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I am incarcerated. This is my Covid lockdown story.

Then I would wait for a neighborhood mate working as a porter to wipe down a phone with bleach and water before I let me use it. I would call my 75-year-old mother in Fort Lauderdale, who told me about her cat, her Parkinson’s disease, and her family’s gossip. Each time, I asked her if she had already received the vaccine. She told me she hadn’t. She didn’t bother to ask me if I had.

At one point it looked like prisoners around the world could be among the first to receive Covid-19 vaccines. In November, after the federal government announced their imminent arrival, the American Medical Association recommended that we be given priority to receive them, along with other people living in communities where it is difficult to separate people.

It made sense to me. Nationwide, at least one in five prisoners tested positive in December, according to the nonprofit Marshall Project, four times the rate of those outside. (I’m a contributing writer for The Marshall Project.) Over 2,500 have died, at twice the outside rate. The death rate of incarcerated New Yorkers is actually lower than that of those outside of prison, but incarcerated New Yorkers have tested positive at a higher rate. And it wasn’t just about protecting us. With staff and visitors coming in and out all the time, those of us here are part of the same ecosystem that you all belong to. Even though we can’t leave, the virus can.

At the onset of the pandemic, however, states began to come up with very different policies regarding the vaccination of incarcerated people. California, Massachusetts, and New Jersey made prisoners eligible from the start. But as of the end of January, New York officials still had not announced such plans, putting the state behind at least 27 others. The governors of Washington and Kentucky have each granted more than 1,000 commutations during the pandemic, reducing the prison population in hopes of reducing transmission. New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo commuted only 31 sentences, although he also freed nearly 4,000 people by other means.

Sometimes I have heard of these developments from Michael Antinuche, who lives in a cell downstairs across from me, listens to NPR ad nauseam and has become obsessed with anything Covid related. (Pronounces it “Cober.”) A rough 49-year-old gangster from Queens, with a hoarse voice and round body, Antinuche is serving a 25-year life sentence on a conviction for murder, assault and possession of weapons. . We call him Mikey Meatballs.

Meatballs is a tough guy, but Covid, the invisible enemy, tormented him; he hoped to go out and see the girl he had never known as a free man. She was born two months after her arrest. Now she is an adult. The Meatballs family sent virus statistics from the New York City Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) to their tablet. He would arrest the administrators and question them about the testing, tracing and, according to Meatballs, their decision to confiscate his masks in a recent cell search. He would suggest ways to run a safer prison. Many of them struck me as quite healthy.

Ten days after the lockdown, I stopped by my pal Samuel Goodman. Sam, who is serving a 10-year sentence for theft and assault, spent several hours a day working as a doorman at Sullivan’s infirmary, which was filled with patients who had tested positive in random tests as the prison was leading. For about $ 3.75 a week, Sam got into a zippered one-piece jumpsuit with a hood, put on an N-95 mask and face shield, then cleaned and wiped and handed out trays of food around the rooms. four men housing those who had tested positive. People with the worst symptoms stayed in isolation rooms. When Sam threw out the trash, it went into a hazardous waste bag.

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David Newhouse, 65, dies; His article shattered Sandusky’s story

David Newhouse, who as editor guided The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa., To a Pulitzer Prize for shattering the story that led to the conviction of the Penn State assistant football coach , Jerry Sandusky, for sexually assaulting young boys, and the dismissal of Joe Paterno, the school’s once-beloved head football coach, died Wednesday in a hospital in Hanover, NH. He was 65 years old. .

The cause was complications from the leukemia, his brother Mark said.

Mr. Newhouse, a member of the powerful publishing family whose best-known medium is his Condé Nast magazine division, ran a modest central Pennsylvania outpost in the Newhouse Empire.

But his small town daily gained national attention in March 2011 when an editor, Sara Ganim, reported that Mr. Sandusky was being investigated by a grand jury for allegations that he had “assaulted indecently a teenager ”. The scandal escalated in November, when Mr Sandusky was charged with sexually abusing eight boys over a 15-year period.

This first article and nine others were cited by the Pulitzer board of directors in 2012 for “bravely exposing and deftly covering the explosive Penn State sex scandal.”

