Normally I stay away from politics on this blog -- not for any other reason than I don't have anything particularly original or insightful to say. Most of the issues I think about have already been talked over ad nauseum.
But right now I feel like I have to apologize for my adopted state of Pennsylvania. I mean, here it is two days after the election. Forty-eight states have managed to count their votes. Only two have been taking this long: Nevada and Pennsylvania.
I can't speak for Nevada. Well, I can't really speak for Pennsylvania, either. It's just that the delayed counting of the vote makes us seem a little, well . . . slow. As though we can't quite handle the situation. As though we're all a little dim-witted.
The problem is not the poor souls who are working diligently to actually process the paper and count the votes. The problem is that there was a kerfuffle in Harrisburg about when to cut off the mail-in ballots. First they had to be postmarked by November 3. Then, no, they had to be delivered by November 3. Then, no again, they could be postmarked by Nov. 3 and counted as long as they arrived by Fri. Nov 6. Then there were rumors that the post office couldn't possibly handle all the mail, so they urged people to drop off their ballots in person.
It almost seems as is they were deliberately trying to confuse us. I mean, the post office can handle Christmas mail. Surely they can handle a few thousand mail-in votes.
So anyway, at this point President Trump is ahead in Pennsylvania by 200,000 votes, or about 1.5%. But the mail-ins reportedly lean more Democratic than Republican, so the thinking is that Democrats are going to catch up. And now Trump is talking about suing the state to stop the count of late-coming votes.
Just as a Democrat, I'd be suspicious of Nevada where Joe Biden is ahead by just 0.5% points, if the Republicans started "finding" new votes that conveniently back their nominee.
Meanwhile, I sent my vote in about two weeks ago. Apparently it has still not been counted. It's kind of embarrassing. All my friends around the country have had their vote registered. But apparently mine is still sitting on a desk somewhere, waiting for someone to dig through the pile and get to it.
They should have had a hard deadline on the mail-in votes, and they should have started counting earlier. But now we're stuck with what we have. My only consolation, personally, is that I know how my friends and I voted, and so my suspicions will not kick in if and when the election board start reporting more votes for Biden long after the bell has rung.
Pennsylvania was supposed to be an important swing state. That was exciting to me. When I lived in New York my vote didn't really count. No matter what any individual does, the state is marked solid blue. (And for that reason New York turnout was low.)
But now my vote was supposed to actually make a difference. But it looks like Pennsylvania blew it. Wisconsin and Michigan have now been called for Biden. So right now all he has to do is finish off Nevada and he'll have enough electoral votes to win the presidency. So Pennsylvania will not be a deciding factor. It will be irrelevant.