Pre-Election Wrap

Sorry folks. Been busy and actual "news" is a bit slim, since we're so close to the election. Here's a quick wrap of everything I deem "important" leading into the vote tomorrow.

Frist, from Talking Points Memo here's a few great stories. First of all, ABC crews decided to try getting into Bush/Cheney and Kerry/Edwards events wearing the other party's shirts:

At another event, a Kerry campaign worker approached the producers and told them that they had the right to eject them if they made any disturbance. The guy in this case told them, "We hold the right to remove you, but other than that, enjoy and hopefully at the end of the event you'll want to wear a Kerry T-shirt."

You could say it didn't go quite so well in Bush-Cheney land. When the producers tried to get into a BC04 event, they simply weren't allowed in at all.

A campaign volunteer told them: "I'm sorry, but they're Kerry shirts ... We were told not to let people with Kerry shirts into the rally."

And then this happened ...

And as they approached the gates of the stadium, Lance "Chip" Borman, a Bush campaign worker and attorney who worked for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, directed them toward the Brevard County sheriff's deputies waiting at the exit.

"Hey folks, it's a private event," he said. "Can you find your way to the nearest exit? Maybe some law enforcement can help?"

Who would support a group that wishes to shove out all dissenters? In fact, these weren't dissenters at all, just people dressed differently! Second, here's the transcript of a phone message being sent out in the Philly suburbs by Bush/Cheney folks:

Hello. John Kerry's trial lawyer allies have a scheme to keep you away from the polls tomorrow as part of their hardball strategy. Democrats are trying to intimidate Republican election workers. They're hoping to win through fraud, harassment and law suits what they know that can't win at the ballot box. Don't let them get away with it. Remember that tomorrow is election day and only you can make sure Kerry's hardball tactics don't work. Only you can make sure that the American People—not trial lawyers, not foreign leaders—decide our next president.

Wait, you mean the trial lawyers that ended the 2000 recount? Oh, right. I guess they're talking about this year...last thing at TPM is this lovely flyer distributed in FL by the RNC. Just blows my damn mind.

Second, we'll swing by Daily Kos for some more pivotal info. First up, it seems 13,000 votes in Florida may have gone kaput and might be untraceable, thanks to the lack of a paper trail:

About 13,000 ballots were removed from an early-voting site in Daytona Beach, Fla., Monday and rushed to a secure vault in Deland after an optical scan machine failed, according to Local 6 News.

Local 6 News has learned that a memory card, on the machine failed and all 13,000 votes must be recounted.

A computer error is to blame for the failure of the memory card which records the voting data, Local 6 News reported.

When the error was discovered Monday, representatives from both parties were notified.

Both sides then witnessed the removal of the ballots and their storage in the vault.

The canvassing board will meet Monday to discuss how to recount the ballots.

Thanks Jeb Bush! We'll see how that one turns out later. Also, in Michigan someone was putting out this call to a robo-list of what I'll assume was people registered as Democrats:

In a recording of a phone call played for The Associated Press, a young woman says: "When you vote this Tuesday remember to legalize gay marriage by supporting John Kerry. We need John Kerry in order to make gay marriage legal for our city. Gay marriage is a right we all want. It's a basic Democrat principle. It's time to move forward and be progressive. Without John Kerry, George Bush will stop gay marriage. That's why we need Kerry. So Tuesday, stand up for gay marriage by supporting John Kerry."

Of course, it'd probably be a better idea if he hadn't already voiced the opinion that he was against gay marriage. He might support unions, but that's about it. Anyway, that's idiocy for you, but I'm afraid it might hurt a few votes. Good thing it's in MI which in most polls is favoring Kerry rather heavily.

Also mentioned at Kos, but better covered in this CNN piece, it seems Ohio might not be as screwed up as originally assumed.

A federal judge on Monday barred political party challengers from polling places throughout Ohio during Tuesday's election. State Republicans planned to appeal.

The order by U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott found that the application of Ohio's statute allowing individuals to challenge the legitimacy of a voter at the polling place was unconstitutional.

The presence of challengers inexperienced in the electoral process questioning voters about their eligibility would impede voting, she said.

Mark Weaver, lawyer for the Ohio Republican Party, called the ruling erroneous and said the party would ask the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati to overturn it.

Dlott ruled on a lawsuit by a black Cincinnati couple who said Republican plans to deploy challengers to largely black precincts in Hamilton County was meant to intimidate and block black voters.

Republicans said they wanted to prevent voter fraud.

Dlott said in her order that the evidence "does not indicate that the presence of additional challengers would serve Ohio's interest in preventing voter fraud better than would the system of election judges."

What an excellent idea! Since there's no evidence of severe voter fraud, let's let the people who are trained to recognize it take care of it themselves. Of course, this isn't over yet. The Repubs were set to appeal, but I've heard nothing of yet. I'll keep you informed.
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