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How Long Will Vote Counting Take on Election Day? Estimates and Deadlines in All 50 States!

Maryland vote counting for November election to begin Oct. 1 in  anticipation of avalanche of mail-in ballots - Baltimore Sun

Although many winners may quickly be evident on election night, the increase in mail voting because of the pandemic is expected to push back the release of full results in many key states.

The New York Times asked officials in every state and the District of Columbia about their reporting processes and what share of votes they expect to be counted by noon on Wednesday, Nov. 4. There is a fair amount of uncertainty surrounding results in any election, but below is what they said to expect. 

Tony

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State

Timing of results

When last polls close (Eastern time)

Type of ballots reported first

Can postmarked ballots arrive later?

Do those who request a mail ballot but vote in person instead cast a provisional ballot?

Alabama
Solid R

The secretary of state has said to expect all unofficial results on election night.

8 p.m.

No order

No

Yes, reviewed later

Alaska
Likely R

The only results reported on election night will be from in-person early voting through Oct. 29 and from the precincts on Election Day. No mail or other absentee ballots will be counted until about a week later.

1 a.m. (most at midnight)

Early in-person and Election Day ballots

Yes, by Nov. 13. No mail ballots counted until around Nov. 10.

No

Arizona
Lean D

Officials are not predicting the share of ballots that will be reported by Wednesday. A new law allows officials to count mail votes starting two weeks before the election, so the first votes, typically reported at 10 p.m. Eastern, are likely to be relatively stronger for Mr. Biden.

9 p.m.

Early votes (in-person and mail ballots arriving before Election Day)

No

Yes, reviewed later

Arkansas
Solid R

Officials estimate that nearly all votes will be reported by noon on Wednesday.

8:30 p.m.

Varies by county, but early in-person votes often first

No

Yes, reviewed on election night

California
Solid D

Officials did not make a timing estimate but noted that all active registered voters were sent mail ballots, and that late-arriving mail ballots and provisional ballots would be counted over the following days and weeks.

11 p.m.

Mail ballots arriving before Election Day

Yes, as late as Nov. 20

Yes, in some counties, if voter does not surrender mail ballot. Reviewed later.

Colorado
Likely D

Officals estimate that 75 percent to 80 percent of votes will be reported by midday Wednesday, depending on how many voters wait to return their ballot or decide to vote in person on Election Day.

9 p.m.

No order, most vote by mail

No

No

Connecticut
Solid D

Officials said it is impossible to predict when all votes will be reported, but for most towns, it will probably be earlier than the statutory deadline of 96 hours (Saturday).

8 p.m.

No order

No

No

Delaware
Solid D

Officials estimate that more than 99 percent of votes will be reported by noon on Wednesday.

8 p.m.

No order

No

No

District of Columbia
Solid D

Officials did not have an estimate for the timing of results.

8 p.m.

Early in-person and processed mail ballots

Yes, by Nov. 13. Reported on a rolling basis.

No, as long as the voter has not already mailed in a ballot.

Florida
Tossup

All early voting and previously tabulated mail ballots, which are likely to be relatively stronger for Mr. Biden, should be reported by 8:30 p.m. Eastern. Officials did not make a projection for the timing of full unofficial results, but they were allowed to process early-arriving mail ballots starting weeks before the election.

8 p.m. (most at 7 p.m.)

Early in-person and counted mail ballots

No

Yes, if voter does not surrender mail ballot. Reviewed later.

Georgia
Tossup

Officials did not provide an estimate but said that because of the large volume of mail ballots expected, it could take a couple of days for all of them to be scanned and counted. The secretary of state has said he expects the winners of most races to be announced by Nov. 4.

7 p.m.

No order

No

No. If a voter does not surrender a mail ballot, the voter can sign an affidavit and cast a regular ballot.

Hawaii
Solid D

Votes are released in three stages, with early mail ballots at midnight Eastern, in-person votes at 3 a.m. Eastern and a final report later. Officials estimate that 95 percent to 99 percent of votes will be reported as of Wednesday.

Midnight

Mail ballots processed up to Election Day

No

No

Idaho
Solid R

Officials estimate that nearly all votes will be reported by noon on Wednesday.

11 p.m. (some at 10 p.m.)

No order

No

No

Illinois
Solid D

Officials did not have an estimate, saying that timing will depend on when voters return their ballots. The number of mail ballots that have not yet been returned will be reported here.

8 p.m.

Early in-person and processed mail ballots

Yes, by Nov. 17

Yes, if voter does not surrender mail ballot. Counted within two weeks.

Indiana
Likely R

Officials say the speed of counting will depend on the volume of absentee ballots, and that a more complete picture of results may not be available for several days after the election.

7 p.m. (most at 6 p.m.)

No order

No

In some situations

Iowa
Tossup

Officials said they are confident they will have unofficial results “in a timely fashion like we do for every election.”

10 p.m.

Absentee ballots likely first

Yes, by Nov. 9

Yes, if voter does not surrender mail ballot

Kansas
Likely R

Officials said they could not speculate on the timing of results but noted that the state did not experience systematic delays in its Aug. 4 primary.

9 p.m. (most at 8 p.m.)

Typically early in-person and some mail votes

Yes, by Nov. 6. Results reported daily.

Yes, reviewed between Nov. 9 and Nov. 17

Kentucky
Solid R

Officials said they could not speculate on the timing of complete results. Counties have been instructed to report all in-person votes and mail ballots arriving by 6 p.m. by midnight on election night.

7 p.m. (6 p.m. in some counties)

No order

Yes, by Nov. 6. Results reported on Nov. 6 and 10.

No

Louisiana
Solid R

No timing estimates provided.