Ms Ganim said Mr Newhouse encouraged her from the start to pursue the story, even as she covered up police beatings in Harrisburg, about 90 minutes from the Penn State campus.

“He was very good,” she said, “saying, ‘OK, everyone from all the news agencies will be at the press conference, but what you should do is think about the way to move the story forward.

Mr. Sandusky was ultimately convicted of 45 counts of assaulting 10 boys. Mr. Paterno, accused of having done too little to stop Mr. Sandusky from going after the boys, was fired. And Penn State’s image and reputation have been seriously tarnished.

Cate Barron, who succeeded Mr Newhouse as editor in 2012, said he reminded the reporting team to stay focused on the victims of Mr Sandusky, the men who had been raped then that they were boys.

“It was a criminal story, about victims,” she said. “He’s been the beacon about it.

During his 11 years at The Patriot-News, David Newhouse was drawn to journalism ‘that gave voice to the voiceless,’ Ms Barron said, as articles by investigative journalist Peter Shellem led to the release of five wrongfully convicted prisoners.

“All this truth that speaks to power, he believed in his soul,” she said.

In November 2011, Mr. Newhouse wrote a column for his newspaper which criticized the New York Times for its handling of an article about one of Mr. Sandusky’s victims. To protect his identity, the individual was referred to as Victim 1 in The Times, as he was in the indictment. But Mr Newhouse said the article “was so detailed that even though they didn’t name it, Google certain information in the profile resulted in the young man’s name within seconds.”

The Times editors defended the article, but Arthur S. Brisbane, Times editor at the time, disagreed. Although he acknowledged that certain details about Victim 1 gave readers “a better understanding of the boy,” he asked, “Was that reason enough to include them and put his privacy at risk? I do not believe that.

About a month after the Pulitzer award, Mr. Newhouse left The Patriot-News to become the editor of the family-owned Advance Local, helping to develop websites as the family’s newspapers evolved into operations. digital.

David Anthony Newhouse was born September 29, 1955 in Manhattan and raised in Great Neck, Long Island and New Orleans. His father, Norman, was the editor of the Queens-based Long Island Press, and then oversaw the Times-Picayune in New Orleans and other southern newspapers owned by his family. Norman was a brother of Samuel I. Newhouse, who started the family in the publishing business. David’s mother, Alice (Gross) Newhouse, was a housewife.

“We all idolized our dad,” Mark Newhouse, newspaper executive vice president for his family’s advance publications, said in a telephone interview. “We grew up believing that being a journalist was the best thing you could aspire to.”

However, David Newhouse initially took a different path. He graduated from Cornell University with a BA in Theater in 1977 and received an MA in Film Production from Boston University in 1980 and a second MA in Education from Tufts University three years later.

He owned a bookstore in Harvard Square in Cambridge, Mass., And a children’s clothing store in Arlington, Mass. He also taught English at Newton North High School in Newton, Mass., Before asking his family to find him a job in one of his newspapers.

He started at The Times of Trenton, NJ in 1993 as a city reporter and went on to become editor and deputy editor before becoming editor of The Patriot-News in 2001. He was promoted to editor-in-chief. 2010.

He was a strong voice on the newspaper’s editorial board; Following Mr Sandusky’s indictment, Mr Newhouse strongly advocated the resignation of Mr Paterno and Penn State President Graham Spanier for doing too little to stop Mr Sandusky. The editorial took up the entire front page.

Penn State fired the two men on November 9, 2011, the day after the editorial was published.

Mr. Sandusky is serving a prison sentence of 30 to 60 years. Mr. Paterno died in 2012.

In addition to his brother Mark, Mr. Newhouse is survived by his wife, Alice Stewart; his daughters, Lily, Hope, Magdalena and Macrina Newhouse; two other brothers, Peter and Jonathan; one sister, Robyn Newhouse; and three grandchildren. His marriage to Katharine Call ended in divorce.

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The story of ‘Team Molly’

Strapped to the front seat of an ambulance while her daughter was injured in the back, Kaye Steinsapir pulled out her phone and began typing.

