U.S. citizen in Windsor 'offended but prepared' for mail-in ballot controversy
WINDSOR, ONT. -- It was a late, nail-biting night for Windsor resident, Daniel Ableser.
“It was a very sleepless night,” Ableser recalls. “There was a point on Tuesday night around 11 o’clock where everything seemed to be trending in the wrong direction.”
Ableser is a dual citizen who cast his mail-in ballot in Michigan, for presidential candidate Joe Biden.
“I was able to check on Tuesday afternoon that my ballot was received,” he says.
That’s why hearing President Donald Trump’s comments — that the mail-in ballot process is ripe for “fraud” and “manipulation” doesn’t sit well with Ableser, who says undermining the system by which he voted is offensive, on a personal level.
“I did my democratic duty to vote. Because I’m over here and because of the pandemic, I can’t go drop my ballot off over there so I have to pay for the postage to mail my ballot over there,” he says. “And then when you’ve got the leader of the country, the president calling that into question, it’s a bit offensive. But I was prepared for it.”
As it turns out, Michigan is yet again a battleground state in the pathway to the Oval Office.
“We have nothing in the books, we have no idea what’s going on, it’s all up in the air, and it could take a while before we know the outcome of this election,” says political science professor, Lydia Miljan. “It is crazily too close to call.”
Miljan says the sheer volume of mail-in ballots demands an enhanced level of scrutiny to ensure legitimacy. And that, she predicts, will take time.
“Right now, it requires patience and in some respects, I think that’s a good thing,” Miljan says. “I think people were really hyped about this election and as the final numbers slowly come in, I think there will be a sense of calm.”
Political observer Jason Dupuis has worked on elections and campaigns on both sides of the border. He believes the results may be clearer by the end of the week — but believes recounts and a court battle will likely ensue, dragging the process out even further.
“The states just want to make sure they get it right,” Dupuis says. “They don’t want a situation where they announce one winner and three days later they count 15,000 ballots and all of the sudden things change.”
“They’re playing it safe and it’s frustrating. I understand."