The Coming Election Disaster

Posting this in the Pit by default, really. But it has occured to me, and apparently not to anybody important, that we are headed for a serious crisis, one that will make the Florida Debacle look tame by comparison.

Looking around, it appears that really very little has been done in the various states to tighten up our electoral act. Elections have always been pretty sloppy, but it hasn’t mattered that much, usually one guy clearly wins, the other clearly loses.

Not this time.

The races are very, very close in many places, and the stakes are enormous: control of the Senate, and perhaps even the House as well, hangs in a precarious balance. A few tens of thousands of votes might well decide the course of our future. And our voting procedures are still sloppy, voter registration still not uniform.

I cringe. How about you?

I say we start yelling and burning stuff!
Or, alternatively, we could see how the election goes first. I have serious doubts that this particular election is going to radically change the course of American history. Pick up a history book and see some of the other crap this old republic has weathered over the years (I’m not talking the Civil War etc. either but more along the lines of things like Jackson telling the Supreme Court to get stuffed). This too will pass, young grasshopper… :wink:

Of course, Master. But will we still be here after it passes?

I think, and I have no proof, that the voting hijinks between parties pretty much cancel each other out.

Voting is a process, and like every other process out there, it will never be perfect. There will always be confusing ballots, stupid voters and other mistakes. No matter what we do to make the system better it will never be flawless. The question then becomes how flawed is the system and does it impact the outcome of the vote in a meaningful way. I believe that the problems are washed out as noise in the system and really do not matter.


They had a good fiasco in Dallas this week. They have early voting, and it turned out that on some of the new computer voting machines, if you chose Dem., you actually got Rep. However, if you voted Rep, you got Libertarian. It’ll be cool when TX gets it’s new Libertarian Governor!

Sleestak, I dont mean party hijinks, etc. I mean stuff like the Senate hanging on the recount process in Podunk County, Minnesota and/or Squatrot, Arkansas. Or, more likely, the Senate control hinging on half a dozen(?) fifty (?) similar such, with the attendant flocks of lawyers, etc. Granted, in most cases the margins of victory will be palpable, demands for recounts will be, for the most part, irrelevent.

But there’s about 10-15 elections that are too close to call, and given the unimproved nature of our election procedures, we might very well see half of those end up in court.

I disagree with this assessment. The time to change it was at the moment we realized there was a problem. That was (at the very least) two years ago.
We need an overhaul. It starts with election ballots and it ends with the demolition of the electoral college.
The problem is that the ones in power, the ones who vote on the new system, got there through the old system. They have no incentive to bite the ballot that stuffs them. [sub]how’s that for mixed metaphors?[/sub]

NOOOOOO! :smiley:

I could hardly stand Bush. I can’t stand Perry. I shudder to think of this outcome.

Of course, Sanchez isn’t any good, either.

I wish that Cornyn and Kirk could split the governorship/senate seat between them, and we could just forget about Sanchez and Perry.

All Texans would agree, I think. Our gubernatorial candidates aren’t stellar.

Of course, a close race between Republicans and Democrats in Texas is about as likely as Missouri seceding from the US.

Cringe as you please.

But it probably won’t matter much if the House and Senate balances tip a little either way.

Did the “Democratically-controlled” Senate have the balls to stand up to Bush on the “Wage war if you want, but pretty please think about consulting us again if things heat up” resolution? No? Then what difference does it make if the GOP has a narrow majority?

I can’t get very excited when my party has little to think about except raising money and getting its members re-elected.

There’s also a pre-voting fiasco-in-the-making in Arkansas:

Demands for identification are already sowing the seeds for a scandal there next month. I can see lawsuits coming out of this. The hell of it is that there isn’t a wave of rogue voters out there, voting without registration or slipping back to vote again or whatever, as the Jefferson County Elections Commission seems to think. Terry Ashcraft, Chairman of the Jefferson County Elections Commission, says, chillingly, “Their papers were not in order.”

Demanding identification is intimidating and solves nothing. Eyeballing voters while they make their selections violates privacy. This sort of intimidation is borne from the idea that reform of America’s dodgy voting systems can be accomplished not by trying to fix the system, but by seeking out one or two “bad apples.” Sound familiar? Kind of like O.J. looking for the “real killer.” Kind of like Bush’s notion of “corporate reform.” It’s a great tactic to appear to be doing something while you’re really just waiting for the problem to go away.

That business about intimidating mostly black voters is disturbing, too. Believe me, if anyone tried that crap at my polling place here in New Jersey, they’d be lucky if they only got hauled away by the cops.

In New York, the Democrat candidate for governor, McCall, may come in third behind Pataki and Golisano (ind). This means that the Democrats’ will drop to ‘Row C’ for the next four years.

That might make NY a swing-state for the GOP in 2004. Thanks go out to Bill and Hillary, our esteemed visiting residents, who instead of giving any lift to the Democratic party in NY - will preside over its demise.


Having voted for the third party candidate for Governor in Minnesota four years ago (i.e. the Democrat)…I understand.

Corbomite—I don’t think so. Sure, McCall doesn’t have a snowball’s chance of winning this election, and could very well come in third. But the reason Pataki is doing so well is because he’s such a liberal. Golisano is the only major conservative voice in New York, and even he’s a little bit out of America’s mainstream conservative picture.

Schumer should have no problem winning reëlection in 2004, and I see a second term for Clinton in 2006 as likely, as well. I think the main reason Bill Clinton isn’t giving McCall a lift is because he doesn’t want to alienate Democratic voters. Really, I don’t think Bill Clinton is just another party hack; he has principles, and Clinton’s principles are more in line with Pataki’s. Clinton is more conservative than Pataki (much less McCall,) so I don’t see why he’d even get involved in this race.

The Democratic Party is doing just fine. They won New York state easily in 2000. New York had the highest voter turnout in the country, with over 80% of all eligible voters showing up at the polls. Gore got almost 2,000,000 more votes there than Bush did. If it can keep that kind of voter participation steady (and they should have no problem doing so) then I think the Democratic Party in New York will continue to thrive.

To suggest that Pataki’s thriving campaign is a moratorium on the Democratic Party in New York is as logical as saying that Max Baucus’s thriving campaign is a moratorium on the Republican Party in Montana, or that Roy Barnes’ popular governorship is a moratorium on the Republican Party in Georgia.

George Pataki: a good liberal for bad times.

I wish we had all arrived at the obvious problem sooner than a month before the next election.

After the next debacle - which MAY not involve Florida - can we address the real systematic problems which arise in close elections?

This elections debacle will be voter fraud. Considering how many cases have been discovered just this last month.

I’ll bite- how many is that?

The horse covers a number of “incidents” of voter fraud today, and includes this amusing story from Jeb Bush’s Florida:

Florida Democratic Party Chair Bob Poe speaking, from his letter to AG John Ashcroft:

Josh Marshall has some more info on these allegations- this is just this year’s GOP disinfo campaign.


Thank the heavens it will take a constitutional amendment to abolish the electoral college. The act of demolishing this institution would probably doom the United States in the future. Why would I want to live in a nation dominated exclusively by CA, FL, NY? They certainly don’t have my best interests in mind.

elucidator -

Assuming as we should that the concern is for the integrity of the election process, and not partisan advantage, what steps do you feel the Democrats should take in elections that they won, but which did not accurately reflect the will of the majority?