Let us start counting votes early

With the number of mail-in ballots submitted this year expected to amount to more than double those sent in 2016, and with elections offices and voting locations especially understaffed—all due to the COVID-19 pandemic—it’s highly probable that we won’t know for certain whether Donald Trump or Joe Biden has won the election until several days after ballots are due.

Absentee ballots will keep flowing in after Election Day. Almost one-third of the United States merely require mail-in ballots to be postmarked, rather than received, by Election Day, and a handful more require postmarks from just one day prior to Election Day.

This year up to 80 million Americans will be voting by mail, and USPS slowdowns are making it very possible that even ballots postmarked and sent back well in advance won’t be counted until Nov. 3 or later.

Some states can’t start processing ballots until Election Day. Many states are expecting record-setting numbers of absentee ballots this year, so if poll workers can’t start processing them as they flood in, there will inevitably be a huge backlog of mailed ballots that will take several days after Nov. 3 to tally.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, in about 20 percent of states, including Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, mailed ballots cannot begin to be processed until Election Day, and in some cases not until the physical polls have closed. The majority of states aren’t allowed to actually begin tabulating mailed-in votes until Election Day, even if they can start the processing and verification process well in advance.

According to the University of Florida’s U.S. Elections Project, with only about one week left to go until Election Day, more than 61 million Americans have already cast their ballots via mail-in or early voting, with registered Democrats nearly doubling Republicans.

As these numbers only continue to grow, there will surely be plenty of headlines touting what appears to be an early lead for Joe Biden. Keep in mind there is a well-documented party divide when it comes to early voting, with Trump supporters expressing a significantly higher preference for in-person voting and more distrust in mail-in voting than Biden supporters, according to a recent Pew Research Center poll. That means the election will probably seem to be swinging back and forth between the two candidates for a while before a winner is announced—first leaning toward Biden with early voting numbers, then toward Trump with the first in-person numbers, and then the process goes crazy as in-person polls close and mailed votes are officially tabulated.

One internet news source reports the outcome could take as many as 36 days after Election Day to determine.

Here in Franklin where I live there has been an increase in registered voters of 2,492 between August 19 (the day after the August Partisan Primary and October 25. In-person absentee voting started last Tuesday, October 20, 2020, in Franklin. In a four-day period 2,467 voters appeared in person.  In addition to the in-person voters, Franklin has processed applications of 11,215 voters who requested to have their ballots mailed to them, of which 2,401 have not yet been returned.  In-person absentee voting will continue through Friday, October 30, from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, and voters can still request that an absentee ballot be mailed to them through Thursday, October 29 with indefinitely confined voters and military voters allowed to request they be mailed through October 30.

It would seem to make sense that Franklin and other areas of the country should be allowed to begin counting votes NOW.

Mail in ballots are problematic.  The process essentially works like this. A clerk takes an envelope from a bin. It’s checked to see if it was signed by the voter, if it was witnessed, and if the witness signed and gave his/her address. The voter is checked against a list for prior vote(s).A barcode on the envelope is checked. Then the ballot is run into the machine. This takes about three (3) minutes a ballot. That’s a lot of time depending on how many machines you’ve got.

Consider this.  If the clerks could merely put the ballot into a poll machine when it came in (or a voter who was voting absentee in person shoved it in like they usually want to do, the city would ultimately be far ahead of the game.

It’s rare I concur with a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial, but I do this time. The newspaper writes:

Wisconsin should let clerks get a head start on counting at least some absentee ballots, a change in the law that clerks from both parties have wanted for years.

It makes sense to let clerks start counting early. The vast majority of ballots are likely to be received by Election Day, and it would be in the best interest of our democracy to have the most complete results possible on election night, which is what people have come to expect.

Wisconsin’s clerks have pushed for a change in state law that would allow them to open and place ballots into tabulator machines as they arrive in the mail. The tally would not be counted or disclosed until Election Day. Wisconsin law now requires them to wait until Election Day to begin counting.

Wisconsin legislators have debated the issue but haven’t acted. Long delays in counting ballots can fuel partisan emotions, give the combatants an excuse to challenge the results, and cause voters to question them.

We need to give clerks of both parties what they are asking for. They run our elections; let’s listen to them. Allow them to count ballots early.

Whining from Franklin teachers needs to be overlooked in favor of the kids

During my lengthy career I’ve done a ton of public relations (PR) work. A ton.

There is no question in mind that the profession that does the absolute worst job of PR are the teachers. They are their worst enemies. The more they pout, the more they lose public support.

Tough job, naturally. But they lose major points thanks to their constant whining and moaning and groaning and woe is me campaign.

