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The US 2020 Presidential Election

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  • astralis
    replied
    What? You forget that Chechnya expanded the war into Russia herself and Georgia struck first. In both cases, it is because they thought Russia was too weak. And you're blaming Putin for turning the tables around?
    I think it's important to note that there was zero sympathy for the Chechens within NATO -- no one lifted a finger when Yeltsin and Putin rampaged around Chechnya. everyone recognized Chechnya as part of the Russian state.

    Georgia in 2008 got a bit more sympathy but we all know what sympathy's worth. Putin essentially had a free hand.

    Russia had fairly significant leeway throughout the 1990s and early 2000s because the US was so invested in the idea of new democratic Russia as a partner, and later on at Russia as a partner against terrorism/and or the PRC.

    Putin turned Russia into a threatening entity not because Russian power was threatened, but because -his- power was threatened.



    Leave a comment:


  • Officer of Engineers
    replied
    Originally posted by astralis View Post
    I think that's really the crux of it. If Putin hadn't turned Russia into a threatening entity, there would be no discussion of Russia being kicked out of the Crimea nor of a NATO army in Georgia or Ukraine.
    What? You forget that Chechnya expanded the war into Russia herself and Georgia struck first. In both cases, it is because they thought Russia was too weak. And you're blaming Putin for turning the tables around?

    Leave a comment:


  • astralis
    replied
    Which does not change the fact that Putin could not allow being kicked out of Crimea nor allow a NATO army in Georgia and the UKR even if they are Georgian or Ukrainian troops.
    I think that's really the crux of it. If Putin hadn't turned Russia into a threatening entity, there would be no discussion of Russia being kicked out of the Crimea nor of a NATO army in Georgia or Ukraine.

    And if Putin wasn't paranoid about NATO intentions or wedded to the USSR impulse to have puppet states, then none of the post '89 NATO expansion would have mattered.

    I mean, is Germany still sore at France for taking back Alsace Lorraine? Is France still scared at the prospect of an unified Germany?

    Putin chose confrontation both because he's paranoid and because he wanted to bolster his polling figures. he could have pulled off a mini DXP doing the whole "hide and bide" thing. but, well, he chose otherwise.

    Leave a comment:


  • Albany Rifles
    replied
    Originally posted by TopHatter View Post

    It would be interesting to see if we have the same sealift capacity in 2021 that we had in 1990-1991. Certainly we don't have anything like the same troop numbers.
    We actually leased Russian merchant hulls to help move our forces to Saudi. And 2 of the USNS's 7 SL7 Fast Sealift Ships broke down mid-cruise. You could track the materiel readiness of the 24th ID (now 3rd ID) to the progress of the USNS Antares...why? Because the Main Support Battalion Repair Parts warehouses were aboard. So the Bradleys & M1s made it fine...but they broke down cause of a lack of spare parts.

    It was towed to Rota, Spain, and then the waited for the USNS Altaire to show up coming back from Saudi.

    Now, I will say we have a LOT more prepositioned sets around the globe both on land and afloat...and more vessels able to flex.

    So we beefed up the USNS lift fleet...and have contracts in place for others.

    So while our forces are smaller we are in a pretty good posture regards prepositioned sets of gear.

    Leave a comment:


  • Officer of Engineers
    replied
    Originally posted by astralis View Post
    what I'm telling you is that no one in NATO in their right mind would treat Russia like the Iraqis or the Serbs.
    It's not what we see. It's what they see and they see an enemy. I remind you that even the UKR was on Moscow's side during the Pristina Airport fiasco.

    Originally posted by astralis View Post
    if there's fighting in the Baltics, it would only be happening because Russia has -already rolled in-, so by definition the Russians are already mobilized.
    Not if they're repulsing an attack against Kalingrad.

    Originally posted by astralis View Post
    only a paranoid Russki would think that NATO, which comprises of a coalition of nations that barely fund their own basic defense and where Russia is responsible for 40% of their natural gas imports, poses an offensive threat to a nuclear-armed Russia.
    They're seeing the exact same thing they saw at the Fulda Gap. Pre-positioned stockpiles. A constant presence of rotating NATO brigades, thereby getting around non-permenant forces thing. No defence-in-depth but everything forward deployed, with machine, materials, and war stocks just waiting for the manpower to arrive by air, a spring board into Russia.

    Originally posted by astralis View Post
    again, both Yeltsin and Putin made public noises about being NATO partners and even joining NATO prior to 2004/2008.
    Old story. Even Stalin asked to join NATO but Stalin, Yeltsin, and Putin all knew that we could not allow the Russians in on our military planning against them; never mind the bureaucratic wrench they could throw into our gears.

    Originally posted by astralis View Post
    the "final break" was Ukraine in 2014. I certainly agree that Putin has never trusted NATO to begin with, but the reason for the current hostility that Putin shows towards US/NATO is not because NATO did something that threatened Russia, but rather that the Russian near-abroad has no interest in being partners with Putin.
    Which does not change the fact that Putin could not allow being kicked out of Crimea nor allow a NATO army in Georgia and the UKR even if they are Georgian or Ukrainian troops.