“Please. Please. Please,” she wrote in part. “Everyone PRAY for my daughter Molly. She had an accident and suffered a head injury. Later that day, at Ronald Reagan Medical Center UCLA, she tweeted his message.

Her daughter, 12, was injured while riding a bike with a friend near the family home in Los Angeles. Ms Steinsapir, 43, said she was looking for a tool that could quickly bring her advocacy to as wide an audience as possible.

“I was so helpless,” she said in an interview Thursday. “I just wanted to broadcast to anyone who could lift Molly in prayer and could lift me up in prayer as well.

Covid-era hospital rules initially prevented her and her husband, Jonathan Steinsapir, from being at Molly’s bedside together. On the first day of hospitalization, Mr Steinsapir spent the days with their two sons at home, while Ms Steinsapir stayed with their daughter in the intensive care unit.

“In the hospital, there were so many hours of waiting, waiting, waiting and nothing to do,” she said. In the darkest moments of panic or uncertainty, she contacted the internet. “So many people have shared stories of survival after a head injury,” said Ms Steinsapir, who is a lawyer, along with her husband.

“The hope that all these foreigners gave us is what sustained us. If we didn’t have that hope, I don’t know how we could have done what we needed to do, raise Molly and raise our boys, ”she says.

She didn’t have much experience on Twitter. Like many parents, she had shared family photos to a small circle on Facebook and Instagram, but in the months leading up to the last presidential election, she started spending more time on Twitter, following news sources. and politicians. She barely knew how to tweet.

As she turned to her phone to express her determination, anguish and fear, it never occurred to her that she would strike up a 16-day conversation between thousands of strangers around the world about life, la death, family, religion and ritual.

Alana nichols, a doctor and lawyer in Birmingham, Ala., checked Ms Steinsapir daily. “As a mother, I was drawn to her vulnerability and strength, and how she managed to transform Twitter into a positive tool of connection and hope,” she said.

This year, Dr Nichols said, the election, reactions to the latest Black Lives Matter movement and the pandemic have turned the internet into a market of anger and vitriol.

“Social media can be so toxic and the phenomenon of doomscrolling can put you in this place of utter helplessness,” she said. “But Kaye gave us a way to help. She told us that we could pray for her and her daughter. Our nation is divided over everything that is going on right now and here you have yet another tragedy – but it has had the opposite effect.

The coronavirus pandemic has left Americans grappling with the colliding forces of isolation and heartbreak, with technology and social media increasingly becoming entangled in death rituals. Farewell to Covid is regularly made via FaceTime, with hospital staff using phones and tablets to help family members get closer to bedside vigils and final farewells.

Broadway actor Nick Cordero fell ill with coronavirus in March and was hospitalized for months before dying in July. Amanda Kloots his wife drew a worldwide online audience of millions of people who prayed, sang, exalted and ultimately cried with her. “I just wanted to share because grieving is important to talk about, especially at a time when a lot of people are grieving,” she said in a video.

Later last year, model and actress Chrissy Teigen created a national dialogue about the comfort of our culture with the public sharing of death and tragedy when she posted hospital photos taken from her, her husband John Legend and their prematurely born baby Jack. And died.

“I can’t express how little I care that you hate photos,” Ms. Teigen wrote in an essay later that month. “I don’t care if it’s something you didn’t do.” I lived it, I chose to do it, and more than anything, these photos are not meant for anyone but people who have been through it or who are curious enough to wonder what something like this looks like. These photos are only intended for people who need them. “

Laurie Kilmartin, writer for “Conan,” tweeted live her mother’s last days before dying of complications from the coronavirus in June. Ms Kilmartin had tweeted about her father’s deterioration and death from lung cancer in 2014 and felt even more motivated to do so while her mother was dying, due to the combination of grief and isolation. “What’s so horrible about Covid is that you are completely alone,” she says. “All you have is your phone.”

Ms Kilmartin followed Ms Steinsapir’s story on Twitter and understood from her own experiences the desire to share in real time. “In a normal situation, there would be 20 family members on rotation to support her and her husband,” Ms. Kilmartin said. “I’m glad she had the internet to hold her hand.”

