While races for the top jobs grab the most headlines, there are dozens of other choices to be made, all of which will have an impact on virtually every part of our lives.
Millions of Americans have already voted. Unfortunately, approximately 5 million of our fellow Americans may be disenfranchised this year, thanks to the relentless efforts of those affiliating themselves under the banner of the Republican elephant to enact Voter ID laws, provisional ballot counting laws, you name it.
Here in California the threat of voter suppression is limited to the actions of individuals acting under the guise of the True the Vote or the Election Integrity Project campaigns. Unlike the League of Women Voters and other poll watching groups, these efforts are fighting to narrow the number of voters in certain demographics as much as possible.
The “fraud” they are allegedly fighting to prevent is mythical, not real. It is a self-serving narrative made up of nothing more than partisan paranoia rooted in a deep seated fear of the changing demographics of the electorate and the country.
These fraud fighters are not working to help voters get things straight with the registrar where there is a mistake if possible, or to vote provisional if possible, even though federal law goes out of its way to try and preserve even provisional ballots as full votes.
Take a gander at True the Vote’s website landing page: you’ll find nothing there about HELPING people to vote.
I’m asking you to do more than just vote. I’m saying that we have a duty and obligation to stand against the machinery of the right wing that hopes to make electing people like our President to national office as hard as possible going forward. We must be champions for the right to vote as the most fundamental of American rights. And we must champion that right on Election Day itself.
So I am asking you to, after your own vote is cast, help clear the voter road behind you. Our first line of defense needs to be making sure that prospective voters know their rights, know where to vote and know what the actual rules of the game are. The San Diego Free Press’ Anna Daniels has done an excellent job of assembling all this information relevant to California in one place.
The League of Women Voters and groups interested in voting rights have coalesced behind Election Protection. In addition to advising voters on their rights via the 1-866-OUR-VOTE / 1-866-VE-Y-VOTA hot lines, they have announced the Election Protection phone app.
This powerful tool is available for all flavors of smartphones, providing all the information and resources voters need to cast a meaningful ballot in the palm of their hands. The App will allow voters to: verify their registration; look up their polling place; review key voting rules and regulations, see what type of machine they vote on; and contact Election Protection via phone or email to report a problem or get answers to their questions.
Election Protection stands ready not to just to take calls, but to deploy people to problematic locations, to observe, to work with local election officials to get it right. And, yes, to litigate if it comes to that in order to secure the franchise. They can’t help with something that they don’t know about, so the reporting of problems is of vital importance.
Tomorrow’s Starting Line column here at the San Diego Free Press will feature regularly updated reporting from voting locations in the County. You can (and we encourage you to) participate, via comments, email (contact@SandiegoFreePress.org
Who Will Win the Election?
I don’t know. I’ll save my opportunity to opine on actual results.
For what it’s worth, 7-11 stores have made morning ‘cups of democracy’ available in your preferred partisan flavor by picking between Obama or Romney coffee cups. Sales are tabulated daily and are currently leaning strongly in Obama’s favor.
Apparently they’re also doing this with frosted doughnuts; by opting for red (with sprinkles!) diabetic leaning Americans are casting their lot with the GOP ticket—which is what I innocently did last week when I figured that the red food coloring might be slightly less dangerous than the blue (also sprinkles!) used on the pro Dem calorie bombs.
According to Politico, if Obama wins the election, he won’t really be winning. It won’t count unless it’s a landslide:
If President Barack Obama wins, he will be the popular choice of Hispanics, African-Americans, single women and highly educated urban whites. That’s what the polling has consistently shown in the final days of the campaign. It looks more likely than not that he will lose independents, and it’s possible he will get a lower percentage of white voters than George W. Bush got of Hispanic voters in 2000.
A broad mandate this is not.
In fact, the only people touting landslide are Republicans:
The political director for Mitt Romney’s campaign predicted on Sunday the Republican presidential nominee will win the White House with more than 300 electoral votes.
“Pennsylvania and Michigan and Minnesota are not pass the 270, as much as [David] Axelrod would like to report, those are pass the 300, this is going to be a big election and Gov. Romney is going to win,” Rich Beeson said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Host Chris Wallace, appearing surprised, asked Beeson if he were in fact predicting a 300 electoral-vote win.
“It’s going to be a big win for Gov. Romney,” Beeson said, nodding his head.
Romney’s campaign has been pushing the argument that they’re expanding the map as polls in Ohio continue to show him trailing. But Democrats argue without Ohio, it becomes difficult for Romney to flip enough swing states to ensure the needed 270 electoral votes.
And we’d be remiss if we failed to note the prognostication of the Dougchester at UT-San Diego:
Obama’s European socialism and his high taxes, high unemployment, high gasoline prices and huge debt are being rejected at each turn. Americans are mad as hell and they are not going to take it anymore! We see, “Romney in a landslide!”
In Case the Republicans Don’t Win the Presidential Race…
There’s posturing a plenty going on the GOP side of the coin for the 2016 election. Some pundits are claiming that Hurricane Sandy will make the difference and throw the election to Obama. Some are saying that Chris Christie can be forgiven for boosting up Obama’s image as President the last week of the campaign; after all, it boosts the New Jersey Governor’s own chances next time out.
There’s this ‘accidental’ email that oozed out from Newt Ginrich’s camp:
“The truth is, the next election has already been decided. Obama is going to win. It’s nearly impossible to beat an incumbent president. What’s actually at stake right now is whether or not he will have a third-term.”
That is why some of Ryan’s biggest boosters are considering whether it wouldn’t be better for Ryan to resign from the House. He could write a book — “saving America” is a theme often bandied about — or teach at a university.
After all, on the campaign trail, Ryan is as much lecturer as campaigner. Aides routinely set up giant video screens so Ryan can use visual aids to walk audiences through the minutiae of budget politics. Graphs and charts are as common as yard signs and American flags at some events, with Ryan settling into his role as explainer in chief.
And there’s this conclusion from This Empty Wheel (from which all of this is unabashedly cribbed):
It’s all rather ghoulish, this campaigning to take over Mitt’s position as the party’s standard bearer before the race has even been called.
I don’t feel all that bad for Mitt, though. After all, he has participated in the weird custom of posthumously baptizing people, basically converting people after they’re dead. Republicans, apparently, follow the opposite strategy, burying you while you’re still technically alive.
My Favorite Video of the 2012 Campaign
On This Day: In 1872 Susan B. Anthony was fined $100 for attempting to vote in the presidential election. She never paid the fine. In 1995“The Wizard of Oz in Concert” took place for a Children’s Defense Fund. The show featured Jackson Browne as the Scarecrow, Roger Daltrey as the Tin Man, Nathan Lane as the Cowardly Lion and Jewel as Dorothy. In 1998 Scientists published a genetic study that showed strong evidence that Thomas Jefferson fathered at least one child (Eston Hemings) of his slave, Sally Hemings.
On This Day: Eat Fresh! Today’s Farmers’ Markets: Escondido (Welk Resort 8860 Lawrence Welk Drive) 1pm –Sunset
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