    Originally posted by astralis View Post
    we didn't go begging for the Baltics or Georgia or Ukraine to join NATO; on the contrary, most of NATO don't even want them around if they could help it.
    Oh come on, there is one and only one country responsible. If the US says go, it's a go. If the US says no, it's a no. To put it more bluntly, you can thank Bill Clinton for this mess.
    Last edited by Officer of Engineers; 22 Jul 21,, 03:38.

    Leave a comment:


  • astralis
    replied
    Are you really serious? The Kuwait War. We went from zero to killing the Iraqi Army in less than 6 months. 4 weeks to prep for the Kosovo War. 8 weeks to relieve Sarajevo. Are you telling me that we're incapable of mobilizing faster than the Russians?
    what I'm telling you is that no one in NATO in their right mind would treat Russia like the Iraqis or the Serbs. if there's fighting in the Baltics, it would only be happening because Russia has -already rolled in-, so by definition the Russians are already mobilized.

    only a paranoid Russki would think that NATO, which comprises of a coalition of nations that barely fund their own basic defense and where Russia is responsible for 40% of their natural gas imports, poses an offensive threat to a nuclear-armed Russia.


    And do you think the Russians would trust us after we told them that we had no intentions of expanding NATO beyond East Germany? We've already clobbered a Russian ally (Serbia). Do you think Putin would be stupid enough to trust our intentions alone? I certainly would not.
    again, both Yeltsin and Putin made public noises about being NATO partners and even joining NATO prior to 2004/2008. the "final break" was Ukraine in 2014. I certainly agree that Putin has never trusted NATO to begin with, but the reason for the current hostility that Putin shows towards US/NATO is not because NATO did something that threatened Russia, but rather that the Russian near-abroad has no interest in being partners with Putin.

    we didn't go begging for the Baltics or Georgia or Ukraine to join NATO; on the contrary, most of NATO don't even want them around if they could help it.

    Leave a comment:


  • DOR
    replied
    What a surprise: the lying liar continues to lie.




    Debunking Trump’s Latest Arizona Election Claims

    After a contractor hired by state Senate Republicans to look into the results of the 2020 Arizona election provided an update on its findings at a legislative hearing on July 15, former President Donald Trump issued a series of false and misleading statements about what it has uncovered.

    According to Trump, the firm has uncovered a “massive number of voter irregularities and fraud” in what he called a “corrupted election” in Maricopa County, the fourth most populous county in the country.

    “Arizona shows Fraud and Voting Irregularities many times more than would be needed to change the outcome of the Election,” wrote Trump, who is scheduled to attend the “Rally To Protect Our Elections” in Phoenix on July 24. But the company didn’t present evidence of such widespread fraud.

    According to an investigation by the Associated Press, county election officials in Arizona have identified just 182 cases of potential voter fraud, and only four have led to charges so far. That’s far fewer than the 10,457-vote margin by which Democrat Joe Biden narrowly beat Trump in the state. The result has been confirmed by a hand recount in several counties, including Maricopa. Maricopa County also passed an independent forensic audit of ballot tabulation equipment used in the 2020 presidential election.

    Trump’s claims followed the July 15 Arizona Senate hearing, during which a representative of Cyber Ninjas, the firm hired by the Republican-controlled state Senate to review the 2020 election, argued that county officials have not provided all of the information necessary to complete its review, and lobbied for door-to-door canvassing of some voters to ask them about their participation in the election.

    Maricopa County officials have pushed back on Twitter, rebutting many of the issues raised by Cyber Ninjas point by point. The county says the firm has a “lack of election knowledge & a wealth of political bias” and that many of its claims are “not based in fact.”

    Jack Sellers, a Republican who chairs the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, released a statement accusing the firm of “incompetence” and saying county officials have “given you everything qualified auditors would need to do this job.”

    Sellers said that “uncertified contractors” at the Senate hearing “asked a lot of open-ended questions, portraying as suspicious what is actually normal and well known to people who work in elections. In some cases, they dropped bombshell numbers that are simply not accurate.” Cyber Ninjas isn’t accredited by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. Its CEO has also pushed election fraud claims on social media.

    Here, we will address a number of false, misleading and questionable claims made by Trump and Cyber Ninjas’ chief executive.

    Sharpiegate Redux
    Trump falsely claimed in a July 16 statement that the Arizona Senate hearing “showed 168,000 fraudulent ballots printed on illegal paper (unofficial ballots).” It showed nothing of the sort.

    Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan didn’t say that in the hearing. Instead, he claimed he needed to conduct “additional analysis” to determine whether there were issues with ink bleeding through to the other side of ballots and “when or if this did impact votes.” He claimed there could be a problem and said he would “expect that with Sharpies the bleed-through would be greater.”

    Maricopa County disputes this speculation that bleed-throughs could have caused a problem. “Ballots are designed so bleed-through does not impact vote. Accuracy is verified through post-election tests,” the county tweeted, adding that “#SharpieGate was thoroughly debunked.”

