That time when queues were good but boxes were bad
Only in this crazy election year can lines of citizens waiting hours to vote for president be hailed as a good thing, while boxes for people to drop off ballots become a source of national controversy.
Such is life just more than two weeks away from an Election Day that will put an end to all this nonsense. Right?
It's not very surprising to see pictures of long lines for voting in Georgia and Texas, given the checkered pasts on voting rights in each of those 2020 battlegrounds.
But instead of complaints and accusations coming with the start of early voting in the two, the reaction was more one of pride and enthusiasm that people are so eager and committed to making sure they vote.
With so many more states focusing on mail ballots, combined with the persistent distrust of the Postal Service, it probably was predictable that public attention would focus on the boxes where voters can drop their ballots.
But who could have predicted a spirited argument over drop boxes marked "official" in California — with top Democratic state officials telling the state Republican Party to get rid of its receptacles, which are clearly not official, and the GOP telling the state to pound sand?
Drop boxes are also part of the mind-bogglingly complex and expansive set of legal fights over the election rules that still haven't been settled in the Trump v. Biden battleground of Pennsylvania.
And, of course, we had to know that being a country with a lot of election turmoil, former president and election overseer extraordinaire Jimmy Carter would eventually have to make an appearance.
Meanwhile, check out two handy maps for voters in search of news they can use:
- The 17 states where it's almost never too late to register to vote.
- The different rules in every state that answer the question: What if the mail ballot I asked for never shows up, or it's in hand but I want to vote in person instead?
Sixteen days until the voting must stop. At least that much is clear.
— Bill Theobald