Thursday, October 30, 2008


I met recently with local leaders of the Democratic party in my part of the state to develop strategy for the coming election. There is only a few days left to put the final pieces in place. We have some good local candidates as well as a strong national ticket. Of major concern is a massive Republican effort to steal this election. I almost hesitate to use such a strong word but when all the rhetoric is put aside, that is what the ultimate outcome turns out to be.

We are aware of some tactics they have used in the past to suppress the Democratic vote. First is dirty tricks such as passing out fliers in heavy Democratic precincts telling voters that the election day has been changed to Wednesday. They also try to misdirect people to the wrong polling place or give out false information about voting such as the threat that anyone with an unpaid parking ticket will be arrested if they try to vote. There are all kinds of such dirty tricks the Republicans have used in the past and we expect to see them all again along with some new ones.

There are even more direct attempts to block people from voting or just plain steal the election. Since the election machinery in this part of the state is firmly under the control of the Republican party, they tend to challenge the eligibility of a large number of potential voters in heavily Democratic precincts. Also the vote counting machines can easily be manipulated at the beginning of the election day to record a number of votes before any voters even arrive at the polls. It is very difficult to catch them at this thievery.

Democrats have only a limited number of poll watchers and it is impossible to constantly watch all the precincts for unusual occurrences. In the last election, one precinct recorded an unusually high number of votes right after the Democratic poll watchers left the voting site. And guess who won in that precinct by a healthy margin!

Lets hope we get a reasonably accurate count in this election. So Democrats, be ever vigilant!

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