How America's election count looks to the rest of the world

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/11/06/how-americas-election-count-looks-to-the-rest-of-the-world.html

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I don’t think that’s fair. Nobody here thinks the popular vote means anything, we’ve seen that in the last few US presidential elections. It’s just that newspapers and TV stations here don’t have to fear backlash from or cater to disgruntled Trump fans, because generally populations tend to be overwhelmingly anti Trump.

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Then

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And repeat.

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It does mean something. A big part of Dems winning this thing is realizing that once the arbitrary EC threshhold is reached, it becomes meaningless (except in terms of what Trump might accomplish legally if it’s very close) and messaging and strategy flows from the reality of the vote margin.

This fact is reflected crudely in the switch to approval rating as the media metric of choice as soon as it’s over. Trump’s overwhelming unpopularity made it very difficult for him to accomplish much, even when his party controlled congress, and that rolled on from the fact he won despite losing the popular vote.

Biden, in contrast, has some genuine popularity in his sails going into whatever fights he chooses to pick with the GOP.

One thing that might be worth making a laugh of, though, is that if Biden wraps up the rest of the outstanding states, except Alaska, I think he’ll have 1 more EC vote than Trump got in 2016.

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For a country that claims to be the world’s leading democracy, the U.S. is very bad at it.

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I just don’t want to see professional journalists from around the world, many of whom have correspondents in Washington DC and all of whom are capable of reading election analysis in the US press, being portrayed as too clueless to know the difference between the popular vote and the EC. Or in other words, these Aussies are not making fun of the counting because they don’t know why it takes so long but rather because they know and still find it bizarre.

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Braggarts are rarely actually the best at what they do

ETA: it reminds me a bit of Sean Bean’s role in Ronin

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I think I’ll change the wording a bit to make it clearer it’s understood, but also that IMO foreign journalists see past it better.

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Georgia has less population than Lombardy in Italy, or Île-de-France why they are still counting the votes, where in Italy or France after two days after the election day all the results are known?/

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Evo Morales, former president of Bolívia, suggested that in case of suspected electoral fraud, Trump should call the OAS.

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Personally, I do not count the floor of Holiday Inn hallways as “circulation”, but maybe that’s just me…

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Maybe they just need the proper tools.

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Does he though?
Several things I’ve found disheartening over the last few days, despite Biden’s apparent win, despite record numbers of Democrat-supporting voters turning out:

  • It took Trump wrecking the country and crapping on the office of President for years to produce this level of participation.
  • Despite this, far too many people still went to the polls and voted for him in vast numbers.
  • Fox and similar propaganda won’t go away once he leaves office. If anything they’ll double down on undermining Biden now that Trump isn’t there for comparison.
  • The senate still hangs in the balance.
  • While Democrats have retained the House, they’ve lost seats.

So, with a Biden win we’ve dodged a bullet certainly. But the heart and mind of the country is still divided against itself to an alarming degree.

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TBH metro is the same thing. Exists mostly to dry the floor of London Underground stations.

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I think Georgia has a few hundred thousand more people than Lombardy, though that doesn’t really mean much in the context of your question.

There are actually states in the US with less population than Georgia that are still counting, e.g. Wyoming (population 578,759) has only counted 97% of its vote.

Shit is just inefficient here, I guess.

While the pace is annoying, I’ll gladly accept a slow count in Georgia as long they keep churning out superb music. Georgia voting against Trump is the best way to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Stankonia!

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Yeah winning an election by 5-7% is definitely a big win by U.S. standards. He might even get to Obama-McCain-like margins, all told, if Californians turned it out.

But all those things you point out are real. A very messed up place, America.

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I can’t think of a media outlet that doesn’t understand the electoral college, I think it’s also just that they don’t have to be as reticent. There’s just not as much at stake everywhere else in calling it early. Grauniad for example has been consistently quicker in calling EC votes than say the NYT.

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Oh! Holy shit! That’s true!

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Joking aside, I do get the impression that the tools used are a large part of the problem.

That is, aside from an entrenched old-fashioned voting system and lots of political machinations, of course.

American elections look excessively high tech and also extremely centralized to me.

Correctly feeding a million votes into automated scanners, verifying the results, tabulating them and making sure that they are entered correctly into the right computer systems, all the while making sure that the process is transparent and observable, is hard. It also takes a lot of time.

Counting a few hundred paper ballots where people have ticked a box and writing the result down on a sheet of paper is easy. Also, no need for the ballots to ever really leave the room.
If all political parties provide a person they trust to act as a poll worker, then those poll workers can count the votes that have been cast at their polling place, and report the result to their supervisors at the city/county/state/whatever level. It takes less than two hours to count all in-person votes.

Things are harder for voting by mail, of course, but still, it’s doable within a day if you don’t mail all of them to the same place. States that don’t accept late-arriving mail-in ballots have no excuse any more at this point.

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OohBurn|nullxnull

Well, clearly it won’t. Which is a good thing.

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