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April 27, 2006


Do you really think it's worth the effort for anyone to talk about Democratic party strategy for November, when the Republicans are protected by audit-free electronic voting? They are going to rig the outcome in their favor.

The Democrats have no chance of retaking the house or the senate while there is no ability to verify election outcomes. If you want to talk about Rovian misdirection, this is the biggest one of all - while the Democrats get gleeful about polls, he sits back and gets ready to pick the next Supreme Court justices.

And when people do grumble about this in November, it will be way too late.

They do not need to rig every district. Just enough to make the small difference they need.

(Or do you think the Republican party can be trusted with the elections process?)

Do you really think it's worth the effort for anyone to talk about Democratic party strategy for November, when the Republicans are protected by audit-free electronic voting?


Absolutely it is worth it. Rove may be tied up with his own legal troubles. Same with Mehlman (phone jamming) and several congressmen. Today the WSJ covers the story that Brent Wilkes and Mitchell Wade provided prostitutes for Randy Cunningham, and other outlets are digging into a wider manifestation of the scandal. If it's sex, then it really matters.

Our side just needs to be vigilant, with lots of poll watchers. And no one has explained to me how, if hacking is so easy, why some lefty hacker hasn't done it somewhere in the Dems' favor?

Maybe they have and they just balance out. Or like ebay, it's 'last one in' that counts.

The key is to not have 537-vote differences. With a 10,000 vote difference, the vagaries of election results won't matter.

The people who constantly moan about machines being permanently fixed (and they turn up at every site, if you wait long enough) are just a cosmetically-more-sophisticated version of the "why should I vote, my vote doesn't matter?" folk. Their only job is to breed despair.

DemfromCT is of course correct. If exit polls show a 10% victory, and actual results were to claim a reverse outcome, even the dullards in our press corps would understand there was corruption. It's our job to push up the margins so even the prospect of cheating like this (or other, more realistic vote manipulation, like long waits in Dem districts) becomes irrelevant.

"If exit polls show a 10% victory, and actual results were to claim a reverse outcome, even the dullards in our press corps would understand there was corruption."

Except in Ohio.

Actually it is important to make the integrity of the vote an issue in state and local elections, because the character of the Secretary of State or the County Commissioners who appoint Election Management are the first defense against corruption of the electorial process.

We must not allow ourselves to be influenced by the passive defeatists of the world.

On the other hand (and as I have said over and over again) Mid-term elections are profoundly local and state matters. National themes can be usefully introduced late in the campaign -- but for the next few months this is about nominating candidates, raising money and state and local organization. Congressional candidates need to pick the issues that work for their district -- and these well may not be nationally critical ones, but they are one of the elements around which you organize later Get Out the Vote efforts. Success is about just the right balance among Candidate Personality, Dynamics of the issues, and organization -- and you have to pay attention to all these matters.

all true, Sara... and yet, atypically, this will also be a national mid-term like 1994. That's not enough; you have to do the things Sara outlined. And yet... WSJ/NBC poll:

In deciding whether to vote for your member of Congress, which is more important to you--your congressperson's position on national issues or your congressperson's performance in taking care of problems in your district?

National 43
Local 38

That's a reverse of previous polls.

The integrity of the election "is" important including no thanks to DeLay's re-districting. Notwithstanding if the GOP voters are not enthused about their incumbent they may just not show up. But the voting machines are a problem. It only takes one person to hack into the system-- it is easy to do.

Something else I want to add as a suggestion: As we know, the overall approval percentage for the House is very, very low. With a large majority dissatisfied and unhappy with Congress overall voters may not be looking at the big picture. In other words if voters vote republican again then Congressional republicans maintain the majority and politics will remain politics as usual. It is important for people to associate the two. As a result it IMHO might influence dissatisfied republicans to either stay at home or vote for an independent or even possibly a democrat (gasp). Any of which would minimize the number of potential votes for the republican candidate.

Just a thought *S*

it's a good thought. this may be a low turnout election favoring dems.

My father, who graduated from college in 1927, used to say there was for years a sign on the wall in the British Foreign Office that said "There will be trouble in the Balkans in the Spring."

There should be a similar sign in every Democratic venue that says "There will be an October Surprise."

A military-related October Surprise is very likely to cause a jump in Republican turn-out. The President has control of American foreign policy, the military, and covert operations.

"There will be an October Surprise."

And the surprise will be that since 63% of the ppopulation thinks we should not go to war against Iran, Bush will not get the bump he is looking for.

What worries me is the number of unfired weapons remaining in the Republicans' PR pouch. None is good for more than about a one month burst in the polls. But there are only six months to go. And they essentially control the timing on all of these. Note that none actually requires them to do anything real, hence their PR effectiveness. No blowback from intransigeant events.

1) Cheney resigns/dies and is replaced (think McCain, not Lieberman. Joe hasn't got anything they want but don't already have.)

2) Find and produce Bin Laden (from wherever they have him stashed.)

3) Ignite either US or Israeli weapons at Iran. (Ugly and stupid but will produce short-lived positive polls.)

4) Announce success in Iraq, regardless of Iraqi government's state, and proclaim US troop drawdown (not withdrawal.)

5) Ignite US weapons at North Korea. (See #3 caveat.)

6) Enroll Bush in Betty Ford Institute for 90 days, turn government over to new VP (see #1.)

What has always bothered me about the vote rigging is that our own friends, neighbors, co-workers, relatives had to have had some knowledge - there are probably thousands of people across this land who at least gave tacit approval to what was going on - all in the name of the greater good. Maybe they didn't actually manipulate votes on machines but they shorted voting machines in Democratic districts in Ohio or intimidated black voters in Florida or sent misleading fliers in Georgia. I wonder if any of them will ever have an attack of conscience and admit it. They are all probably too far gone or too ashamed - we'll never hear from any of them, I bet.

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