The possibility of voter fraud in the US has spawned a number of state laws requiring particular kinds of identification at the polls, as well as grassroots organizations that search public records to challenge certain voters' registrations . Much of the modern debate about potential voter fraud has been driven by Hans von Spakovsky, a Heritage Foundation senior legal fellow, former member of the Federal Elections Commission, and former counsel to the assistant attorney general for civil rights, where he worked on voting issues. Writing for the New Yorker, Jane Mayer describes von Spakovsky's influence on conservative groups like True the Vote, various state attempts to disqualify registered voters, and the lack of evidence for many claims made in support of voter ID laws.
Last year, The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU's Law School released a report (pdf) detailing new, more restrictive state laws that affect voting rights and are likely to impact the outcome of the 2012 elections. The restrictions "fall most heavily on young, minority, and low-income voters, as well as on voters with disabilities." On August 3rd, 2012, they updated their analysis with a pdf of passed and pending State government legislation. Their conclusion: after a century in which the United States "expanded the franchise and knocked down myriad barriers to full electoral participation... that momentum [has] abruptly shifted." [more inside]
Religion and Presidential Elections: (video from the C-SPAN Video Library) On March 13, 2012, panelists at Boston College discussed Mormonism and the role of religion in the context of the 2012 Republican primaries and American politics generally. The video is about an hour long. Kristine Haglund comments about the discussion on By Common Consent.
Well, the Presidential election is only one day away...after which, the US begins the 11 week transition period to a new administration! [more inside]
Welcome to The Sacramento County Republican Party. The official website has removed content calling for Obama to be waterboarded. But it still contains fake quotes supposedly from Obama's memoir. In this political climate, 33% of voters do not identify Obama as Christian, and 8% believe he is Muslim. Yet, the polls predict a landslide, hinted at by early voting. McCain needs something spectacular, and he may be regretting his decision to invoke Bill Ayers in tonight's debate; and perhaps other things.
Nate Silver, the proprietor of the fantastic electoral projection site FiveThirtyEight.com, notices that the presidential betting market on Intrade is behaving very oddly: "[S]ome individual trader or some small group of traders are shorting all the Obama contacts in bulk and resetting the entire market. The markets then organically climb back upward until the rogue trader strikes again six or eight hours later." [more inside]
David Byrd, the President of Premier (formerly Diebold), has acknowledged that an error in touch-screen voting machines used in half of Ohio's counties may cause some votes to be "dropped". Oh, and there's no time to fix the problem before the elections. Premier Election Solutions and Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner are issuing guidelines to counties for how to avoid the problem.
Michelle Bachelet wins the Chilean presidential election, the first woman to do so. She's also a socialist, a single mom and an agnostic. Santiago is starting to fill up with car horns, and her opponent, rightist millionaire Sebastián Piñera, is supposed to concede any minute now.
How Bush Did It "A team of Newsweek reporters unveils the untold fears, secret battles and private emotions behind a historic election." An in-depth series of behind-the-scenes articles. [via Salon 's War Room, which also says Bush's bulge was a bulletproof vest.]
While much of the blogging world has been ga-ga over getting into the Democratic National Convention, it's tough to find anything interesting going on among the convention bloggers (to their credit, go turn on CSPAN today and see for yourself how boring it is). While our own Jessamyn is there (here are profiles of everyone going), I've found the strange CNN/Technorati partnership to be the most useful thing. Technorati founder David Sifry is basically doing a metafilter of all convention blogs over on CNN as the daily blog roundup, highlighting the posts worth reading among the participants.
John McCain is open to running with Kerry. Is a Kerry and McCain a ticket combination that keeps President Bush up at night? McCain could help Kerry and the Democrats bring in a sizeable chunk of the important "Nascar Dad" vote that is key to this election. Expect big overtures from the Bush team towards McCain including the possibility of a Bush and McCain ticket. McCain's decision may rest on any lingering resentment over the 2000 Republican presidentialcampaign, particularly the dirty tricks the Bush campaign pulled in South Carolina. Stay tuned.
I don't recall this particular promotion showing up in a presidential campaign before, but then what would I know?
Oh, happy day! Just when thought the 2000 US Presidential Race was going to be a woebegone contest between Dull and Duller, the impish whackjob returns for yet another round of merry hi-jinks and paranoiac delusions presented as fact!