Republicans Want to Stop Starting or Start Stopping the Ballot Count

clark county election officials continue vote tabulation
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Eric Reads The News is a daily humor column which skewers politics, pop culture, celebrity, shade, and schadenfreude.
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As we head into the third day of the American Idol Election Extravaganza, members of the Republican party are bitterly divided over how best to obstruct a free and fair election. It seems no one filled out the Doodle poll labeled "Coup planning meeting" and, well, here we are. The issue is votes, and whether they should be counted or not counted or counted but then uncounted or discounted with a coupon. Early on Wednesday, Fox News declared Vice President Joe Biden the winner of Arizona's electoral votes, which is a real "the call is coming from inside the house" situation. Enraged by even the whiff of justice or fairness, Trump-supporting protestors descended up the Maricopa County Election Department where they started chanting "Count the votes" at a building where they were actually counting the votes, they had been counting the votes, and they would continue counting the votes. They stood outside a structure that was built for the sole purpose of collecting and then counting votes and they screamed "DO THE THING YOU DO! Or we'll be mad!" Ah, democracy!

Meanwhile across town: as mail-in votes from largely Black areas started to be counted in Michigan and the numbers turned in Biden's favor, another swarm of Trump supporters descended upon the Detroit Department of Elections screaming "Stop the count!" At that point, Biden was already ahead so stopping the count would have just given him the electoral votes he eventually earned outright at a faster pace. So, one could argue these ravening masses were just interested in efficiency.

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Other protests popped up around the country all of which features hoards of angry, largely white crowds storming government building, trying to disrupt and election, and somehow not getting pepper sprayed. It seems all the pepper spray was used up before the election on Black churches holding peaceful Get Out the Vote marches. Agh, the supply chain!

The goal of the protests are all ostensibly the same: figuring out how to give Trump the win. None of them seem to have grasped the easiest possible solution: getting more people to vote for Donald Trump than Joe Biden, particularly in swing states. I think it was on the agenda at the Coup Planning Meeting, but again, the Doodle poll was ignored. The thing is, the goal is the same but the methods are all cattywampus. Stop the count, don't stop the count, put the count down flip it and reverse it. There are so many mixed-up messages here; who is their comms director, Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler?

Let's take Maricopa County first. These people think that the minute State TV calls an election, everyone just throws down their ballots and starts singing "Can You Feel a Brand New Day"? Inaccurate! Yeah, it's written in the Constitution: "when Steve Kornacki, hosting a one-person, 24-hour HIIT class in front of a map that looks like an underwhelming Price Is Right game, declares a predicted winner, every vote count shall stop and all American resources will be diverted to getting Steve hydrated."

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I really wish these Trump voters would read just one book. Any book. Or not even a book, just an article on elections. A Wikipedia. I'm begging. I also know that I'm wasting my time. This is the equivalent of me standing outside my local library screaming "READ A BOOK!" The librarian pokes their head outside and shouts back "What do you think is going on in here, you big dummy?"

I am really obsessed with the totally misapplied energy these Arizonan Republicans are putting into their protests. Shouting "Start the count!" at a building where the count has not stopped is like me going to Olive Garden and shouting "THERE SHOULD BE NO LIMIT ON SALAD OR BREADSTICKS." Are these dizzy cretins taking directions from Christopher Columbus because they are lost in the sauce. I'm just asking for a crumb of logic. Please. I'm starving. Like, if the count is not happening, how did the protesters know where to go? If no one is counting anywhere, they could conceivably gather wherever they want. "START THE COUNT IN THIS BOARDED UP SWEETGREEN!" Democracy can break out in the strangest places if you're not careful.

new york city restaurants resume indoor service at 25 capacity
Freedom.
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The aggressive anti-democracy action in Detroit and other cities was more cut and dry. When people say "stop counting votes" it's a little harder to misunderstand their meaning. I guess they could get more specific about saying what they're actually screaming in their hearts: "stop counting Black votes and the votes of people who ride bikes to work or recycle." But it doesn't really roll off the tongue. "Stop the count" is catchy, as in, specifically, it's going to catch these hands.

Speaking of catching hands, Lou Dobbs and Rudy Giuliani, paragons of good decision-making, said Trump supporters should descend upon Philadelphia, another city where the margins are slim and the count is on-going. Have these people ever met a Philadelphian? You ever been cursed out by a Betsy Ross impersonator? In character? It's a feature, not a bug. Giuliani thinks he can show up in Philly and intimidate anybody into doing anything when this is the city that threw snowballs at Santa Claus. And that was the nice option. Santa was like "What if you were good?" and Philly was like "What if you [redacted] [redacted] [redacted]?"

The last time Trump tried to take on Philly it did not go well. Gritty clanked him on the head, kicked him back on to the Acela train, and scrawled "solidarity forever" across his face in Cheez Whiz. Stop the count? Boy, stop your shit.

We're heading into our third day of election leaders doing what they swore to do to ensure a fair and free election and Donald Trump going "wait! Not like that." It will be a while before we have a clear picture of what the electoral map looks like and there's surely going to be at least one recount. So settle in, send Steve Kornacki a box of coconut water, and remember the words of the Count-stitution: don't stop starting until you've started stopping. America! Or Else!

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