City of Sioux Falls Municipal elections prediction update

As someone reminded me yesterday, we were scheduled to have an election next Tuesday. Thank God that didn’t happen as the city is starting to peak in covid cases. But if it would have happened, I still believe Stehly would have won by a landslide. The factors would have been a normal municipal election turnout of your usual 4% or so.

I think those factors have changed, and not sure how this will play out. The biggest thing that has happened was the SOS’s decision to mail everyone a absentee voter application in the mail. You can pick the ballots you want (for instance in SF you could pick city/school & primary). I think this will be hugely popular as you see the numbers of covid cases rise. I’m putting at least a 30-40% voter turnout. I think you will see that many people will like to vote this way, and if anything positive comes from this crisis, it may be pushing for vote by mail, which I think is a great idea. It will increase voter turnout. The critics are on both sides of the aisle, but more heavily from Republicans who have depended on voter suppression for years. This levels the playing field, and it scares them. I’m not sure where their claims of fraud and abuse come from. We have doing absentee by mail for several years in South Dakota, and I think if there was a widespread issue with voter fraud, we would have heard about it already, not just from talking points coming from POTUS’s butt. Remember he claimed millions illegally voted in California in 2016, something that has never been proven.

As you can see from these articles, it is pretty rare and the fines and penalties are steep if you get caught. I don’t think people would be willing to risk it.

According to the Brennan Center for Justice, a law and policy institute which describes itself as progressive, “The consensus from credible research and investigation is that the rate of illegal voting is extremely rare, and the incidence of certain types of fraud – such as impersonating another voter – is virtually nonexistent.”

I still think Stehly will prevail, especially since both her supporters and Jensen’s will get the same applications in the mail. It will be a matter of who gets their supporters to fill out that application. Time will tell. Another factor is that voters will have more than a few minutes to study the ballot at their kitchen tables and discuss it with friends and do research. I’m not saying everyone will, but I think you will see more reasoned and educated voting by going this route.

This is going to be an interesting experiment in our Democracy. The results will be fascinating to study.