2020 Presidential Election, what the law says happens next.

There is a lot of information, misinformation rumor and innuendo right now on voter fraud, office of the president elect on and on. We all knew it was going to be a mess, and it is. Let’s take a step back from the haze, and take our fingers out of our ears as no one is shouting at you here. Let’s just look at some facts.

Below are the specifics of what happens after Election Day. Yes there is a formal legal process. This has been used before (see 2000 election). In most cases the winner is clear and the loser concedes the contest which allows us to forego the Dec 8 deadline. That hasn’t happened yet, and despite all the screaming at Trump, he is within the rules for not conceding yet.

Source: https://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/the-electoral-college.aspx

  • Nov. 3, 2020: Election Day, when voters in each state will select their presidential electors. The 0presidential candidate, s/he is also casting a vote for the electors already selected by the party of that candidate. If a majority of voters in a state vote for the Republican candidate for president, the Republican slate of electors is elected. If a majority vote for the Democratic candidate, the Democratic slate of electors is chosen.

Above is one of Trump’s arguing points, we have an “election day” and the votes on that day are the only ones that can be counted (that’s the crux of his argument). Now this includes mail in ballots received on or before 11/3. Constitutionally he might have a point but I doubt highly the supreme court is going to impose a federal mandate on states here, normally they allow the states a great deal of latitude on how they handle voting.

  • Dec. 8, 2020: Deadline for Resolving Election Disputes. All state recounts and court contests over presidential election results must be completed by this date. (3 U.S.C. § 5) . For the majority of states the date of certification is the same as for all contests, but in eight states there is a deadline that either directly references 3 USC §5  or uses similar language, requiring that disputes surrounding the selection of presidential electors be resolved in time to meet the “safe harbor” deadline: Indiana, Iowa, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. For detailed information on state post-election processes, please visit this page.

This is exactly what Gore used in 2000 and what Trump is using now. He does have the right to challenge the results if he thinks there is fraud. Of course he has to PROVE there is fraud and not just proclaim it. This is the deadline date, once we get here save for ongoing litigation state votes are certified.

Had Enough of 2020 yet?
  • Dec. 14, 2020Meeting of the Electors. The electors meet in each state and cast their ballots for president and vice president. Each elector votes on his or her own ballot and signs it. The ballots are immediately transmitted to various people: one copy goes to the president of the U.S. Senate (who is also the vice president of the United States); this is the copy that will be officially counted later. Other copies go to the state’s secretary of state, the National Archives and Records Administration, and the presiding judge in the district where the electors meet (this serves as a backup copy that would replace the official copy sent to the president of the Senate if it is lost or destroyed).
  • Dec. 23, 2020: Deadline for Receipt of Ballots. The electors’ ballots from all states must be received by the president of the Senate by this date. There is no penalty for missing this deadline.

Both the points above are essentially the same, but this is when official Electoral ballots are signed by Electors. Generally these follow along the lines of the state mandate, meaning if Biden won NH and got 4 Electoral College votes, all 4 electors for NH would vote for Biden. Now there is no federal law, or constitutional requirement that electors must follow the will of the state vote outcome. There are however STATE penalties if they do not, and generally this never happens but it can. In theory those electors can chose not to vote for Biden and instead vote for Trump or vice versa, or not vote at all.

  • Jan. 6, 2021: Counting of the Electoral Ballots. The U.S. Congress meets in joint session to count the electoral votes.

This is the end of the line, once these are counted by congress and verified by the joint session it becomes legal record. The person with 270+ wins. There is no going back, no more challenges. Now PRIOR to this the Supreme Court can order a delay if it has pending litigation pertaining to the election outcome. It’s highly unlikely but it can happen.

  • Jan. 20, 2021: Inauguration Day.  The president-elect becomes the president of the United States.

Whomever obtained the 270 is sworn in as the next president of the United States. Again this can be delayed if the counting of the Electoral Ballots was delayed. Once the ballots are verified by congress it’s usually 2 weeks after that inauguration happens.

So that is technically what we are looking at. Expect legal challenges to keep happening right until the deadline by Trump.

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Ben Franklin

Wisdom from the past – Benjamin Franklin

“Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government; when this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins. Republics…derive their strength and vigor from a popular examination into the action of the magistrates.” Benjamin Franklin

If you are actively trying to silence/cancel other people’s ability to speak freely you are a tyrant or the tool of a tyrant. You are without question one of the most dangerous people on the planet. You are willing to shut down others because you don’t like them, or don’t like what they have to say. I actually pity you, and when the day comes when YOU are the one silenced/canceled you will receive no quarter.