    The county further said: “If bleed through happens, it does not cause an over-vote. Elex officials program certified tabulation equipment & design ballots w/ offset columns to ensure these ballots are counted accurately.”

    “This accuracy is verified through logic and accuracy tests, hand counts performed by the political parties, and post-election audits performed by EAC [Election Assistance Commission] certified voting testing laboratories,” the county tweeted on July 15.

    Logan’s claims about bleed-through issues, particularly with Sharpies, are similar to false claims spread through social media the day after the election that votes for Trump in Arizona weren’t counted because Sharpie pens were used on ballots. The claim appeared to originate with a viral video taken outside of a Maricopa County polling place on Election Day.

    Secretary of State Katie Hobbs debunked the claims at the time, saying “your ballot will be counted, no matter what kind of pen you used (even a Sharpie)!” In fact, the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office said polling places would use fine tip Sharpies “as they have the fastest drying ink, therefore preventing smudges when put through the Vote Center tabulation equipment. This is one of the upgrades of our new equipment and new ballots.”

    As for potential bleed-though issues, the Maricopa County Elections Department tweeted on Election Day: “New offset columns on the ballots means bleed through won’t impact your vote!” And Hobbs told CNN that “even if the machines can’t read them for some reason, a marker bled through to the other side, we have ways to count them. They’re going to be counted.”

    When we looked into the claims last year, Kay Stimson, a spokeswoman for Dominion Voting Systems — which is the system Maricopa County used — said the ballots prevent one side from bleeding through and darkening a selection on the other side.

    Maricopa County tweeted on July 19 that it “used 80lb Vote Secure paper for all mail-in and in-person voting ballots.” Logan claimed that “we are seeing a lot of very thin paper stock being utilized, especially on Election Day,” saying there were “roughly 168,000” Election Day ballots, which had “large offsets.”

    “If there was an offset that was in the right direction, the right way, and there was bleed-through, it could definitely impact the ballot,” Logan said, again, not saying he knew of any voting problems but that he would “need more analysis.”

    A field audit was already conducted in February of Maricopa County’s tabulation equipment by the firm Pro V&V Inc., which is accredited by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. The firm conducted an accuracy test using 1.5 million ballots to ensure the tabulation system “correctly captures, stores, consolidates, and reports the specific ballot selections, and absence of selections, for each ballot position.” There were two ballots that jammed during the test, but the vote count was accurate, the firm’s report said.

    Sellers, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors chairman, said in a Feb. 23 press release on the result of that audit, as well as a forensic audit conducted by another firm: “We are releasing the results of those audits today so that the public can see what we see and know what we know: no hacking or vote switching occurred in the 2020 election.”

    No ‘Magically Appearing Ballots’
    Trump wrongly claimed that in Maricopa County there were “74,000 mail in ballots received that were never mailed (magically appearing ballots).”

    Maricopa County election officials and elections experts say the president’s claim is false, and is based on the Cyber Ninjas’ misunderstanding of the county’s election process for early voters.

    Trump’s claim was based on comments Logan made about 74,243 mail-in ballots for which he said there was “no clear record of them being sent.”

    Tammy Patrick, a former federal compliance officer for the Maricopa County Elections Department for 11 years, told us Logan is looking at early voter lists provided to political parties in the weeks before the election to assist their get-out-the-vote efforts. They are not meant to be — and are not — a full accounting of early voters.

    At the hearing, Logan called for a door-to-door canvassing of some voters “because it’s the one way to know for sure whether some of the data we’re seeing if it’s real problems or whether it’s clerical errors of some sort.”

    “We have 74,243 mail-in ballots, where there is no clear record of them being sent,” Logan said. “And just to be clear, here in the state of Arizona there’s EV32s and EV33s. EV32 is supposed to give a record of when a mail-in ballot is sent and an EV33 is supposed to give a record of when the mail-in ballot is received. And so there should be more EV32s, more sent out, than there are that are received.”

    According to Logan, “We have 74,000 where we have them came back from individuals where we don’t have a clear indication that they were ever sent out to them. That could be something where documentation wasn’t done right, there was a clerical issue, there’s not proper things there, but I think when we’ve got 74,000 it merits knocking on a door and validating some of this information.”

    Patrick, who is now a senior adviser to the elections program at Democracy Fund, said “this is no clerical error or fraud,” but rather a “mistake made by someone who simply doesn’t understand what they’re looking at.”

    “Because of their predisposition, anything they don’t see or understand, they use to further this narrative that there was something wrong with this election,” Patrick said.

    “The first thing to understand is that Arizona calls all voting before Election Day Early Voting—no matter if the ballot is mailed out to a voter or voted in person at an Early Voting location,” Patrick told us.

    As the county explained via Twitter, “The people who vote in-person use ballots provided at a Vote Center. This is not a new practice, so it’s not unusual that we would have more early votes than mail-in ballots sent.”

    The county said the files Logan referred to — EV32s and EV33s — “are not the proper files to refer to for a complete accumulating of all early ballots sent and received.”

    As Patrick explained to us, “For decades, Arizona statute has required that County Recorders provide the political parties Request and Return files to aid them in their get-out-the-vote (GOTV) efforts.”