Sorry. When it comes to tough jobs you’re not even in the Top 25. No, those spots are reserved for the military, police fire, surgeons, nurses, EMTs, airplane pilots, taxi drivers, construction worker, truck driver, corrections officer.

According to this assessment, teachers need to get in line to complain.

So now teachers in Franklin are doing what teachers (not all) from a PR perspective do their worst: cry.

My 11-year old daughter Kyla attends Forest Park Middle School. She absolutely loves it and ALL of her teachers.

On October 16 in a newsletter to Franklin school parents District  Administrator Judy Mueller wrote:

I want to take this opportunity to share some updated details and information with you about how our metrics around COVID-19 will look for this week. As you recall from the August 25th release of our Metrics & Transition plan one of our four trigger points we monitor on our dashboard was defined as “a significant community outbreak is occurring or has recently occurred, and is impacting multiple staff, students, and families within the community.” On our weekly dashboard, this is represented by the Community Burden Rate. Generally speaking, burden rate reflects the level of disease spread within the community. The higher the burden rate, the higher the level of disease prevalence. You’ll see for the first time since we have published our dashboard that the Franklin Community Burden Rate has increased to
red.

While the burden rate for the Franklin community is red, we have made the decision not to close schools at this time. At present, the increase in community numbers has yet to directly impact our schools. We continue to see low rates of cases in our schools and we are continuing to safely manage those cases and close contacts.

That said, if community spread continues, it will impact our schools. For that reason, Courtney Day, the Director of Health and Human Services for Franklin, and I have drafted this joint release that we ask you to please read.

Personally I am extremely grateful to the school district for doing all they can to keep schools open. I am confident in their judgment. I ask school officials not to give in to the bunch that I’ve been told, not just from Franklin but other districts, that a lot of teachers (again, not all) want to wake up, wander over to their computers in their jammies, and teach from there.

Today’s highly interesting read (10/27/20): False History Taught in Schools Incites Children to Hate America

Trump pushes racial division, flouts virus rules at Rushmore

On July 3, in a speech at Mount Rushmore, President Trump said, “our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children.”

He added, “in our schools, our newsrooms, even our corporate boardrooms, there is a new far-left fascism that demands absolute allegiance. The violent mayhem we have seen in the streets and cities that are run by liberal Democrats in every case is the predictable result of years of extreme indoctrination and bias in education, journalism and other cultural institutions. Against every law of society and nature, our children are taught in school to hate their own country and to believe that the men and women who built it were not heroes, but that they were villains. The radical view of American history is a web of lies — all perspective is removed, every virtue is obscured, every motive is twisted, every fact is distorted and every flaw is magnified until the history is purged and the record is disfigured beyond all recognition.”

The president reiterated his view at a rally in West Salem, Wisconsin today (Tuesday).

Today’s read is from Ella Kietlinska of the Epoch Times who writes:

“He (Trump) hit the nail right smack on the head. That’s what I’ve been arguing for years,” said (Alex) Newman, co-author of the book “Crimes of the Educators: How Utopians are Using Government Schools to Destroy America’s Children.”

“Now, when I say [what’s been taught is] a complete and total reversal of reality, that’s what I mean. It’s not hyperbole, that’s not exaggeration.”

He said what defines American people as Americans are principles enshrined in the country’s founding document, the Declaration of Independence, “that all men are created equal, and that everyone is endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights,” Newman said.

However, the history taught in schools has been replaced by a historical narrative that reverses those principles, claiming that the country’s founding principles were “slavery, oppression, racism, white supremacy,” and similar things, Newman said.

Read the entire article here.

Too many errors plague recalls of Evers and Barnes

Organizer of Tony Evers recall casts signatures claim into doubt with  social media posts | Local Government | madison.com

Back in late August I called upon recall expert Orville Seymer, a Franklin resident, to lend his insight into the launching of the recalls against Gov. Tony Evers and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes.  Seymer meticulously outlined why the timing of petition drives was highly questionable.

Now that the recalls didn’t work out Seymer is back with analysis of what went wrong. The answer is a lot.

Why Did the Evers/Barnes Recall Fail? (exclusive)
By Orville Seymer

There are many reasons why the Evers/Barnes Recall effort failed but the main reason is lack of organization.

The Recall group apparently on a whim decided to file a Recall of the Governor and Lt. Gov. Did they deserve to be Recalled? Most people would agree that the Evers/Barnes administration is possibly the most incompetent administration in Wisconsin history, so clearly they deserved to be removed from office.

The Evers/Barnes administration is exactly what the Recall provision was designed for. It is very important to understand exactly how difficult it is to gather nearly 750,000 signatures. This is where the organizers fell down and that was just their first mistake.

