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  #151  
Old 12-14-2018, 10:11 AM
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looks like Harris hired the guy who was doing the fraud. If that is proven then he will have to bow out and they will have to pick another GOP guy to run
  #152  
Old 12-14-2018, 10:16 AM
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So what are some possible solutions to absentee fraud?

Voter education could be one part. Have large clear text on the ballot stating that anyone who tries to collect their ballot (as opposed to it being mailed) is committing a felony.

Absentee voting is ripe for vote buying. The only solution I can see for this is severe penalties for those who are caught and maybe rewards for whistle blowers.
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  #153  
Old 12-14-2018, 02:32 PM
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So what are some possible solutions to absentee fraud?
Here's my ideas:

1) Require voters to seal the ballot envelope and sign their name across the seal, before handing the ballot and envelope to someone collecting the ballots. (This could be defeated, obviously, but it would be a lot of work for each ballot, which would limit its use.)
2) Excepting persons collecting ballots of persons of those they live with or are closely related to, require persons collecting ballots to get some sort of ID from the Secretary of State's office authorizing them to do so, that they'd have to wear and display while collecting ballots.
3) Have each ballot come with an identifying number, with a check-in process so that you could go online and verify that your ballot had been turned in.
  #154  
Old 12-14-2018, 05:18 PM
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hearing on Jan 11 for the case which means Harris does not take office Jan 3rd
  #155  
Old 12-14-2018, 11:13 PM
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AP story about an interview that Harris did and the actual interview.
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In his interview with WBTV Friday, Harris confirmed that it was his decision to hire Dowless for his campaign.

I did. And readily, Harris responded when asked if he, in fact, was the person who decided to hire Dowless onto his 2018 campaign.
Harris said the decision came after his primary loss to Republican Congressman Robert Pittenger in the 2016 campaign, when the candidate who finished third in that contest handily won the absentee ballots in Bladen County.

Harris said that he believed he was hiring Dowless to run an operation that encouraged voters to request absentee ballots and then, later, helped them cast those ballots by witnessing them and making sure voters put them in the mail.

At no time, Harris said, did he think Dowless was doing anything illegal.
  #156  
Old 12-15-2018, 12:01 AM
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Ah, so he just happened to hire a person he knew was associated with an anomalous result in an earlier election.
  #157  
Old 12-15-2018, 02:29 AM
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Originally Posted by davidm View Post
So what are some possible solutions to absentee fraud?

Voter education could be one part. Have large clear text on the ballot stating that anyone who tries to collect their ballot (as opposed to it being mailed) is committing a felony.

Absentee voting is ripe for vote buying. The only solution I can see for this is severe penalties for those who are caught and maybe rewards for whistle blowers.
This fits, and is pretty close to what is the case here in Arkansas. The requirements are in big letters.

We do allow the existence of "designated bearers," but that is something that occurs when you sign up to get the absentee ballot in the first place, and then the ballot is picked up by the bearer, who must show ID. There is also a limit to two ballots per bearer, so they can't have a bunch of people sign up with the same bearer.

The idea of allowing people to just go out and collect ballots seems ridiculous to me.
  #158  
Old 12-15-2018, 03:01 AM
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Here's my ideas:

1) Require voters to seal the ballot envelope and sign their name across the seal, before handing the ballot and envelope to someone collecting the ballots. (This could be defeated, obviously, but it would be a lot of work for each ballot, which would limit its use.)
2) Excepting persons collecting ballots of persons of those they live with or are closely related to, require persons collecting ballots to get some sort of ID from the Secretary of State's office authorizing them to do so, that they'd have to wear and display while collecting ballots.
3) Have each ballot come with an identifying number, with a check-in process so that you could go online and verify that your ballot had been turned in.
As for #2, it was already illegal in NC for anyone to "collect" other peoples' absentee ballots (mostly. I think there was an exception for a close relative in unusual circumstances.)
The laws were there - the Republican operatives simply ignored them.
  #159  
Old 12-15-2018, 06:08 AM
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As for #2, it was already illegal in NC for anyone to "collect" other peoples' absentee ballots (mostly. I think there was an exception for a close relative in unusual circumstances.)
The laws were there - the Republican operatives simply ignored them.
They were also operating in an environment where most people apparently had no idea what the rules were, which was what made it possible. This was probably a leftover from the days when few people voted absentee - when you either voted on Election Day, or needed to give a reason why you couldn't, so it didn't matter much.