Ms Steinsapir also explained to her supporters why she was letting strangers participate in the experiment. “Writing and sharing my pain helps to alleviate it”, she says wrote. “When I sit here in this sterile room hour after hour, your messages of hope make me feel less alone. Even my husband, who is very private, likes to read them.

In what has become a diary, Ms Steinsapir provided an unvarnished description of the realities of witnessing a medical crisis, marked by endless hours of waiting for her daughter to wake up, which are then punctuated by a sudden calamity.

She praised her daughter’s doctors and nurses, worried about her two young sons, Nate and Eli, and told the internet all about her daughter, an environmentalist and animal lover who chose to being a vegetarian before being in kindergarten, which was dedicated. to Judaism and feminism (she used the pronouns “she / she” for God) and who dreamed of being a theater actress and politician.

Like Ms. Teigen, Ms. Steinsapir shunned people who criticized her. “Believe me, I would like to do something other than desperately asking for prayers to save my daughter on Twitter,” she replied.

Most importantly, she called for support through prayer. The focus on God was part of what Melissa Jones, a mother from Locust Grove, Georgia, to read every tweet and respond, even befriending others who followed closely.

“The faith she hit me,” said Ms. Jones, who cried as she spoke of a family she said she fell in love with. “The internet is a horrible place right now, the Trump years have been very confrontational and people have been so ugly for the past four years, but Molly’s spirit has brought out the faith and kindness of the people.

Ms Jones had also faced the possibility of losing a child when her son was seriously injured. “My son was in a coma for 11 days and I had this experience of asking myself, ‘Is my child going to wake up and am I going to find them? I knew exactly where Kaye was, ”she said.

On February 15, Ms Steinsapir announced that Molly had passed away.

“As our hearts are broken in a way that feels like they can never be mended, we take comfort in knowing that Molly’s 12 years have been filled with love and joy. We are extremely fortunate to be her parents, ”she wrote.

She agreed to speak to a reporter amid the mourning of her family, she said, because Molly would like her to console the millions of Americans who lost loved ones last year.

“I want to communicate to people that we honor all who are grieving and that we want to share with them the light and the love that was shown to Molly,” she said.

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Jamie Tarses, executive in Hollywood Rise-and-Fall story, dies at 56

Sara James Tarses was born in Pittsburgh on March 16, 1964 to Jay and Rachel (Newdell) Tarses. The family moved to a suburb of Los Angeles, where her father became a successful sitcom writer (first on “The Bob Newhart Show”).

Ms. Tarses attended Williams College in Massachusetts where she studied play structure and received a theater degree in 1985. She was a production assistant on “Saturday Night Live” in New York City for a season before returning to Los Angeles in 1986 to become a casting director for Productions Lorimar. She joined NBC in 1987 in the “current” comedy programming division (shows already on the air), where she oversaw scripts for shows like “Cheers” and “A Different World”, with Lisa Bonet.

NBC’s much-admired head of entertainment, Brandon Tartikoff, has become his mentor. He quickly promoted Ms. Tarses to the Network’s Comedy Development Department, where she worked on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” which made Will Smith a household name; the strange “Wings”, located at an airport in New England; and “Blossom”, centered on a teenager Mayim Bialik.

Ms. Tarses’ departure from NBC was ugly.

Michael Ovitz, the former agent of polarizing power, had become the president of Disney. He started talking to Ms. Tarses about the ABC cover. But she was under contract with NBC. Rumors were circulating in Hollywood that she had solved the problem by claiming that she had been sexually harassed by Don Ohlmeyer, a senior NBC executive. (Mr. Ohlmeyer blamed Mr. Ovitz for the rumor and publicly called him “the Antichrist,” which caused a media frenzy.) Ms. Tarses and NBC denied the story, as did Mr. Ovitz, but this continued to stalk her, making young Ms. Tarses appear as someone “who would do anything to get ahead,” as Ms. Hirschberg wrote.

When she joined ABC in the spring of 1996, Ms. Tarses was the second youngest person to be a network’s senior programmer. (Mr Tartikoff was 31 when he took over from NBC.) Her age, as well as her status as the first woman to hold this prestigious post, has given rise to unusual, often negative, scrutiny. Newsday, the Long Island newspaper, called her “Minnie Mouse” in one article and “terribly ruthless” in another.

