News Updates

America This Week: November 6-12, 2022

Election week results! That we don’t have yet! And we don’t know why!

Welcome to America this Week, where we know about as much as you do, which isn’t much! Reminder: if you want to listen to the podcast version of ATW with Walter Kirn and myself, click here. Otherwise, it’s the end of Election Week, and though visibility is still zero, themes of confusion and outrage are compelling. The top stories:

Midterm “Results”? The joke is so old and calcified by now in America that Sacha Baron Cohen painted a cringe masterpiece in Borat by running circles around its remains. But there’s no other way to sum up what happened, and continues to happen, with key elections this week. We have results in key races — not! We know which party will control both houses, not! It’s Friday, and we’re confident we’ll have results of the defining Mark Kelly-Blake Masters race in Arizona by the end of the weekend. Sigh — not. Doubling down on Joe Biden’s schoolmarm-y pre-election admonition that it’s now “important for a citizen to be patient,” officials in multiple crucial states are announcing that they will not finish counting votes until early next week at the earliest. Bill Gates — not that Bill Gates, but another one, the Chairman of the Maricopa County, Arizona Board of Supervisors — cheerfully told CNN that “I think we’ll see the lion’s share [of votes] wrap up by early next week,” with the exception of some “onesie-twosies.” Clark County, Nevada registrar of voters Joe Gloria told a country hanging on the edge of its seat to learn who’ll win a key Senate race between Paul Laxalt and Catherine Cortez-Masto that it’s going to need until Monday to count 50,000 votes. (Actually he didn’t even promise to have them counted, but said “we’ll get them into the system’“). Could you, dear reader, count 50,000 of something in less than 3 days? There are 259,300 seconds every three days: could you do it with a partner, maybe in tag-team fashion? WHY CAN’T AMERICA COUNT ANYMORE? The increasing ubiquity of this question is a dominant development of midterms. CNN went so far as to run a piece, “Why it takes so long to count West Coast votes?” that cited the infamous 1930 elections, in which 14 members died before taking office. But that was because the new congress wasn’t seated for 13 months, not because it took that long to count. Lack of good explanations leads to traffic in bad ones.

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