Even if you don’t like what you are hearing or reading the ability to say or write it is paramount. When we silence others, we create the conditions by which dissent festers and breeds revolt and violence. History is littered with examples of this, you shouldn’t have to be reminded.

Don’t become worse than those you dislike, you will not be able to live with yourself and no one will want to live with you.

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Just Vote

It’s over you have to move on.

I know it’s not really over but to be blunt none of us had a chance to begin with. Yes I am talking about the U.S. presidential election. Once again, we had the choice between bad and bad. I don’t care what your personal political opinion is, or what party you subscribe too. Both of the main parties in the U.S. have been disasters for years, in my opinion.

I won’t be consumed though, I am going to move on and so should you.

It’s in the interest of the media and politicians to keep you fully engaged, angry and in the thick of crisis. It keeps you clicking, it keeps you watching, and it keeps you in their narratives, in their realm. Yesterday we all had our opportunity to be heard, regardless of where you fall politically, you got the chance to have your say.

The Sun will come out again.

Regardless of what happens you have to move forward and make your world, and the world around you a better place. Continue to work on your mental health. Continue to support your local businesses, continue to help people in need, and continue to help build strong and vibrant children in your community. That’s how things improve, not some national election where the same people DECADE AFTER DECADE fight it out.

It starts with you and your impact on your local surroundings. The fight nationally will rage on, but you have to let it go. If you don’t you will be consumed by it and there is little more you can do to affect change. Sure you can donate your money, protest, give your time but how does that really improve the world, or you?

Move on from the national screaming match, invest your time into your local issues. Transfer your passions to your town or your city. Want to make impactful change to you and the people around you? Think locally and over time the world will change.

The Presidential election is over, you have to move on.

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The other 5% – A Politics piece

As many of you know I don’t do politics often on this blog. I think this is my 5 post on politics in 2 years. I’m not going to go on and on about how bad one person is, or if another has cognitive decline or who is better etc. I am going to go talk about the other 5%. What is that? That is the average % of voters who don’t vote for Democrats or Republicans every year.

In the U.S. we have a two party system. It is corrupt and rotting in my opinion. Both the main parties have been infiltrated by corporate interests and those who do not necessarily have the voter’s interest in mind. It’s such a mess and the marketing around both parties has created an us vs them mentality to drive sentiment either way and push the consumption of the mouth pieces for either or side. I know that’s cynical, but things are bad and anyone telling you “IT’S THEM” is part of the problem, in my opinion.

The alternatives? Well there aren’t many. You see the two corporate corrupt parties have created the conditions by which they dominate election processes. Ballot access, as an example is a perplexing maze of red tape that takes decades to navigate. We have only one other party, the libertarians, that are on the ballot on all 50 states. Really? A country with 300 million + has a choice of 3 parties? The main two parties are multibillion dollar operations, good luck getting equal time with that kind of money in play.

Just Vote
Remember to Vote !

In the U.S. there are 2 major parties as discussed, a viable 3rd party that does have ballot access in all 50 states the libertarians. We also have “4th” parties that have ballot access in some states not others. They do not have enough access to win enough Electoral College votes for their candidates to win the presidency outright. Those are The Green Party, The Independent party, and The Constitution Party to name a few. The Green party has the best shot of getting ballot access to all 50 states next, we’ll see.

There are of course many other small local and state parties, but they don’t have ballot access nationally. The 3 main “4th” parties mentioned above, might have ballot access in 1-5 states. These “other” parties take approx. 5% of the vote every year (give or take). The purpose of the post today is to let you know there are alternatives. You do not have to vote for the candidates for the corporate parties. You do not have to “chose a side”, you do not have to fall in line and be a part of the “us vs them” narrative. You can chose to vote for someone else in another party.

They have ideas too, they have platforms they stand for things. Are they perfect? No but look at the mess we are in now because of the two party system. Maybe it’s time to have a 5 party system where all ideas have to be considered and discourse has to be civil because voters have viable choices outside of the multibillion dollar corporate parties currently dominating.

Okay rant over…. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

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Just Vote

A brief indulgence on politics

I don’t normally wade into politics on this blog, for a good reason. Many people get very ugly very fast when you don’t agree with their point of view. Otherwise reasonable people lose their poop over politics, they become very unkind and have citations of “well they do this” or “he says that” as if the rest of us are supposed to believe that two wrongs make a right. Mini rant over…

AS some of you may or may not know I am a libertarian. I have voted libertarian nearly exclusively since the late 90’s. In the U.S. we have two dominate political parties and it is my belief that a 3rd viable party will help reign in some of the partisanship and angst we see year after year.

