Episode 139: A Rivera Runs Through It

39 minutes

7/8/20-- This week brings more news out of the Supreme Court where two decisions were made in favor of religious interests. Our in-house legal analyst Jennifer Smith breaks them both down.

Also this week, Governor Charlie Baker announced free, on-demand COVID-19 testing would become available to residents of 8 communities that have been hit especially hard by the disease.

Jon Hillman and Wilnelia Rivera of the Democratic consulting firm Rivera Consulting dropped by The Horse Race virtual bunker to talk vote by mail an dispel their predictions for the changing 2020 political landscape.

On the recently passed early voting and vote by mail legislation to be implemented here in Massachusetts, both Hillman and Rivera are bracing for impact, both doubtful that our state is adequately equipped for the change.

Hillman, a Senior Consultant and Researcher at the firm says of vote by mail, "There’s a lot of states that have been doing this for decades that it’s part of their political infrastructure, and to an extent they’re ready for this influx. In a state like Massachusetts, we don’t have a culture like that."

Rivera and Hillman stressed that vote by mail is overdue.

"We need to redistribute power on Beacon Hill, and vote by mail is a way to do that," Rivera says.

On the national front, Rivera sees Joe Biden's vice presidential pick as an important step in igniting an enthusiastic voting base. "We have to give the American electorate-- particularly the Black electorate-- the candidate that they're asking for. And that's a black woman."

The right vice presidential pick will be essential in building a movement, she says. Meanwhile, Biden "represents a tradition and stability of what the Democratic party has been, but [he] doesn't represent its future."

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