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While off from work the last two days (I work alternate weekends in customer support helping authors meet freelancers) I reported for jury duty. It was meant to last up to two weeks but it only lasted two days.
Most of the days were spent in the Hennepin County Government Center on the 24th floor of Tower C which is directly across from the board room on thr 24th floor of Tower A where last year the Hennepin County Board of Canvassers certified the midterms in about 5 minutes, where elections employees smiled (confidently? arrogantly? nervously?) at those of us asking questions afterward.
As for jury duty, was only called onto selection panel once (Monday afternoon) and that case was resolved pretrial on today (Tuesday morning) which put me back in the rather large juror pool waiting in this room, which is actually set up reasonably well for about 90 people to work remotely while waiting:
Going into it, I was curious to see the inside of a courtroom and even to participate as a juror in America’s judicial system. A chance, as my friend who was a public defender in Hennepin County put it, to make an impact on someone’s life. The greeter described it as a duty and a privilege.
This was not my first time in a government setting. Sitting in a number of county commissioner meetings and other government meetings in the last two years has given a front-row seat to what I think is a low point and turning point for our country. (It is also a great opportunity.)
Last night I watched the first episode of Jury Duty where a citizen is the only person in a fake trial full of actors. So I was ready. But the case where I was to be on a juror panel was already concluded 15 minutes before my arrival this morning. Instead I waited until the lunch break in the hallway outside the juror waiting room and shared light conversation with a banker, who, after I mentioned some election research I was doing, let on that the former president doesn’t think the previous election was fair. In reply I said, I’ve heard that. Managed to plant some seeds.
After taking a 1.5 hour walk around downtown on the lunch break (I was looking for 500 Washington, but went to 500 N Washington instead of 500 S Washington), I waited from 1:30 until 3pm when it was announced the supply of jurors was greater than the demand. (My prayer is that these cases are being resolved peacefully without a need for expensive time consuming trials.) And just like that, our two weeks of jury duty was officially complete.
But I didn’t leave right away.
Also on the 24th Floor of Tower C is the Law Library. Why not check it out?
Poking my head in, I said, “Do you have copies of the statutes?” Why yes, and the clerk showed me into the stacks…
After bringing 2022, Book 7 to a desk, I took photos of some statutes that many in the election reform movement have come to know and love…
The quick guide (which includes amendments passed in odd years and gets tucked into the back of the larger books) hasn’t yet been published. 206.58 AUTHORIZATION FOR USE Subd. 3. Counties gave counties the option to use or not use electronic voting equipment (tabulators) to tally votes on ballots—which has been amended by the 93rd Legislature to suggest that electronic tabulators are required for vote tabulation if a polling place / precinct previously used them.
It occurred to me to check out previous years as well.
I took Laws of Minnesota 1849 back to the desk.
Then something obvious hit me…
There are more pages of election statutes than there are pages in the entire 1849 Laws of Minnesota (which only has a few pages on elections).
Like many of you, I walk around thinking about the mess it seems we are in.
One of the roadblocks in my thinking to date has been the question, How are we going to amend these laws to support fair and transparent elections?
The question is a roadblock because it presumes that illegitimately [s]elected legislators who pass corrupt laws (like those mandating tabulators and electronics which open the door to election fraud at scale) were in any position of authority to do so in the first place.
Here’s the page I was looking for:
There were more books and pages that interested me, such as Space Programs (the same book includes Voting and Elections)…
…which includes discussions about space weather and space weather aircraft, as just one example.
There’s a fairly well-known video with a lot of military people surrounding who some refer to as the former president, who I believe is the current CIC, where he says something to the effect of: Do you know what this represents…? It may be the calm before the storm. When a reporter insists on knowing and asks, What storm Mr. President?, 45 answers: You’ll find out.
I don’t know whether that storm is metaphorical, physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, all of them, or something else, nor whether the storm is meant for Oliver Anthony’s people like you, and people like me, or for the perpetrators of hundreds of years of nonsense, but sitting quietly with my thoughts, wondering if my name would be called onto the next juror panel, I realized that if enough of us find peace throughout these days, that we might learn what we are supposed to learn, whatever that may be, one day at a time.