Ok, so I have spent the last few months reassuring everyone that our state was doing a great job with protecting the election and then I see this today. The Secretary of State's office drops cases of ballots off at random town halls, outside, on a holiday, with a picture of the ballot attached to the box to make sure that anyone who drove by could see exactly what was in these boxes. I was like, really? How about delivering them on a workday with signature required? I get a new gadget from Apple they require a signature and I even get a little map on my phone showing me where the truck is while it is driving to my house. This isn't this hard people - at least pretend that you care about the sanctity of the elections.
Bad enough the Secretary created a new on-line portal where you could request a mail in ballot without a signature - but he set it up so a person can input a different address where they want the ballot sent to as opposed to the voter’s legal voting address. That is almost encouraging bad actors to try and manipulate the system. And now, over the past few days, I’m getting reports of a bunch of mail-in ballots have been sent out to people who didn't request them. Evidently the Secretary of State's office had a software snafu and people who did early voting for the primary were coded as requesting a mail-in ballot for the general. O… M… G… Ugh, many of these things are common sense and allowing things like this to happen is inexcusable. I wonder if the press or the Governor or even maybe Secretary Galvin will address any of this - or more than likely they will say nothing or somehow blame the Russians or something. Ugh. As a former Town Clerk - I am appalled. That being said, this is why I thought it was dangerous to rush mail-in voting; and, in their defense, so did most of the folks at the Secretary of State's office. Because when you jam all this through last minute without testing protocols and training - this sort of thing is bound to happen.
It’s been awhile since I did a Covid update as things have remained relatively flat. The only area that I am somewhat concerned about is hospitalizations as they have steadily inclined over the past month. What I am not convinced of is if these are people that are being hospitalized predominantly for covid as opposed to another ailment and also having covid. I know there is a monetary component to all of this. But I remain optimistic as ICU and ventilator use has remained flat and hospital surge use is down to 1.
Today we saw 13 Covid related deaths reported today and 765 new positive test results. The positive to testing ratio continues to hover around 1%.
With the eviction moratorium set to expire this week, Governor Baker announced a new eviction diversion plan designed to help people who are out of work as well as protect small landlords. “The pandemic has created financial challenges for many individuals and families who are struggling with rent payments, and today we are pleased to announce a $171 million initiative to promote household stability, and provide more support for tenants and small landlords,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This strategy has been designed to be user friendly and easily accessible for tenants and landlords in need, and is comprised of new or expanded programs to help people stay in their homes. This would not be possible without the Legislature’s foresight in granting flexibility for the RAFT authorization. I am grateful to the Court System and all stakeholders for their partnership in this effort in keeping all families and households stable throughout this pandemic.” This is a much more reasoned approach than the all or nothing plan we are currently under which allows some people to abuse the situation and gives no security to small landlords.
And on a personal note, the count is now over 50 of my signs that were systematically stolen on Saturday night in Wrentham. I abhor this sort of behavior as more than it hurting the candidate- it seeks to silence a person’s political voice - and that is fundamentally unAmerican. I realize this sort of thing happens in a lot of campaigns although this is the first time I have seen an organized and coordinated attack of this magnitude. The other reason I always discourage anyone from doing this sort of petty, childish behavior is that it almost always backfires. You take someone who probably is just a supporter and you turn them into an activist. You have now violated their rights and made it personal for them. So I guess I shouldn’t be mad because it probably helps me in the end - but that is not how I roll and I hope these idiots are caught and prosecuted. Grumble, grumble, grumble.
Only 3 weeks left till the election. I will admit this election season isn’t as fun as usual - it is typically my favorite time of year. I actually love campaigning and getting to chat with folks. But between all the presidential and partisan bickering combined with all the covid stuff (lockdowns, not visiting with people, remote schooling, etc) it just is the perfect storm of blech. I really hope after November that everyone starts acting like decent human beings again. It is really hurting our nation at its core. I am hopeful - maybe I’m an optimist but the pendulum has to swing back to a country grounded in civility.
I hope everyone who had Columbus Day as a holiday enjoyed it. For those who had to work, I hope at least it was a little more laidback. Have a great week and remember to be kind to one another.