Beautiful Georgia, my adopted state as I finish life’s journey ... my last year ever to vote in a presidential election. I wanted to feel part of this great privilege, wanted to again walk out of my precinct tapping my Georgia Peach voter sticker. Even if the day were dark, gloomy and cold, the sun would be shining. One Georgia nonagenarian's quest for voter ID
My Fair Election
crowd-sources pollwatching: "We hope that this information will be used by citizens, journalists, and election officials to identify the worst polling places and work to fix them. We hope that officials in charge of polling places with long lines or otherwise operate poorly will be embarrassed, held to account, and so motivated to do a better job." (via Hollie Russon-Gilman
and Archon Fung
Tired of the Presidential race? The battle for 33 Class I
seats in the 100-member United States Senate, once commonly known as the "World's Greatest Deliberative Body", now known for stifling torpor with record-breaking numbers of filibusters
and a total logjam of pending confirmations
, is also taking place on the same day. With many key Senate races happening in states where the Presidential outcome will be lopsided, all eyes are on split-ticket voters
. 53 Democrats (2 of them independents) and 47 Republicans make up the current chamber. Who will control the second Senate ivory gavel
, the first of which was shattered in 1954? [more inside]
In 2008, the National Journal
released The Hidden History of the American Electorate
, an analysis of exit poll demographics conducted by multiple news organizations from US presidential elections between 1988 and 2004. The study looked for "pressure points in the electorate": trends which were likely to decide the outcome of the 2008 presidential election. They've released an update for 2012, by adding exit poll results from the 1980, 1984, and 2008 presidential elections
. It gives a more comprehensive look at voting trends over a 32 year period of the groups whom they believe are likely to influence the outcome in November. Charts: Voting Preferences of the American Electorate, 1980-2008
Last year, The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU's Law School released a report
) 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]
The GOP’s woman problem is that it has a serious problem with women.
Frank Rich on George Stephanopoulos's unanswered question, how the Republicans have shifted to being the party of misogyny since the 70s, and why Mitt Romney would be just as bad as Rick Santorum.
Texas Governor and GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry is booked on all the major morning shows tomorrow, and with good reason.
After two months of gaffes
, impolitic stands
, and bizarre speeches
that quickly waned his once-strong odds
of winning the Republican nomination, Perry went into Wednesday's CNBC debate
sorely needing a win... only to deliver a tortuous, cringingly forgetful attempt [video]
to recall just which three cabinet departments he'd vowed to abolish, a stunning failure political scientist Larry Sabato deemed "the most devastating moment of any modern primary debate"
in his memory.
While Perry's slow-motion flameout has boosted the fortunes
of dark horse candidate Herman Cain, the unlikely challenger is facing troubles of his own in a volley of sexual harassment claims
-- an oddly ineffective
scandal Cain is doing his best to (somewhat dubiously) disavow
. If Cain collapses, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich may reap the benefits
, but his moribund campaign has issues of its own
. Pawlenty, Bachmann, Perry, Christie, Cain, Gingrich... the base is loathe to rally round him, but after so many failed, flawed, or forfeited challenges, can anyone topple Mitt Romney?
Effect of Herman Cain's proposed "9-9-9" tax reform plan on average household tax liability.
Cain is leading
the field of GOP Presidential candidates in polls of Iowa, South Carolina and Florida. Previously 1 2
are declaring a winner in NY-26
as Democratic candidate Kathy Hochul
has a 6% lead (with 91% reporting)
over Republican Jane Corwin (previously)
in Tuesday's special election. [more inside]
Some political watchers are saying this could be the nastiest, most negative election season of all time
Tea Party Nationalism: A Critical Examination of The Tea Party Movement and the Size, Scope and Focus of its National Factions
is a new study that released today, just two weeks before the US midterm elections, by The Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights
(IREHR). Sponsored by the NAACP, it reports that the Tea Party movement
is “permeated with concerns about race” and has “given platform to anti-Semites, racists and bigots.” [more inside]
Mock the Vote
: Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert interviewed.
