Suffrage Against the Machine

“Wisconsin, get out and vote NOW!” The all-caps give away the source of that enthusiastic message from Tuesday morning. But he wasn’t working alone in pushing the bright idea of sending people into the eye of the germ storm. There are many things about this era that we’ll be wholly unable to explain. But few things will prove more confounding than the full-on abomination of lining people up at overcrowded polling places in the middle of a pandemic; a move that symbolizes so much of what dominates this moment: cruelty, stupidity, racism, wanton lies (this time about the lack of effectiveness of mail-in voting), voter suppression, disregard for others, and jaw dropping wrongness. Why would anyone believe in institutions that make such horrendous decisions? I hope time will prove false this headline from The Guardian. But it’s hard to imagine it will. Wisconsin decided to allow people to vote this week. People will die as a result. “The decision is mind-boggling. It gets even worse: on Tuesday, the entire city of Milwaukee had just five polling places, down from the usual 180. Officials were reportedly preparing for as many as 10,000 people at each one.”

+ Sadly, this story has another element this era is known for: Winning at any cost. And that attitude will make who gets to vote and how districts are gerrymandered the core issues of the 2020 presidential election. The November race is at the heart of the reason why people were lined up in the rain yesterday, and why they could be lined up at the ER in a few weeks. NYT: Why Wisconsin Republicans Insisted on an Election in a Pandemic.

+ Meanwhile, that November race is now set as Biden v Trump. Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign.

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