“This would be concerning at any time of year, but it’s especially worrisome given that we are less than a month out from a presidential election.”
There is no end to the number of newsworthy stories brewing on Beacon Hill. We’re watching budget as well as less boring matters closely, and plan on dropping several features even before the end of the extended legislative session in January, but first we all have an election to get through, of course, and during a pandemic no less.
To add another layer to your outrage, longtime Dig source on all matters related to disability rights in the Bay State Crystal Evans reminded us about what may be the most invisible issue around every election. As the Braintree resident wrote in an open letter last week:
On August 30th, the MBTA chose to reduce the main bus route #236 down to 1 full run in the mornings, and 3 runs at rush hour in the evenings – leaving us with no bus service through town for about 8 hours a day. … I believe [this] will impede voter accessibility for residents of Braintree who are seniors, low-income, BIPOC, and individuals with disabilities. … This would be concerning at any time of year, but it’s especially worrisome given that we are less than a month out from a presidential election, and due to COVID-19, Braintree has consolidated from 11 polling locations to 3. As a result, many residents have to vote much further from home if they choose to vote in person.
As Crystal’s own experience shows, these problems are hardly unique to the South Shore. She has also lived in Somerville and Quincy, and dealt with a whole lot of the same nonsense and cruelty in those cities too. In fact, everybody in the suburbs and places beyond Greater Boston who relies on public transit may be screwed since our state’s regional transit authorities, which roll buses through places like Worcester, Brockton, and Lowell, are broke. As Mass Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack recently told GBH, “We do find ourselves in the unprecedented position where on both the state and federal side, we don’t have full year budgets. … We can’t tell you exactly what you’re going to get and when you’re going to get it.”