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Sinister motives?

Justin Webb | 01:54 UK time, Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Is this an early signal of what is to come?

It looks as if the high-point of electronic voting has passed and there are those who see sinister motives in the effort to introduce the machines nationwide.

Hi- or low-tech, the lines are too long surely: to be expected to queue for hours to vote is to be - in effect - disenfranchised. What happens in the UK? I cannot remember, to be honest...

Comments

  • 1. At 02:35am on 04 Nov 2008, Cassandra wrote:

    Computer votes flipped to the Republican candidates in 2004. Computer votes flipped to the Republican candidates in 2008.

    "Miscalibrated machines" or just sticking with a winning idea?



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  • 2. At 02:46am on 04 Nov 2008, SunshinePlus wrote:

    The solution is mail in paper ballots for everyone. No lines.
    No confusion.
    Easy to count.
    Instructions given on TV, radio, and by phone.
    It is a win/win.

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  • 3. At 02:47am on 04 Nov 2008, regular_josephina wrote:

    I wonder how many elections could have gone differently if our voting system was perfect.

    And I wonder why a lot of these problems seem to target Democrats, are our Republicans just that desperate?

    I've never had any problems voting, as I've lived in the same area for.. well forever, and everyone manning the polling stations knows me, my parents, and all my siblings personally. So even when I got married and forgot to change my name on my voter card, they let me vote anyway.

    I anticipate no problems, and I'm going to vote, just so I can vote for Obama and offset my mother's vote for McCain.

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  • 4. At 02:59am on 04 Nov 2008, mike wrote:

    In the US election, we will be not just voting for President but also Senate, House, State, Judges, School Boards and ballot initatives. The sample ballot paper you recieve before you vote is 60 pages long. You use this sample ballot so you can mark down your choices and be able to refer to it when you vote.
    It took me some 10 minutes to wade through everything and vote-I think I cast some 30 votes at various levels. It is definitely not like the UK! If it were you would be voting on general election for your MP, council, mayor, European Parliament and some more all at once.
    This is why the US uses computers and machines, it would take weeks to manually count all the votes across the election.
    But certainly the long lines are a huge problem and a cause for disenfranchisement of the electorate.

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  • 5. At 03:12am on 04 Nov 2008, tokando wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 6. At 03:32am on 04 Nov 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "What happens in the UK? I cannot remember, to be honest..."

    You slept through the last six UK elections too? And here I thought I was the only one.

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  • 7. At 03:53am on 04 Nov 2008, TimothyR444 wrote:

    What nonsense. There are sites all over the internet claiming "alleged" voter fraud and disenfranchisement.

    The hysteria will continue for a few more days and then, hopefully, cease and the endless melodrama of this election will be over. We can all get on with our lives.

    ....and the people of other nations who are obsessed with our elections and have a compulsion to tel us how to think, believe, respond, vote and live can scuttle, scamper and trundle off to their own lives, which must need attention by now.

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  • 8. At 03:54am on 04 Nov 2008, clueduprock wrote:

    If the Republicans win and there is evidence of electoral fraud, there will blood in the streets.

    But this isn't going to happen. It actually, really, can't happen. It must not happen.

    Democrats need to be as steely and focused as Obama and make sure their vote counts.

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  • 9. At 03:54am on 04 Nov 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    It should be possible to have a quick check or audit program applied to such computer operations.

    _______________________

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  • 10. At 03:55am on 04 Nov 2008, hontogaijin wrote:

    i worked at an arcade (back when they were plentiful, but they've since gone the way of the dodo) in ohio and we had some touch-screen games with this sort of required calibration. you can easily fix any issues that you could have with a touch-screen in a matter of minutes (most likely, a minute; 2 minutes tops); however, calibrating it work improperly is even easier to do.

    also, once a touch-screen is calibrated, it takes a lot of use over the span of several months before it ever needs to be re-calibrated. i'm ashamed that the games at our arcade almost 10 years ago (that were pounded on without mercy by excited children of all ages), apparently, worked better than the machines that are being used to select the highest office in the nation today.

    regardless, if these are the kind of issues that we have to face simply for electing officials, then we desperately need to find a different way immediately. it seems as though that this subject isn't spoken about often enough given the detrimental effects and the promise of everyone's "right" to vote.

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  • 11. At 04:00am on 04 Nov 2008, Orville Eastland wrote:

    Part of this may not be sinister at all. The touchscreen machines are rather sensitive. So an accidental touch may result in a "flipped" vote.

