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2024 Race

Oregon Democrats Are One Step Closer To Rigging Elections With Ranked-Choice Voting

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The state of Oregon is now one step closer to implementing ranked-choice voting (RCV) for future elections thanks to a recent measure passed by Oregon Democrats.

In RCV, which its detractors frequently refer to as “rigged choice voting,” voters rank candidates according to their preferences. The candidate in last place is eliminated, and his votes are transferred to the voter’s second-choice candidate, if no candidate receives more than 50% of the first-choice votes in the first round of voting. Until one candidate receives a majority of the votes, this process is repeated.

In the final hours of the 2023 legislative session, Oregon Democrats passed HB 2004, which would have required RCV in all federal and state elections. Additionally, the measure allows localities to use the system in their own elections.

If approved by voters in 2024, the bill would take effect on Jan. 1, 2028.

Various U.S. municipalities that have adopted RCV have experienced confusing and even inaccurate election outcomes. In an Oakland school board race, for instance, “election officials announced — two months after the fact — that they got the count wrong

,” resulting in the “rightful winner … suing for his seat.” A Utah town that used an RCV pilot program for its 2021 municipal elections reported having a high rate of spoiled or discarded ballots.

In the Genola City Council Race 1, for example, “58% of ballots were either discarded out of hand or otherwise spoiled,” while the Genola City Council Race 2 “had a discarded or spoiled rate of over 74%.”

The only two states to use ranked-choice voting so far are Alaska and Maine, and both have encountered issues such as election results that go against the wishes of the electorate. Even though “nearly 60% of voters [cast] their ballots for a Republican” in Alaska last year, Democrat Mary Peltola won the state’s at-large congressional seat. RCV also significantly contributed to Alaska GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s victory in her bid for reelection in the 2022 midterm elections.

The same thing happened in Maine during the 2018 midterm elections, where Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin, who was in office at the time, lost to Democrat Jared Golden despite receiving the most votes in the first round of voting. The state’s ranked-choice voting system was to blame for that result.

Among the states to have banned the use of ranked-choice voting in elections are Florida, TennesseeSouth DakotaIdaho, and Montana.

2024 Race

Over 9,000 uncounted mail-in ballots found in Illinois election

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The Chicago Board of Elections revealed on Saturday that more than 10,000 ballots hadn’t been included in previous vote totals by mistake, making unofficial counts lower than expected.

Preliminary Report:

SOURCE: https://cboeresults.blob.core.usgovcloudapi.net/results/Summary%20Report%20(2%20Column).pdf

In a news release, a spokesperson for the CBOE explained that while adding up vote-by-mail ballots, he accidentally left out additional ballots that had been delivered by the U.S. Postal Service on Monday.

“I traded speed for accuracy in reporting out numbers this week as quickly as I could,” spokesperson Max Bever said in a statement, in part. “I truly regret this error on my part and for the confusion that it has caused the voters of Chicago.”

The 10,659 ballots in question were added to the unofficial vote count on Saturday, increasing the total of ballots cast in Chicago to 368,990. Voter turnout citywide was reported to be 24.44% out of 1,509,554 registered voters.

Recent elections have sparked widespread discussions and debates regarding the integrity of the electoral process. As citizens grapple with various viewpoints and concerns, questions surrounding election integrity have taken center stage in political discourse.

One of the key issues that has emerged is the security and reliability of voting systems. With advancements in technology, concerns have been raised about the susceptibility of electronic voting machines to hacking and manipulation. Critics argue that these vulnerabilities could potentially undermine the integrity of election results and erode public trust in the democratic process.

Furthermore, the handling and counting of ballots have also come under scrutiny. Allegations of irregularities, such as ballot tampering or mishandling, have led to calls for increased transparency and oversight in the electoral process. Some argue that stringent safeguards and protocols are necessary to ensure the accuracy and fairness of vote tabulation.

Another area of contention is voter identification laws. Proponents argue that such laws are essential for preventing voter fraud and maintaining the integrity of elections. They contend that requiring voters to present identification helps verify their eligibility and prevents unauthorized individuals from casting ballots. However, critics argue that these laws disproportionately disenfranchise marginalized communities, such as low-income or minority voters, who may face barriers to obtaining valid identification.

Additionally, concerns have been raised about the role of money in politics and its potential to influence election outcomes. The influx of campaign contributions from special interest groups and wealthy donors has raised questions about the fairness and transparency of the electoral process. Critics argue that the influence of money in politics undermines the principle of equal representation and gives undue advantage to powerful interests.

