Episode 156: Down for the Count

34 minutes

11/4/20-- What was meant to be a post-election podcast this week is in fact not. As we release this on Wednesday evening, there are still ballots left to count and states that are too early to call. It's not yet clear who our president will be, nor which party will control the Senate.

As states scramble to count ballots, The Trump administration said it has filed lawsuits in Pennsylvania and Michigan to halt the counting of ballots there.

As Jenn explains, “Depending on the arguments [the Trump administration is] trying to make, they might be trying to argue for ballot counting in some states and no ballot counting in other states, so judges are probably going to be confused about this."

Still, she says, it might end up getting kicked all the way up to the Supreme Court anyway, where now 6 conservative justices now sit. Recall that just weeks ago, Amy Coney Barrett declined to commit to recusing herself in this very instance of disputed election results.

Stephanie chimes in, noting that. “Counting votes and access to voting, a democratic issue, has become really partisan.”

Steve takes it one step further. The GOP's attempts to stymie the momentum of mail-in ballots, which tend to skew democratic, like trying to slow the mail down, preventing counting until Election Day, and now straight-up not counting ballots that came in is “utterly outrageous, anti-democratic, and un-American," he says.

Here in Massachusetts, the general election for the U.S. Senate seat was not a close one. Incumbent Ed Markey bested GOP challenger Kevin O’Connor with 67% of the vote compared to O'Connor's 33% with two thirds of precincts reporting, according to the AP.

Jake Auchincloss defeated his Republican challenger Julie Hall to fill the District 4 U.S. House of Reps seat vacated by Joe Kennedy III. All the remaining members of the Massachusetts delegation kept their spots.

And on Beacon Hill, Democrats maintain their supermajority in the legislature.

Massachusetts voters decided on two ballot questions this election. Question 1, a "Right to Repair" law passed easily by a 3-to-1 margin. Unofficial results showed voters backing that measure 75 percent to 25 percent with about 83 percent of precincts reporting. With a roughly $50 million price tag, this is the most expensive ballot question campaign in MA history.

A majority of Massachusetts voters chose ‘no’ on Question 2, meaning ranked-choice voting will not appear in elections in 2022. Stephanie says this loss was frustrating to progressive democrats, especially since the Yes on 2 campaign was much more active than the No on 2 campaign, who Steve describes as “basically an OCPF filing and a Twitter account.”

Pollsters are getting beaten up on Twitter this election season much like 2016. Steve points out that while a lot is still unknown to determine polls' accuracy, "At some point, we pollsters have to acknowledge this is a problem. People are using things that we’re saying that aren’t correct and taking action based on that, so it’s having consequences.”

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