There was little doubt in my mind something was terribly wrong the day after the election; when exit polls in Ohio varied wildly from election results, there were extreme delays at polling places, and the many stories of registered Democrats being turned away from voting booths echoed the 2000 Florida voter disenfranchisement. I was extremely disappointed in John Kerry for conceding so quickly when there were simply so many obvious instances of voting tampering.
But considering John Kerry's ineffectual response to the Republican's "Swift-boating" of him during the campaign, I wasn't too surprised. You have to be decisive and ruthless in national politics these days. Kerry rarely barked and never bit. That's not going to get you the White House when so many pitbulls are roaming around you.
From the article:
"The reports were especially disturbing in Ohio, the critical battleground state that clinched Bush's victory in the electoral college. Officials there purged tens of thousands of eligible voters from the rolls, neglected to process registration cards generated by Democratic voter drives, shortchanged Democratic precincts when they allocated voting machines and illegally derailed a recount that could have given Kerry the presidency. A precinct in an evangelical church in Miami County recorded an impossibly high turnout of ninety-eight percent, while a polling place in inner-city Cleveland recorded an equally impossible turnout of only seven percent. In Warren County, GOP election officials even invented a nonexistent terrorist threat to bar the media from monitoring the official vote count."And there's this:
''It was terrible,'' says Sen. Christopher Dodd, who helped craft reforms in 2002 that were supposed to prevent such electoral abuses. ''People waiting in line for twelve hours to cast their ballots, people not being allowed to vote because they were in the wrong precinct -- it was an outrage. In Ohio, you had a secretary of state who was determined to guarantee a Republican outcome. I'm terribly disheartened.''We all were, believe me.
One of my biggest fears for the future of democracy in America are those electronic voting machines that are hackable and easily reprogrammed. Without some kind of paper record, there is a distinct possibility that a Democrat may never again grace the White House. Our fairly-elected representatives need to greatly expand the 2002 voting reforms, and the Democrats need to file legal challenges (already underway in several states) to prevent the use of those machines.