It just so happens that I do identify pretty closely with libertarian ideals as well. You can read about those here if you are interested. Last week the Libertarian Party nominated its candidate for president, her name is Dr. Jo Jorgensen. You can read more about her here

I think its great news that she has gotten the nomination. She has been in the front lines of the libertarian party for a long time and has definitely earned it. Much will be made by the fact she is a woman and while that is absolutely noteworthy, more should be made of the fact she is qualified to hold the office. Many Libertarians like myself are very realistic about the prospects of our party.

We understand the two dominate parties have built massive entertainment and news industries around the political process to support their agenda. Places like CNN and FOX news are mouth pieces for politicians. While that might be cynical to say, it’s imperative to look at politics with a critical eye. Politics is a road to power and power corrupts.

I understand the likelihood of Jo winning the presidency is nearly zero. That doesn’t mean that she can’t garner enough support to impact the U.S. political scene. 5-10% of the vote would do that. You would have a lot of news outlets cover this, and they would all be asking why. Voters in the U.S. are tired of “Democrat vs Republican” it’s been this way for decades and decades.

We just want politicians who will do a good job and get things done. Is Jo Jorgensen the answer? I don’t know, I do know that if we keep doing the same thing over and over again (voting democrat or republican) and expect a different result we are fools. In the end the most important thing we have to do as Americans is vote. November will be here before you know it, no one vote is inconsequential, your vote matters. Consider an alternative approach, maybe we will get a different outcome other than the tired status quo.

Just Vote

Politics: Wisdom from a 50 year old

Won’t be a very long post today on this. If you live in the U.S., you know that we are in the throws of the 2020 presidential election . Many people seem to be very invested, if you go to twitter (which I don’t recommend you do) you will find it a cesspool of anger. Nearly everyone is angry about something and woe unto you if you attempt engagement with someone who has an opposing view.

So first let me say that I was born when Richard Nixon was president (yes, I’m ancient) so Trump is the 9th president of my life time. I suspect I will survive a few more elections to boot and there is something very important to remember. National Politics, while important, rarely have an immediate impact on you locally.

What this means is very simply, when you wake up after the 2020 election there will be little to no change at all in your life. Unlike other countries where there are riots, executions, coups, genocides… The U.S. presidential election is often very uneventful. Things will continue on as is, even if your chosen candidate does not win.

The best most immediate impact politics can have on your life is the local level. Yes, town halls, cities, local councils. “All politics are local” Tip O’Neil.  

Are your roads plowed? Is the fire station under staffed? Does the homeless shelter have enough canned goods? Are after school programs fully staffed? Is the dog barking next store ever going to shut up?

The president isn’t going to help you with that. National politics is often a game of anxiety, working you up to a frenzy as the inference is if candidate “T” wins the stakes are immeasurable, we can’t let this happen !!!!!!

I get it but remember the day after the election your local parks dept still has to empty trash cans. The water dept still has to test the water supply. Take some of your investment nationally and redistribute it locally to really impact your life. Presidents come and go, someday you’ll be on your 9th, or maybe 10th too. 😊


Just Vote

A quick indulgence on politics, my politics.

I was asked via email by someone who follows my blog what my political affiliation is. Let’s be honest, politics invades all our lives in some form, its everywhere. I vowed to not use this blog as a platform to pontificate about my politics, and rather take a general overview when I do talk about it. I have a you tube channel where I talk politics almost exclusively (link above). I recognize that with the 2020 U.S. election right around the corner politics are on people’s mind.

I will never beat people up for their views, I will not censor people (unless they go after, harass and insult others) and I will not go issue by issue on what is going on in politics. That said let me be clear, I am a Libertarian, I used to be democrat/liberal. I have voted Libertarian the last few elections and while I don’t agree with 100% of the party platform I found many things about the party that I do in fact identify closely with.

Libertarians believe that the equal rights of all people matter all the time. Your gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, make you unique and that uniqueness should not exclude you from the rights and privileges others enjoy. We believe that individuals should be judged by their actions and held accountable as such.

The core beliefs that have drawn me to the Libertarian Party are:

  • Protect freedom of religion, association, speech, press, and assembly.
  • Reverse the militarization of law-enforcement agencies.
  • Restore Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures.
  • Restore voting and gun rights for those convicted of non-violent drug offenses.
  • Fight against federal overreach and government spying programs.
  • Restrict law-enforcement use of general surveillance technologies.
  • Protect internet freedom & privacy.

This is found under the “civil liberties” section of the Libertarian Party official website. Since I was a young man I have always believed that the rights of the citizen far outweigh the powers to be afforded to the government. In the U.S. we have drifted further and further away from this principal under the two-party system, infiltrated and influenced by large multi-billion-dollar corporations.