It's clear that not only didn't the people who were approached about their ballots know the deal, but the people hired by Dowless to collect them didn't, either - they had no idea they were doing something illegal.

The antidote to this is a clear and simple law, one that can be explained in a 15-second PSA: "take your ballot to the local election office, or give it to someone with a badge that looks like this. Don't give it to anyone else."

If the state doesn't run those PSAs, groups like the League of Women Voters can, or the parties themselves can, if they're worried that the other party might cheat.

Last edited by RTFirefly; 12-15-2018 at 06:09 AM.
  #160  
Old 12-15-2018, 08:47 AM
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NC used to call early voting "no excuse" absentee voting. Now it's called one stop absentee voting.
  #161  
Old 12-17-2018, 12:18 PM
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NC GOP is singing a new tune now. Basically it's "screw the evidence, certify Harris now"

https://www.newsobserver.com/latest-...223202995.html
  #162  
Old 12-17-2018, 12:32 PM
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I think the NC GOP doesn't quite know what to do with the situation. But they certainly appear to have taken Harris' comment about "circling the wagons" to heart.
  #163  
Old 12-17-2018, 12:40 PM
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NC GOP is singing a new tune now. Basically it's "screw the evidence, certify Harris now"

https://www.newsobserver.com/latest-...223202995.html
From the linked article, here's part of the GOP's statement:

Quote:
The State Board of Elections should produce any evidence they have obtained that would provide proof the alleged voting irregularities would have changed the outcome of the race.
The fact that 60% of the absentee ballots were for Harris, despite the fact that only 19% of absentee voters identify as Republican, evidently doesn't qualify as evidence of voting irregularities. Nor is the fact that two counties in the district had the highest rate in the state of unreturned absentee ballots.
  #164  
Old 12-17-2018, 01:02 PM
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What they are also saying is that since he won by around 900 votes, if you cannot prove fraud was for more than 900 votes it does not matter.

also they pretty much know the house won't seat Harris . Their strategy seems to be if they get him certified they might be able to win a court battle.
  #165  
Old 12-17-2018, 02:49 PM
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They simply cannot win a court battle against the House of Representatives. The Constitution is quite explicitly clear that the House is the final authority on that subject.

Which is their goal. If the election is not certified, then there's a new election with Harris as the Republican candidate. If the election is certified, then the House refuses to seat him, and there's a new election with some other Republican as the candidate. They've judged (probably correctly) that their odds are much better with a new candidate.
  #166  
Old 12-17-2018, 03:21 PM
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in a quick skim I did not see where the House can refuse to seat a member so where is that in the constitution? Also I assume they need a valid reason to deny someone ?

edit - I did find it in section 5 of Article 1. It says each house can determine the qualifications of members.

Last edited by Bijou Drains; 12-17-2018 at 03:24 PM.
  #167  
Old 12-17-2018, 03:30 PM
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It looks very much like a lot of the fraud was that requested absentee ballots were collected and thrown out by Harris's campaign--is that accurate?

If so, then every ballot requested and not returned should be considered to be a vote for the Democrat, because why else would Harris have had those votes thrown out?

Certainly, that'll unfairly count some votes for the Democrat which were legitimately not cast by the voter who requested it. But when one campaign commits felony election fraud, I'm pretty cool with construing ambiguous results against them--especially when it's only for the purpose of deciding whether a new election should be held.

On the other hand, the longer and harder that Republicans fight to certify a blatant fraudster, the larger the millstone we can hang around their necks next time they whine about wanting to protect elections with some new voter-suppression tactic. So I encourage them to keep up this repugnant behavior.
  #168  
Old 12-17-2018, 08:06 PM
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They simply cannot win a court battle against the House of Representatives. The Constitution is quite explicitly clear that the House is the final authority on that subject.

