Fresh Paint
Thursday, October 07, 2004
Poll Watching 101
1. Watch them every second

That manly honorary Illinoisian, Jesus' General (or one of His acolytes) has found the first of what I'm sure will be many attempts to slip a few votes past the goal post -- misaligned ballots strike again. If it worked in Florida, it'll work in Michigan too. And in your state, especially if you're a swing state.

2 years ago it nearly worked in my very own precinct: the voting machine that counts and transmits to the Board of Elections arrived with 11 votes already showing on the counter. It may have been a genuine error, or it may have been an evil error. Luckily, the election judges were going methodically page-by-page through the 3-inch-thick procedure binder and figured out how to clear it to zero (though after a lot of dithering and oh-dear-ing).

And in the case of a recount, it would have been caught, because there would have been 11 more electronic votes than physical ballots (because we're Illinois and still have them). I'm certain many judges, rushed by workers showing up late, angry voters banging at the door, etc., might have said, "Oh, what the hell, let's open the polls?"

It only took 1 vote per precinct for Gore to win Wisconsin.

Several weeks ago, Bob Herbert in the New York Times wrote about efforts to suppress minority voters (has scrolled off into pay-for heaven).

Here's an update from Indy TV. Herbert wrote about a group that's watching this stuff called Election Protection. They even have a toll-free number to call if you see shenanigans, and are training volunteers to spot trouble before it starts. Plus hordes of lawyers and law students are standing by.

So tuck this number away somewhere: 1-866-OUR VOTE

UPDATE: In the interests of fairness, this "error" goes Kerry's way.
VAN BUREN, Mo. - Officials in one Missouri county are reprinting absentee ballots for the Nov. 2 general election after discovering that President Bush (news - web sites) and Vice President Dick Cheney (news - web sites) were left off.

The ballots were mailed beginning Sept. 21, and Carter County Clerk Becky Gibbs said several voters noticed the oversight.

"We are rectifying it," she said. "There was no intent to leave them off."
I don't know. Sounds fishy to me... but some fish I like.

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