Tuesday, November 03, 2020

It's Election Day

      You might as well get out there and vote, if you haven't already.  Lots of other people have been voting at you, or will have by the end of the day.

      We're probably not going to see official results for weeks -- and this is normal.  Yes, it's normal.  I grew up with -- we all grew up with -- very good independent reporting and predictive procedures.  While the pre-election polls can vary widely (2016, anyone?), we're all used to rapid, accurate preliminary results on election day, and most* Presidential elections of my adult life have had a clear winner by midnight.  But those were never the official results; in most states, official, fully-certified results come days later.  In many states, absentee ballots get counted last.  This year, we've got a close election and unprecedented numbers of absentee ballots.

      We may not have a definitive result for quite some time.  Expect it.  Try to grasp that elections in the United States are so chaotic and amateurish at the voting-booth level that large-scale cheating is just about impossible -- and all the way up from there to the determination of who gets the electors, you have enthusiastic members of at least two parties watching one another with a wary eye for any sign of skullduggerous behavior.  (There's a handbook -- here's Indiana's.)  Voting machines and vote-tabulating machines are tested before and after, with observers from the two main parties overseeing.  Our state election systems are all going to be counting for all they are worth, and counting honestly, if for no other reason than how closely they are being watched.  It's as honest and fair as can be managed.

      We'll get results eventually.  I am hoping for a clear outcome by Wednesday morning but I expect we'll go to bed not knowing, while politicians and their partisans bleat of victory or deceit.  Talk in advance of hard numbers is bullshit.  Counting takes time; inflaming popular passions is easy and quick.  Don't get sucked into it: the results will be whatever they will be, and we'll live with them for four years, plus or minus two for Senators and Congressthings.  Downtown businesses in Indianapolis have boarded up their windows and I am hopeful it will have been unnecessary.
* Bush v. Gore, anyone?

1 comment:

Paul said...

I voted long lines but calm and orderly. Pretty good cross section of who lives around here

I did vote no to retaining any judge just because