Thank the gods of Toby Keith and Lee Greenwood's secret lovenest that this endless, yammering election cycle is finally in the home stretch, and barring some kind of mass craziness, most of this democratic process infotainment cacophony should be over in 48 hours. Of course, the operative phrase here is "barring some kind of mass craziness," since 2012 has nothing if not barges full of crazy, and both major political parties are nothing if not willing to pull out all of the stops to secure victory at any cost for their chosen candidates. If American political parties were people, they'd be people who lie about having cancer so they can get The Today Show to pay for their dream wedding. So let's review some of the ways that this thing could drag on for even longer than it already has — from voter suppression to outright lies.
By most accounts, President Obama is cruising toward reelection. At least, that's what the polls say. Liberal security blanket/statistics whiz Nate Silver puts the likelihood that Obama will be elected to a second term at 86.3% today, thanks to strong numbers in recent national and battleground state polls. But Nate Silver hasn't calculated the likelihood that some fear grimacing Ohio politician in a cheap suit won't kamikaze his political career in the name of making sure Romney ends up in the White House. And Democratic voters who remember 2004 and 2000 should know better than to think that the GOP will not resort to fuckery. In fact, they already are.
Sorry, Michigan, you perpetual redheaded electoral step-children. Once again, both political parties are debasing themselves all over Ohio in their quest to win hearts, minds, and votes there. And while polls are showing a narrow, but clear Obama advantage, the state's Republican Secretary of State John Husted has made it his personal crusade to make it more difficult for Ohioans to vote.
Husted, in short, is a shit. He has moved to restrict voting hours in counties that typically lean Democratic while voting to extend hours in Ohio counties that tend to lean Republican. When the New York Times pointed out that this was roundly fucked up, Husted signed an order limiting early voting in all Ohio locations, a move that Democratic officials say will disenfranchise urban voters. He ordered restrictions on voting in the three days leading up to the election, and then ignored a court order telling him that his rule shouldn't be enforced. He didn't come correct until he was ordered to appear before a federal judge and explain what the fuck his problem was.
In addition, Husted has installed famously shitty software on voting machines in the state, which the Free Press says would "undetectably and possibly illegally [remove] thousands of registered voters from the voting rolls just prior to the presidential election." The new software doesn't appear to work and has led to thousands of Ohioans who requested absentee ballots being denied despite the fact that a closer inspection of Ohio voting rolls revealed that those denied ballots were in fact registered. The firm that makes the software has been tied to other instances of GOP election irregularities.
This new defective software, appears deficient in its ability to perform basic functions. In an interview with Robbins on November 2nd, the Free Press asked about the mechanics of what had gone wrong. A slight difference in name or street, for instance spelling "Elliott" with one "t" instead of two or entering "ninth street" instead of "ninth st." or even "9th street" will cause a registration to not be confirmed. Voters with these problems may well now be forced to cast provisional ballots, which have an usually high rate of being rejected or going uncounted.
Responding to these revelations, Husted's office circulated a memo with suggestions as to how to correctly use the new inadequate database software, rather than directing his staff to make every effort to match a voter to a database record. The last of Husted's suggestions is to lookup a voter by driver's licenses number. As a result, thousands of voters who lack driver's licenses, specifically poor, elderly and disabled voters may be disenfranchised. No provision was made to look up a voter by the last 4 digits of their social security number.
The same software causing database lookup "errors" will also be used to validate the provisional ballots that many thousands of Ohio voters may be erroneously forced to cast on Election Day. Husted's office is thus implementing a bizarre Catch-22, forcing registered voters to vote provisionally because of inadequate software and then using the same inadequate software to disregard those same provisional ballots. Also, the Wall Street Journal reports that Husted's office "found" 100,000 voter registration records that were never filed
Husted also signed a last-minute directive on Friday that changed the way that provisional ballots are counted and/or thrown out, which means that every Ohioan who is of-age has the right to vote in Ohio — provided they can fill out paperwork to John Husted's confusing specifications.
For loving America as much as they say they do, Republicans sure don't seem to trust Americans.
Now, let's mosey down to Florida, America's carnie capital and the place where both gators and jokes about jorts get beaten to death. That's a battleground state, too, just like it has been in recent elections, and officials there are doing their darndest to convince people that voting is too much of a hassle. How are they doing it? Seven hour lines. Closing early polling sites with hundreds of people waiting outside. And at least one clown has left "suspicious packages" outside of an early voting site.