Which is their goal. If the election is not certified, then there's a new election with Harris as the Republican candidate. If the election is certified, then the House refuses to seat him, and there's a new election with some other Republican as the candidate. They've judged (probably correctly) that their odds are much better with a new candidate.
This summarizes my take as well. The NC GOP will cling to the 'didn't change the outcome' stance, figuring that the short-term hit from basically saying explicitly that the GOP is ok with a little fraud can be more than offset by a) getting to run a new candidate because the House will definitely not seat Harris and b) since the House will be Dem-controlled from January, the NC GOP can spin it as 'Democrats meddling in NC elections' over the longer term. At this point it probably doesn't even matter if they end up losing the 9th seat.
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Last edited by DragonAsh; 12-17-2018 at 08:07 PM.
  #169  
Old 12-19-2018, 04:17 PM
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state board of elections has called the GOP bluff and they are now releasing the evidence. The ringleader of the scam was also obstructing the investigation by telling people what to say. Should have a link a bit later.
  #170  
Old 12-25-2018, 10:22 AM
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New Information on Bladen County's mess:

https://news.yahoo.com/former-north-...183404627.html
  #171  
Old 12-25-2018, 11:50 PM
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Seems like we could eliminate a lot of election fraud if we refused to let Republicans or their "operatives" near anything guarding our democracy.
  #172  
Old 12-28-2018, 12:18 PM
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Harris demanded to be certified by noon today but that did not happen which means he won't be taking office next week.
  #173  
Old 12-28-2018, 01:13 PM
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What a mess. Someone (maybe a bunch of people) should be going to prison.
  #174  
Old 12-28-2018, 04:07 PM
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And, the North Carolina Elections Board was dissolved today, without certifying the results of the election. What happens next seems to be very unclear.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/28/polit...ify/index.html
  #175  
Old 12-28-2018, 05:38 PM
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Nancy Pelosi will not seat him until it's cleared up.

I'm guessing the House is ultimately going to have to step in and fix it, because North Carolina sure as hell has no interest in doing it.
  #176  
Old 12-28-2018, 07:05 PM
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North Carolina has a law in place to deal with it, enacted over the Governor's veto, if by "it" we mean a determination that the election was won fraudulently. It's just going to take a while, since there is no currently constituted Board of Elections.

Of course, if there never is such a determination, then things get murky.
  #177  
Old 01-08-2019, 04:47 PM
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I guess it's not a surprise, but a conservative group in NC claims that there was absentee ballot fraud in a state house race that was won by a Dem by only 68 votes. I guess it took them this long to find that alleged problem. No link yet , read this on twitter.
  #178  
Old 01-08-2019, 07:56 PM
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Here's a link on that story: https://www.charlotteobserver.com/ne...224097140.html
  #179  
Old 01-08-2019, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by From link
The Values Coalition argues that more than 300 absentee by mail ballots were cast that had discrepancies between the date the voter signed the ballot envelope and one or both of the witnesses or notary public signed. It said that indicates the ballots were not signed in front of witnesses as required by law.
Probably just instances of honest mistakes: either people accidentally writing down the wrong date, or not realizing that the witnesses needed to sign at the same time as the voter.

Last edited by Buck Godot; 01-08-2019 at 08:17 PM.
  #180  
Old 01-09-2019, 09:52 AM
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Probably just instances of honest mistakes: either people accidentally writing down the wrong date, or not realizing that the witnesses needed to sign at the same time as the voter.
It's voter fraud when the Republicans do it, but an honest mistake when it's the Democrats. Got it.
  #181  
Old 01-09-2019, 10:01 AM
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It's voter fraud when the Republicans do it, but an honest mistake when it's the Democrats. Got it.
Good to know that you've got it, apart from the rather pertinent point that the two "it"s they are doing that you are comparing are different things.
  #182  
Old 01-09-2019, 10:02 AM
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the winner in that state house race , Rachel Hunt, is the daughter of 4 term NC governor Jim Hunt
  #183  
Old 01-09-2019, 10:03 AM
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It's voter fraud when the Republicans do it, but an honest mistake when it's the Democrats. Got it.
Seems the meaning of 'it' is being stretched to cover multiple values here. Just sayin'.

