be crushed.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#20139 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-July-19, 07:00

It occurs to me that nothing happens in a political vacuum, meaning Trump did not create Trump supporters; demagogues like Trump offer a justification only, and the supporters in their minds are vindicated of their suppressed grudges and emotions. In other words, the support is a visceral expression of resentment for society forcing constraint on unacceptable beliefs.

Meaning, these are normal times exposed as normally constrained.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#20140 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-July-19, 07:09

View PostWinstonm, on 2022-July-18, 17:29, said:

In normal times I would have no quibble with a crossover vote to a Republican candidate; these are not normal times. The dangers are real and significant and must be crushed.


As strategy, one could argue in the other direction: I would very much like to see the R party return to normal, so voting for a good R candidate might encourage movement n the desired direction. But really, my voting is rarely if ever strategic. I usually vote D, but if I think the R candidate is clearly preferable then I vote for the R candidate. I think many people, including all of those at the lunch I mentioned, follow this general approach. Again speaking strategically, it could be a warning to D strategists not to take us for granted. But I keep it simple, I vote based on preference, not on strategy.

I still have to review the school board candidates. In my childhood my mother's view was that the schools should teach me to read, she would teach me how to behave. I still see it roughly that way. Quadratic equations and iambic tetrameter are for the school, behavioral guidelines are for the home. That oversimplifies, but it reflects my general approach. And, I think, the approach of many. Teachers have plenty to do just getting the academic stuff done. Anyway, I need to go read some stuff, the school board is now very important.

Added: Ok, we got it done. It was very quick. We voted and then went thru Burger King for a Whopper and got back home in not much more than half an hour. They are saying there was a lot of confusion, first there was redistricting, then a court challenge to redistricting, and that took a while so the primary day got re-scheduled etc. Anyway, more workers and more machines than there were voters so in and out. Vote totals might be low. Now we wait to see if we are outliers or mainliners. It's expected to take a few days because of mail-ins. Becky had a pleasant chat with a woman handing our R flyers. Plenty of time.
Ken
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