The Adjusted Normal, 47. Neither Snow nor...Cutbacks?

From across the pond more news of excess flies to our ears. This time, it's the Postal Service.

Thanks to the devil virus, during the primaries this year, many people requested mail-in ballots. This summer, many are requesting mail-in ballots for November. Among them are my daughter and I, though ours would have been absentee ballots even without a pandemic. Whether our vote counts or not, though, depends on the speed with which the ballots are delivered.

The new Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, appointed this May, announced from the beginning he was going to put into place cost cutting measures, including no overtime, reducing personnel, and closing some offices. All this during a pandemic, with people ordering online, and the Postal Service delivering most of that merchandise, and during an election year. As a result, the speed with which the mail-in ballots will be delivered is in question.

States have their own criteria on how long it should take the ballots to arrive and be sent back, and act accordingly. Most, if not all, have not taken into account the upcoming slowness of the Postal Service, which already has mail delivery backlogs. Those states which give voters more leeway time will probably have less problems, but voters in states with short times, might well become disenfranchised. Will my daughter's and my vote count? If we don't receive our ballots within the next couple of weeks, I'm not so sure.

Those who see a conspiracy in this are probably right. The new Postmaster General is a donor to Trump's campaign, and the Republican party. Aside from Trump's disdain and intent to dismantle the public Postal Service, there are DeJoy's business ties to private parcel services, such as UPS, rival of the U.S. Postal Service.

In addition, yesterday Trump tweeted one of his inflammatory tweets, in an attempt to deflect attention from the eulogies presented by three former presidents at the funeral of John Lewis. To Trump it's all about me, me, me. His tweet was a warning to us all, as he suggested that the election should be delayed until everyone could vote safely in person, because, in his opinion, mail-in voting creates fraud. 

In Europe, elections have no set date. We enter an election year, and the Congress decides which day to set them. Or the regional parliament. Or the national association of townships and metropolitan areas. But Election Day in the United States is always the first Tuesday in November by law. A law that was approved by Congress, and which only Congress can change. A little bit of change would be a good idea, such as setting the date on the first Sunday in November, for example. That way, working people wouldn't have to juggle their schedule to make it on time to their local polling place. But, again, only Congress can change the date.

That Trump should dare to suggest that, and that Secretary of State Pompeo respond to reporters in a wafflish manner about moving the elections, is scary. This guy is going down fighting. He will go down, but he will break as many plates in the china shop as he can. Between closing down polling places, and now making sure mail-in ballots will not arrive on time, he is disenfranchising everyone who might vote against him, if he simply doesn't cancel elections in some underhanded, evil way. 

If we're lucky, and on January 20th, we applaud the inauguration of Joe Biden, we can rest easy that the mechanics put into place to keep the nation moving are strong. And we can, through Congress, strengthen them further, to make sure another clown, and the shadows behind him, never gets into power again. Or can be removed easily should that happen. If we're not that lucky, I assume martial law will have been imposed by January 20th, and the world will be setting up shields to avoid the mud spatters.  

Nope, we won't talk about the year 2020 in the future. It'll be like the 13th floor in some buildings - nonexistent.

Life continues.

Mailbox, Mail Box, Mail, Box, Snow


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