ETA: Ninja'd by Gyrate!

Last edited by RTFirefly; 01-09-2019 at 10:04 AM.
  #184  
Old 01-09-2019, 11:48 AM
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The "it" in question is this:

Absentee ballots are supposed (by law) to be handled as follows in NC:

Voter requests and obtains absentee ballot. Voter fills out said ballot with his/her choices in the presence of two witnesses (or one notary public). Voter inserts said completed ballot into return envelope, seals the envelope, and signs and dates the back attesting that he/she has properly followed the law filling out the ballot. Witnesses then sign and date, attesting that they witnessed this happen properly. Voter (or a close relative) then mails the envelope or hand-carries it to the county BoE office, or to a one-stop absentee voting site (early voting).

IF the dates of the signatures are not properly matched, that indicates that this procedure was not properly followed. Specifically, it MUST mean that the envelope was in the possession of someone for some period after the ballot was voted. Multiple possible explanations exist, including that the voter tried to turn the ballot in in person, and it was rejected for lacking signatures and/or dates, and the voter went back and got the missing signatures and dates (the explanation offered by Buck Godot). But it could just as easily mean that the ballot was collected from the voter, with or without having been properly inserted into the envelope, by someone not authorized to collect such ballots (not a close relative of the voter), and that witness signatures and dates were later added. That latter possibility is one of the illegal practices complained of in Bladen County, the main place at issue in the disputed election results.

The objection here being made by Steophan is to the word "probably" used by Buck Godot. There's no particular reason, based upon the limited report offered so far, to believe that one explanation is any more probable than the other. Indeed, given the reports coming out of North Carolina, it would appear that absentee ballots have been treated with some laxity over the years, a fact some groups have taken advantage of. I suspect that the likely answer to the discrepancies alleged to exist with absentee ballots in House district 103 is not absentee ballot fraud in the vast majority of the 300 ballots, but as even the spokesperson for the State BoE noted, such discrepancies are a good reason for starting an investigation.

So it would seem that, while there is not yet any solid evidence of the same sort of shenanigans that went on in Bladen County (and elsewhere), dismissing the possibility out of hand is rightly pointed out as an example of viewing the news through a partisan lens.
  #185  
Old 01-09-2019, 11:52 AM
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So it would seem that, while there is not yet any solid evidence of the same sort of shenanigans that went on in Bladen County (and elsewhere), dismissing the possibility out of hand is rightly pointed out as an example of viewing the news through a partisan lens.
However, regarding this charge as having a high likelihood of proving baseless would have a strong grounding in long experience of the nature of the GOP over the past quarter-century.
  #186  
Old 01-09-2019, 12:12 PM
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Hunt will be seated today so the story is over
  #187  
Old 01-09-2019, 12:58 PM
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It strikes me that anyone committing fraud would be very careful about getting the dates right.
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  #188  
Old 01-09-2019, 03:00 PM
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Wait, who's Hunt? This story is about Harris.
  #189  
Old 01-09-2019, 03:34 PM
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If you go back up a few posts you will see a post by me about another NC race where there was a claim of fraud in absentee ballots - that is the race with Hunt. (post 177)
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Old 01-09-2019, 05:11 PM
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Ah, so it's just that one particular story that's over, not the Harris one that's dominated the thread for the past few pages.
  #191  
Old 01-09-2019, 10:35 PM
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However, regarding this charge as having a high likelihood of proving baseless would have a strong grounding in long experience of the nature of the GOP over the past quarter-century.
This statement shows your bias, which was, of course, the point of the comment that elicited such pushback. Really, if you cannot reason and discuss without allowing personal bias about people/parties/organizations to color your thinking, you're doing your discussing with one foot in a bucket of cement.
  #192  
Old 01-10-2019, 10:08 AM
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This statement shows your bias, which was, of course, the point of the comment that elicited such pushback. Really, if you cannot reason and discuss without allowing personal bias about people/parties/organizations to color your thinking, you're doing your discussing with one foot in a bucket of cement.
You're right. When Trump says something, I should forget everything I knew about him, and make no assumptions about the likelihood of its truth or falseness before examining that particular statement. Doing otherwise would demonstrate my bias.
  #193  
Old 01-10-2019, 10:42 AM
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Let me say that, in a perfect world where we magically had sufficient time to consider each statement, each issue, each action on its own merits, I would agree with you, DSY.

