The race tightens (in more ways than one)

As anticipated, the presidential race has clearly tightened across the last few days, though Obama still enjoys a marked advantage of about seven points or so in national polling averages. But the constant GOP attacks of socialist/terrorist are clearly taking their toll (I hear Obama might even be black, but keep that one to yourself), and the Senator from Illinois is undoubtedly wishing the election were five rather than fifteen days away.

Still, seven points is a lot, and the electoral math would make it extremely difficult for Obama to lose, were this a normal election.  But of course, it isn’t.  Vote fraud and vote suppression will knock X% points off Obama’s lead on Election Day, and the damage is likely to be concentrated in key battleground states. Rolling Stone just published a great article about the ongoing GOP campaign to suppress the vote through (among other tactics) obstructing voter registration drives, “computer errors” and requiring ID in as many states as possible.  As I’ve written previously, it’s inevitable at this point that a lot of folks are going to be turned away from the polls on Election Day, thanks to their having being struck from their states’ rosters.

And anyone who manages to make it inside the voting booth may find themselves screwed anyway. Early voters in West Virginia have already encountered voting machines that refused to let them vote for the Democratic candidate—but the real issue is what happens behind the scenes to a vote once it’s already “cast.”  Electronic voting machines are now in their sixth year of stealing our democracy out from under us (it began with the “upset” defeat of Georgia Senator Max Cleland in 2002), and the Democrats so far have done little but politely acquiese in their own demise.  November 4th might be the day that turns the tide—but if it doesn’t, there’s more than a passing chance that future historians will record 1996 as the last presidential election the Democratic Party ever won.

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4 Responses to “The race tightens (in more ways than one)”

  1. xerode Says:

    Great post, I didn’t realise the dirty tactics were back in force. Thanks for the links, going to read them now.

  2. meesh Says:

    interesting article by a black conservative in dallas.

  3. Joni Says:

    Although I try and stay away from discussions of USA politics and elections this sounds extremely disturbing to me. After all, what happened to “Land of the free, home of the brave”?

    In Finland we have county elections coming up and there are election vans driving to outbacks (so to say) to enable people to give their vote. So hearing that people are not allowed to vote (who they want) in a Country that is supposed to be the model of democracy is really like cyberpunk dystopia coming to real life.

    I’m not saying that things are all that well up here where all sorts of “good brother” networks have been in place for decades. Still, those institutions have been now lifted to daylight instead of dusted under a carpet like have been done in the past years.

  4. David Williams Says:

    @ Xerode- oh yeah, they never left.

    @ Meesh- – interesting article indeed.. . !

    @ Joni – – part of the problem is that election laws are enforced at a local level, and this allows often partisan officials a lot of say. Plus, as I mentioned, the electronic voting machines have been a travesty. Diebold’s CEO promised to deliver Ohio in the 2004 election to Bush; he claimed he was speaking as a fund-raiser, but actions speak louder than words in the end.