Vince and Joe wonder why the election results were still incomplete a day after the polls closed. Do the lingering incomplete results create an environment of doubt for the process and encourage grievances for the loser while diminishing the victor?
Are mail-in ballots the problem and what can we do to make it better for everyone?
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Vince Kern 0:02
Welcome to another edition of friends in wonder. On behalf of co host Joe Luthor, and myself, Vince Kern, we want to thank you for stopping by. Please like, share or subscribe to this show. But most of all, sit back, relax, and enjoy.
Well, this week, Joe and I are up in Mid Michigan in in a bunker after the election. We've got plenty of food, we've got a fire going, and we're out in the middle of the forest at Joe's hunting camp. And it's nice to be up here in Mid Michigan. And actually, we're not worried about the end of the world even though it is one day after the election. And
Joe Luther 0:50
we did have a power outage earlier today. Yeah, we endured a power outage, which fortunately, we were able to break out the generator and keep the electricity going keep the internet going so
Vince Kern 1:00
and bring you this podcast this week. So how are you feeling today, Joe?
Joe Luther 1:04
Well, I'm a little, I guess confused. A little uncertain. You know, it's the day after the election. And usually, the results are pretty clear. But I guess it's clear in Michigan but not in other states.
Vince Kern 1:21
Yeah. No, it's it's interesting. So once again, we are in this wait and see for critical races to be called. And it's kind of becoming commonplace.
Joe Luther 1:33
Wait, is that what they mean by critical race?
Vince Kern 1:37
Joe Luther 1:38
Okay. I thought I thought we were so we're really waiting for important race
Vince Kern 1:42
important races, right. So we can not be confused with critical races. But we want to know how our government is going to proceed and if it's going to proceed, but we're not quite sure what the structure of
Joe Luther 1:53
it we're very confused why as the digital age continues to become more and more sophisticated. The sense of certainty after elections seems to be more and more murky,
Vince Kern 2:07
right? And how this is becoming the norm now?
Joe Luther 2:11
Yeah, I don't know. And then there's, there's kind of like, along with that. Just it's it gives an overall sense of uncertainty. Where as before, I felt like, you know, the polls closed at eight o'clock by 1030 or 11. All the precincts have reported. And the information was in and there was nothing left to be, you know, figured out the next day, it was just a matter of assembling all the numbers.
Vince Kern 2:38
Do you mean when you were younger? And everything was done on paper?
Joe Luther 2:41
Okay, Boomer. Yes, that's what I mean.
Vince Kern 2:45
Well, you know, it's good old day. Yeah, I mean, think about it, okay, back at you go to the grade school precinct with your mom and dad or whatever. And you know, you're gonna hang out outside while they vote. But polls closed at eight o'clock, there might be a line guy came out, put a little sign up that said last person in line,
Joe Luther 3:03
right? Even if the line got long. That's no problem. You just had to be there by eight o'clock. And if you were there at eight o'clock, and there was a long line, they didn't, that you were at you were the last person in line. And then they would put a sign behind you, or I think sometimes even gave people like little scarfs or vest to wear and that you were the last person in line.
Vince Kern 3:25
And then you know, the next day, you know who won in the morning, generally speaking, you'd have a local newspaper delivered to you that gave you the results.
Joe Luther 3:34
Yeah, local national with everything was very clear. And now and I suppose it's probably the mail in votes, the rise in the mail in votes, that's making things a lot less clear. And what that does for me events, I mean, you're asking me how I'm feeling. I'm feeling uncertain. I just don't know, obviously, a lot of these races haven't been called yet. So it's hard to say what happened. But then they just lead lens to an overall feeling of uncertainty. And, and before like you said, bloomer, is we used to know and it was very certain. And who knows, our question is, is this for the better or for the worse, right?
Vince Kern 4:15
You know, is this new norm, something we can have confidence in? I was watching and I often watch the press conferences from the White House spokesperson, whoever he or she may be at the time because as a former journalist, I am just in that loop and I want to know what kind of questions are being asked and what they're saying. And the other day I heard John Pierre, Corinne, John Pierre, saying cautioning people to be patient and she was talking to the journalists and saying, you know, you guys know this by having covered previous races that it can take up to two weeks to count balance that account you know the ballots and and It might take a couple of days. And and she said, This is how it's supposed to work. And she was telling the reporters, this is how it's supposed to work. Well, my question is also, why didn't the reporter stand up and say, This isn't how it's supposed to work? You know, I mean, if you're gonna have to me, now, I'm going back into an opinion here. But if you're going to have mail in ballots, then you're going to need to have the human resources to secure them, count them, and do it in a timely fashion.