    “The EV32 Request file includes ballot requests through the final day of requesting a ballot be mailed to the voter (E-11) and the EV33 Return file includes all returns through the Monday before Election Day (E-1) which is the last list anyone needs for the final GOTV effort on Election Day,” she said.

    The lists allows local political parties prior to the election to reach out to voters from their party who have received a mail-in ballot to remind them to stick their ballot in the mail, or if it’s too close to the election, to drop it in a drop box or at a polling place on Election Day.

    “Individuals who don’t understand how elections work in AZ don’t seem to understand that the EV33 Return file contains voters who simultaneously requested and voted in person during the final week of in person Early Voting,” Patrick said. “Additionally, they don’t seem to understand that it does NOT include any ballots returned after Monday, and we know that tens of thousands of ballots are dropped off on Election Day itself.”

    “To use these files as an attempt to understand the number of voters who were mailed a ballot or who returned a ballot is not only misguided, but dishonest,” Patrick said. “That information is obtained from the Voted File, not a GOTV tool for the political parties and candidates.”

    According to the Maricopa County Twitter feed, there were actually a total of 2,364,426 mail-in ballots requested, and 1,918,024 of them were returned.

    In an email to us, Rod Thomson, a public relations consultant working for Cyber Ninjas, defended Logan’s comments and blamed any confusion about the early vote tallies on Maricopa County officials’ refusal to communicate with the company.

    “As Mr. Logan stated, ‘there is no clear record of them being sent,’” Thomson said. “But he said there could be numerous, legitimate possible explanations for the apparent discrepancy.”

    “If Maricopa County officials had not refused to communicate with the audit team, these sorts of questions would be answered in the normal course of auditor and auditee,” Thomson said. “Questions always arise in audits and the industry standard is that communications go back and forth, with the audited entity providing answers. Maricopa County has refused to do so, requiring that these be brought out in a public setting.”

    Maricopa County responded via Twitter, “#RealAuditorsDont need their auditees to handhold them through every process because they lack the knowledge to do their job correctly.”

    No Evidence Arizona Voting System Was ‘Hacked’
    In his July 16 statement, Trump claimed the Arizona Senate hearing showed that “all the access logs to the machines were wiped, and the election server was hacked during the election.” A day earlier, Trump claimed the hearing “revealed that the voting system was breached or hacked (by who?).”

    At the July 15 hearing, Senate President Karen Fann said Maricopa County “sent letters out to the voters and saying, ‘Please be aware our system’s been hacked or breached, and we believe none of your personal information has been disclosed.’”

    But the county said there was no hack, and it isn’t possible for hackers to change votes because the ballot tabulation equipment is a “closed air gapped system,” meaning it isn’t connected to the internet.

    “This is false,” the county said in a July 16 tweet. “The event in question involved an individual inappropriately accessing and downloading publicly available info. The website is in no way connected to the Election Management System.”

    In fact, the county in February released the results of the independent forensic audit of its ballot tabulation equipment that found “no issues” with how the votes were counted. That audit was conducted by two federally certified Voting System Testing Laboratories — Pro V&V and SLI Compliance.

    “These tests looked for evidence of the tabulations system ability to connect to the internet and if the tabulators and/or system was transmitting information outside the closed air gapped system within the county tabulation center or while being delivered, returned, or used at a vote center,” the county reported. “Pro V&V and SLI Compliance found no evidence of internet connectivity.”

    Voter Rolls Confusion
    Trump claimed that “11,000 voters were added to the voter rolls AFTER the election and still voted,” suggesting that is evidence of fraud. It’s not.

    Maricopa County officials said that the figure referenced could include individuals who voted using provisional ballots and whose registration information wasn’t added to the voter rolls until after the necessary steps were taken to verify their eligibility to vote in the general election.

    “These go through a rigorous verification process to make sure that the provisional ballots cast are only counted if the voter is eligible to vote in the election,” county officials wrote in a Twitter thread. “This happens after Election Day. Only eligible voters are added to the voter rolls.”

    The officials also said that even some people whose provisional ballots were not counted may have been later added to the voter rolls.

    “It is possible for a voter to not be on the voter rolls, vote a provisional ballot, receive credit for voting, that ballot not actually be counted because they voted provisionally, and then later show up on the voter rolls,” the officials explained on Twitter.

    In Maricopa County, for example, thousands of provisional ballots were not counted because the person had not registered to vote or had not registered before the deadline.

    But even if their ballots were not counted, those who registered late may be later added to the voter rolls because “you can register to vote at anytime,” Megan Gilbertson, communications director for the Maricopa County Elections Department, told us in a phone interview.

    Logan and Maricopa County Disagreements
    There are at least two issues on which Logan and Maricopa County disagree: duplicated ballots and signature verification standards. But in neither case does Logan cite instances of fraud.

    Both Logan and Maricopa County say that if a ballot can’t be run through a tabulator — because it’s damaged, a Braille ballot, or a military or overseas ballot — elections officials duplicate the ballot so it can be tallied.