"Who will win the presidential debates? What does each candidate’s use of words say about how he would govern as president? Can Obama’s rhetorical skills lift him to the heights of Lincoln, FDR, and Reagan—or will his speechmaking do him in? After watching all 47 (!) of the primary season’s debates, our correspondent has the answers—and some harsh criticism for the moderators."
A three-and-a-half minute video explaining the American electoral process.
As a Canadian, I've also found the American electoral system a little baffling. Electoral colleges? Maine and Nebraska do it differently? I thought this video
by the smart folks at Common Craft did an excellent job of explaining how somebody gets to the White House.
20 minutes or so on why I am 4Barack.
A very thoughtful and eloquent comparison (transcript
) of the core differences between Obama and Clinton - by Creative Commons CEO and Professor Lawrence Lessig
Don't know which candidate to support in the 2008 election? Let a web script
match a candidate to your views!
Racially-Based Suppression of the African-American Vote:
The Role It May Play in the Upcoming Presidential Election What exactly is racially-based vote suppression? Simply defined, it is the targeting of potential voters, based on their race, in an attempt to suppress the exercise of their right to vote for the candidate of their choice.
160 observers couldn't monitor the election in Bexar County Texas, let alone the whole US.
-- National Journal's Charlie Cook. A hundred and sixty, though, isn't the half of it. [plenty more inside]
The racist American Election
Thousands of [Florida] felons could get to vote this November for one reason: They're Hispanic.
Those of us following the daily heart attack that is electoral-vote.com
will notice a new site feature today. If you've ever wondered how the popular vote can be so evenly split when the red state / blue state breakdown glares so overwhelmingly crimson, now you can see a map of the US with states inflated/shrunk
according to the proportions of their electoral votes. Presumably, this map will be updated, along with the standard one, with new polling data daily. [thanks to EB for originally pointing me to the site]
An OpEd piece by Bruce Springsteen,
announcing the tour of Vote for Change, the umbrella of a new group including the Dave Matthews Band, Pearl Jam, R.E.M., the Dixie Chicks, Jurassic 5, James Taylor and Jackson Browne. (NYT)
"No voting rights for YOU......boy!"- Florida's illegal purges of voter rolls to continue for 3rd national election? Election head resigns.
While Florida refuses to release the "purge lists" to CNN
, "The head of Florida's elections division resigned Monday amid reports he was feeling political heat over a push to purge thousands of suspected felons from the state's voter rolls." (Tallahassee Sun-Sentinel) " there has been little action
(and worse, really) on Florida's agreement to reinstate illegally purged voters to Florida voting rolls
that resulted from an NAACP lawsuit over the 2000 election ["Many voters said their votes didn't count or they were turned away from polls due to mistakes on voter lists, busy telephone lines at election headquarters, punch-card voting machine foul-ups and other problems...Statewide, the largest numbers of voting problems were found in precincts with high proportions of black and elderly voters."
The NYT editorially acknowledged
the scandal on February 15, 2004.]
On May 21, 2002, Ashcroft's Justice Department began a suit against Florida counties "for purging Black voters from voter rolls and other violations of civil rights"
Now, four years after the 2000 election, illegally "purged" Florida voters will not be notified until it is "too late to have their rights restored for this election
- or are turned away on Election Day", reports the Tampa Tribune. "The vast majority of them are black and would be likely to vote Democratic."
It's difficult for convicted felons to regain the right to vote in Florida
, but many on the "purge" lists were not (in 2000) and still are not felons at all. [ note : Greg Palast
- busy of late - must be most credited with blowing this story wide open. See here here
Florida recount abandoned
by major news organizations in the wake of terrorist attacks. I know it's all academic now, but wouldn't this fall under "letting them win"? And did any other news org. report this?
It turns out before the election, representatives introduced a bi-partisan bill in both the House (H.J. Res. 113
) and the Senate (S.J. Res. 56
) to amend the Constitution to replace the electoral college with the direct election of the President and Vice President. Contact your reps
to ask them to support the bills. If we're going to get electoral reform, it will be now.
Let's say Bush wins Florida after the recount and other machinations. What if the electors meeting December 18 decide that they should forgo their state loyalty and abide by the nationwide popular vote? Also: Alabama's curious process
in which, until 1976, voters actually voted for electors, not candidates, resulting in defections in 1960.