October 05, 2020

John Oliver runs through the many ways Trump and the GOP are gaming the election, how voters can respond
Even though President Trump "is currently in the hospital with Coronavirus, and everything is up in the air right now," John Oliver said on Sunday's Last Week Tonight, "we do need to talk about this election, because it's happening right now. More than 3 million votes have already been cast, and yet Trump and his supporters have engaged in a deliberate campaign to undermine the process" and cast doubt on the results. "Deep down, you know there is no scenario in which Trump loses but decides the process was legit," Oliver said. He decided to take a look at they ways Republicans are trying to destabilize the election, "and even more importantly, how we can prevent that from happening." "There is nothing new in Republicans attempting to depress turnout," but "this year, the Trump campaign is turbo-charging efforts to mess with the vote," from urging supporters to lurk at polling places to claiming mail-in voting is "rife with fraud — despite the fact, as studies and court cases have repeatedly shown, it isn't," Oliver said. "And to understand why, it helps to understand one key statistic: the majority of Trump supporters say they'll vote in person on election Day, while the majority of Biden supporters say they'll vote by mail." That's why even if everything else goes perfectly, "there is still one more potential wrinkle in this election," Oliver said. "If this election is close, we may not know for a while" who won, and since Trump's votes will likely be counted first, he could try to exploit the "red mirage" until enough mail-in ballots are counted to cause the "blue shift" to Biden, he explained. "There are a lot of places where Republicans might be able to put their thumb on the scale of this election — and if you think any of this is me being paranoid, you should know it's already started." What can you do? "Make a plan to vote," vote early if you can, and if you're voting by mail, "request your ballot as early as possible, read all the instructions, and send it back or drop it off as soon as you've filled it in," Oliver said, noting that 46 states let you track your ballot online. But don't "just sit back and expect the system to magically work itself out," he advised, or expect Trump to magically "turn into a good loser."

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