It is always best to get organized before actually filing the actual Recall effort. That means forming an “Exploratory Political Action Committee (PAC) which allows the group to raise some money and spend some money and get volunteers in place before the 60 day clock starts ticking. This was the second mistake.

The Recall of a Governor is a very big story, yet I’m not aware of any press releases from the Recall group to announce any type of signature gathering efforts. In my experience the media wants to cover a big story such as a Recall of the Governor. This was their third mistake.

Nearly everything the Governor and Lt. Governor do on a daily basis is subject to the Wis. Open Records laws, it is incredible what turns up in simple Open Records Requests, and in Evers’ case, he has a history of not complying with simple Open Records Requests. That in itself is a Press Release and a major media event. This was their fourth mistake and a major one at that.

Petition Security is vitally important in any Recall effort. According to the Recall Evers FaceBook page, someone was acting as a “mole” and apparently infiltrated the petition vetting process and surprise, apparently a large number of petitions disappeared. This was their fifth mistake and again, a major mistake.

A few other simple mistakes. If they would have waited a week and a half to file the Recall way back in August, they could have included the Nov. 3rd election within the 60 day time frame for gathering the signatures. This would have allowed petitioners to collect signatures at the polls on election day. Sixth mistake.

They could have also timed the original filing so that the last day or 60th day would fall on a Sat. This would have allowed an extra day to gather signatures over the final weekend and could have possibly put them over the top if needed. Seventh mistake.

Again according to their Face Book post, a large number of people did not complete the “Circulator Certification” at the bottom of every Recall petition. So they did not have a team of people sending these petitions back where they came from to complete this important step. Without the “Circulator Certification” all the names on the petition are invalid. Eighth mistake.

As I have said before at the beginning of the Recall effort, I offered my knowledge and expertise which would have minimized all of the above mistakes, all at no cost to the Recall organizers except they never took me up on my offer.

I’m sure there were other minor mistakes but the above mistakes were enough to kill the effort.

Some will say that I am speaking out of turn, so let me say this. In 2002 when we Recalled then-Milw. County Exec. Tom Ament, Mr. Ament hired some very prominent attorneys to represent him in attempting to have the entire Recall effort thrown out. It was some time after that Recall was all completed that I ran into one of Mr. Ament’s attorneys and he told me that our Recall was one of the best Recall’s they had ever seen. They could only find 2%-3% of the signatures that they thought they could challenge and there was no way that they could even begin to challenge enough signatures to have the entire effort thrown out, so Tom Ament threw in the towel.

Some will say that this Recall should not have been attempted and that they should wait until a regular election cycle. I disagree with that premise, the power of a Recall is to single out a politician in a special election. I strongly believe that Recalls are a good thing as it keeps politicians of all stripes on their toes and looking over their shoulder, so we should be making Recalls easier not harder.

Orville Seymer is one of the founding members of CRG Network and he has participated in dozens of Recalls around the State of Wisconsin including the historic Recall of Milw. County Exec. Tom Ament in 2002

The latest pro-life news (10/26/20)

THIS WEEKLY BLOG POSTED EVERY MONDAY PROMOTES A CULTURE OF LIFE

Don’t miss our closing heartwarming story every week!

PLANNED PARENTHOOD’S POSITIONS ON 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES.

‘Vanity Fair’ Warns ACB Will ‘Execute’ Women for Getting Abortions.

Priest: Silent bishops will have blood of aborted babies on their hands if Biden wins presidency.

When You Hear The Term ‘Late Abortion,’ Think Of Me And My Embree.

A new report aims to measure the impact of pro-life pregnancy centers on women’s health care in the U.S.

The latest e-newsletter from Pro-Life Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Right to Life’s Political Action Committee has announced the following endorsements for the November 3rd, 2020, General Election.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 739de1a8316117344af643dbb3d37552.png

Every year, Pro-Life Wisconsin partners with churches throughout the state and holds a Baby Bottle Campaign through our Helping Both: Pregnancy Support Program. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re moving the physical baby bottle campaign to a virtual baby bottle campaign. You can give online and help countless moms and their beautiful babies.

Crisis pregnancies happen all the time whether there is a pandemic or not but especially now, women need a supportive community to choose life for their preborn baby. The temptation of abortion is even greater in these difficult times. Sadly, many women are vulnerable in a crisis pregnancy to pursue an abortion.

We know that moms choose life because of the help that they receive from PLW’s Helping Both: Pregnancy Support Program. We work with local Pregnancy Resource Centers to save the life of the baby and heal the hearts of hurting moms. Helping Both fills the gap and changes lives.

