Voters smell a rat as coronavirus-soaked primaries unfold in Illinois, Arizona & Florida… but they don’t want them canceled either
The Democratic National Committee’s decision to go ahead with state primaries despite the raging coronavirus epidemic – directly contravening advice from the Centers for Disease Control to avoid gatherings of 50 or more people – had progressive voters, suspecting efforts to rig the contest in favor of establishment favorite Joe Biden, up in arms on Tuesday. As residents of three of the four states initially scheduled to vote headed to the polls, those suspicions multiplied.Also on rt.com Coronavirus is coming, hide the ballots! Calls to cancel campaigns & voting erode already-thin trust in US primaries
Illinois voters determined to brave the epidemic found closed polling places, broken machines, a dearth of volunteers, and long lines. Those few election volunteers who did show up reported waiting hours for much-needed supplies and were forced to redirect the scarce voters to other locations, where delays piled up.
Election Day so far: 5/8 election staff are elderly, we were provided with no cleaning supplies, we are missing an ENTIRE blue box (meaning anyone who comes to this precinct cannot vote), we are missing 2 election judges & nobody is answering our calls. pic.twitter.com/aPfmZ5McCt— rebecca (@rebeccapearl21) March 17, 2020
10 hours and no voting equipment, we have started to mark down people unable to vote here with tallies instead of with names, phone numbers, and addresses. pic.twitter.com/hdLeJWSnkL— rebecca (@rebeccapearl21) March 17, 2020
Even some of the lucky few who were able to vote by mail complained they did not receive their ballots – but most didn’t even have that option.
There are 2069 polling places of which Chicago Board of Elections is responsible. As of 10 am, around 206 polling places still were not up and running. That is four hours after polls typically open. #IllinoisPrimary#coronaviruspic.twitter.com/rRaTVU4mMV— Kevin Gosztola (@kgosztola) March 17, 2020
#IllinoisPrimary Update: Voter from suburbs outside Chicago tells @StatusCoup polling place had 3 voters, his was 90th ballot cast in 3 hours. Electronic machines were broken & there were 3 election judges— 1 who volunteered this morning. 2016: took 20 minutes just to check in— Jordan (@JordanChariton) March 17, 2020
Chicago election officials told reporters they had tried to switch to mail-in ballots, concerned about catching and spreading the coronavirus, but were stonewalled by Illinois Governor JB Pritzker, a Democrat who endorsed Biden the day before the primary. Some polling places were moved at the last minute, and others took place in the senior homes where they were originally scheduled – putting the buildings’ inhabitants at risk. Citywide participation reflected “some of the lowest voter turnout numbers in recent memory,” according to local media.
But that state’s voters were already crying foul the day before the primary, pointing to local TV station WCIA’s oddly specific “mistake” in broadcasting a graphic of vote results – before anyone had voted – that showed Biden neatly beating Sanders by five percentage points.
Exit Poll discrepancies wasn’t enough. Hours long voting lines wasn’t enough. Closing Polling Stations last minute wasn’t enough. Not counting provisional ballots wasn’t enough. Super Delegates wasn’t enough. Is THIS enough?#ElectionIntegrity#JEN2020pic.twitter.com/fgsIlEkQdp— Jen Perelman For Congress (@JENFL23) March 16, 2020
While the station insisted it was an honest mistake – a mere “graphics test” that accidentally went live – Sanders supporters pointed out the county used as a “test” had voted overwhelmingly for the Vermont senator in 2016, and highlighted the absurdity that the “random numbers” typically picked for such tests would line up so perfectly with a plausible electoral result.
Allegedly, WCIA (odd acronym choice) in Chicago "accidentally" broadcasted "test data" where Biden was declared the winner in the middle of price is right.Not sure what is going on. @WCIA3 already admitted to "broadcasting" it with "test data." Is this a usual practice? pic.twitter.com/IiDy2HphP4— Esha 🌹Read Lenin on US Presidential Elections (@eshaLegal) March 16, 2020
Florida Democrats braved the coronavirus to go out and vote, only to encounter the same issues as their countrymen up north: polling places unexpectedly closed and few voters willing to risk their lives to exercise their franchise. Some 762 poll workers reportedly went AWOL at their hour of need, leaving sites understaffed or completely unmanned. Many argued that, as the retirement capital of America, Florida in particular was putting residents at risk by holding primaries, given the coronavirus’ especially deadly effects on the elderly.
The #FloridaPrimary so far:✅Extremely low turnout due to COVID-19✅762 poll workers did not show ✅ Closed polling stations so people have to drive far ✅ Florida is primarily at retiree haven so the people going to vote or working are over 65 & high risk for COVID-19 pic.twitter.com/3OsTiG6ygj— FiorellaITSRIGGEDIsabel🌹🔥 (@Fiorella_im) March 17, 2020
#FloridaPrimaryVoted Bernie in FL. I was the 31st vote. They normally have about 300 votes by the time I arrived.— Kathryn Cannon (@katiecannon2) March 17, 2020
Arizona’s Maricopa County had tried to justify closing 80 polling places – a third of its total sites – to prevent the spread of coronavirus, even though the move would force more voters into the remaining locations, effectively increasing crowds and thereby upping the risk of viral transmission. Adding to the general weirdness, a Maricopa County election official inexplicably appeared to give up in the middle of a press conference announcing the change, muttering “I’m sorry, I can’t do this” and walking offstage.
#ArizonaPrimaryMaricopa County election day director refuses to say whatever he was told to say.Polling places REDUCED for lack of cleaning supplies -Means people will stand in long line for hours infecting each other. #COVID2019https://t.co/Hv7sELmI3H— History bites (@akeleven) March 14, 2020
Some insisted that holding an in-person primary at all while state and health authorities were warning everyone to stay home to avoid a potentially fatal disease was tantamount to “rigging” – or at least cheering on the coronavirus.
I really think it would have been in their own interest for Joe Biden and the Democratic Party establishment to push for the delay of these primaries. The legitimacy of their results, and Biden’s mandate if he wins, will be severely eroded by the way everything is shaking out https://t.co/P4JteFuPg0— Meagan Day (@meaganmday) March 17, 2020
I am texting for the Bernie campaign and people are literally not going out to vote because they are afraid of #coronavirus Primaries should have been postponed. Shame on @DNC@TomPerez for letting them go on. #IllinoisPrimary#FloridaPrimary#ArizonaPrimary#TomPerezResign— #BernieEndsCorruption (@PepperOceanna) March 17, 2020
But when Ohio managed to postpone its own primary at the last minute through some questionable maneuvering, that move triggered protests as well. After Ohio Governor Mike DeWine unsuccessfully sued to have the state’s primary postponed, state health department director Amy Acton – the same doctor who enjoyed brief viral infamy last week after speculating that her state’s five (at the time) diagnosed cases of Covid-19 hid some 100,000 undiagnosed cases – stepped in to close all polling locations for health reasons on Monday. The eleventh-hour order cited coronavirus infection risk to poll workers and voters.
The Ohio secretary of state is back in court wrangling a new polling date – DeWine initially requested June 2 – but more than a few eyebrows have been raised at the extralegal maneuver, and many have demanded a mail-in vote.
Repubs: Virus a hoax, do ur thing. Repubs: Elections? But virus. The judge overruled and said elections commence. Prepare the polling sites for order and sanitation. People 4 still shopping, working. Prepare sites for order & safety. Pulling this b.s. day B4. Get it done— JJResists 🇺🇸☮✊🕊🗽❄🌊 (@JJResists) March 17, 2020
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