Joe Luther 5:30
Yeah, I mean, I would think that any clerk that is responsible for the ballots in their precinct would know how many requests there were for absentee ballots. And if it's 40%, or 50%, you could do the math and figure out that you're going to have several 1000, or however many 10s of 1000s coming in, and you get the appropriate volunteers to count it. And if you don't have that resource, I don't know, I just feel like that maybe there should be a limit to how many Mellon ballots there are, so that we can have a sense of certainty. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe maybe people are content with just waiting and seeing. But to me, it lends to a feeling of uncertainty. And that is my feeling.
Vince Kern 6:17
And I'm not content with that, because that gives the opportunity for a period of however long it takes to count those ballots for people to come in. And, you know, I mean, okay, if there's a lawsuit, that's for an appropriate reason, that's fine. But you get people on either side saying, oh, and then it's dragged out, and then the customers ever,
Joe Luther 6:35
who's ever on the wrong side of the election is going to say that something happened. And that's this concept, this, you know, the, the appearance of impropriety. And that's what I guess, I miss about the way it used to be, is that it was all very certain. And so now, when you see anomalies, you know, and there's a number of anomalies that, you know, always seem to bother me, it's like, okay, wait, this is an election, midterm election, which generally there is a wave going against the sitting president in a midterm election, obviously, it happened. With Bill Clinton, it it's happened with all of them, it happened with Bush, it happened with Obama. And yet this year, it didn't happen. Well, it appears like it's not happening, there was a big, big projection of a red wave. And it doesn't look like there is such a red wave. And, again, we've got this uncertainty with the numbers of being counted. So that just lends to this feeling of of doubt, when there are anomalies in what normally happens. And I don't think it's good for anybody. I don't think it's good for, you know, the winners. And I certainly don't think it's good for losers. Because in the old days, when you lost, you called up the other side, and you shook hands, and you and you moved on. Now, there's just this, you know, the other side is like, Well, wait a minute, you know what happened?
Vince Kern 8:09
Yeah, yeah. And blame it on this or that or the other thing? Right? I
Joe Luther 8:12
think the elections need to be certain. Well, I'll tell
Vince Kern 8:15
you who it does benefit is a benefits the media that benefits the 24 hour news cycle, who wants you to be so concerned about the election results that they're going to give them to you over the week? And that let me throw this out at you a couple of things. It was interesting. So I was looking at CNN Headline today on their special election coverage, and it said 2022, special midterm election week. So I thought we had an election day in this country. Okay, but here's the thing. So they're playing it out. They're playing this discomfort out, it's going to decide the Senate is going to decide the house they're still voice you know, it's so sure benefits them. Now think about this. And again, I'm speaking as a boomer here, but back in the Walter Cronkite David Brinkley day, you had a newscast on at night, you had election coverage, and then everything else was regular programming the next day, right? So news was limited to this little amount. So there was no commercial interest in extending it out now. Now, that's all that there is, is commercial interest in the media. So, you know, it sure feels like we are being accepting of something that isn't necessarily good for us in terms of process. Vince,
Joe Luther 9:30
I am so heartwarming to hear you blaming our problems on the media. You know how long I've been waiting for this?
Vince Kern 9:39
Well, you know, when you've lived something and you you gotta own up to it, but you know, it's just really disheartening that so so let's get back to the male and balance for a minute here. One of the things that interests me about the Pennsylvania election, for instance, is the fact that it frankly, I didn't care Air for either candidate for Fetterman or Oz, and I didn't have to vote for either one of them. So, you know, is isn't really. But interestingly enough, you know, the mail in ballots started coming in around September. And there wasn't even a debate between those two candidates until a couple of weeks ago, and there was only one. So you have people voting well in advance, and anything can happen between the time they cast that ballot, and the time the election actually comes up. So
Joe Luther 10:37
yeah, you know, it's funny, I'm not sure how I feel about that. Obviously, again, it comes down to this whole idea of feelings of uncertainty. Why is why are there so many ballots coming in? Way ahead of time? Is that how it was set up in that state? You can start voting Yeah, you know, two months in advance of, of the election day, well, then that's fine. As far as I'm concerned. I mean, people want to vote without hearing a debate. I don't have a problem with it. Yeah, I
Vince Kern 11:09
suppose that's on them. It's the if you didn't vote, don't complain. And yeah, if you had a vote along party lines, you're gonna vote along party line?
Joe Luther 11:17
Yes. I guess my concern is with people wanting to do it that way. But if, for any number of reasons, people want to do it that way. I'm old school. I like to go to the to the voting poll, on the day of the of the election. Again, that may make me a boomer. I know you stepped up and did it by absentee. And I know since 2018, or whatever, there's been a constitutional right to have a no reason absentee ballot in our state. So I don't object to it. I guess we voted for that. That's fine.
