Now, in many districts around the country, there have been few problems reported. I hope you've already voted or are planning to do so. Turnout supposedly is exceeding expectations in Connecticut and Virginia. At the same time, however, things are going badly in a number of precincts. California, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana are registering some of the highest complaints about voting problems. According to the Raw Story, Talking Points Memo, Daily Kos, Huffingtonpost.com, and AmericaBlog, here are some of the problems being identified so far:
- In Cuyahoga County, Ohio, where Cleveland's located, numerous machines were not working.
- Right-wing Republican Congresswoman Jean Schmidt even had trouble voting in her district.
- It was so bad in Columbus, Ohio, that the number of complaints crashed the phone system.
- In South Carolina, the Republican governor was turned away from the polls for not having proper ID.
- In Denver, a pollworker allegedly assaulted and drove a voter out of the building.
- Also in Denver, there have been extensive reports of computerized machines not working so election officials are asking to have the polls open for two more hours.
- This also has happened in Delaware.
- There have been problems in Pennslyvania (though my friend Byron says he was able to vote without a problem in Philadelphia).
- Machines have screwed up in Indiana and Florida (big surprise!) as well.
- According to ABC News, the FBI is probing voter intimidation in Virginia.
- George Allen's campaign is allegedly linked to calls threatening voters with arrest if they show up to the polls.
- Conservative pundit Laura Ingraham (800-876-4123) is urging voters to flood and harass the Democratic voter complaint line.
- Vandals damaged the offices of Democratic candidate Jay Fawcett (Colorado), and he received his third death threat, via email, last night.
- In Maryland, the Republicans recruited homeless people from Philadelphia, bussed them down, and then had them hand out spurious voting guides listing the Republican governor, Bob Ehrlich, and US Senate candidate, Michael Steele, as Democrats.
- In Missouri, in Webster Groves (the suburban St. Louis town where I grew up), at least one touch screen machine is recording votes for Democrat Claire McCaskill as votes for Republican Jim Talent.
- Missouri's chief election official, Democratic Robin Carnahan, was asked 3 times to show a photo ID even though the Missouri Supreme Court had overturned a law making this necessary.
- In Arizona, a poll watcher from the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund is reporting that Latino voters are being monitored by at least one person carrying a firearm.
- In one Utah district, there are more people registered to vote than the number of total residents.
- In Connecticut, Ned Lamont's campaign is charging that out of state operatives, accompanied by a Fox News crew, planted Joe Lieberman signs outside a polling station.
From the Election Protection site - Voting Report (as of 3:00 pm CST)
Legend: Red=250> reported problems or incidents
Blue= 51-250 reports
Let's also keep in mind that these problems are occurring in a country whose federal officials have had the gall to criticize the voting in Venezuela, in Nicaragua, in Haiti, and elsewhere. Don't forget this map the next time you hear one of them utter the word "democracy."
BTW, horrible old hanky head, self-hating ______ Ward Connerly has accepted Ku Klux Klan support for his anti-affirmative action ballot measure in Michigan. Yep, that's right. He's got the KKK on his side, and, yes, he's glad about it. To quote from Dave Neiwert's site:
Ward Connerly, the California man leading a ballot measure to end most affirmative action in Michigan, accepts Ku Klux Klan support for his position in a video clip posted this week on the Internet.
Connerly on Friday defended his remark in a statement, saying he accepts support for banning affirmative action wherever he finds it.
He said he does not support hateful activities.
His precise words, defending the Klan support:
"If the Ku Klux Klan thinks that equality is right, God bless them. Thank them for finally reaching the point where logic and reason are being applied instead of hate."
The last polls, in California, Oregon and Washington State, close at 11 pm EST tonight. Let's stay tuned!
The Democrats have retaken the US House of Representatives by ousting Republicans across the country, from New England to Ohio to the Golden State. Democratic challengers, ranging from the very conservative to very liberal and progressive, defeated a number of scandal-plagued or moderate Republicans, and appear to have gained between 20-30 seats. They only needed 15 to regain control. (Also fascinating, not one Democratic Congressperson has lost so far.) Come January, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who has been repeatedly and regular demonized by Republicans and their mainstream media puppets, will the first female Speaker of the House in US history! Among other Democratic victors are the first Muslim to hold office in US history, an African American from Minnesota; a Democratic mathematician in California; and a former alternative news weekly founder and publisher in Tennessee.
The Democrats are on the cusp of retaking the US Senate. Democratic challengers have ousted Republican incumbents in Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Ohio, and Missouri (!!!), and are leading in Virginia (by about 12,000 votes) and Montana (by about 9,000 votes). Harold Ford Jr., the right-wing Democrat, lost to Republican Bob Corker. Had he won, he would have been the first Black Democrat ever and the first Black person since Reconstruction from a former Confederate State. Corker and the Republicans resorted to the usual tactic of race-baiting, and unfortunately it appeared to work. If the Democrats retain Virginia and Montana, they will hold the Senate outright, 51-48, with two members of their caucus being independents Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and Bush-loving Joe Lieberman of Connecticut. If the Democrats can hold on, this will be a dramatic turn of events, as a completely Democratic Congress, as opposed to just a Democratic House, will force the recalcitrant president to either change his policies or wield his veto pen; in either case, as the subpoenas start arriving at the White House, he'll have to listen and respond.
Democrats have also won a majority of the state governorships, which will be crucial in redistricting battles down the road. Deval Patrick is now the first African-American governor in Massachusetts history, and the second ever in the US. Democrats also have won governorships back from Republicans in New York (where Eliot Spitzer made history by winning a stunning 70% of the vote), Ohio, Maryland, Colorado, and Arkansas. Some of these Democratic winners, such as Spitzer, Patrick, and Strickland of Ohio, are much more progressive than their predecessors, so it'll be fascinating to see if what sorts of reforms are implemented.