Election Day 2006

If you’re like me, you’re stuck in a cubicle, hopped up on caffeine, jittery about all the election fraud possibilities — not to mention the harrassing and misleading phone calls to voters in tight races — and desperate for the Democrats to take the House and Senate and get some investigations going.

And you’re seeing stories like this: “American voters face problems with new voting machines, databases, ID rules.”

While everyone’s making predictions and crunching numbers, I can’t think of anything to say but this: please, whatever you do, don’t allow exit polls and early trumpet-blowing for the Democrats to convince you that you don’t need to swing by the polls and place your vote. Go get your ballot in.

And if anything weird happens, if you see intimidation, malfunctioning machines, or anything else that seems wrong, take notes. Take photos if possible. Exchange phone numbers with anyone else who sees it, too. Then call the National Voter Assistance Hotline, at 1-866-OUR-VOTE (687-8683), and anyone else you can think of.

If you play the YouTube video above, you’ll hear a message that purports to be from the Virginia Elections Commission and informs the “voter — by name — that he’s registered in New York and will be arrested if he goes to the polling booth in VA.”

Inevitably, I’ll be posting election-related updates after the jump for the next couple of days.

  • Bill Clinton gave a rousing speech in support of Jim Webb last night in Virginia.
  • Anecdotal evidence suggests that the harrassing Republican robocalls, which appear at the outset to be from Democrats, are having their desired effect in Connecticut. The FBI is investigating similar calls in Virginia.
  • HBO’s “Hacking Democracy” documentary is now available in full at YouTube. (Thanks, Max.) Angie, a friend from north Florida, reports that the film is also available at http://chomskytorrents.org/, and notes that “Tallahassee’s own Ion Sancho is featured in this documentary quite a bit. I’ve had a crush on him since I first saw him in the early 90’s… at a Pixies concert, behind his booth, registering voters. *swoon*”
  • An Ohio voter from “one of the bluest parts of a blue city, Cleveland,” was unable to vote for more than three hours when all voter cards available at the polling station were malfunctioning. Similar shit happened in the last election.
  • The New York Times is tracking reports of voting machine problems in Ohio, Florida, and elsewhere.
  • “GOP fraudulent ‘robo-calls’ in Nebraska are actually using the Dem candidate’s voice!”
  • From Sullivan County, Tennessee: “Went to my precinct to vote and all 3 machines were not working. This precinct has a lot of lower-income families and public housing.” (Via.)
  • A few quotes, from the Founders and others, for Election Day.
  • Exit-Poll Secrecy Measures Aim to Plug Leaks to Blogs” is a story notable mostly for the accompanying chart comparing reported results with unofficial 2004 Wonkette.com exit numbers that showed Democrats way ahead and came courtesy of unidentified “little birdies.”
  • Democratic party leaders in Colorado plan to seek “a two-hour extension for voting in Denver, due to massive computer problems which have created long lines, and kept many from casting their vote.”
  • “A state circuit judge in Muncie, Indiana, ordered polls in Delaware County to remain open an extra 2 hours and 40 minutes because election officials couldn’t activate electronic voting machines when voting was supposed to begin…. Election officials in nearby Marion County switched to paper ballots in 175 of the county’s 914 precincts because they couldn’t operate the electronic voting machines…. AP reported similar problems in Orange Park, Florida.”
  • “Some 70 percent of the registered voters will go to the polls [in Connecticut] today, according to Connecticut Secretary Susan Bysiewicz.” The Hartford Courant talks with some voters who went out just to vote against Lieberman.
  • 3:00 — A Latino election monitor in Arizona has reported “that a trio of men, one with a handgun visible, is harrassing Latino voters as they go to the polls in Tucson, Ariz.”
  • 3:15 — The GOP argues that exit polls are biased toward Democrats, provides “fast facts on exit polling,” points to photograph of Kerry and Edwards prematurely declaring victory. (Via.)
  • 3:23 — I’ve been reading all day that Lieberman’s placement on the Connecticut ballot is disadvantageous, but all the sites posting a scan have failed until now. Atrios has the goods.
  • 4:05 — The Swing State Project has compiled a list of state polls’ closing times.
  • 4:25 — Poll worker allegedly tells Missouri voter “We’re f—-d” after helping the voter correct her vote twice. Both times it incorrectly registered the Republican candidate when she chose the Democrat.
  • 5:00 — Turnout in Virginia may reach historic levels. “There has also been a sharp increase in absentee ballots, according to the Virginia Board of Elections. During the last midterm election year in 2002, there were 44,000 ballots cast. This year, 131,000 absentee ballots have been requested.”
  • 5:55 — When confronted with allegations of Republicans’ election day shenaningans, Ken Mehlman argues that the Democrats are the ones who misled and intimidated voters in Florida and Ohio in the last election, and that “people ought [not] to cry wolf for the sake of gaining politically, particularly if they’ve been the ones, as they were in 04, who were engaged in inappropriate actions.” Wolf Blitzer lets this crap go uncontested. (Late last month Digby noted that Rove has lately been accusing the Democrats of stealing past elections. “[B]e prepared to hear all of our complaints about election stealing yelled back at us if they lose,” Digby said then.)
  • 6:00 — The media are reporting high turnout in Missouri, Montana, and Tennessee — and of course Virginia.
  • 6:30 I’m off to vote — polls are open late here — and am hoping I’ll have the good judgment not to continue this manic posting when I get home, if only because it’s always a bad idea to blog while you’re chugging a six-pack. Kentucky and Indiana numbers will start trickling in soon. If the two of you still reading this post want blog outlets for election returns, try TPM or MyDD. John Aravosis of Americablog, Duncan Black of Atrios, Christy Hardin Smith of Firedoglake, John Amato of Crooks & Liars, Judd Legum of Think Progress, and other lefty bloggers are posting at CNN, but there are at least as many pundits from the other side of the aisle.
  • 8:oo — Ohio polls are closed (except in Cleveland, where a court ultimately did rule that polls should stay open an extra hour-and-a-half because of voting glitches), and CNN has called the governor’s race for Democrat Ken Strickland. Exit polls showed him pulling in 60% of the vote.
  • 8:05 — Democrat Deval Patrick has won the Massachusetts governor’s race.
  • 8:35 — Democrat Bob Casey is the projected winner (against the detestable Rick Santorum) in the Pennsylvania Senate race. And it looks like Bob Nelson handily takes the Florida Senate slot away from the also detestable Katherine Harris.
  • 8:50 — CNN calls the NJ Senate race for Menendez, the Democratic incumbent.
  • 9:10 — According to WNYC, Clinton keeps her spot in the Senate. Lieberman, the longtime Connecticut “Democrat,” is also reelected, as an Independent. I’ve got my fingers crossed for Spitzer and am going to crash out on the couch for the rest. I’m sure you know where to find the results.