9 p.m.

No order

No

No

Maine
Likely D*
Solid D (1st Dist.), Tossup (2nd Dist.)

Officials are not expecting delays processing mail ballots unless most absentee voters wait until Election Day to return them.

8 p.m.

No order

No

No

Maryland
Solid D

Officials said they could not estimate how many votes would be reported by noon on Wednesday.

8 p.m.

Early in-person and counted mail ballots

Yes, by Nov. 13. Results reported each day those ballots are counted.

Yes, reviewed beginning Nov. 12

Massachusetts
Solid D

In recent elections, 97 percent of votes were reported by noon on Wednesday. Officials say they do not expect any changes to the number of precincts reporting this year but noted that ballots arriving on Election Day and after will be counted on or after Nov. 6.

8 p.m.

No order

Yes, by Nov. 6. Officials will start counting ballots arriving after 5 p.m. on Nov. 3 on Nov. 6.

No

Michigan
Lean D

Officials have said that full unofficial results could take until Nov. 6. Processing of ballots does not begin until Election Day, or the day before the election in some jurisdictions. If there are a significant number of mail ballots outstanding at the end of election night, the reported totals could be relatively stronger for Mr. Trump.

9 p.m. (most at 8 p.m.)

No order

No

No. If a voter does not surrender a mail ballot, the voter can sign an affidavit to cancel it and cast a ballot that will be tabulated that day.

Minnesota
Lean D

Officials expect to count and report close to 100 percent of votes cast on or before Election Day by noon Wednesday. Outstanding mail ballots will be reported on the secretary of state’s website.

9 p.m.

No order

Yes, by Nov. 10. Results reported daily.

No

Mississippi
Solid R

Officials estimate that 90 percent to 95 percent of votes will be reported by noon on Wednesday.

8 p.m.

No order

Yes, by Nov. 10. No reporting schedule for results.

Yes, reviewed during 10 days following election

Missouri
Likely R

Officials estimate that more than 99 percent of votes will be reported by noon on Wednesday.

8 p.m.

No order

No

No

Montana
Likely R

Officials said they expect timely results from the counties. Most voters were sent mail ballots.

10 p.m.

Typically mail and other absentee ballots start to be reported first.

No

No

Nebraska
Solid R*
Lean D (2nd Dist.)

No details provided.

9 p.m.

No

Yes, if the voter did not return the ballot or lost it. Reviewed within 10 days.

Nevada
Lean D

Officials said they did not know what share of votes would be reported by noon Wednesday. Ballots were mailed to all active registered voters.

10 p.m.

No order

Yes, by Nov. 10. Results reported daily.

No, as long as the voter has not already mailed in a ballot.

New Hampshire
Lean D

No details provided.

8 p.m. (most at 7 p.m.)

No

No

New Jersey
Solid D

Officials said they did not have a prediction for when a complete count would be available. Mail ballots were sent to all active, registered voters. It took weeks to finish counting ballots during the state’s July primary.

8 p.m.

No order

Yes, by Nov. 10. Reporting varies by county.

Yes, counted beginning Nov. 10

New Mexico
Solid D

Officials did not provide an estimate but said that they expected that the majority, if not all, of the winners in the state would be evident by midday Wednesday.

9 p.m.

Early in-person and processed mail ballots

No

No. Voter can sign an affadavit to cancel mail ballot and cast a regular ballot in person.

New York
Solid D

Only unofficial results from in-person early and Election Day voting will be released on election night. Absentee ballots will be reported in the following days, depending on the county. It took weeks to finish counting ballots during the state’s June primary.

9 p.m.

In-person early and Election Day ballots

Yes, by Nov. 10. Results reporting varies by county.

No. If a voter casts an in-person ballot, the absentee ballot is set aside and not counted.

North Carolina
Tossup

Early votes and processed mail ballots, which are likely to be relatively stronger for Mr. Biden, will be reported around 7:30 p.m. Election day results, which are likely to be relatively stronger for Mr. Trump, will be reported between 8:30 p.m. and 1 a.m. Officials estimate that upward of 98 percent of ballots cast will be reported on election night.

7:30 p.m.

Early in-person and processed mail ballots

Yes, by Nov. 12

No

North Dakota
Solid R

Officials expect all ballots cast before and on Election Day to be reported by noon on Wednesday. The timing of complete unofficial results will depend on how many postmarked ballots arrive after Election Day.

9 p.m.

No order

Yes, by Nov. 9. All ballots arriving after Election Day reported on Nov. 9.

No

Ohio
Tossup

Ballots cast before Election Day will be reported by 8 p.m., and they are likely to be relatively stronger for Mr. Biden. They will be followed by those cast in-person or arriving on Election Day. After election night, no more results will be released until final certification, which must be completed by Nov. 28. No predictions were provided for the share of results reported by Wednesday.

7:30 p.m.

Absentee ballots cast in-person or by mail before Election Day

Yes, by Nov. 13. All ballots arriving after Election Day reported by Nov. 28.

Yes, only for those voting on Election Day. Reported by Nov. 28.

Oklahoma
Solid R

Officials said that they do not have an estimate for when full unofficial results will be available, but that typically all counties finish reporting results on election night.

8 p.m.

Typically, early in-person results

No

No

Oregon
Solid D

Officials do not have an estimate for when full unofficial results will be available. In the past two general elections, about 10 percent of votes remained outstanding by noon on Wednesday.

11 p.m. (some 10 p.m.)

No order, vote entirely by mail

No

No

Pennsylvania
Lean D

Secretary of the Commonwealth Kathy Boockvar has said that she expects “the overwhelming majority” of votes will be counted by Friday, Nov. 6. Officials cannot begin to process mail ballots until Election Day, and if there are a significant number of mail ballots outstanding at the end of the night, the reported totals could be relatively stronger for Mr. Trump.