Vince Kern 11:52
As long as there's the what do they call it? The in evidence?
Joe Luther 11:58
Oh, the chain of evidence. Yeah, we talked about that in a previous episode. And well, that's, I mean, listen, that's the discussion of mail in ballot, and whether they're secure, and something that we can feel confident in. And I think we still have a lot of work to do, especially with counting it. And there doesn't seem to be any real drive or push to have things more certain the day of and like you said, the media loves it. Everyone's tuning in for another couple of days to find out what's happening in especially, is is divided as this country is evenly divided. It seems like there's so much at stake on these last lingering elections. So you know, Wolf Blitzer, and Brett bear, and all those people get, you know, they're the beneficiaries of this. Yeah. Because people want to find out what's going to happen. And, you know, and and there's also more opportunity for controversy. And sadly, I don't like controversy. Yeah. Realistically, when it comes to our election, but such is the way it is and then, and then it just makes me look at some of the anomalies. And and I'm just going to go over a couple of anomalies in these are strictly Joe, processing things in his head type anomaly scary place, or instance, Michigan had a record midterm turnout in voting. Now, almost 40% of that was male in. But still a pretty large percentage of people voted on the day of election, in comparison to last midterm of previous midterm elections. So record voter turnout in Michigan, yet when I went to the poll, I was in and out of there and five minutes in, and there weren't any extra voting booths that I could see, it looked like the normal situation. And there was not a very long line. In fact, I was at a school that had multiple precincts. Ours was pretty manageable, and the one for the precinct next to us, which was in the same gym. They didn't even have a line yet record voter turnout. So again, it just gets my when, when things are uncertain in there's anomalies. Now, that's not scientific, I get it. I happen to be there when maybe it wasn't that crowded, but I was there, the middle of the day, and I was I think ballot number 300. And I live in a pretty good size precinct. So I'm not impressed by the voter turnout in my precinct. But overall, the voter turnout was very high. So to me that's an anomaly another anomaly that I saw Do you mind if I go over some some anomalies?
Vince Kern 14:44
If you can keep saying anomaly without miss being nominee?
Joe Luther 14:46
Yeah. Isn't that from Finding Nemo? And then immediately,
Vince Kern 14:52
okay, as long as you say it that way, but for each topic, and
Joe Luther 14:56
we go another anomaly I don't know, I I'm not sure I didn't do a lot of research in Arizona. But I saw a poll within the last 60 days that Arizonans are very unhappy with this, you know, the state of affairs with the border and the, you know, the way that illegal aliens are coming across the border. It makes sense. Right. Arizona would be a lot more sensitive to that issue, then, then people in South Dakota, right. But like, I think it was like a 70%. Like they consider that a real important issue.
Vince Kern 15:33
One of the top three.
Joe Luther 15:34
Yeah, like, I think they're the number one Yeah, their top issue more so than the economy or abortion or whatever all things are. And yet, they just seem to have elected, although I think it's still too early to call. Here we are a day later. And they don't know. But to me, I would have expected the party that stands for border security, to have one kind of resoundingly in that state, because of the strong opinion about a secure border. I'm not taking a position on the border or an app, but I just look at that and go Well, that's surprising. And I'm very surprised by that. Yeah. And again, when you have this feeling of uncertainty, anomalies start to stick stick out like sore thumbs. Right? Another anomaly anomaly. Okay, but you already you already alluded to it, and I think there might be some truth to that. John Fetterman. Like he's not a guy that screams Senator material to me. I don't mean to, you know, I'm not trying to pick on you know, it's certainly not a handicap, the man had a stroke and he's having a hard time, you know, stringing sentences together right now. I don't know what is a cognitive ability is, but it does not seem as high as his opponent. Now I agree with you. Is Dr. Oz. Does he screams US senator. Maybe not. But I just look at that race. And I think, have we gotten so divided now? Like, if you just put you know, a squirrel? Yeah, squirrel. I was gonna say, you know, any, but a squirrel is a good way ask you. Those are cute. Yes, squirrels are cute. Okay. But if you put a squirrel on one side and a raccoon on the other, and put a D and an R on it, are people just gonna vote accordingly and not worry about it? Like, I don't know, right?
