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Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Election Day tidbits

While we’re waiting

By Will Collette

Early voting has ended and the main event begins with heavy turn-out across the state and the nation in this critically important election. While we wait for the polls to close and the vote counts to be announced, today and for several days to come, here are some items that might interest you.

Charlestown in the Top Three

According to a Ted Nesi tweet, Charlestown placed third, behind Jamestown and Barrington, for the highest percentage of early and mail-in voters.

By Election Day, our total active, registered voter count reached 6,393, up 300 from a month ago. Of those, 3,825. That’s 50% of all possible voters and just short of the total number of votes cast in 2016.

Of those Charlestown residents who received mail-in ballots, 89% of them used them to vote. That leaves 159 mail-in ballots that have not (as yet) been cast. If you are one of them, DO NOT DROP IT IN THE MAIL – bring it to the drop box outside Town Hall. It MUST be received today.

Your vote is especially important in Charlestown’s municipal office races and, north of One in the effort by Jennifer Douglas to unseat right-wing nut Elaine Morgan as Senator, District 34.

Trump’s Army of Poll Harassers fails to materialize

Donald Trump called for his yahoo supporters to show up at the polls and actually go inside to “watch and stop” all the corruption. Such conduct is actually totally illegal in just about every jurisdiction in the country, but Trump scarcely gives a shit about the law.

The Republican Party actually attempted to recruit 50,000 die-hard supporters to do this work on and before election day. The Rhode Island GOP was part of that effort – I received several e-mails from RIGOP Chair Sue Cienki to sign up.

This fizzled. This morning, ProPublica reported that Republican poll watchers were few and far between during early voting and do not seem likely to show up in any serious numbers today. 

The reason given: boredom. It’s too boring for short attention span Trumpniks to actually spend time doing something that doesn’t involve yelling or breaking things.

Armed Militias

If we are going to have any serious post-election trouble, it’s likely to start with far-right armed private militias, either on their own initiative or called to action by Donald Trump.

Did you know that private armed militias are illegal in all 50 states? Though most of these radical groups claim they have explicit permission to organize armed groups under the Second Amendment to the Constitution, that’s not what the Second Amendment says when it speaks of a “Well-Regulated Militia.”

Only the state National Guard or other state-sanctioned and supervised groups have Second Amendment standing – not the Oathkeepers, III Percenters, Proud Boys, KKK, etc. Not armed “patriot” groups.

Read this interesting 2-page fact sheet from the Georgetown University Law School on the legal status of private militias in Rhode Island (CLICK HERE).

Here is the most important section:

Now can someone explain this to our militia-loving local legislators: Rep. Blake "Flip" Filippi (R-who knows), Rep. Justin Price (R-Richmond) and Sen. Elaine Morgan (R-Hopkinton)?