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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Fear

posted by on November 4 at 12:49 PM

VIRGINIA: Dozens of polling places are experiencing varying degrees of machine malfunctions. Some polling places are either completely closed or have been closed for hours. Thousands of voters may have been turned away illegally by polling workers. Voters have illegally been issued with provisional ballets where machines have been broken.

Students at Virginia Tech, previously the victims of misinformation, have seen their polling place suddenly and unexpectedly moved six miles to a location with little parking.

PENNSYLVANIA: Voting machine malfunctions are widespread and at least a dozen locations, mainly focused on Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Election Protection has received reports of campaign materials being illegally distributed at polling locations in Pittsburgh. Voters across the state are reporting that they never received their absentee ballots, which is creating additional chaos at the polls.

If you see anything unusual out there, make sure to report it to Election Protection immediately at 866-OUR-VOTE. They’ve received over 50,000 calls already today.

Via First Read.

Note: We will still win. These fuckheads will not succeed in stealing this one. Obama will beat the cheat spread. Say it. Believe it.

RSS icon Comments


If the Republicans steal this election I will be one of the many public suicides in the coming weeks.

Posted by elswinger | November 4, 2008 12:53 PM

If the Republicans steal this election, you may not hear from me for a while because I will be incarcerated after beating the mortal shit out of every Republican in a 10-mile radius.

Posted by Hernandez | November 4, 2008 12:55 PM

I'm going to throw up.

Posted by Abby | November 4, 2008 12:55 PM

@1: We could use you in the revolution...

Posted by Ziggity | November 4, 2008 12:55 PM

I still have to ask, WHY THE FUCK haven't the Democrats in Congress investigated this shit before? This is not a surprise people !!! It happened in 2004!!!

And spare me the "it's a state issue" it's fucking with a Federal Election!!

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | November 4, 2008 12:56 PM

I dare them to try and steal this one. Bring it on! (Yeah, that's what I thought...)

Posted by DOUG. | November 4, 2008 12:59 PM

@1: Hopefully you'll join me out in the street yelling your head off before that happens, should that outcome come to pass.

Seriously, though Mr. Hecht, I hope you're right about this but even if you are it just boggles my mind how casual we've all gotten about vote theft. Most Democrats I know are willing to concede anywhere from a 5% to 10% margin of fraud in elections with a shrug of their shoulders. How in the hell did it come to this?

If we pull this one out, perhaps it will finally time for Americans to demand voting reform. This business of casting our votes on Diebold's electronic slot-machines has gotta stop.

Posted by flamingbanjo | November 4, 2008 1:00 PM

If they manage to steal this election, perhaps we should all do as the Ukranians did:

Posted by callunah | November 4, 2008 1:03 PM

One of my coworkers, who just moved here from Utah, never received her voter ID in the mail after registering. She's trekking to the (probable) polling place at lunch with her student ID, old Utah driver's license, and marriage license in hand.

Posted by Will in Seattle | November 4, 2008 1:04 PM

In Virginia the ACLU also has a voting hotline that folks can call:


The ACLU has been leading the charge on the student rights issue there.

I've been following Election Protection blogs this morning and they seem to be doing a very good job resolving issues as they are reported.

Posted by kinaidos | November 4, 2008 1:06 PM

i read this and it gives me dry-heaves.

Posted by josh bomb | November 4, 2008 1:07 PM

and I'm with Hernandez ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | November 4, 2008 1:07 PM

Republicans are pretty good fighters, so beating the mortal shit out of them may present a problem.

Posted by LDAV$% | November 4, 2008 1:10 PM

Damn Republican governors in Virginia & Pennsylvania!

Posted by DavidC | November 4, 2008 1:14 PM

@ #13 LDAV$%,

Naw, they're bullies. They only pick on people they view as "weaklings". They don't have the courage to face a howling mob of the righteous. Plus, I went to school in a bad neighborhood. I'm pretty sure I can whoop ass on any priggish right winger. They all look like pansies. There might be some scratching, biting, and hair pulling but I've been doing Tae Bo for years. I can take 'em.

Posted by yucca flower | November 4, 2008 1:17 PM

Just because you believe in gun control doesn't mean you can't own a guy anymore than supporting a tax increase requires you to have voluntarily paid additional taxes in the past.

Posted by daniel | November 4, 2008 1:21 PM


Yeah, that's the one good thing that can be said about the current voting system, the Rethugs can attempt some of this shit, but there are so many people watching out for it, and there are so many folks on the ground ready and able to address problems as they occur, that, no matter what they try to pull, only the most subtle forms of disenfranchisement are going to have any effect.