8 p.m.

Officials did not specify, but Ms. Boockvar has said that in order to prevent large swings in results, she is asking counties to report mail votes routinely instead of all at once.

Yes, by Nov. 6. Reporting will vary by county.

Yes, if voter does not surrender mail ballot. Reviewed within seven days.

Rhode Island
Solid D

The state had initially planned not to report any mail votes on election night, but its elections board voted Monday to release a first count at 11 p.m. A second count will be released the next day; a third will be released when all mail votes have been counted; and a fourth, final release (to resolve any ballots with outstanding issues) will occur the week after the election.

8 p.m.

In-person votes

No

Yes, reviewed within two days.

South Carolina
Likely R

Officials say that their goal is to release 100 percent of results on election night, but that the number of mail ballots could push processing into Wednesday in some counties.

7 p.m.

Varies by county

No

Yes, if voters say they never received ballot. Reviewed on Nov. 6.

South Dakota
Solid R

No statewide estimates on timing provided, but officials in Minnehaha County, which includes Sioux Falls, said they planned to finish counting ballots late on Nov. 4.

9 p.m. (most at 8 p.m.)

Varies by county

No

No

Tennessee
Solid R

Officials say they cannot predict but hope that more than 99 percent of votes will be reported by noon on Wednesday.

8 p.m.

No order

No

Yes. Most will be reviewed and counted within four business days of the election, if the voter’s mail ballot has not been received.

Texas
Tossup

No estimate was provided for the share that will be reported by Wednesday. Because an excuse is required to vote by mail in Texas, officials do not think that processing those votes will result in delays, though increased turnout could.

9 p.m. (most at 8 p.m.)

Depends on the county.

Yes, by Nov. 4. Reporting varies by county.

Yes, if voter does not surrender mail ballot.

Utah
Likely R

Officials did not have an estimate for when full unofficial results will be available. In the past two general elections, about 30 percent of votes remained outstanding by noon on Wednesday.

10 p.m.

No order, most vote by mail.

Yes, by Nov. 10 to Nov. 17, depending on the county. Reported daily.

Yes, if voter does not surrender mail ballot. Reviewed by Nov. 17.

Vermont
Solid D

Officials estimate that unofficial results will be available for most or all precincts by midnight.

7 p.m.

No order

No

No

Virginia
Likely D

Election Day in-person votes, which are likely to be relatively stronger for Mr. Trump, are likely to be reported first in most counties. After an 11 p.m. deadline, counties must report all early in-person ballots and mail ballots processed up to that point. Officials did not estimate what share would be reported by Wednesday.

7 p.m.

In most counties, in-person Election Day votes

Yes, by noon on Nov. 6. Mail ballots processed after election night will be reported on Friday, Nov. 6.

Yes, if voter does not surrender mail ballot

Washington
Solid D

Officials estimate that less than 50 percent of votes will be reported on election night.

11 p.m.

No order, most vote by mail

Yes, by Nov. 23.

No

West Virginia
Solid R

Officials did not provide an estimate, saying the timing would depend on how many people request absentee ballots and return them before Election Day.

7:30 p.m.

No order

Yes, by Nov. 9. Those arriving after Election Day reported Nov. 9.

Yes, if voter does not surrender mail ballot. Reviewed beginning Nov. 9.

Wisconsin
Lean D

Gov. Tony Evers has said he expects to know the results on election night, or by the day after at the latest. The elections director in Milwaukee County, which officials say has the potential to be the latest to report, said that results could take until between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. Wednesday.

9 p.m.

No order in most places, but in-person votes could come first in 39 municipalities that count absentee ballots separately (including Milwaukee).

No

No

Wyoming
Solid R

Officials have said they expect more than 99 percent of votes to be reported by noon on Wednesday.

9 p.m.

No order

No

Yes, reviewed on election night.

United States Democracy on Edge:  Major Department Stores Are Boarding Up Windows and Increasing Security for Election Day!

Midtown Stores Board Up Windows Ahead of Potential Election Night Unrest –  NBC New York

Dear Commons Community,

In a show of how stressed the country is, retailers and department stores are making security plans to deal with potential unrest on Election Day.  Major chains like Macys and Norstram have already started boarding up their windows.  In Beverly Hills, the police said they would take a “proactive approach” and close Rodeo Drive, the renowned strip of luxury retailers, on Tuesday and Wednesday, citing the likelihood of increased “protest activity.” The police, working with private security companies, said they would also be on “full alert” throughout Beverly Hills starting on Halloween and continuing into election week.  As reported by the New York Times. 

“The nation is on edge as the bitter presidential contest finally nears an end, the latest flashpoint in a bruising year that has included the pandemic and widespread protests over social justice. Anxiety has been mounting for months that the election’s outcome could lead to civil unrest, no matter who wins. In the retail industry, many companies are not simply concerned about possible mayhem — they are planning for it.

In a show of just how volatile the situation seems to the industry, 120 representatives from 60 retail brands attended a video conference this week hosted by the National Retail Federation, which involved training for store employees on how to de-escalate tensions among customers, including those related to the election. The trade group also hired security consultants who have prepped retailers about which locations around the country are likely to be the most volatile when the polls close.

“I am 50-plus years old, and I didn’t think I would live to see this,” said Shane Fernett, who owns a contracting business in Colorado Springs and has been stocking up on plywood to board up his retail customers. “You read about this in third-world countries, not America.”

