I just went online to the website of the Chatham County Board of Elections to see whether I could track my absentee ballot. Sure enough, the site tells me that they sent me my ballot on September 11 and were informed on September 16 by the post office that my ballot was on the way back. When it arrives they will tell me that as well. I am old enough to be astonished by this degree of informational precision and I am anxious enough about the election to be reassured. I believe in North Carolina absentee ballots are opened and recorded as they arrive which means that as soon as the polls close on election day all of those absentee votes will be added to the reported totals. Now if only the rest of the country were as advanced as North Carolina we could stop worrying.
We are now 45 days from the election itself. The polls are stable, Trump is flailing, and if everybody can just keep calm and vote I think we can pull this off. The latest South Carolina polls show Lindsay Graham in a dead heat for a Senate seat that he should be winning going away. Susan Collins is down five or six points in Maine and our chances of taking the Senate back get better each day.
That is all on the bright side. The real news is that scores of millions of people cannot put enough food on the table, have lost or are losing their jobs, are threatened with losing their housing, and are facing a pandemic that is not abating. But if the election goes as now seems probable, we on the left will have the best opportunity in several generations to make fundamental changes in this godforsaken country. It remains to be seen whether we will have the will, the organization, and the energy to make that happen.