Will technical voting problems hurt Obama on election day?

Every time an election rolls around I hear copious news stories about how various polling places in the USA didn’t open on time, or were so hopelessly overcrowded people couldn’t vote. Well, and worse; there’s a fair amount of evidence of flat-out cheating in 2004, but that’s a partisan fight I won’t make specific mention of. It’s safe to say there is lots of evidence of NON-cheating problems at polling places. Pure incompetence.

Curiously, these things always seem to happen in urban areas, especially minority areas, which trend Democratic.

Much of the Obama campaign’s confidence comes from the extent of their grassroots organization, which is rightly felt - it’s a tremendous political machine - and the assumption that that organization will be able to get the Obama-leaning voters to the polls on election day. But if there aren’t enough voting machines, or there’s confusion as to where people are supposed to vote, will that harm Obama’s ability to get votes?

What do you think?

You can bet on it. I’m also anticipating the spreading of rumors that authorities are planning on picking up people with arrest warrants at polling stations in minority neighborhoods, like in 2004, but on a much more ambitious scale.

I’m not too worried about it. In Ohio, the folks in control are Democrats and have been pushing for more reliable voting (paper trails, etc). In general, I think a lot of states saw the record turn-outs for the primaries and realize “We need to be on this” and not assume that it’ll be just another election.

There’s always a chance for shennanigans but I think a lot of the “Oh shit, we have how many voters out there?” stuff is preventable.

I think either you are channeling NPR or you just listened to it because this is the exact conversation they were having today on Talk of the Nation. Basically, Diebold and other electronic voting machine manufacturers are putting a lot of “failsafes” over what they had in o4’ to ensure a smooth rollout on election day. Aparently the Obama campaign has worked feverishly with the McCain camp to make sure there is no [read little] voter fraud this election cycle. Many places that have touch screen plan on haveing paper backups, and not just a few, tens of thousands of paper backups for people waiting in lines. Also, many of the touch screen will produce a paper receipt which will have a duplicate within the machine. I’ve never voted on a touch screen so I don’t know if that is standard or something new. But I know a lot of machines that did not previously have that option are getting this time around.

We’ve got a plan. It’s a really good one that’s worked in the primaries, too.

San Diego County used the Diebold machines briefly a couple years ago. They had their technical problems. We have since moved back to the “color-in the bubble” paper ballots.

But since the problems did not appear to favor one candidate or another, their was no national stink.

I cannot quite agree with the premise that voting problems have/would only favor the Pubbies. (I do not advocate complacency. It’s worthwhile to correct problems found, both to give voters their voice, and to reestablish faith in the election process.)

Good to see that the campaign still subscribes to the “Loose lips sink ships” approach to this sort of potential problem. You guys really are working as smart as your candidate.