For the retail industry, 2020 has been filled with bankruptcies, store closures and plummeting sales as tens of millions of Americans struggled with job losses because of the pandemic. Protests over police violence against Black citizens sent millions of people into the streets, demonstrations that in some cases devolved into the looting and burning of stores in a number of cities. Worries about unrest around the election have been fanned by President Trump, who has declined to say whether he would agree to a peaceful transfer of power if his Democratic challenger, Joseph R. Biden Jr., is victorious.

Protests flared again this week after Walter Wallace Jr., a Black man with mental health issues who was carrying a knife, was killed by the police in Philadelphia. That set off looting and clashes with the police in parts of the city. Citing the civil unrest in Philadelphia, Walmart said on Thursday that it was removing all of its firearms and ammunition from its sales floors across the country. On Friday, Walmart said it was returning guns to the sales floor, after determining that the incidents of unrest “have remained geographically isolated.”

This year, businesses have already sustained at least $1 billion in insured losses from looting and vandalism largely set off by the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer in May, according to

It is on target to be the most costly period of civil unrest in history, likely surpassing damages during the 1992 riots in Los Angeles and many of the civil rights protests of the late 1960s.

The situation in 2020 has drawn comparisons to protests in the 1960s, but Derek Hyra, an associate professor in the School of Public Affairs at American University, said recent unrest had been more geographically widespread, affecting a wider swath of businesses.

“Most of the rioting and burning in the 1960s happened within the geography of low-income Black spaces,” Mr. Hyra said. “In the 2020 unrest, more of it happened in downtown and affluent areas.

“It’s not just urban America,” he added. “The protests have been in the suburbs, they’ve been in rural areas.”

Protecting properties from potential damage is not a simple decision. Retailers can risk alienating their customers by erecting plywood, particularly if the anticipated unrest does not materialize.

“You are sending a message when you do that,” Stephanie Martz, general counsel of the National Retail Federation, said. “You don’t want to necessarily engage in this kind of grim forecasting.”

Some companies aren’t taking chances — the iconic Macy’s location in Manhattan’s Herald Square was boarded up on Friday. But other large businesses are keeping their plans vague.

Target, with about 1,900 stores, said in a statement, “Like many businesses, we’re taking precautionary steps to ensure safety at our stores, including giving our store leaders guidance on how to take care of their teams.”

Before Trump, America use to be a beacon of democracy to the world.  Not now!

Tony

 

Family of Walter Wallace Jr. Does Not Want Police Charged with Murder!

Family of Walter Wallace Jr. Says They Called for Ambulance, Not Police –  NBC10 Philadelphia

Family of Walter Wallace Jr.

Dear Commons Community,

The Associated Press reported this morning that the family of Walter Wallace Jr. does not want the officers, who have not yet been publicly identified, to be charged with murder because they were improperly trained and didn’t have the right equipment to do their job.  As reported:

“The footage from body-worn cameras that was taken as police responded to a call about Walter Wallace Jr. shows him emerging from a house with a knife as relatives shout at officers about his mental health condition, a lawyer for the man’s family said Thursday.

The video also shows Wallace became incapacitated after the first shot of 14 that two officers fired at him, said lawyer Shaka Johnson, describing footage he said police showed him and other members of Wallace’s family before a plan to release it and 911 calls publicly.

“I understand he had a knife, but that does not give you carte blanche to execute a man, quite frankly,” Johnson told reporters at a news conference outside Philadelphia City Hall. “What other than death did you intend when you shoot a man — each officer — seven times apiece?”

The video shows “instant panic” from officers whose training taught them only how to open fire, he said, noting he saw no viable attempt from officers to deescalate the situation.

“What you will not see is a man with a knife lunging at anyone that would qualify as a reason to assassinate him,” Johnson said.

The mayor’s office said in a news release late Thursday that the body cam footage and the 911 audio would be released publicly by the end of next week.

Police also faced rebuke from Philadelphia leaders as the anguished city bemoaned the department’s response to a year of extraordinary, and sometimes violent, civil unrest.

The City Council, joining leaders of other cities, voted to block police from using tear gas, rubber bullets or pepper spray on peaceful protesters after hearing hours of testimony from people injured or traumatized by them, including a group hit with tear gas as they were corralled near a highway overpass.

“It was undisciplined, it was indiscriminate and it hurt a lot of people,” said Council Member Helen Gym, who introduced the bill.

The moves follow days of protests, store break-ins and ATM thefts after the death of Wallace, a Black man, that led the mayor to lock down the city Wednesday night with an overnight curfew.

The family had called Monday for both medical services and police, but only the latter arrived, lawyer Shaka Johnson said. Less than 30 seconds into the encounter, Wallace was dead, felled by a blast of 14 bullets, he said.

Police have said the two officers fired after Wallace ignored orders to drop a knife. Wallace’s mother and wife were outside, shouting to police about his mental health problems, Johnson said.

In a news conference Wednesday, Outlaw lamented the lack of a behavioral health unit in a department she joined only this year.

She pledged to address that need and also told the council that she supports the goal of their bill, which she said aligns with current police policy. Mayor Jim Kenney also supports the ban in principle but wants to review it before signing it into law, a spokesman said.

The city had a strong record of accommodating protesters in recent years, until the Black Lives Matter protests erupted in the city May 30, following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Chaos and violent clashes ensued and broke out anew this week after Wallace’s death in a predominantly Black section of west Philadelphia.

“The unjustified shooting of Walter Wallace Jr. this week has our city both raging and grieving, but also extraordinarily purposeful about taking action,” Gym said.

Raging and grieving indeed!