We know that in this time, unemployment has affected families and limited their access to childcare, and education. It has stretched family resources and their ability to pay rent and/or their monthly bills. Our Helping Both Program fills the gap for families and gives the hope that moms in crisis pregnancies so desperately need. Your financial support means you are there for moms and their babies after birth too. Through the Helping Both Program, families have received food, gas, baby clothes, rent assistance, appliances, and financial assistance for their education. These are just a few of the ways this program has made a difference in the lives of pregnant moms in crisis.

Your generosity in this virtual baby bottle campaign provides the financial resources to continue supporting families in need. Please give generously today!

AND FINALLY, LOVIN’ LIFE…

Thanks for reading!

politics pro-life Memes & GIFs - Imgflip

Results of the Tony Evers recall

1) Evers is now emboldened.

2) Dems are emboldened.

3) Evers was able to raise lots of money.

4) This makes the anti-Evers crowd look bad.

5) It’s, as one recall supporter said, embarrassing.

6) Time was wasted.

7) Energy was wasted.

8) The goal is to win, not meet a whole bunch of new friends and sing Kumbaya. Goal not met.

9) Recall failed, but the best chance to get Evers out wasn’t this. It’s 2022.

10) Legit contenders to oust Evers in 2022 can now start planning, if they haven’t already.

My Most Popular Blogs (10/26/20)

Here are my most popular blogs from last week, Sunday – Saturday:

1) Today Strauss Brands responds to concerns about proposed Franklin expansion

2) MUST SEE-VIDEO: A homily that should be preached from every pulpit in America

3) Franklin’s horrible business climate remains intact after city rejects Strauss expansion

4) Today’s highly interesting read (10/21/20): The Media Don’t Want You to See the Human Side of Donald Trump

5) Best Cartoons of the Week (10/24/20)

6) Democratic Senate Candidate in Franklin Admits Harboring Racist, Homophobic Thoughts

7) Is it ever OK to hate?

8) FLASHBACK: Courageous, heroic women – Previvors

9) 2020 POO Awards – Week 5

10) The Barking Lot – America’s Finest Dog Blog (10/24/20)

Today’s highly interesting read (10/26/20): Six Reasons Why Leftists Love Masks (Hint: ‘Health’ Isn’t On The List)

Masks have been ubiquitous at protests over the death of George Floyd, symbolizing civic action in more ways than one.

Today’s read is from Scott Morefield, a reporter for The Daily Caller and a weekly columnist at Townhall.com. Here’s an excerpt, followed by a link to the entire list.

Do you ever wonder why the left primarily seems to be in love with their face diapers and quite obviously wants to wear them forever, while the right tends to either grudgingly use them or avoid them like the, er, plague?It’s pretty fair to say the vast majority of those you see trying to tell the unvarnished truth about the futility of forced masking to stop a highly contagious respiratory virus tend to be conservatives. Why is this? I’ve got some workable theories…

Read the full column here.

Culinary no-no #673

THERE ARE THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF FOOD BLOGS, BUT ONLY ONE CULINARY NO-NO!

Nothing is safe from the coronavirus in troubled 2020. That includes Halloween.

Earlier this month word got out that my extremely liberal alderwoman was working behind the scenes to either cancel or scale back trick or treating. Several people heard her talk about her plan. After being caught and exposed the alderwoman poo pooed the notion that anyone would imagine that of her.

Who would want to ruin trick or treat for children by imposing all sorts of rules that would remove all the fun? Remember, it’s 2020, and there are all kinds of fear mongers with power to be killjoys.

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel last month:

Both the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the CDC have recommended against traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating. 

The Los Angeles County health department stirred up controversy by issuing an order banning trick-or-treat as well as events like fall festivals. A day later, the department backtracked a bit, instead recommending that communities not host trick-or-treat this year.

In Wisconsin, Antigo has canceled trick-or-treat, replacing it with a scary movie drive-in event with socially distant costume contests at the Langlade county fairgrounds.

Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett has said no decisions have been made on trick-or-treating yet but that he’s working with the health commissioner on a plan.

Several southeast Wisconsin communities have trick-or-treat times listed on their websites and Facebook pages, although officials are leaving open the possibility of canceling or changing things up due to safety precautions..

Local parents are coming up with alternative ideas.

Facebook user Zeno Franco posted a poll to the Bay View Town Hall Facebook group, asking his neighbors to vote for different trick-or-treat celebration options.