Vince Kern 17:29
Because the squirrel will will bury nuts in your yard. And the beaver will eat your trees. So which would you rather? But no, I think you're right, that to make fun of it. I think you're exactly right. You know, the other thing I was thinking about the Fetterman thing, and again, this is just extrapolating on current things that are happening, not anything to do with his disability. But in order to do the one debate, they had closed captioning. Right. Right. So that made me start thinking about, and obviously you have to make accommodations in every workplace. So now in the Senate, are they going to need to make special accommodations for, you know, the flatbeds? Yeah, I assume that they're going to not that that's an issue.
Joe Luther 18:13
I don't have a problem with no, no,
Vince Kern 18:14
it's not an issue. But but it's but it's but it's part of the whole thing that you know, that we're that we're going through. I'm not
Joe Luther 18:21
worried about the accommodations, as much as I am like, is the guy cognitively able to do his job? And I know, he's a Pennsylvania senator. But as a US senator, he is doing work for everybody in the country. Yeah. And I think it's it we have a right to ask these questions. And I don't know, hopefully, he's gonna be great. I know that. You know, there was a lot of, you know, I think there. There, there have been a number of sayings, I think, what was the one? In this 2016 election? I saw a t shirt that said, the Russians didn't make me vote for Donald Trump. Hillary did you know? Maybe it's the same thing in this election? Maybe the reason people voted for Fetterman as they just didn't want anything to do with Dr. Oz or Trump? Yeah. Or yeah, or by, by extension. It was an anti Trump thing. But it really gets into this whole idea of how polarized we are. And when you're polarized, and the elections are uncertain. It's going to give the aggrieved party or the party that didn't win a space or reason. Yeah, yeah,
Vince Kern 19:42
more space in the time Bester to come up with the spin and turn it into something else. You know, my last comment on on this and you mentioned Arizona, and Corinne. Carrie lake was she said she was a Trump.
Joe Luther 19:58
Yeah, yeah. She's She's like a Mini Me, right. So
Vince Kern 20:01
she's a mini me Trump. Well, you know, but and I don't
Joe Luther 20:04
mean that as an insult. I mean, she's very strong about her opinion and that kind of thing.
Vince Kern 20:08
Yeah, well, you know, I'm sad, she's probably not going to make it because she, she said if she was elected, that not only is somebody a CBS reporter asked her if she was going to serve out her full term, because she's being held up as a candidate for for Trump's VP, you know, when potential potential she said, I'm not only going to be governor for four years, I'm going to do two terms. I'm going to be your worst freaking nightmare for eight years. And we will reform the media as well. We're going to make you guys into journalists again. So I'm really kind of disappointed that she's not going to win because I was really looking forward to a politician fixing the state of media in
Joe Luther 20:50
Well, Donald wasn't able to do it as President of the United States. I don't know what she was gonna do as a governor, but Michigan doesn't have a she does have Maxi, she's not afraid of a fight? I don't know. By the way, that election hasn't been called yet. Right? And that actually is one of the elections where as they count more votes, she seems to be getting closer and closer. So well,
Vince Kern 21:15
maybe she will fix the media, then.
Joe Luther 21:18
I'm starting to wonder, Am I becoming that crabby old man on the porch? Who wishes things were the way it used to be? And we've talked a lot about that in this episode, the way it used to be in, in this idea of things being very clear, and, and certain the day after the election. Maybe I'm just that old grumpy guy that wants things to be the way it was. And maybe a lot of people are okay with waiting a few days. And in letting things be a little bit uncertain and, and having there be a week long election like CNN is talking about? It just doesn't make sense to me. I think when you have a process like this, it should be more certain.
Vince Kern 22:05
Yeah. And here's another way of maybe thinking about it is that in our older age, we want things to be right for the next generation. And so we're very troubled by things that we want to see fixed or are better for them. And we're unsure if it's going to happen while we're still
Joe Luther 22:25
here. Or worse yet, we don't want to see things broken. Yeah, yeah.
Vince Kern 22:28
Any more than we've already broken it right.
Joe Luther 22:31
Yeah, we've been blamed enough for that. We screw the academy. I mean, the environment up. Now we're screwing up the election
Vince Kern 22:38
system. I guess that we should just go on our watch. Well, why don't we leave it there? And yeah, and no,
Joe Luther 22:45
listen, the process is hopefully a good one. And, and the people have spoken but I think we have a lot of improving to
Vince Kern 22:54
do. All right. Let's get out in the woods, get some fresh air and deep breathing.
Joe Luther 22:58
Alright, Vince, good talk.
Vince Kern 23:04
We hope you enjoyed this week's episode of Friends in wander without the crazy Talking Heads. Remember, you can find us at friends in wonder.com or send us comments, feedbacks or suggestions for future shows to talk at friends in wonder.com. Thank you for joining us, and have a splendid rest of your day.