Tony

Michelle Goldberg:  Trump Is a “Narcissistic Philistine”

Amazon.com: MAGNET Trump MAGA GOP 2020 Narcissist Magnet Decal Fridge Metal  Magnet Window Vinyl 5": Kitchen & Dining

Dear Commons Community,

Michelle Goldberg in her New York Times column this morning laments all we have lost in America during the four years of Trump’s presidency due to coronavirus death and devastation, children not in school, the likelihood of Roe v. Wade being overturned, mass unemployment, and immigrant children who have no parents.  She then focuses on the time and energy that our country has wasted on our “narcissistic philistine” of  a president  who thinks about nothing but himself and has no appreciation for American values and culture.  Every moment thinking about Trump was a moment that could have been spent contemplating, creating or appreciating something else.

She concludes that America has been living in a perpetual state of emergency under Trump that isn’t healthy or sustainable. “Living in Trump’s panic-inducing eternal present is bad for art and bad for imagination more broadly, including the imagination needed to conceive a future in which Trumpism is unthinkable. If people no longer had to throw themselves in front of the bulldozer of this presidency, there would be more energy for progress and for pleasure. Trump has blocked out the sun. Only when he’s gone will we see how much we’ve been missing.”

Below is the entire column.  Read it and hope that the nightmare of this president will be over soon!

Tony


New York Times

Four Wasted Years Thinking About Donald Trump

By Michelle Goldberg

Oct. 29, 2020

It’s very hard to catalog all the things we’ve lost under the presidency of Donald Trump.

As I write this, over 225,000 Americans have lost their lives to Covid-19. Many of our children have lost months of school. Soon a huge part of the country will lose Thanksgiving.

Because of the Trump administration’s barbaric family separation policy, 545 children may be lost to their parents forever. America has lost its status as a leading democracy. We lost Ruth Bader Ginsburg, so we’re probably going to lose Roe v. Wade. More people have lost their jobs under Trump than under any president since at least World War II.

Compared with all this, mourning the cultural casualties of the Trump years might be frivolous.

But when I think back, from my obviously privileged position, on the texture of daily life during the past four years, all the attention sucked up by this black hole of a president has been its own sort of loss. Every moment spent thinking about Trump is a moment that could have been spent contemplating, creating or appreciating something else. Trump is a narcissistic philistine, and he bent American culture toward him.

Early on, some thought the catastrophe of Trump’s election could be a catalyst for aesthetic glory. “In times of artistic alienation, distress is often repaid to us in the form of great work, much of it galvanizing or clarifying or (believe it or not) empowering,” wrote New York magazine’s Jerry Saltz.

I’ve no doubt that great work was created over the past four years, but I missed much of it, because I was too busy staring in incredulous horror at my phone. That would be the luxury problem of someone who follows politics for a living, except I wasn’t alone.

The easiest place to quantify the cultural impoverishment of the Trump era is in book publishing. There have been so many books about Trump and the fallout from Trumpism that the Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post book critic Carlos Lozada has written a book about all the Trump books. “More political books have sold across all formats during this presidential term than at any point in NPD BookScan history,” said a recent report from the leading data company for U.S. book sales.

I’ve read many of these books and greatly appreciated some of them. But these books, and their blockbuster popularity, made it harder for other work to break through. “Fiction lost out to nonfiction since 2015,” said NPD’s Kristen McLean. The decline in fiction sales began before this presidency, but during the past four years it accelerated. “Trump taking up space in our brain and crowding out our ability to think about anything else is definitely, I think, part of the phenomenon,” she said.

It’s a phenomenon experienced even by some who’ve made literature their lives. The novelist Meg Wolitzer was a co-editor of “The Best American Short Stories 2017.” She described sitting in her apartment after her husband had gone to bed on election night in 2016, story submissions scattered around her. “I saw these stories and I thought, ‘How am I going to return to reading these tomorrow with the great attention and hope that I need to give them?’” she recalled to me. “Is that lost?”

It wasn’t, but she still feels the manic churn of current events fraying her concentration. “Right now it’s all about, ‘How will this end?’” Wolitzer said. “And that is so different from how we read fiction, because it’s about the desire to stay in this world, to be suspended in this world.”

Before Trump, I’d never had the feeling of wanting to fast-forward through the era I was living in, of longing to be in the future, looking back at how it all turned out. The conceit that there’s a gonzo writers room scripting current events is partly about astonishment at how crazy everything seems, but it’s also about a fantasy of narrative coherence — that one day all of this will make sense. When you are living through a baffling, all-encompassing drama, it becomes harder to lose yourself in other, unrelated stories.

I’d have thought that dramatic television would flourish in a time when reality has become so toxic, but instead it feels like Peak TV has, well, peaked. As Vanity’s Fair’s TV critic Sonia Saraiya wrote, “The daily clown show cuts into television’s bandwidth, both figuratively and literally, occupying space in the national conversation, and therefore our brains, that might be instead filled with, among many other things, the heir to ‘The Sopranos.’”

The great shows that have come out over the past four years have largely been riffs on our national calamity, not counterpoints to it. “The Handmaid’s Tale” was a nightmare about sadistic patriarchy. “Succession” is the story of an overbearing right-wing media mogul and his weak-willed children. “Watchmen” was almost a photonegative of Trumpism, in which white nationalism was a guerrilla insurgency rather than a ruling ideology. Like the hit movie “Get Out,” which premiered just days after Trump’s inauguration, it turned on secret racist malice. The 2016 election turned on the same thing.

Of course, it can be thrilling when art and entertainment are politically relevant. But when politics are so alarming that the rest of the world seems to recede, it creates cultural claustrophobia. Since Election Day 2016, writers, artists and critics have wondered what many forms of cultural production — novels, fine art, theater, fashion — mean “in the age of Trump.” It’s a cliché — one I know I’ve used — about the reorientation of almost everything around the monstrous fact of the Trump presidency.