As of Sept. 10, the most popular option was for families to forgo trick-or-treat, but go crazy with decorations and giving their own kids candy. Emphasizing the controversy involved, the second most popular option was to just go ahead with trick-or-treat as usual with no special precautions.

Other innovative suggestions include:

  • Kids sitting in their own yards while adults walk by throwing candy to them
  • Trick-or-treating with a contraption made of 10-foot PVC tubes, which would allow candy to be slid to the kids in a socially distant manner
  • Canceling Halloween this year in favor of two Halloweens in 2021
  • Using drones to drop candy to kids in their yards

“Innovative” the reporter writes. I say stupid.

No question Halloween will be different this year.

But why stop there?

Image may contain: text that says 'CALIFORNIA THANKSGIVING GUIDELINES FOR A COVID FRIENDLY GATHERING NO MORE THAN 3 HOUSEHOLDS TOGETHER AT ONCE GATHERINGS MUST BE HELD OUTDOORS WHILE EATING YOU MUST SIT 6 FEET APART FACE MASKS WORN UNLESS EATING GOVERNOR GAVIN NEWSOM & CDPH'

It’s true. Remember this is wacky California we’re talking about.

From USA TODAY:

The impracticality of some of the safety measures – it’s hard to fit everybody at a table 6 feet apart or to eat a meal outdoors in the late November chill – combined with pandemic fatigue and some Americans’ defiant nature will probably lead many to ignore the suggestions.

“I know there will be plenty of families who mock this kind of advice and say, ’That’s ridiculous. We’re going to get together and enjoy Thanksgiving like it’s supposed to be, and no one’s going to tell us otherwise,’” Dr. Steven Woolf, director emeritus of the Center on Society and Health at Virginia Commonwealth University  said. “That may give them a sense of independence, but then the virus gets to Grandma, and she ends up in the hospital on a ventilator, and then you live with the guilt.”

Woolf and other experts recommend that families in separate households sit at their Thanksgiving tables at the same time and connect through a video platform such as Zoom, which might give a sense of sharing the meal. If members of different households congregate inside, opening windows would at least improve ventilation and could help diffuse the virus, reducing the chances of contagion.

Columnist Rich Manieri boils down all this foolishness:

There won’t be much time for regaling your guests with post-feast storytelling, or even dessert for that matter. You need to keep it short – two hours maximum, the governor says. Then, it’s everyone out, post-haste. If you have any lingerers, do what a friend of mine does when he decides the party’s over and wants everyone to leave – start cleaning up. You can even put up the chairs. They’ll get the hint. If not – and I hate to resort to this but rules are rules – you might have to get physical. I don’t see anything wrong with hiring a bouncer for a couple of hours to clear out the riff raff.

Yes, in a state where only Nancy Pelosi can still get a rinse and a blow-out, you, the tax-paying citizens, have to celebrate Thanksgiving in the yard.

I’m not sure how California plans on enforcing what it calls “mandatory requirements for all gatherings.” Along with the obvious challenges, defunding local police departments is all the rage in Cali so good luck finding enough cops to staff a special turkey detail.

CULINARY NO-NO BONUSES

Wolf Richter, the founder of  Wolf Street Corp has released his monthly update on the recovery in cities, in terms of what people are doing and where they’re going, if anywhere, and how raw unadjusted indicators compare daily or weekly to how it was just before the pandemic. Here’s an excerpt:

Restaurants as measured by “seated diners.”

OpenTable provides daily data on “seated diners,” tracking how many people – walk-ins and those who made reservations online or by phone – actually sat down in restaurants to eat and drink, compared to the same weekday in the same week last year, based on thousands of restaurants in the US that shared this data with OpenTable. I converted daily numbers to a 7-day moving average to smoothen out the day-to-day fluctuation.

These are the types of restaurants where diners can make reservations. They exclude cafés, fast-food places, delis, and the like. Currently, into the eighth month of the Pandemic, “seated diners” are still down 41.1% from where they’d been last year at this time:

The number of restaurants that took reservations before the Pandemic and that are now taking reservations again was still down 26.5% on average over the past 30 days, compared to the same period last year. This is a rough stand-in for how many of these restaurants have re-opened – rough because some restaurants with outside-dining only have eliminated reservations as diners might not show up when it’s suddenly too cold and windy (one of our favorites in San Francisco has done that; it’s open though it no longer takes reservations):

The disconnect between the number of open restaurants being down only 26.5% from a year ago, to the number of seated diners being down 41.1% can in part be explained by reduced capacity in restaurants inside or outside.

Read more here.

‘This is going to be a long haul’: Local taverns close for the winter

Health experts say you may want rethink birthday candles on cakes during pandemic

ICYMI, Culinary no-no #672