Karey Burke, who ran ABC from 2018-2020 and is now president of 20th Television, a leading television studio, said of Ms Tarses in a statement: “She shattered stereotypes and ideas about what ‘a woman leader could accomplish, and led the way. for others, at a price for itself.

After leaving ABC in 1999, Ms. Tarses avoided the limelight and remade as a producer. Several television pilot programs failed, but she eventually found a few modest successes, including “My Boys,” a comedy created by Ms. Thomas and centered on a female sports writer, and “Happy Endings,” a sitcom that dusted off the formula. “Friends”.

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The story of John Young, the original king of buffalo wings

Culinary Arts The Story of John Young, the Original King of the Buffalo Wings His restaurants have closed and his fame faded, but a historic recovery effort brings new attention to the secret sauce he perfected. Wharton and Koren Shadmi

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The story Raphael Warnock continues

“Warnock is the most radical and dangerous left-wing candidate to ever run for this post, and certainly in the state of Georgia, and he doesn’t have your values,” Trump said at his rally on Monday. in Dalton, Georgia. .

However, Mr. Trump fails to define Georgia’s values. Voters made this clear in November, when Mr Biden won the state – a result the president continues to question without merit. The people of Georgia, and with them, perhaps, their values ​​are changing. The state’s Latin and Asian-American populations are on the rise, and the suburbs are also attracting young voters and moderate college graduates.

Perhaps this is why Mr Warnock’s candidate looks less like Mr Warnock the preacher than Stacey Abrams, the Georgia Democrat whose voter turnout strategy specifically emphasizes multiculturalism rather than black .

Ms Abrams, in a recent interview, said she tries not to focus on one group over another when discussing how Georgia has become a Democratic bright spot.

“I want us to be very clear that this requires the investment and support of multiple communities,” Ms. Abrams said. “This is a multiracial, multiethnic and multigenerational coalition. And as we prioritize one group over the other, I get nervous.

Nonetheless, Mr. Warnock’s attempt to move from black pastor to black senator is an exercise of a different kind of faith: it is a belief that American politics can change from within, that the most loyal voters in the world. Democratic Party can see themselves represented in Congress. That there is room to move the country forward within its institutions, rather than diagnosing its problems from the outside.

The latter is something black pastors, who by tradition often speak uncomfortable truths, have been doing for centuries. The Black Senator is a singular road, occupied by few people in American history, and none from Georgia at all.

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Discover the story of the lost blacks, Stone by Stone

Older parents would sometimes tell stories of life on Sourland Mountain, where many people worked in the peach orchards that thrived there in the late 1800s. But even as adults, they said, they haven’t given much thought to the older stones near the center of Stoutsburg cemetery.

“We just buried people there and then went about our business,” Ms. Mills said.

In 2006, Ms Buck, whose husband is the cemetery president, received a call from an older white man in a nearby town. His neighbor was planning to build a driveway through what he believed to be an unmarked African-American cemetery, and he wanted help to stop it.

“The more he talked to us, the crazier we got,” recalls Ms. Buck.

She and Ms Mills found themselves hiring an archaeologist and delving into 19th-century wills – and contacting the local press and the state attorney general. The owner abandoned his plans.

“But it got us thinking, we had better go to our own cemetery and see who we buried there,” Ms Buck said. “And it snowballed through the book.”

In the 19th century, Sourland Mountain – named, some say, for the poor quality of its soil – had the reputation of being an isolated place, difficult to nibble on, even dangerous. And its black colonies did not go unnoticed by white chroniclers, who sometimes peddled exaggerated stories. In 1883, a white physician and local historian published an oral biography of Sylvia Dubois, a former slave who ran a hectic tavern on the mountain (and who is said to have lived to be 115 years old).

A few years earlier, in 1880, a New York Times correspondent had come. He was there to cover a sensational murder trial, but ended up tabling a lengthy dispatch under the resounding headline “A REMARKABLE COLONY OF BARBARIANS IN THE MIDDLE OF CIVILIZATION”.

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Inside the ‘other story’ of comic book superheroes

GG: Jefferson also has sharp views on Superman. Have you been repelled?