Both the right and the left have rejoinders for those of us who find this cultural climate suffocating. Conservatives love to jeer Democrats for being obsessed with Trump, for letting him live, as many put it, rent-free in our heads. It’s a cruel accusation, like setting someone’s house on fire and then laughing at them for staring at the flames. The outrage Trump sparks leaves less room for many other things — joy, creativity, reflection — but every bit of it is warranted. The problem is the president, not how his victims respond to him.

Some leftists, by contrast, suspect that parts of the Resistance will disengage from politics if and when the object of their loathing is removed from the White House. (Shorthand for this fear is “back to brunch.”) It’s not an unreasonable worry. One reason for the unprecedented progressive mobilization of the past four years is that people used to feeling safe in America — particularly middle-aged, middle-class white women — suddenly didn’t. If Trump is defeated, it might be a challenge for organizers to keep these people mobilized. After four years of “This is not normal!” what happens if a version of political normality returns?

But a perpetual state of emergency isn’t healthy or sustainable. Living in Trump’s panic-inducing eternal present is bad for art, but it’s also bad for imagination more broadly, including the imagination needed to conceive a future in which Trumpism is unthinkable. If people no longer had to throw themselves in front of the bulldozer of this presidency, there would be more energy for progress and for pleasure. Trump has blocked out the sun. Only when he’s gone will we see how much we’ve been missing.

 

Interactive Map for Determining 2020 Electoral College Outcomes!

Click on map to make it interactive.

 

Dear Commons Community,

The 2020 presidential race will be decided by voters in more than a dozen competitive states, where Joe Biden and Donald Trump will focus their efforts to win the 270 electoral votes needed to reach the White House. The New York Times has provided an interactive diagram that allows the viewer to build their build own coalition of states, which are organized according to Cook Political Report ratings, to see potential outcomes.

The bottom line in all possible scenarios: Mr. Trump will need to win some of the states that are currently leaning toward Mr. Biden to reach 270 electoral votes. But he can afford to lose some of the states that he won in 2016 and still win a second term. 

Neat way to examine possible scenarios.

Tony

 

Black Female Eight Grader:  “You’re out of your mind if you think I’m ever going back to school.”

Distance Learning Success: Tips, Tools, Apps, and Solutions for Online Students

Dear Commons Community,

The New York Times has an op-ed this morning examining racial bias in our schools and whether online learning serves to mitigate it to a degree.  Here is an excerpt.

 “Awo Okaikor Aryee-Price, a Black mother of two who lives in Florham Park, N.J., initially laughed off the pronouncement her 13-year-old made in March after the Covid-19 pandemic closed the state’s schools. But it became clear that her daughter, Saige, was serious. So Ms. Aryee-Price started to revisit the things she’d heard her daughter say in response to her daily “How was school?” queries.

“Whether it was other students saying that she’s too loud, or people saying she has anger-management issues, it was always something,” Ms. Aryee-Price said, describing the subtle bigotry that Saige experienced but was unable to articulate and name.

Since beginning online learning, she explained, Saige has been liberated from hearing negative tropes about Black girls in the lunchroom and hallways. For one, the eighth grader can control her exposure to racial microaggressions. When a classmate wore a “Make America Great Again” hat — attire that some people see as a symbol of racism — during a video class session, Saige simply changed her settings to view only the teacher.

“Although the violence is still there, she has the ability to maneuver in a way that she didn’t have when she was in school,” Ms. Aryee-Price explained.

As school districts across the country have grappled with whether to reopen school buildings or continue to hold classes remotely, national polling shows Black parents are the most wary of the risks to their health and the well-being of their children that come with in-person learning. Eighty-nine percent saw returning to school as a large or moderate risk, compared with 64 percent of white parents — at a time when Black and Hispanic children and teenagers account for 74 percent of Covid-19 deaths in people under the age of 21.

But one recent analysis indicates that some Black families value keeping their children at home for an entirely different reason: to protect them from racial hostility and bias. Granted, not all Black children are thriving at home. They’re overrepresented among the kids who don’t have reliable Wi-Fi or adequate equipment at home. And supervising online learning is not an option for parents who are essential workers — a group that disproportionately includes Black people. Yet for some of those for whom virtual school is viable, the current disruption has opened up a new world: education without daily anxiety about racism.

Theresa Chapple-McGruder, a Black maternal and child health epidemiologist, immediately saw positive changes in her second grader when her Washington, D.C.-area school district went all virtual. Inundated with news stories focusing on the challenges of virtual schooling, the seasoned researcher set out to determine if she was an outlier. On Sept. 2, she posed a simple question — “What do you like about virtual schools?” — in an online survey of members of the national Facebook group Conscious Parenting for the Culture. The group, which she joined as a founding member in 2017, is made up of more than 10,000 Black parents of children from prekindergarten through 12th grade.

A theme quickly emerged. The 373 parents who responded overwhelmingly said they appreciated the way virtual learning allowed them to shield their children from anti-Black bias and protect them from the school-to-prison pipeline — the well-documented link between the police in schools and the criminalization of Black youth and other students of color. As one respondent wrote, referring to school resource officers, the law enforcement officers who work in schools, “There are no S.R.O.s at home.”

More than 40 parents said they appreciated virtual schooling because it allows them to, as one put it, “hear how the teacher speaks to children.”

To be sure, the informal survey’s sample size was small and the respondents aren’t necessarily representative of Black parents across the country. (The private Facebook group describes itself as “a safe, supportive space for BLACK parents of Black children to openly discuss how racism, white supremacy, and systemic oppression impact our parenting choices, how to work to overcome generational traumas, and how to be a more conscious parent in order to raise culturally, socially, and intellectually liberated children.”) Still, the sentiments expressed track with anecdotal evidence and other research that links Black parents’ motivations for home-schooling to perceptions of racial bias in schools.”

