This Election Is Finally Over

This one’s more for us than you, though your heart might be warmed by the sudden disappearance of the ubiquitous Michael Bloomberg ads on your TV, in your Facebook feed, haunting your dreams at night. We won’t be out of the political spotlight for long. But we will get a much-needed breather. We frantically worked on municipal elections through October (Raleigh) and November (Durham). We didn’t know who was running in the primaries until the middle of December, by which point we’d checked out for the holidays. When we got back, we threw together a million questionnaires and researched a billion candidates. Then we made endorsements. Then we caught shit for our endorsements. It has been, in a word, exhausting.

Pete Buttigieg Stans

We are pro-early voting. Eight hundred thousand North Carolinians voted earlier this year, about 250,000 of them last Friday and Saturday alone. It’s possible that more than half of Democratic primary voters cast their ballots before Election Day. But early voting comes with pitfalls. To wit: A Public Policy Polling survey last week had Pete Buttigieg at 9 percent in North Carolina. On Saturday night—after early votes had been cast—Mayor Pete came to Raleigh and packed the Broughton High gymnasium. And then, the next day, he dropped out. Just like that, all of those Buttigieg (and Amy Klobuchar) early votes are for naught. This is, of course, a better argument for ranked-choice voting than for ending early voting, but it’s unfortunate for Pete stans either way.

The U.S. Immigration System

It takes a special kind of cruelty to work for the deportation of Rosa Ortez-Cruz, a Honduran immigrant who’s been in sanctuary in a Chapel Hill church since 2017. Ortez-Cruz fled Honduras 18 years ago after her partner stabbed her and threatened to kill her. But the Board of Immigration Appeals—an arm of the Department of Homeland Security—rejected her petition to stay in the country because she couldn’t prove that her ex-partner still wanted to murder her. Last week, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected that argument, saying the BIA couldn’t simply assume her ex had been rehabilitated and “arbitrarily” discount expert testimony about serial abusers. That means she can stay—unless the DHS figures out some other way to deport her.