This year I will cast my vote in the same place where the Brooklyn Nets and New York Liberty would typically play their professional basketball games — a worthy arena for a sacred right. Barclays stadium is a short walk from my apartment. If I would’ve strained my ears enough back on March 5, maybe I could’ve heard Celine Dion belting out some high notes to a sold-out crowd — the last concert before all the shows were canceled.
But some shows — like voting — must go on, even when so many politicians are hell bent on stopping it. Even when, as Adam Russell Taylor writes in “Democracy Is on the Ballot,” “extreme polarization and some of our nation's longstanding institutions have combined to make it harder than ever for the will of the people to be enacted.” But still, the people are showing up in record numbers, even when that means driving thousands of miles or waiting in line for several hours (an insidious form of voter suppression).
The lines will likely be long, but they might also be fun. My hope, dear reader, is that Pizza to the Polls orders you a fresh slice while you wait, or that Paul Rudd gives you a cookie. But if not, here are 10 stories to keep you company at your polling site.
If you do experience voter intimidation, call the non-partisan Election Protection Hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE.
1. These Congregations Are on a Creative Quest for 100 Percent Voter Turnout
During their virtual Yom Kippur celebrations, Emanu El hosted breakout groups where each person developed a plan to vote. By Mitchell Atencio via sojo.net.
2. The Waiting Game
“Residents of entirely black neighborhoods waited 29 percent longer to vote and were 76 percent more likely to spend thirty minutes or more at the polling station compared to residents of entirely white neighborhoods. For these voters, lost time ‘imposes economic costs.’ It also has psychic effects, dismantling confidence that their ballot matters.” By Lizzie Tribone via The Baffler.
3. Democracy Is on the Ballot
This election represents a test of whether we embrace and will work to realize a truly inclusive, multiracial democracy with liberty and justice for all. By Adam Russell Taylor via sojo.net.
4. Internal Documents Reveal COVID-19 Hospitalization Data the Government Keeps Hidden
“Knowing which hospitals in which communities are reaching capacity could be key to an effective response to the growing crisis. That information is gathered by the federal government — but not shared openly with the public.” By Pien Huang and Selena Simmons-Duffin via NPR.
5. Christian QAnon’ers Want to #SaveTheChildren. They’re Making Things Worse
Anti-trafficking work itself could cease to be a bipartisan cause and instead become a political football. By Miguel Petrosky via sojo.net.
6. In This House We Believe…
“Love is LOVE / No human is ILLEGAL / Science is REAL / Lava lamps aren’t REAL LAVA” By Sam Kimelman via McSweeney’s Internet Tendency.
7. The Chaplains Who Marched for George Floyd Are Headed to the Polls
In Georgia, chaplains prepare to offer voters water, snacks — and, if needed — protection. By Curtis Yee via sojo.net.
8. Justice Thirty Years in the Making
“For the new U.S. Congress that will be seated in January 2021, the murders of six Jesuit priests and two women in a tiny Central American country and the thirty-year pursuit of truth and justice should serve as a timely reminder that human rights should be a guiding principle in any foreign policy.” By Martha Doggett via Commonweal.
9. Pizza, Selfies, Dancing: 10 Ways To Spread Joy at Polling Places
Let's taco 'bout democracy. By Lexi McMenamin via sojo.net.
10. Her Mail-In Ballot Didn’t Arrive from Tarrant County, so She Drove 20 Hours to Vote
“Meredith Reilly drove nearly 1,400 miles to make sure her vote counted.” By Gordon Dickson via Fort Worth Star-Telegram.