I still don't trust electronic voting machines as far as I could pick one up and caber-toss it, but otherwise, I think a lot of these shenanigans are going to be nipped in-the-bud this time around.

Posted by COMTE | November 4, 2008 1:21 PM

I live in Blacksburg, VA (Virginia Tech) and neither my girlfriend or I had any issues when voting. Also, the issue seems to be overblown - there's free public transportation from campus to the polling place, and if that's six miles then I'm a lemming.

Posted by Steve P. | November 4, 2008 1:23 PM
I still have to ask, WHY THE FUCK haven't the Democrats in Congress investigated this shit before? This is not a surprise people !!! It happened in 2004!!!

Because it happens in every election that's been held in this country? It's hardly unusual, is it?

Posted by wench | November 4, 2008 1:36 PM

Hey #14- PA and VA both have Democratic governors!

Anyway- it seems from the local news here in Pittsburgh that the problems are occurring mostly in the Republican leaning northern suburbs with poll workers demanding that all voters show ID. Under PA law you don't have to do that unless you are new to that voting district and your listing in the book says "see ID."

There have also been many cases throughout the state with people passing out fake Obama literature saying that voting was moved to Wednesday for certain people or that there is a last-minute change in a polling location. Governor Rendell has been on practically every TV and radio station repeatedly stressing that these messages are fraudulent.

Those Republican fucks will stop at nothing to repress the voice of the people. And they call Obama a socialist- ha!

Posted by Eddie | November 4, 2008 1:53 PM

I agree with #19. If you get kicked in the balls once, it's surprising as much as it is painful. But if you get kicked in the balls every four years like clockwork, you get used to it. Then, one day when that four-year mark comes around and you don't get kicked in the balls, you think, "Huh. Where did my ball-kick go?"

Posted by Greg | November 4, 2008 1:57 PM

I think that picture of the Virginia situation is probably overblown, and some parts possibly outright false. I live in Virginia and have been watching the WashPost website all day, and their article about the problems that have come up doesn't hint at anything approaching that kind of chaos. NPR has given me the same impression: that there have been some problems at some polling places but overall things are going okay.

Personally, I walked into my polling place at 11:15 and there was literally no line. All the reports are that lines everywhere were HUGE when the polls opened, though.

Posted by Propaniac | November 4, 2008 1:57 PM

Something a friend sent to calm the nerves:

I've been looking at it a lot today. It helps.

Posted by Bruce | November 4, 2008 2:02 PM

Something a friend sent to calm the nerves:

I've been looking at it a lot today. It helps.

Posted by Bruce | November 4, 2008 2:08 PM

sorry about the double post. It took so long to load that my 'puter gave up the first time.

Posted by Bruce | November 4, 2008 2:12 PM

Machine malfunctions = theft? If so, by whom? How did they do it? What proof is there?

Posted by raindrop | November 4, 2008 2:22 PM

Take a reality check, people. What is reported here?
1. Voting machine malfunctions in VA and PA: Totally routine, totally expected, totally unavoidable. Totally reality.
2. Polling places closed: source report attributes this to Problem #1. Totally real, and ordinary.
3. Voters may have been turned away illegally in VA. NO detail, NO source attribution, NO information as to what reason was given, whether they were offered provisional ballots, and whether their rejections were in fact illegal. Many things may be; that does not mean that they are. Totally routine, totally real annual complaints.
4. VA - Campus polling place distant, crowded, and moved "suddenly and unexpectedly", to a location without public transportation: the last two claims are apparently fictive, introduced as the inconvenience story was successively "improved" in the alarmist game of telephone (as was an auxiliary claim that the precinct size exceeded that allowed under state law). Totally real-world inconvenience, especially when on-campus voter participation spikes over previous experience. (And that's supposed to be a good thing, isn't it?)
5. VA voters "illegally" issued provisional ballets (sic): possible real-world perennial training issues; possible fall-back procedure for machine malfunction (as other contemporary reporting suggests); possible misreport (omitting the vital detail that provisional ballot stock is being properly marked as "emergency ballots"; possible factual report -- in which case the risk of these votes not being counted is minuscule. Get real, folks.
6. Campaign materials reportedly distributed at polling places: another hardy real-world perennial, with frequent and numerous violations by enthusiasts on both sides of any major election.
7. Voters in PA report not receiving absentee ballots: ditto, ditto, ditto.

Want to get up a mob and beat up another mob? That's what MMOG's are for, isn't it?

Posted by RonK, Seattle | November 4, 2008 2:43 PM

P.S. - or try out for the Provisional Ballet (and wait for The Stranger's scathing reviews).

Posted by RonK, Seattle | November 4, 2008 3:00 PM

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