Early voting is what helped President Obama win Florida in 2008, and so naturally the state's penis-headed Republican governor Rick Scott and his cronies are doing their best to turn voting into something only rich white people do, like golf or watching Game of Thrones. Here's some weekend Florida fuckery,
Elections officials, overwhelmed with voters, locked the doors to their Doral headquarters and temporarily shut down the operation, angering nearly 200 voters standing in line outside - only to resume the proceedings an hour later.
On the surface, officials blamed technical equipment and a lack of staff for the shutdown. But behind the scenes, there was another issue: Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez.
The Republican had never signed off on the additional in-person absentee voting hours in the first place.
Gimenez said his initial reaction was to stop the last-minute Sunday voting.
But by then, around 180 people stood in line outside the elections office at 2700 NW 87th Ave. They shouted "Let us vote!" and banged on the locked glass doors.
"This is America, not a third-world country," said Myrna Peralta, who waited in line with her 4-year-old grandson for nearly two hours before the doors closed. "They should have been prepared."
"My beautiful Sunshine State," she lamented. "They're not letting people vote."
Minutes earlier, a department spokeswoman had said the office did not have enough resources - only one ballot printer, five voting booths and two staffers - to handle the throng of voters and would begin turning new voters away.
Here's a picture of one of the many long lines for early voting, this one in Ohio.
GEE, I WONDER WHY REPUBLICANS DON'T WANT BLACK PEOPLE TO VOTE?!
Democrats! Vote on Wednesday! Or vote in this abandoned dark closet with a crudely drawn sign that says "DEMMYCRATS HERE!" Even though there's basically no chance of Obama winning Arizona, robocalls went out to Democrats in the state urging them to go to the wrong voting location.
Similar fuckery is happening in Massachusetts, where Democrats are being encouraged to vote for Elizabeth Warren and President Obama on Wednesday.
Last night, at a Romney rally in Pennsylvania, attendees were told by Romney staffers that they couldn't leave. According to journalists on the scene, freezing cold people began turning to reporters asking for help.
Eventually, people were let out, and after the initial confusion, it was revealed that the reason people weren't allowed to leave was due to security concerns, not just outright Montgomery Burns-style millionaire cruelty. Probably would have been helpful for staffers to share that with the cold children.
Despite the evidence that the only way that Mitt Romney will win tomorrow is if Americans don't go to the polls, the GOP is still living in an alternate reality of its own construction. Seriously. People think Mitt Romney is ahead, and that he's got momentum, like polls are bound by the forces of physics, or like the reality that they choose for themselves will be the reality that manifests itself because it must be so. It's grown up wishing on a star. It's holding your breath for so long that you pass out in the candy aisle and then your mom buys you Twizzlers because she's embarrassed. Here's a hilariously bizarre October 30 Daily Caller piece about how whiny Obama supporters will be on the day after Romney's SWEEPING ELECTORAL VICTORY (I'm not linking to it because this guy is an actual fucktard):
This race is over, but the conspiracy theories are about to begin. And, boy howdy, are things going to get ugly.
To wit, Mitt Romney will defeat Barack Obama for the presidency on November 6, after which there will be hysterical blowback. The election result is quantifiable, with Romney consistently leading in national tracking polls, finding a level at or above 50 percent in many, and closing the necessary gaps in swing states and among demographic groups. Greater evidence can be found, however, in Obama's sour demeanor and the conduct of his campaign. What a mess.
In contrast, here's Nate Silver's analysis from yesterday:
It appears that President Obama is likely to go into Election Day with a very modest lead in the average of national polls.
As of this writing, on Sunday evening, Mr. Obama led by an average of 1.3 percentage points across 12 national polls that had been published over the course of the prior 24 hours. The range was quite tight, running from a tied race in the polls issued by Rasmussen Reports, CNN and Politico, to a three-point lead in three other surveys.
Romney supporters seriously think they're ahead. It will be painful when actual reality collides with their desired reality. If Romney loses, will supporters stage a fake inauguration for him in January? Will Romney show up at the White House expecting to be allowed to move in, and then act confused, like he's POSITIVE he made reservations and that he'd like to speak to the manager please?
If it helps, just imagine that your vote is personally canceling out one of these people's: