“Not a word was spoke between us, there was little risk involved.
“Everything up to that point had been left unresolved.”
I was in a store the other day when I heard those words above, which, of course, come from Bob Dylan’s “Shelter from the Storm.” It came from the 1975 “Blood on the Tracks” album, which only means it’s old enough to be included on the piped-in music in stores.
But I started thinking about how this year 2020 has been, especially with the biggest election this country has seen in a long, long time.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a looming shadow blocking the sun from our collective psychological lives. Even if you think it’s all a hoax, it’s still been there hovering like an unwelcome drone outside the house.
Plans for handling the election started early in the year. Requirements for obtaining an absentee ballot were loosened a little bit, but still required some work on the voter’s part.
Still, there was little doubt that many, many people were going to vote in person, be it early or on election day. That was going to require some more serious planning.
During the cold and rain in the beginning of early voting, I happened to be at the Boone County Election Center. It had been arranged to give voters one way in and one way out to avoid cross traffic and the potential of congestion of people sharing germs in close proximity.
The rain was particularly heavy that morning. Water was pooling up outside the back door, the exit. Then I noticed things were looking a little different inside the center. Barricades had been put up to let voters use the entrance as the exit and still maintain physical distancing. It was a pivot of procedure done quickly.
While I was there, the deluge let up quite a bit. I heard someone say as much and, just as quickly, the process was pivoted once again with one way in and one way out.
That might not sound like much, but it was apparently part of a plan that had been considered long before it was implemented that day. Thought had indeed gone into every part of the election process. Every possible scenario had been considered long before any implementation.
And that’s pretty much how the election went in Boone County. Even on election night as results were coming in from the various polling places throughout the county, the process was still as smooth as possible and those results were all posted before 9 p.m.
There may have been a little luck involved along the way, but the fact is that the people at the Boone County Election Center were the reason the election turned out to be as easy as possible even during the worst health crisis in 100 years or so.
Yes, some parts of the election were still unresolved as I was writing this, but we have to be thankful for those election workers for making the necessary plans and running them like the true professionals they are.
Good luck to you all.
James L. White is associate editor of the Harrison Daily Times. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or (870) 743-0608.