As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Here's yet another incident with broken voting machines, and this time there's actually no backup:

Calls are coming in from the 48th District of Orange County, California are reporting voting machines in over 30 heavily Democratic precincts are not working and at most of these locations there are no paper ballots available as backups.

In some of the precincts, where machines aren't working, if there are paper ballorts, they are in Vietnamese.

We barely have a democracy left on the days when Congress is in session. On days when America is most directly fulfilling their civic duty, it's turned into mass chaos. I'm not all that sure you didn't have these kinds of problems 40 years ago, except you just didn't hear about them as much. But the reliance on machines that are more sophisticated, and temporary workers who are less educated about them, is a deadly combination.

You know something is up when the chairman of the RNC decides to vote by paper ballot rather than electronic machine.

This is an absolute disgrace that will require major bipartisan action, no matter what happens tonight. And whether or not it impacts the vote is irrelevant. People are being disenfranchised in a time where precious few even bother to vote anyway. For the time being, legal consequences for voter suppression like this needs to be mandatory. Laura Ingraham is encouraging her listeners to jam voter-protection phone lines. When the Republicans in NH jammed Democratic phone lines in 2002, they went to jail.

And then there's this:

Misleading flyers were handed out at several Maryland polling places by men and women recruited by the GOP governor's campaign from out-of-state homeless shelters, the Washington Post reports. The flyers, given to voters in a heavily Democratic area, showed GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob Ehrlich as a Democrat:

Erik Markle, one of the people handing out literature for Ehrlich, who is seeking reelection, and Steele, the current lieutenant governor who is campaigning to replace retiring Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D), said he was recruited at a homeless shelter in Philadelphia.

After a two-hour bus ride to Maryland, Markle said the workers were greeted early this morning by first lady Kendel Ehrlich, who thanked them as they were outfitted in T-shirts and hats with the logo for Ehrlich's reelection campaign. Nearly all of those recruited, Markle said, are poor and black. Workers traveled to Maryland in at least seven large buses.

Ehrlich's GOP ticketmate, Senate candidate Michael Steele, is also listed as a Democrat on the flyer.

There's a story in today's Washington Post about "America's Crisis of Confidence." Today is emblematic of that. We have a crisis of leadership in this country that leads to unprofessional and unimaginable incompetence like this. Nobody, Democrat or Republican, is confident in the accuracy of the vote. Just like nobody is confident in the ability of the US to lead and establish greatness anymore. Only a mass movement will inspire change, which is what the progressive movement is all about. But this is shabby and shocking, and will only inspire more to the cause.