Monday, November 5, 2012

No Time For Sitting Around

Today is the last day before the 2012 elections and, as we predicted on Friday, it was not a slow weekend.

No one who cares about the outcome of this election - or what happens to their fellow Americans still recovering from Sandy - was just sitting around this weekend, except for those few so-called "Independent" voters who are still hogging an oversized amount of attention from both the Democratic and Republican political players in most races.

This election is still being portrayed almost like a football game by many in the media, but make no mistake about it: the more accurate comparison for this election is warfare. Over the weekend, both sides engaged in heated battles - but only one side took the ethical high ground.

In Florida, Governor Rick Scott's unethical plan from 2011 to cut early voting days in half played out much as both local and national political and media figures thought it would. With less time for early voting, insanely long lines formed - reportedly up to nine hours in one Florida location, and more than six in at least one other.

The Florida Democratic Party had asked for an extension of early voting on Thursday on behalf of all Florida voters from any party, but they were effectively ignored by Gov. Rick Scott. After the insanely long lines, the Democratic Party decided they'd had enough and filed an emergency lawsuit late Saturday night seeking to extend early voting hours for all Florida voters - and they won, at least in Orange County.

In Miami-Dade County, the Elections Department was pushed by the Democrats' action and the large voter demand to open their doors Sunday and allow early voting. The Republican mayor of Miami effectively had a tantrum, because he hadn't directly been involved in the Elections Department decision - so, with several hundred voters waiting in line, the Republican mayor made a bad situation even worse and forced the doors closed again. After two hours of phone calls, legal threats, and hundreds of voters chanting and banging on the doors, not going away, the Elections Department in Miami-Dade opened the doors again - and all voters who were in line got to vote again. Not even potential bombs could stop Florida voters. In short, Republicans did not succeed in hijacking the fundamental right of Americans to vote - at least in Florida.

That may not be the case in Ohio.

A last-minute directive issued by Ohio's Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted seeks to invalidate fully legal provisional ballots by shoving some of the state's information verification responsibilities onto the voter - then penalizing the voter by not counting their ballot if the information provided by the voter is incorrect or filled in on the form incorrectly. Husted's action is not only in violation of Ohio's own laws and in violation of a recent court decision - it's exactly the opposite of what Husted claimed he would do. Not surprisingly, Husted is already being sued over this latest attempt at voter suppression.

That's not the end of the problems, either. According to the Columbus Dispatch, the extremist right-wing group known as "True The Vote" appears to have gotten its members into poll worker positions in Ohio, not just poll observer positions. The dual training of these ethically illegitimate poll workers appears to have gone outside the rules of the Ohio State Elections Board, which could lead to any ballot they touch being invalidated, or having to be re-checked manually by contacting each voter - which could lead to Ohio's elections not being finalized until sometime in December.

If you thought the Republican Party was going to be honest and play fair in the 2012 elections, you haven't been paying attention.

We only hope that these desperate attempts by the extremist wing of the Republican Party to steal the 2012 election backfire, and ultimately result in the nuts being shoved off the GOP's proverbial bench permanently once the election is over. Otherwise, we fear greatly for the legitimate future of free, fair and honest elections in the United States.

As we said earlier, the election isn't just a game this year.

No comments:

Post a Comment