It’s all new to me. I have ALWAYS waited, and cast my ballot at the polling place on election day, but not this year.
Candidates for public office have had to change tactics. I should know – I’ve been involved in 7 local campaigns over the last 13 years. We used to send out mailers and knock on doors in October, and there was always a big Get Out the Vote push on Monday before the election. It all has to be done much earlier now. And most of us will have already voted by early-, mid- or late-October this year.
So we are making up our minds now. It’s not hard at all for most of us to know who would make the better President: Joe Biden, of course. But who will we elect as the next Benicia Mayor? Who for City Council? And what about those pesky ballot measures?
Benicia Mayor: Steve Young. I support Steve for his careful analysis of facts and his grounding in city administration. Benicia will forever owe Steve a debt of gratitude for his intense and persuasive questioning of Valero and City staff during the long fight against Valero’s dirty and dangerous “Crude by Rail” proposal. The entire Planning Commission and City Council deserve praise, but it was Steve whose star shined most brightly during those pivotal times. By the way, those who know me are aware of my bias in favor of women candidates. I’m a longtime male feminist, and usually I will lean left and go with a woman candidate. But in this year’s race, with Mayor Patterson choosing not to run, I have to go with Steve Young. More about Steve Young, or Donate and Volunteer.
Benicia City Council: Terry Scott. I support Terry for his vision and values, and for his leadership as Chair of Benicia’s Arts and Culture Commission. More about Terry Scott, or Donate and Volunteer.
In an email yesterday evening, Assistant Solano County Registrar of Voters John Gardner confirmed that “ballots are being mailed on Saturday 9/26.” Gardner added, “All ballots will be delivered to the post office at the same time for delivery.”
In years past, we might then assume that our ballots would arrive in our mailboxes on Monday, September 28. Given recent national stories about post office slow deliveries, we will have to watch and see.
Three ways to return your ballot early! (…and then there’s November 3)
Cast your ballot RIGHT AWAY: Mail it back on the same day you get it, maybe Monday or Tuesday, September 28 or 29. Return it ANYTIME via US Postal Service (postage paid).
If you wait a week, you can drop it off in person beginning Monday, October 5: There are 15 NO CONTACT DROP BOXES (inside office buildings). Here’s the list on the Solano County website, including City Clerks’ offices in all 7 Solano cities.
I hope you don’t wait until October 29, but if you do… There are 10 NO CONTACT CURBSIDE DROP-OFF LOCATIONS. For 5 days before election day, beginning on Thursday October 29, and continuing on Oct. 30, 31, Nov. 2 and Nov. 3, you can drop off ballots “Curbside.” (Stay in your car, hand ballot to pollworkers.) Here’s the list of at least one in each city, on the County website.
And there’s 4 options on ELECTION DAY, Tuesday, November 3:
NOT RECOMMENDED: It’s still possible to mail your ballot. If (and that’s a big IF) the post office postmarks it on Nov. 3, it will be valid and counted. Please DON’T do this! I wouldn’t mail my ballot at all, but if you must, I’d say do it at least 2 weeks prior to election day – by October 20.
Oh, and on a personal note… I am clearly encouraging everyone to vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Donald Trump is unfit in so many ways, a disaster already, and a threat to our democracy if returned for another 4 years. Dems, GOPs and Independents please unite and do the right thing – Trump and Trumpism have got to go in a landslide victory for Biden/Harris!
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden assumed reporters wanted to ask him about the lack of charges in the Breonna Taylor killing when he landed in Wilmington on Wednesday night after a trip to North Carolina. They were more curious about his reaction to President Trump’s point-blank refusal to commit to leaving office if the voters reject him in November. “What country are we in?” Biden asked, explaining that he was “being facetious” — and then explaining it again because it’s hard to communicate facetiousness with a face mask on. “Look, he says the most irrational things. I don’t know what to say about it. But it doesn’t surprise me.”
Reporter: “Could you talk a little bit about President Trump’s comments today that he did not commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the election?”
Biden’s campaign had already put out a more pointed statement: “The American people will decide this election. And the United States government is perfectly capable of escorting trespassers out of the White House.”