    The county tweeted on July 16: “The Elections Department assigns a matching serial number to both the original and duplicated ballot. This number can be used to compare the ballots.”

    Logan said in the Senate hearing that he was having difficulty matching up original and duplicated ballots. He cited “a handful of examples” where “we have two original ballots that have the same exact serial number and we have only one that was duplicated from it.” And, he said, there were “a whole bunch of ballots that also don’t have any serial number on them so it’s quite possible that for the second one with the same serial number, there’s another one that matches up with it that literally doesn’t have a serial number on it. But it creates a lot of time and difficulty in resolving these issues.”

    Maricopa County said the accuracy of its duplication process “was confirmed” in a court case in which 1,626 duplicated ballots were randomly sampled.

    That court case — Ward v. Jackson — found that among the random sample of 1,626 duplicated ballots, there were nine errors that would have given Trump seven votes and President Joe Biden two votes. The Arizona Supreme Court, which rejected the plaintiff’s lawsuit, said that such an error rate, extrapolated to all 27,869 duplicate ballots in Maricopa County, “is not sufficient to come close to warranting a recount” under state law and would amount to only a net increase of 103 to 153 votes, “neither of which is sufficient to call the election results into question.”

    Chief Justice Robert Brutinel wrote in the decision that the plaintiff, state GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward, “fails to present any evidence of ‘misconduct,’ ‘illegal votes’ or that the Biden Electors ‘did not in fact receive the highest number of votes for office,’ let alone establish any degree of fraud or a sufficient error rate that would undermine the certainty of the election results.”

    Logan also claimed he had an affidavit from an unnamed person alleging Maricopa County relaxed and then eliminated signature-verification requirements. The county said that’s false.

    “Yeah, we’ve had an affidavit. This specifically stated that when mail-in ballots were received, that so many of them were received, that the standards reduced every time. They originally talked about, there was initially 20 points of comparison on the signature. And then after some time they’re told to go to 10 points of signature, 10 points of comparison, then five, and then eventually they were just told to let every single mail-in ballot through,” Logan said.

    Maricopa County responded on Twitter: “This is simply not true. Maricopa County follows rigorous state signature verification guidelines. Staff receives training prior to elections to ensure compliance.” It continued: “In June 2020 prior to the Primary Election, all full-time staff members that perform signature verification in Maricopa County completed a statewide signature verification certification course offered by the Associated Forensic Laboratory, LLC.”

    The Maricopa County Recorder’s Office — headed by Republican Stephen Richer, who has shot down election fraud claims before — also disputed Logan’s claim. “At no point during the 2020 election cycle did Maricopa County modify the rigorous signature verification requirements. Any suggestion to the contrary is categorically false,” the office said on Twitter.

    FactCheck.Org, July 20, 2021: https://www.factcheck.org/2021/07/de...ection-claims/





    More Trump Election Distortions

    Continuing to claim there is “so much evidence” of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election, former President Donald Trump offered two new distortions of the facts about election results in Georgia, a state where recounts showed he narrowly lost by 12,670 votes.

    * He falsely claimed “they deleted in Georgia over 100,000 votes.” No votes were deleted. As part of regular post-election maintenance, the secretary of state’s office removed 101,789 obsolete voter files from Georgia’s registration rolls. There’s no evidence those people voted illegally.

    * Trump said “they found 35,000 votes” in Georgia. They didn’t “find” any votes. He is referring to an analysis by a data expert who said thousands of Georgia voters moved within the state before the election and may have improperly voted in their old county. The secretary of state’s spokesman called it “a disservice” to call them “illegal voters.”

    Trump’s latest claims about an “election hoax” came during a speech at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas on July 11.

    “Every time the media references the election hoax, they say the fraud is ‘unproven. And while there is no evidence …’ No evidence? There’s so much evidence,” Trump said. “You saw what happened in Georgia the other day. They found 35,000 votes. Then they deleted in Georgia over 100,000 votes. I said, because they were so bad, voters, I said, ‘Why didn’t you try doing it before the election? Lost by this much. Why didn’t you do it before the election?'”

    “The governor of Georgia and Georgia secretary of state let us down,” Trump said.

    These are distortions of the facts.

    100,000 Votes Not ‘Deleted’
    In his CPAC speech, Trump claimed, “they deleted in Georgia over 100,000 votes.” Georgia didn’t delete any votes.

    Giving Trump the benefit of the doubt, he likely meant to say that Georgia had deleted 100,000 voters, not votes. That is something very different. And even then, Trump is wrong to cite this as evidence of fraud.

    In June, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced the first major cleaning of the voter rolls in Georgia since 2019. As a result, he said, “101,789 obsolete and outdated voter files will be removed from Georgia’s voter registration rolls to ensure the state’s voter files are up to date.”

    In his CPAC speech, Trump questioned why Raffensperger hadn’t removed these people from the voter rolls before the election. “Lost by this much,” Trump said, noting the thin margin by which he lost the election in Georgia, and implying that if the list had been updated before the election he might have won. Raffensperger and Gov. Brian Kemp “let us down,” Trump said.

    In his June announcement about the list update, Raffensperger, a Republican, said, “Federal law makes it impossible to conduct list maintenance during general election due to federal mandates before federal elections that force states to rely on voter rolls that may include some obsolete files.”

    Most of those removed from the voter files — 67,286 — were related to the state following up on National Change of Address, or NCOA, forms submitted to the postal service; another 34,227 voter files had election mail returned to sender. It is a long process to purge such people from the voter rolls, as federal law requires there be no contact from the voter for two election cycles, which is four years.

    The secretary of state’s office also removed 18,486 people from the voter rolls because state vital records or the interstate Electronic Registration Information Center indicated they have died.

    “There was no record of any of these individuals having cast a ballot in the November 2020 election or January runoff,” Raffensperger said of those on the voter rolls who died before the election.

    35,000 Votes Not ‘Found’
    The second issue is about Georgians who moved from one county to another in the state more than a month before the election and may have voted improperly in their old county.

    When Trump says “they” found 35,000 votes in Georgia, he is referring to an analysis performed by Mark Davis, president of Data Productions Inc. The analysis, which was featured in a recent article in The Federalist, identified more than 100,000 Georgians who filed an NCOA form with the U.S. Postal Service more than a month before the election, changing the delivery of their mail to an address in another county in the state.

    Davis matched that list to voting data from the Georgia secretary of state’s office and concluded about 35,000 of those people voted from their initial address.

    According to Georgia law, “No person shall vote in any county or municipality other than the county or municipality of such person’s residence” unless they moved later than “the fifth Monday prior” to the election. (See Georgia Code 21-2-218.)

    Georgia election law also states, “If a person removes to another county or municipality within this state with the intention of remaining there an indefinite time and making such other county or municipality such person’s place of residence, such person shall be considered to have lost such person’s residence in the former county or municipality.” (See Georgia Code Title 21-2-217 (6).)

    The Georgia secretary of state’s website explains it in less legalese: “If you move outside the county in which you are registered to vote within 30 days of an election, you may vote in your old precinct for that election. If you move outside the county in which you are registered to vote in excess of 30 days prior to an election, you have lost your eligibility to vote in the county of your old residence. You must register to vote in your new county of residence. You will be assigned a new voting precinct and polling location. Remember, if you don’t register to vote by the deadline, you cannot vote in that particular election.”

    The Georgia deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 3, 2020, presidential election was Oct. 5.

    Davis said the data suggest more than 100,000 Georgia residents moved from one county to another in the state and filed an NCOA notice with the post office, but never got around to re-registering to vote in their new county before the 2020 general election or updating their address on their driver’s license (which would have triggered an automatic voter registration update). As a result, he told us in a phone interview, after the voter registration deadline passed they “found themselves in an untenable situation of their own making,” essentially that they could not vote.

    Davis said voting records show about 35,000 of those people did vote.

    Davis acknowledged that some of them could be college students or military members who filed permanent NCOA notices with the post office even though they have not changed their residency. Those people could vote legally in their home county.

    But Davis said that since the election about 10,300 of those people have updated their voter registration to the very same address as indicated in their pre-election NCOA notices filed with the post office.

    “There’s no getting around the fact that they have basically proven the post office information was accurate,” Davis said, alleging that those individuals changed residency more than a month prior to the election and voted improperly in their old county. Although the Georgia secretary of state’s office provided us with a list of those 10,300 people, we could not independently verify whether they voted improperly.

    Officials in the Georgia secretary of state’s office acknowledge there could, in fact, be some cases such as Davis described, and they say they have been looking into the data Davis provided. But they say Davis is glossing over several legal realities that affect this issue.

    “Bottom line is that determining whether someone who moved from one county to another should have been eligible to vote in the November election requires applying a complicated array of both federal and state law (some of which are contradictory) to each individual’s specific factual scenario,” Walter Jones, a spokesman for the secretary of state’s office, told us via email. “A spreadsheet listing voters’ names doesn’t come close to meeting that standard.”

    Robert M. Stein, a political science professor at Rice University and an expert on voting and elections, said Georgia law is not specific about what constitutes a residence or living in a county of the state.

    “One could imagine voters who have several residences in the state e.g., vacation homes, but only register to vote in one of these locations,” Stein told us via email. “Therefore a change of mailing address is not evidence of a change in residence, only the desire to receive one’s mail at a different location. … Merely changing where one chooses to receive their mail, and continuing to vote where they continue to reside should not be interpreted as evidence of circumventing GA’s voter registration requirement.”

    Establishing a person’s residency is complicated and involves a number of variables, including where a person claims a homestead exemption, and even a person’s “intent,” Jones said. He noted that 86% of the voters identified by Davis voted in person, meaning they showed up in the polling location where they were registered, showed their photo ID and signed an oath that they resided where they are registered. The other 14% voted absentee by mail, he said, “submitting an absentee ballot application saying that they still resided where they were registered.”

    Federal law requires “‘individualized inquiry’ into each voter’s situation,” Jones said. “Calling these voter’s ‘illegal voters’ without doing that individualized inquiry is a disservice.”