JR: No, because it’s not about Superman being a villain. We visit Superman and other heroes through the lens of these characters. Even though Superman is an immigrant and truly an alien, his passport is stamped because of his appearance and the way he presents himself.

All of these characters have to reconcile how they see others and whether they are fair. If I had made Superman, Batman, or Wonder Woman into bad people, I’m sure we would have stepped back. But it was all fair if it came from a perspective that seemed real and valid.

GG: How did the project initially develop?

JR: I was very nervous when I introduced him. Maybe it was kind of arrogant to come back and say, I want to look at your whole story and change the lens a little bit and have some real talk about some of these characters. To their credit, DC saw the value. This was long before the current consideration of race and representation.

When you’re dealing with stories about race, othering, people outside of the mainstream culture, unfortunately, this will be relevant almost every time it comes out.

GG: Let’s talk about your next Batman comic and your tease that this is most likely a non-white Batman.

JR: Let me confirm this is definitely a black person under the hood. It was an improvised line, meant to be humorous. Comic book fans are the best fans. They will go through everything, check it and double check it. It was the joke heard around the world. Certainly, without a doubt, the next Batman is a Black Batperson.

GG: I like that you say “person” and not “man”.

JR: I have to have as much fun as I can. There is no reason in the modern age to think that the person who portrays Batman is a man. But whoever it is, it’s an interesting opportunity to populate the world around this new Batman. We will have some interesting characters and a lot of representation. It was really important to make sure Gotham City was well represented.

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Video: The Story of Kamala Harris Premieres

Barrier-breaking prosecutor with love for grill – “Question, I’ll repeat -” – and music: ♫ “A nation under a groove -” ♫ California Senator Kamala Harris makes history as the first woman and first woman of color, elected vice-president. “Let’s talk about who is ready to lead our country over the next four years.” She ran for president, confronting Biden on the school bus. “You know, there was a little girl in California who was in second class to go to her public schools, and she was bused to school every day. And that little girl was me. But later she approved him and he chose her as his running mate. And soon, they will enter the White House together. “I am extremely honored with this responsibility and I am ready to get to work.” Haris has a reputation for being the first. “You might be the first to do a lot of things, but make sure you’re not the last.” She was the first black person and the first woman to become a San Francisco district attorney and then California attorney general. “I decided to become a prosecutor because I believed that there were vulnerable and voiceless people who deserved to have a voice in this system.” And in 2016, she was elected California’s first black senator. And now, she will be the first woman, the first black person and the first person of Asian descent to be elected to the second highest office in the country. So why is she famous in Washington? “So my question to you…” As a senator, Harris served on four committees and was perhaps best known for her tough questions. “It makes me nervous.” “Is that a no?” “Is that a yes?” “Can I answer please, ma’am?” “No sir. No no.” And some of its political priorities? Criminal justice reform and racial justice legislation. “Racial justice is on the ballot in 2020.” After the murder of George Floyd in police custody, Harris became an open voice in the national debate on police brutality. “We should have things like a national standard for the excessive use of force.” And during the election campaign, she doubled down on that message, making a concerted effort to reach voters of color. “People asked, ‘Why should I vote? One: Honor the ancestors. Honor people like the great John Lewis, who shed his blood on the Edmund Pettus Bridge so we could vote. But she has been criticized by progressive activists over her record as a prosecutor, including her push for more money for certain crimes and for refusing to support independent investigations into police shootings as recently as ‘in 2014. So what does she bring to the White House? “It is our house!” It is pragmatic and policy oriented. Supporters say her law enforcement background will help her cope with the unique challenges of the moment and that her lack of ideological rigidity makes her well-suited for the vice presidency. “We can overcome these challenges.” Harris embodies the future of an increasingly racially diverse country. As one of the best-known black women in American politics, Harris now finds herself the most clearly positioned heir to the White House, with the oldest incoming president in history.


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Millions of votes are in the hands of postal workers. Here is their story.

Millions of votes are in the hands of postal workers. Here’s their story: What this year’s politically charged mail-order election looks like for USPS field workers.Photographs by Philip Montgomery