  • 11/8 — afternoon — The media are calling the Montana Senate race for Tester, the Democrat. VA Democrat Webb has the lead in the Senate race, and has claimed victory. And CNN reports that Rumsfeld is stepping down; Robert Gates, former head of the CIA, will replace him. (Please, Mr. Rumsfeld, do let the door hit you, repeatedly, on the way out.) Unbelievable: pundits try to paint last night’s election results as a victory for conservatism.
  • 11/8 — 4:50 p.m. — Susie Madrak unearths this background on new Secretary of Defense Gates: “The analytical division of the C.I.A. was virtually destroyed during that period of the 1980’s under Bill Casey and Robert Gates. This was very important because before then, there was much more independence within the C.I.A.’s analytical division. Afterwards, there became — the C.I.A. basically became a conveyor belt for propaganda.” See also Lance Mannion.
  • 11/8 — 6:45 p.m. — “From Hotline, a very influential and connected inside-the-beltway publication: ‘Top Republicans in Washington will give Sen. George Allen a few days to take stock of his legal and political options before beginning to pressure him to concede to James Webb. Senior Republican officials and White House aides believe that Webb won the race.'”
  • 11/8 — 9:15 p.m. — And finally: Media call it for Webb. Democrats take the Senate (but no concession from Allen). Now, about those subpoenas….



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