Friday, October 30, 2020
We come before you one last time before lurching toward what some are calling The Most Important Presidential Election of Our Lifetimes. You may ask, does this mean the end of the incessant spinning and spitting, the vitriol and hate-filled yammering? Of course not! Not as long as there are ballots left to count. But at least those TV ads will go away.
The down-ballot discourse has been no gentler. Character assassination has been a staple in many of the statewide row-office races, along with congressional and Statehouse contests. Ugh. Not that it’s an excuse, but there is a lot at stake – the next General Assembly gets to draw congressional districts. Come Wednesday, in order to put it behind you, and clean it off you, enjoy a long, hot shower.
So let’s talk ballot-counting. Some PA counties do not plan to begin counting mailed-in ballots right away. Also, it’s not clear if the U.S. Supreme Court will revisit the issue of whether ballots that arrive after Election Day will be counted.
The New York Times took a look at ballot-counting in seven swing states, including ours. How does all this translate into when results will be known? The best the Times could do was to paraphrase election officials as saying “results could take several days to report.” Gosh, “several days” doesn’t sound all that bad, but, um, what exactly is the definition of “several?”
Another question: How well will this year’s polling data match up with the official election results? We all know how that worked out last time. Now, the pollsters say, “Trust us, we’ve tightened things up.” And indeed, they appear to be paying much closer attention to swing states and giving less credence to national polling results. Still…
Back to the down-ballot races… Did you even know you have the opportunity to choose a brand-new state auditor and either re-elect or dismiss our state attorney general and state treasurer? Or that four of the 18 congressional races are pretty darn close? See, this is what happens when the Most Important Presidential Election of Our Lifetimes sucks all the air out of the airwaves.
Harkening back to Halloweens when we and our contemporaries dressed as Richard Nixon and begged for candy, we imagine that many Trick-or-Treaters may be planning to masquerade as President Trump this year. Just so you know, the Real President Trump will be making three Keystone State appearances on Halloween, so if you really want to stand out among the gaggle, you might think of a ginning up a costume of Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, either of the Bushes, Bill Clinton or Barack Obama. Just sayin.’
For those of you who have waited to mail in your ballots, IT’S TOO LATE! You can still present them in person at various locations (drop-off sites are listed here), and of course, there’s still the Old School method known as Voting In Person. The only requirements are that you need to be a registered voter and an actual person.
PennLive columnist John Baer has some last-minute advice for Biden and Trump that could muster enough votes to capture Pennsylvania if the race is as close as some believe.
Have you had about enough election stuff? Yeah, us too. Let’s shift gears and give a Triad shout-out to our pal Craig Snyder, most recently of the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia and former chief of staff to the late U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, and now the newly appointed president and CEO of Indigo Global. Congrats, Craig!
Although she says PA is better prepared to handle coronavirus cases than in April, Health Secretary Rachel Levine noted this week that infection numbers are spiking upward, as they are in most of the rest of the country. She is warning that even small Thanksgiving celebrations could cause the trend to worsen.
The PA Liquor Control Board this week voted 2-1 to waive $27.7 million in alcohol sales fees to help businesses who have been devastated by COVID-19. Bar and restaurant owners said the move will not help much. The dissenting board member said he did not believe the PLCB has the authority to waive statutorily set fees.
Over on Triad social media, our colleague Todd Brysiak looks back on 2015, which yielded some impactful policy changes, and wonders whether the current environment portends a similar period in the coming months.
In our We Can’t Make This Up segment, we travel (via Amtrak’s Keystone Service, of course) to New York City, where a citizen waiting for a bus suddenly plunged through a sinkhole and fell 15 feet into a pit of rats. We took this as a metaphor for the fate of one or the other of the presidential candidates in next week’s General Election.
At Triad World Headquarters, we do not pick sides. Our tent is large enough to accommodate everybody, and our welcome mat is always out. Please extricate yourself from any rats before entering.
And that’s what passes for news around here this week! We’ll see you back here next week with or without election results, and until then, JUST VOTE!