President Trump took off on Air Force One on Tuesday morning on his way to Kenosha, Wis. He landed on Planet Zog.
In real life, protests (some peaceful, some violent) erupted after police shot Jacob Blake, a Black man, seven times in the back. A Trump-supporting militia member allegedly gunned down three of the protesters, killing two of them.
But in the imaginary Kenosha that Trump created Tuesday afternoon at an invitation-only “roundtable” — in a high school cafeteria serving as a government “command center” — things were quite different.
There was no pandemic in this Kenosha; at his suggestion, everybody in the roundtable took off their face masks. There was no right-wing violence. (I heard no mention of the killings by the Trump-backing extremist.) There was no such thing as police brutality (Trump quickly swept aside any such notion). And there were hardly any Black people (only two of the 23 in the room).
It quickly became clear that the pair, a pastor and his wife, were to be seen rather than heard. James Ward, who said he is the pastor to Blake’s mother, was asked by Trump to offer a prayer, then offered to discuss “the real pain that hurts Black Americans.” Trump wasn’t interested.
When Trump opened the roundtable to questions, a reporter asked the pastor whether he believed that there is systemic racism in law enforcement.
Before Ward could answer, Trump broke in to say there were only “some bad apples” among police, of which “I have the endorsement of so many, maybe everybody.”
The reporter tried again. “Could the pastor answer my question, please?”
Trump called on another questioner.
Then, shutting down the session, Trump turned to the muted pastor he had just used as a prop. “Fantastic job,” he said.
As the election gets closer and closer, Trump appears to be getting further and further from reality. Tuesday’s stagecraft in Kenosha was Trump’s most audacious attempt to rearrange reality since … well, since the night before. On Monday, he informed Fox News’s Laura Ingraham that Joe Biden is the victim of mind control by “people that you’ve never heard of, people that are in the dark shadows.” They are, he said, the same “people that are controlling the streets.” Trump further reported the existence of a plane, “almost completely loaded with thugs wearing these dark uniforms, black uniforms.” He said they “were on the plane to do big damage.”
Pressed for details, Trump said he could divulge no more. “I’ll tell you sometime, but it’s under investigation.” As NBC reported, Trump’s fantastical tale closely matched a two-month-old conspiracy theory making the rounds on Facebook.
By the time he arrived at Joint Base Andrews for his trip to Wisconsin, Trump had already developed more details about his new conspiracy theory. This time, “the entire plane filled up with the looters, the anarchists, the rioters.” And Trump said he has a firsthand account from a person on the plane. “Maybe they’ll speak to you and maybe they won’t,” he said. (They didn’t.)
Arriving in Kenosha, Trump toured a camera shop that had been damaged. There, he chose to speak about Portland, Ore. — about 2,000 miles away. Portland “has been terrible for a long time, for many decades, actually.” Portland is frequently ranked among the “most livable cities” in America.
Trump didn’t meet with the Blake family, instead moving on to the high school cafeteria, draped with blue curtains and decorated with flags.
“I feel so safe,” Trump remarked, after a tour in which he was protected by armored personnel carriers, military trucks and police in camouflage carrying automatic rifles.
He received thanks from a participant for “sending the National Guard.” (That was actually the work of Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, who, like Kenosha’s mayor, urged Trump not to visit.)
Trump reported that “there was love on the street, I can tell you, of Wisconsin when we were coming in … so many African Americans.” According to the “pool” reporters traveling in the president’s motorcade, he had been greeted by friends and foes alike, including one “large group protesting the president, their middle fingers pointed at motorcade.”
The two African Americans in the roundtable did their best to bring Trump around to reality. James Ward prayed for a restoration of “empathy and compassion.” Sharon Ward noted that “it’s important to have Black people at the table” and called it “a good opportunity for us really to solve the problem.”
But Trump would not be moved. Asked about nonviolent protests and structural racism, he answered with “anarchists,” “looters,” “rioters” and “agitators.” He said Democrats like riots and want to close prisons and end immigration enforcement. “The wall will be finished very shortly,” he added.