    Indeed, Georgia courts have ruled that an NCOA alone is insufficient to challenge a voter’s eligibility. Using NCOA lists to purge names from voter rolls takes years, as residents are given two election cycles to respond to election officials’ notices.

    In addition, the Georgia secretary of state’s office said federal law largely prevents officials from purging voter rolls in a presidential election year, as we noted above.

    The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 — which requires states to make a reasonable effort to maintain and update their voter rolls, including removing people who have become ineligible to vote because they have moved — bars states from altering voter registration lists within 90 days of a federal election. That basically precludes list maintenance in a presidential election year — which in Georgia includes primary, general and run-off elections.

    In a statement provided to FactCheck.org, Raffensperger said he tried prior to the election to call attention to the constraints of the 90-day exclusion, but federal legislators did not address it.

    Raffensperger said “federal law and court precedent makes it effectively impossible to rely on National Change of Address forms alone to conclude someone has moved residences before an election.”

    “I’ve been calling for reform of these laws for years,” he said. “I’m glad Davis, The Federalist, and the Congressional Republicans who could have done something before the November election, are finally listening to my concerns.”

    Stein, the Rice University professor, said Raffensperger’s response is “spot on” regarding the NVRA and issues associated with list maintenance.

    “The specific reference to voters moving with or without submitting a change of address and not re-registering is problematic for maintaining an ‘accurate’ list of persons eligible to vote in a specific jurisdiction,” Stein told us via email. “But as the GA SOS representative noted, this is a problem with the NVRA, not in the state’s administration of voter files.”

    Stein added that the “extent and size of this voting behavior is hard to measure but I suspect it’s not consequential.”

    Davis doesn’t agree. These issues arose in every county in the state — evidence of a systemic problem, he said.

    Davis said the complaint about these kinds of voters was part of the lawsuit the Trump campaign brought against Raffensperger and Kemp, challenging the election results. The suit was thrown out by a federal judge in January. Davis said, “That ship has sailed.”

    Indeed, even if voters were determined to have voted improperly, there is no way to know who they voted for or what impact it could have had on the outcome.

    “As a practical matter, it’s July 2021, and the election is not going to be redone,” Davis said. He said his motivation is to call attention to the issue so it can be fixed for future elections.

    The Georgia secretary of state’s office said this is not a new issue, nor is it unique to Georgia.

    “We have consistently said that the issues we were seeing post 2020 election were similar to issues … that come up after any election,” Jones said. “This is exactly one of those issues. It doesn’t invalidate the 2020 election any more than it invalidates any previous election in Georgia. It does highlight that the federal law that restricts states from keeping better voter rolls needs to be reformed.”

    FactCheck.Org, July 16, 2021: https://www.factcheck.org/2021/07/mo...n-distortions/




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  • TopHatter
    replied
    Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Are you really serious? The Kuwait War. We went from zero to killing the Iraqi Army in less than 6 months. 4 weeks to prep for the Kosovo War. 8 weeks to relieve Sarajevo. Are you telling me that we're incapable of mobilizing faster than the Russians?
    It would be interesting to see if we have the same sealift capacity in 2021 that we had in 1990-1991. Certainly we don't have anything like the same troop numbers.

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  • Officer of Engineers
    replied
    Originally posted by astralis View Post
    NATO was already on Russian borders in 2004 with the Baltic states enlargement, and -everyone- knew that NATO/US wasn't going to field any real force in those areas anyway.

    same thing, only -even more so-, with any potential enlargement to cover Georgia and Ukraine (whose potential ascensions were already really unpopular with the -Western Europeans-, and would have been delayed for a long time).

    the actual operational/strategic threat to Russia proper from NATO given a friendly Russian government would have been precisely ZERO, because NATO wasn't designed as an offensive force! that's why both Yeltsin and Putin both -- not seriously, of course-- publicly floated the idea of Russia joining NATO. and this was AFTER the 1990s enlargement that REALLY had operational teeth.
    Are you really serious? The Kuwait War. We went from zero to killing the Iraqi Army in less than 6 months. 4 weeks to prep for the Kosovo War. 8 weeks to relieve Sarajevo. Are you telling me that we're incapable of mobilizing faster than the Russians?

    And do you think the Russians would trust us after we told them that we had no intentions of expanding NATO beyond East Germany? We've already clobbered a Russian ally (Serbia). Do you think Putin would be stupid enough to trust our intentions alone? I certainly would not.
    Last edited by Officer of Engineers; 21 Jul 21,, 16:56.

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  • astralis
    replied
    You can't be serious! Would you tolerate a Russian base in Quebec? Would you tolerate Canada withdrawing from NORAD?
    NATO was already on Russian borders in 2004 with the Baltic states enlargement, and -everyone- knew that NATO/US wasn't going to field any real force in those areas anyway.

    same thing, only -even more so-, with any potential enlargement to cover Georgia and Ukraine (whose potential ascensions were already really unpopular with the -Western Europeans-, and would have been delayed for a long time).

    the actual operational/strategic threat to Russia proper from NATO given a friendly Russian government would have been precisely ZERO, because NATO wasn't designed as an offensive force! that's why both Yeltsin and Putin both -- not seriously, of course-- publicly floated the idea of Russia joining NATO. and this was AFTER the 1990s enlargement that REALLY had operational teeth.

    it was only after Putin decided that its status as a power was dependent on regaining the old Soviet sphere of influence that NATO once again became the big bugaboo.

    if Putin is supposed to be a Cold Warrior, he should know that old saw about the Soviet generals in Paris wondering who won the air war.

