Voting lines should never be as long as a Supreme drop

LEVEL Editors
Published in
7 min readOct 27, 2020

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A lot of people are voting. Like, a lot a lot. We have seven days until the election, and more Americans have already participated in early voting than they did in 2016. This is an objectively good thing for democracy! Let’s celebrate that. However, part of that celebration has manifested in the form of internet videos celebrating lines wrapped around entire city blocks as a sign of democracy working. Exhibit A: Social media posts like this one.

This, friends, is the opposite of democracy.

As of today, America has gotten rid of 21,000 polling locations. Lines in minority and Democrat-dense communities are exponentially longer than those in more affluent areas. On the first day of early voting in Georgia, wait times to vote were upwards of eight hours. So, contrary to those inspirational tweets and flag-waving about the long lines reflecting some sort of American beauty, long lines to vote are actually signs of democracy failing. Democracy working would actually be people walking in and out of polling places in mere minutes with no lines in sight and a video that looks less sensational and, well, boring. Elections should sort of be boring.

But there is one minor reason to celebrate the long voting lines. They should mark the end of long-line shaming that gets dumped on Black people every time something becomes popular. Remember how Black people were shamed for waiting in line for Popeye’s chicken sandwiches? Or how we were shamed back in the days of waiting in long lines for Jordans? The responses always come with some ill-conceived blaming of Black folks for our own ills, namely in the form of asking us why we don’t wait in such lines to vote. Well, joke’s on you, cornballs: Black people actually wait in line to vote just as much as they do for golden chicken deliciousness and…