This is an interesting take on online learning.  One that I had never heard before.

Tony

Video: Lincoln Project Hits ‘Sniveling Weak Crybaby’ Lindsey Graham In Brutal New Ad!

 

Dear Commons Community,

The conservative group, The Lincoln Project, took aim again at Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), one of its favorite targets, this time in an ad (see above video)  that taunts him for begging for cash to help keep his job.

Graham, who is locked in a tough race against Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison, has appealed for money on several occasions on Fox News and did so again on Monday after the Senate confirmed Supreme Court Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

“Help me,” Graham beseeched on the right-wing network. “Help all of us keep our seats.”

He then plugged his website, which hits every visitor with a money pitch. The new ad by the never-Trump group called him out for it.

“Lindsey’s always been weak,” the Lincoln Project voiceover states. “But these days he’s just an embarrassment. Pathetic.”

The spot includes a montage of Graham appealing for campaign cash or as the ad puts it, a “sniveling weak crybaby bereft of dignity begging to keep his job.”

“Pathetic” is the right word for Graham.

Good luck to Jaime Harrison!

Tony

 

Michael Bloomberg is funding late Biden push in Texas and Ohio!

Bloomberg spending millions on Biden push in Texas, Ohio | TheHill

Michael Bloomberg

Dear Commons Community,

The New York Times and Reuters reported yesterday that billionaire Michael Bloomberg is planning to spend $15 million to help Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden defeat President Donald Trump in Texas and Ohio during the final week of the campaign.

Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor who lost to Biden in a crowded field for the Democratic nomination, has vowed to spend up to $100 million of his personal fortune to support Biden’s campaign for the Nov. 3 election.

Bloomberg has been targeting Florida as a state he could push into the Biden column and on Monday he agreed to add Texas and Ohio for a late television advertising blitz, after his team presented polling data showing them as competitive, the Times said.

He will also increase pro-Biden advertising in Florida, the report said.

“We believe that Florida will go down to the wire, and we were looking for additional opportunities to expand the map,” Bloomberg aide Howard Wolfson told the Times. “Texas and Ohio present the best opportunities to do that, in our view.”

Wolfson and the Bloomberg team did not immediately respond to a Reuters request to confirm the report.

Trump won Texas and Ohio in his 2016 election, and holding on to both states is crucial to his re-election prospects. As the second and seventh most populous states, both are prizes in the state-by-state contests that decide the presidential race.

Trump had been favored in both at the start of the campaign. Neither state has been bombarded with the kind of television advertising that has dominated other closely divided states, potentially making a late spending campaign effective, the Times said.

Bloomberg is directing his political spending through his super PAC, Independence USA, the Times said.

Thank you, Mr. Bloomberg!

Tony

 

Is It Safe To See Grandparents For The Holidays During COVID-19?

Dear Commons Community,

The question above is on the minds of many families as we head into the holiday season.  I know my wife, Elaine and I, have been having discussions about whether or not to have our family over for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Our son and his family live nearby but our daughter and her family are in Seattle and typically would spend a couple of weeks with us.  We are pretty close to the decision that it would be wise not for her to visit us this year.

The article below courtesy of the Huffington Post might help others to decide.

Tony

——————————————————————————————————————

The Huffington Post

Is It Safe To See Grandparents For The Holidays During COVID-19? Experts Weigh In!

The third wave of COVID-19 is here. So what do family gatherings with older relatives look like now?

By Catherine Pearson

10/26/2020 06:26pm EDT

COVID-19 has changed the landscape of the holidays for many families.

On Friday, the United States hit a new record number of daily COVID-19 cases. Hospitalizations are up. Experts believe that the third wave of the virus is here and that it will be worse than what came before.

At the same time, many Americans are experiencing “pandemic fatigue” and now, of course, the holidays are here. Families are eager to get together and squeeze some typical connection and cheer out of this otherwise stressful and isolated year — but how?

HuffPost Parents spoke to several experts about some best practices for safety and having difficult planning discussions when it comes to grandparents, the holidays, and COVID-19.

First, the obvious: Staying home is the safety gold standard.

“While it is really sad, and feels like a loss — in addition to everything we have lost over the past months — it is really safest to not travel and not gather with family and friends in person,” said Dr. Sadiya Khan, assistant professor of preventive medicine in epidemiology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

“Staying home is really the best way to protect not only yourself, but others,” she said.

If you have decided to see one another anyway — and Khan said she knows plenty of people will make that choice — do your research, she urged. Public health groups like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has a hub on COVID-19 and the holidays, are providing some of the best, most up-to-date guidelines and considerations for families grappling with how to celebrate this year.

Khan said that certainly if anyone in the family has any symptoms, they should not get together — full stop. “Absolutely don’t travel, don’t go out, don’t see others.” Talk to your doctor about testing and next steps.

Also, look very closely at community levels of COVID-19, both where family members are traveling from as well as where they’ll be gathering, and consider whether anyone is at higher risk of getting really sick with COVID-19 should they catch it. The latter point is obviously a big one for grandparents. Eight out of 10 COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. have been in adults age 65 and up.

Testing is NOT enough.

“One of the biggest challenges with COVID is that the period of time before someone has symptoms can be quite long. It rages from five to 14 days and sometimes longer — and a lot of people are asymptomatic,” Khan said.

A person can get a false negative on a COVID-19 test if they have a low viral load, as is often the case in the first few days after they’ve been infected or at the tail end of their infection. As President Trump’s recent COVID-19 diagnosis showed, testing alone is not enough to stop individuals from getting (and spreading) the virus.

That doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea for everyone to be tested before family members gather for the holidays, if possible, Khan said. But know you could all test negative, and for one individual (or more) the results might be wrong.

“The test is not perfect. It misses a lot of people that have it, and it misses if you don’t yet have enough of the virus built up,” she said. “Using that as a way to guide unprotected interaction is not a good idea.”

Have a clear plan for the weeks before the holiday.

Before you get together with grandparents (or anyone) run through some basic questions so you are all going into the holidays with a clear sense of your collective risk. Dr. Anthony Barile, infectious disease medical director of Health First, recommends asking something along the lines of: “Has everyone been following CDC guidelines — socially distancing, wearing a mask in public, etc.?”

It’s also important to ask if everyone has gotten a flu shot, he urged.

Even if you have all been following guidelines, you might want to ramp up safety measures before you gather with grandparents or other family members. It might be a good idea to “ask guests to avoid contact with people outside their households for 14 days prior to your gathering.”

Of course, if you’ve got kids who are going to school in-person, that’s not really possible. Which is why it is important to have really clear conversations about everyone’s exposures and preventive behaviors ahead of time.

If you get together, layer on protection. Which — yes — means wearing masks.

If you decide to see grandparents this year, keep the gathering as small as possible. Hold it outdoors if possible. If you’re indoors, open the windows if you can, Khan said. Stay at least six feet apart. Wash your hands frequently. And wear masks.

When asked if there was one of those measures she believes is more important than any of the others, Khan was unequivocal:

“Masks, absolutely the mask. It’s annoying, it’s the first thing you want to take off when you’re indoors, especially if you’re gathering with family,” she said. “But it’s still not your immediate household. So that’s going to be the most important.”

She believes the best data we have on how risky it might be to gather indoors sans masks over the holidays comes from the emerging data on indoor dining, which is comparable in some ways because it’s people inside, eating, drinking and talking. And while it definitely has limitations, a CDC survey from September found that people who had COVID-19 were twice as likely to have recently eaten at a restaurant than those who did not have the virus.

In planning conversations, remind yourselves: You’re doing this out of love.

The holidays can be fraught and emotional enough without the added complications of COVID-19, so Dr. Aderonke Pederson, a psychiatrist with Northwestern Medicine, urged families to be really deliberate how they frame plans, whenever those conversations begin. Understand that people around the country—within your family and not—are making very different decisions even when presented with the exact same data.

“Each person, each family unit, has to make their own decisions, and no one should feel forced into a decision,” she said. “Have these conversations early — now. Don’t wait.”

Reassure each other that you still care for each other, even if this year your children don’t gather with their grandparents. The reason why families are having difficult discussions about forgoing holiday celebrations this year is because they love each other, and because everyone wants to stay healthy and safe.

“I think for everyone, one core value would be: ‘I don’t want to give COVID-19 to my family member, especially to my elderly family member,’” Pederson said. “The reason why these conversations are difficult is because we care about each other, and we’re really trying to look out for each other.”

 

Amy Coney Barrett Confirmed to the US Supreme Court by the Senate (52-48)!

Justice Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation triggers a prime time celebration  by the GOP - CNN

Dear Commons Community,

As expected, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a conservative appeals court judge and protégée of former Justice Antonin Scalia, was confirmed last night to the US Supreme Court, capping a Senate approval that handed President Trump a victory ahead of the election and promised to tip the court to the right for years to come.

Inside a Capitol mostly emptied by the coronavirus pandemic and an election eight days away, Republicans overcame unanimous Democratic opposition to make Judge Barrett the 115th justice of the Supreme Court and the fifth woman. The vote was 52 to 48, with all but one Republican, Susan Collins of Maine, who is battling for re-election, supporting her.

It was the first time in 151 years that a justice was confirmed without the support of a single member of the minority party, a sign of how bitter Washington’s war over judicial nominations has become. As reported by The New York Times: 

“The vote concluded a drive by Republicans to fill the vacancy created by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg just six weeks before the election. They shredded their own past pronouncements and bypassed rules in the process, even as they stared down the potential loss of the White House and the Senate.

Democrats insisted Republican should have waited for voters to have their say on Election Day. They warned of a disastrous precedent that would draw retaliation should they win power, and, in a last-ditch act of protest, tried unsuccessfully to force the Senate to adjourn before the confirmation vote.

Republicans said it was their right as the majority party and exulted in their win. In replacing Justice Ginsburg, a liberal icon, the court is gaining a conservative who could sway cases in every area of American life, including abortion rights, gay rights, business regulation and the environment.

“The reason this outcome came about is because we had a series of successful elections,” said Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, who was the architect of the strategy. “What this administration and this Republican Senate has done is exercise the power that was given to us by the American people in a manner that is entirely within the rules of the Senate and the Constitution of the United States.”

Judge Barrett’s impact could be felt right away. There are major election disputes awaiting immediate action by the Supreme Court from the battleground states of North Carolina and Pennsylvania. Both concern the date by which absentee ballots may be accepted.

Soon after, she will confront a docket studded with major cases on Mr. Trump’s policies, not to mention a potential challenge to the election results that the president had cited as a reason he needed a full complement of justices before Nov. 3. Coming up quickly are challenges related to the Affordable Care Act, signature Trump administration immigration plans, the rights of same-sex couples and the census.

The court is also slated to act soon on a last-ditch attempt from Mr. Trump’s personal lawyers to block the release of his financial records to a grand jury in Manhattan.”

In addition to the presidential election, the deliberations of the US Supreme Court will be followed most closely by the news media in the coming months.

Tony