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  • Officer of Engineers
    replied
    Originally posted by astralis View Post
    that has more to do with the revival of the Russian military vs relations with the Chinese. in fact, this is sort of what I mean when I say he is tactically good but not strategically good: his fixes to the dorked-up Russian military IS impressive; on the other hand, NATO/US never was going to threaten Russia in the first place!
    You do understand the only way we can defend the Baltic States without resorting to nukes is to invade Russia first, to smash their assembly areas before they can mass and with the UKR and Georgia as NATO members, you do realize that half that job is already done.

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  • Firestorm
    replied
    Originally posted by astralis View Post
    he was doing just fine until roughly 2008, when he decided that even the potential for Georgia going into NATO was so intolerable that he would rather blow up good relations with NATO/US. of course, this was also even more in 2014.
    To a neutral observer his actions make complete sense. NATO has always been Russia's biggest and closest threat and since the fall of the USSR has expanded to include former soviet states. And the expansion did not seem to stop even as Russia's former military strength was permanently destroyed post 1991. There was always going to be pushback sooner or later. You can't be ruling Russia and NOT see the possibility of Georgia or Ukraine joining NATO as an existential threat. To the country, not just to yourself.
    Last edited by Firestorm; 21 Jul 21,, 01:01.

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  • Officer of Engineers
    replied
    Originally posted by astralis View Post
    i honestly think Russia would be in a significantly stronger position today had he chose in 2008, or even 2014, to just shrug at a bunch of basketcases deciding to leech money from the West vs the honor of leeching money from Russia.
    You can't be serious! Would you tolerate a Russian base in Quebec? Would you tolerate Canada withdrawing from NORAD?

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  • astralis
    replied
    The point is that he is no longer on a defensive posture but an offensive one vis-a-vi NATO.
    that has more to do with the revival of the Russian military vs relations with the Chinese. in fact, this is sort of what I mean when I say he is tactically good but not strategically good: his fixes to the dorked-up Russian military IS impressive; on the other hand, NATO/US never was going to threaten Russia in the first place!

    ultimately, between good US/NATO relations and asserting Russian political control on his so-called "near-abroad" -- which as you say are a bunch of basketcases-- Putin chose the latter. and he probably did so because he really bought into the idea that the West was trying to overthrow him via a color revolution, which is ludicrous.

    How? A lot was out of his control. The UKR was a basketcase. There was no way anyone could have prevented what happened. The Orange Revolution was to overturn a fair (at least it was as fair as it can be in the UKR context, everybody have the same corruypt rules) election. Chechnya expanded her war into Russia herself, prompting a military response. Yelstin fucked up the labour force in that Russians would rather get drunk than work. Oil and gas prices fell. Putin was also fighting a Mafia War (and still am). Like you said, he ain't DXP. He could not cow the Russians into working for slave wages.
    he was doing just fine until roughly 2008, when he decided that even the potential for Georgia going into NATO was so intolerable that he would rather blow up good relations with NATO/US. of course, this was also even more in 2014. Orange Revolution and then Euromaidan was never going to threaten Russia -- it was Putin who decided that he was ready to pay any cost to keep political dominance over Crimea/Eastern Ukraine, and oh by the way support his sagging domestic polling.

    i honestly think Russia would be in a significantly stronger position today had he chose in 2008, or even 2014, to just shrug at a bunch of basketcases deciding to leech money from the West vs the honor of leeching money from Russia.

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  • Officer of Engineers
    replied
    Originally posted by astralis View Post
    Putin's not gonna throw 200K troops in the Baltics, friendly China or not.
    The point is that he is no longer on a defensive posture but an offensive one vis-a-vi NATO.

    Originally posted by astralis View Post
    where we disagree is that in my book Putin was hardly a Cold Warrior, just a bureaucrat spook at what even HE considered a dead-end job. and while Putin is tactically good, he's not strategically good; otherwise, he would be in charge of a Russia that would be significantly wealthier and more powerful today, vs leveraging a high risk tolerance to bolster Russia's overall weakening power.
    How? A lot was out of his control. The UKR was a basketcase. There was no way anyone could have prevented what happened. The Orange Revolution was to overturn a fair (at least it was as fair as it can be in the UKR context, everybody have the same corruypt rules) election. Chechnya expanded her war into Russia herself, prompting a military response. Yelstin fucked up the labour force in that Russians would rather get drunk than work. Oil and gas prices fell. Putin was also fighting a Mafia War (and still am). Like you said, he ain't DXP. He could not cow the Russians into working for slave wages.
    Last edited by Officer of Engineers; 20 Jul 21,, 19:57.

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