Libertarians rally around the definition of Liberty: “the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views.” We believe that law abiding citizens who are good neighbors and productive community members should be allowed to live in peace and pursue their own interests as long as this does not conflict with others liberty.

I used to be very liberal, I find more and more as I age the system, regardless of what side you profess to be on works less and less for its citizens and more and more for a small minority. That’s it in a nutshell, if you want to engage me deeper on politics I would encourage you to visit my You Tube channel or contact me via email (contacts on this page).

Your Pagan Friend,


Just Vote

Don’t let the political season stress you out

It isn’t enough that many of us live with Anxiety, we are now entering the throws of a U.S. presidential election. This one looks like its going to be the most divisive and vitriolic one in most of our live times, certainly in mine. The issue really becomes when our anxiety is heightened we end up conveying it to those around us.

Politics is going to come up, its 2019, its everywhere. If you can avoid it, I salute you. For me I talk about politics in some form at least 2-3 times a day with family and coworkers. Because things have gotten so divisive its harder and harder to have a rational conversation with people. Not solely because some are extreme but more and more you find yourself tempering what you say to people because of what you believe their reaction will be.

I found a pretty good article about this subject here.

From the article: ““What government does can affect a lot of people, but I think a lot of people take it far, far too seriously that all of a sudden it’s become an attack on them, you know who’s not going to follow your logic, you know uncle Fred is not going to follow what you say—no matter what you say, almost every family I know has that one person in the family that’s kind of like: Let’s all work together type— that sort of appeaser or at least the conciliatory type actor may be find that person and see if we can maybe come to some sort of agreement to disagree,” said Rausch.

Yes, its great to find someone who will be the appeaser, particularly with friends and family. Let’s face it, politics isn’t black and white. On one issue you might be traditionally conservative, on the other traditionally liberal. It’s challenging to navigate politics today with friends, family and coworkers. Here are 5 things you can do to mitigate your anxiety when discussing politics.

  1. Talk locally: local politics is usually a great place to find common ground. “The side walks need to be redone” who would disagree with that? When you talk locally, you talk about a shared experience, political affiliation is much less important.
  2. Watch the body language: is the person you are talking too, tapping their hand on the table when they make a point? Are their arms folded? Are they looking down waiting to speak and not really listening? You are engaged with someone who doesn’t really want to talk at this time, they just want to literally hammer their point, change the subject.
  3. Refer directly to the divisiveness: When the discussion gets heated, without citing them directly use a phrase like “I just wish we could go back to the days when we could disagree but still get along” this disarms people, and most rational people will understand the cue and tone it down.
  4. Don’t profess expertise, on something you aren’t an expert in: If you know environmental issues, go ahead talk about it. If you aren’t educated about a subject, its better not to say much because you may be conversing with someone who DOES know a lot about it and you will irritate them to no end. Unless you truly know that mythical person “They say”
  5. Change the subject: when in doubt, change the subject to something unrelated.

These are by no means full proof, but you are going to be having more and more political discussions through 2020. It will be everywhere, it will invade most of your spaces. It is a perfect storm of anxiety it will be hard to escape it. Hopefully this helps a little bit but remember no matter how hard it gets VOTE !


A quick post on politics

I know, there is no escape LOL. I usually find myself in neither the “right” or “left” camp. I often find that dependent on the issue I could go either way. As an example, I believe our military is way too large, we have bases all over the world and for what? To defend against whom? To base operations/attacks against what country? On another issue, I believe if you work hard you should be rewarded, and if you don’t work (and you can) you should not receive benefits funded by those who do work hard.

On and on we go the merry go round never ends. We are entering the political season, you’re going to start to see political ads, debates etc. This time though it’s going to be Democrats front and center, in 16 it was republicans. Trump won as a populist, without getting into the whole Trump good, Trump bad debate, he won and here we are.

What I am looking for is an alternative that has a good platform. Many democrats seem to believe that “trump bad” is enough to run on, but what are they really running on? We have one notable policy from Bernie Sanders, he wants “Medicare for all”. Okay that’s something I can actually research, debate, discuss etc. Everything is polarized now, and it’s not one person, one policy, one event that got us to this point.

In the coming few years a lot of crap is going to be out there, collusion, obstruction, horror, famine… you know the deal. Every scare tactic in the book will be used to frighten you into voting one way or the other. Both sides do it, it’s not exclusive to the “liberal media” as many on the right would have you believe.

Take the time, look at the candidates and consider what they are actually proposing to do. You knew with Trump he wanted to “build the wall” like it, hate it, whatever at least you had a definitive policy to look at and assess. These policies will start to come out more and more now, keep your eye open for realistic policies that improve the lives of Americans. Those are the people I want to vote for and I don’t care what political party they are a part of.