Tuesday, November 07, 2006

More On Election Hypocrisy

In the wake Daniel Ortega's apparent victory in Nicaragua's presidential election yesterday I made reference to the following comments of an official at the US Embassy in Managua:

The U.S. Embassy said it was too soon to "make an overall judgment on the fairness and transparency of the process..."

"We are receiving reports of some
anomalies in the electoral process, including polling stations that opened late and closed early," the [US] embassy said.

Well, here's the thing. The US mid-term elections began this morning and, only a little after 10AM eastern time, already we're having the exact same problems...

New Rules, Machines Frazzle Voters Early
Problems Crop Up Early As Poll Workers Tangle With New Voting Machines, Databases, ID Rules


Nov 7, 2006 (AP)— Programming errors and inexperience with electronic voting machines frustrated poll workers in hundreds of precincts early Tuesday, delaying voters in Indiana and Ohio and leaving some in Florida with little choice but use paper ballots instead.

In Cleveland, voters rolled their eyes as election workers fumbled with new touchscreen machines that they couldn't get to start properly...


Election officials in Delaware County, Ind., planned to seek a court order to extend voting after an apparent computer error prevented voters from casting ballots in 75 precincts. Delaware County Clerk Karen Wenger said the cards that activate the machines were programmed incorrectly...


In New Mexico, some voters complained they had received phone calls giving them incorrect information about where in vote...

CNN reports the following:

Glitches delayed voters in dozens of Indiana and Ohio precincts. In Delaware County, Indiana, officials planned to seek a court order to extend voting after an apparent computer error prevented voters from casting ballots in 75 precincts.

Florida officials, working to avoid a repeat of the vote-counting debacle of 2000, fielded extra voting machines, paper ballots and poll workers.

In the Jacksonville suburb of Orange Park, Florida, voters were forced to use paper ballots after an electronic machine broke...

So, in the wake of this and so many previously well-documented anamolies in our elections -- strictly taking our cues from unnamed officials at the US Embassy in Managua, Nicaragua -- I have wonder if it's also too early make a judgement on the transparency and fairness of our own elections. I mean, that would only be consistant, right?

PS - I may have never mentioned on this blog what I've been telling my personal friends repeatedly lately, that I have this sinking feeling about this election. Despite of the optimistic polling about voter disaffection with our onerous GOP leadership I can't help but feel like something crazy is about to happen. With all the crimes we know about that haven't been properly adjudicated -- let alone the ones we have yet to learn about which may turn out to be worse -- I can't help but speculate that certain people can't afford to lose this election and, having proven themselves capable of any amount of evil in my mind,... well, I just can't help but be wary going into this election. Is that wrong? I certainly hope I'm wrong.