We're not in that world.

In this world, there's orders of magnitude of more stuff to consider than there is time to mentally do it justice. So yeah, we're going to winnow down the field by past experience of the actors involved, and some quick shortcuts of logic and probability, to deal with most of the ones we don't simply ignore.

If that's bias, then so be it.

Last edited by RTFirefly; 01-10-2019 at 10:42 AM.
  #194  
Old 01-10-2019, 01:28 PM
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You're right. When Trump says something, I should forget everything I knew about him, and make no assumptions about the likelihood of its truth or falseness before examining that particular statement. Doing otherwise would demonstrate my bias.
Your commentary wasn't, as I recall, based on anything having to do with the President, but rather, having to do with the Republican Party in general, n'est-ce pas? Are you then asserting that you think you have a valid reason to treat the Republican Party as a whole in a biased way, and the Democratic Party in a differently biased way, such that you can treat all Democratic Party actions as "innocent" and all Republican Party actions as somehow nefarious? If so, your opinions, as far as I'm concerned, lose significant weight.
  #195  
Old 01-10-2019, 05:33 PM
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Your commentary wasn't, as I recall, based on anything having to do with the President, but rather, having to do with the Republican Party in general, n'est-ce pas?
Wow, you got me there!

Yes, I was in fact illustrating my point with an example.
Quote:
Are you then asserting that you think you have a valid reason to treat the Republican Party as a whole in a biased way, and the Democratic Party in a differently biased way
Absolutely not!

Look, if I were to prejudge an Estonian I'd never met and knew nothing about because I'd had some rotten experiences with Estonians in the past, that would be bias and prejudice.

But if I'd had a great deal of direct experience of that particular Estonian, and knew a great deal more about him indirectly, then understanding the implications of his present behavior in light of his track record wouldn't be bias in the the least.

For you to claim otherwise would be bullshit.

And it's still bullshit if we're talking about the Republican Party rather than an Estonian.
Quote:
If so, your opinions, as far as I'm concerned, lose significant weight.
Since you've already amply demonstrated here why I should disregard your opinion, I think this is a cross I will be able to find the strength to bear.
  #196  
Old 01-10-2019, 08:29 PM
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There is nothing wrong with what RTFirefly said. There is ample reason to think that the reported mistakes are probably minor, seeing how long it took them to be discovered, and how they were found in response to another actual crises. While he didn't formally state these as premises, it is clear these are the reasons given.

On the other hand, Steophan's claim was unfounded, as sniping comments usually are. Rather than look at any possible differences in the situations at hand, he cried hypocrisy without any actual basis given. It was, in effect, an ad hominem attack. No actual contradiction of the original premises was offered, nor were they shown to be invalid. They thus remain.

There is nothing at all wrong with reasoning using imperfect information to come up with an conclusion one believes to most likely be true. This only becomes a problem if one refuses to update their conclusion when more information is discovered.
  #197  
Old 01-22-2019, 01:56 PM
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GOP asked judge to certify Harris despite the probe but the judge turned them down.

https://www.newsobserver.com/news/po...224889035.html
  #198  
Old 02-18-2019, 11:30 AM
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They are having a hearing now on the absentee voter scam in the 9th district. Looking bad for the GOP

https://abc11.com/politics/live-gop-...s-say/5143090/
  #199  
Old 02-18-2019, 12:15 PM
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The Raleigh News and Observer has live updates. Dowless's ex-stepdaughter just testified.

Dowless is in some serious trouble here.
  #200  
Old 02-18-2019, 04:39 PM
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That site wants me to turn off adblock, and doing so, the page won't load fully.
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