Amidst these debates, calls for reform and strengthening of election laws and regulations have grown louder. Advocates emphasize the need for comprehensive measures to safeguard the integrity of elections, including increased funding for election security, implementation of robust auditing procedures, and expansion of voter access while ensuring strict enforcement of anti-fraud measures.

Ultimately, the issue of election integrity remains a complex and multifaceted challenge. As citizens and policymakers grapple with these questions, finding common ground and implementing effective solutions will be essential to uphold the integrity and legitimacy of the democratic process.

SOURCE: NBC NEWS

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2024 Race

Michelle Obama’s office says the former first lady ‘will not be running for president’ in 2024

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Former President Barack Obama’s vocal support for President Joe Biden’s re-election bid has sparked speculation about the potential role of his wife, Michelle Obama, in the upcoming election.

Many Democrats are eager to see Michelle Obama take on a more prominent role, with some even pondering the possibility of her replacing a politically weakened Biden on the 2024 ticket. However, supporters of Republican front-runner Donald Trump have seized on this speculation to undermine Biden’s political standing and rally GOP supporters.

In response to these rumors, Michelle Obama’s office has reiterated that she has no plans to run for president in 2024. Crystal Carson, director of communications for her office, has emphasized Michelle Obama’s support for President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ re-election campaign, and says Michelle will not be running for president.

While Michelle Obama intends to assist the Biden campaign this fall, her involvement is expected to be limited, reflecting her existing commitments and her reluctance to fully re-enter the political arena. Sources familiar with the discussions suggest that the Biden campaign may capitalize on Michelle Obama’s star power later in the campaign, particularly when swing voters are more engaged.

The Biden campaign has expressed gratitude for the support of both Barack and Michelle Obama in previous elections. Campaign spokesperson Kevin Munoz highlighted Michelle Obama’s involvement with When We All Vote, a nonpartisan voter registration group, as an area of alignment with the Biden campaign’s goals.

Despite persistent speculation about her political ambitions, Michelle Obama has consistently downplayed the possibility of seeking public office. In interviews, she has emphasized the challenges of politics and expressed her aversion to questions about running for president.

However, some observers note instances where Michelle Obama has left the door open to the idea of holding public office in the future. Amid speculation about Biden’s potential running mate in 2020, an exchange between CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota and Jill Biden suggested Michelle Obama as a possible candidate. While Jill Biden laughed off the suggestion, Michelle Obama’s allies reportedly expressed dissatisfaction with her response, prompting discussions about crafting a more ambiguous statement regarding her future plans.

Michelle Obama’s partnership with Jill Biden during their time as first and second ladies underscores their close relationship, particularly in initiatives like Joining Forces to support military families. Despite the ongoing speculation, Michelle Obama’s intentions regarding future political involvement remain unclear, leaving room for continued speculation and discussion within political circles.

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2024 Race

Facebook, Instagram and Threads suffer major global outages on Super Tuesday

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Facebook, Instagram, and Threads, the trio of social media platforms under Meta’s umbrella, encountered a significant worldwide outage on Tuesday, disrupting user experiences across the globe.

During the outage, Facebook users found themselves unexpectedly logged out of their accounts and faced difficulties logging back in or changing passwords. Similarly, Instagram users encountered a frustrating “Couldn’t refresh feed” message, while Threads presented itself as a blank page.

The impact of the outage was widespread, with over 560,000 Facebook users initially reporting issues on Downdetector.com, a website that tracks service outages. As the situation progressed, the number of reported outages decreased to approximately 130,000 by shortly after 11 a.m. ET. Likewise, Instagram witnessed a surge in reported problems, with nearly 90,000 users affected at the peak of the outage. However, this figure diminished to around 25,000 users as the situation unfolded.

Meta’s spokesperson, Andy Stone, utilized X, formerly known as Twitter, to acknowledge the ongoing issues, stating, “We’re aware people are having trouble accessing our services. We are working on this now.”

This recent outage isn’t the first time Meta’s platforms have experienced such widespread disruption. In 2021, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger, all subsidiaries of Meta, suffered a five-hour outage attributed to a faulty server update, according to statements from the company.

The recurrence of such outages raises concerns about the reliability and robustness of Meta’s infrastructure, particularly given the massive user base relying on its platforms for communication, networking, and content consumption. Users and observers alike are left questioning the adequacy of Meta’s measures to prevent and swiftly address such disruptions in the future.

As Meta works to resolve the current outage and restore normalcy to its platforms, the incident serves as a stark reminder of the vulnerabilities inherent in our digital dependencies and the need for continuous vigilance in maintaining online services at scale.

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