    HOWEVER, given that the average person doesn't know what the machine is doing, and it's impossible to check to see if the machine's been tampered with on the software level unless you know what the corporation/programmers did, it would be best if electronic machines were modified to allow for inspection, or produce paper results.

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  • 12. At 04:01am on 04 Nov 2008, lawchicago wrote:

    Lets see what tomorrow brings .

    I think that the numbers will be hard to fudge

    See you at celebration station -Chicago's Grant park

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  • 13. At 04:04am on 04 Nov 2008, NETCRUSHER wrote:

    Who owns the voting machines? Ask yourself that…. There is no protection. American democracy died because of this very issue in OHIO 2004. We saw it and we saw people come out and try and take it to the courts however it never went anywhere because of the "coffee damaged the evidence”

    Remember in 2004 that the Ohio state election officials ( all Republican loyalists) cut back the supply of voting machines for inner-city precincts as much as 40 percent (i.e., three machines for precincts which had five in 2000), leading to long lines that discouraged many people from voting. This would have a disproportionate impact on low-income and minority workers, whose work schedules tend to be more strictly enforced. A fundamental point that I do not understand why people forget or dismiss is when an electronic voting machine in Franklin County, Ohio (Columbus) added 3,893 votes for Bush. (It recorded 4,258 votes for Bush from 638 voters). THIS WAS PROVED AND BROUGHT TO A COURT OF LAW. Also officials of Warren County, Ohio, a heavily Republican area north of Cincinnati, decided to exclude observers and reporters from the vote counting area. They sought to justify this flagrantly illegal action by citing warnings from the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security on alleged threats of terrorism..... I know if this happened in Australia it would be on ABC News and in all the newspapers... what is happening over there...

    One of the more frightening aspects of Connell's work is that his company (Gov Tech Solution) was the first private company to be allowed to put servers behind the firewall of the Congressional computer systems. This led to him creating and managing several powerful Committee IT networks, including those for the House Intelligence Committee, the Ways and Means Committee, the Judiciary Committee, the Ethics Committee, and the House Committee on Rules. Naturally it is completely possible that the firewall could have been created with secret security gaps that can be exploited to hack into any congressional computer. If that has happened - every computer in any senate or congressional office is subject to hacking by Bush/Republican operatives. Shame on you for not waking up.

    Currently, Connell is running the IT operations for the McCain campaign. Isn't that a comforting thought?


    "Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known
    better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph"-- Haile Selassie

    Sheep to the slaughterhouse

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  • 14. At 04:11am on 04 Nov 2008, Blimmineck wrote:

    # 7 TimothyR444 - we will gratefully desist, if your government's actions and policies cease to affect us all nearly as much as if we were citizens ourselves.

    # 11 Orvillethird - I also doubt there truly is blatant swapping of votes; the risk of discovery and scandal would be too high.

    However I do sometimes wonder how difficult it would be to engineer a system in which any careless or sloppy screen-touching does preferentially favour one party over another?

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  • 15. At 04:15am on 04 Nov 2008, David Cunard wrote:

    From the Scientific American article which addresses this, it would appear that 41 states use optical recognition technology but 26 use touch screen voting. 41 plus 26 equals 67, rather more states than there are at present!

    The case of Texas really wouldn't make much difference - it's expected to go for McCain and a few thousand extra votes would not change the anticipated result.

    "What happens in the UK? I cannot remember, to be honest..." You should be ashamed! If you're so interested in the political process, why have you not voted at home or abroad? The answer is marking an 'X' with a provided pencil in the little box by the name of the candidate. Although it has its proponents, e-voting has not yet occurred for a Parliamentary election.

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  • 16. At 04:26am on 04 Nov 2008, Dayvine wrote:

    "What happens in the UK?"

    In the London elections the Supplimentary Vote system is used to elect the mayor. As this allows for a first and second choice optical electronic counting is used to speed the process up.

    Electronic counting is also essential to make the AMS (Additional Member System), which is used for the GLA, viable.

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  • 17. At 04:26am on 04 Nov 2008, rl wrote:

    Why have touch-screen machines? Why can't voters just press a button?

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  • 18. At 04:30am on 04 Nov 2008, ladycm wrote:

    Hmmm... Switch to the absentee ballot if you are afraid of your vote switching. Many people I know enjoy the process of actually going to the polls. But, if you are afraid for some reason about your vote going to someone else other that the candidate you intended; switch to the absentee ballot. There is nothing like voting from the privacy of your own home. Plus, you get to look through your voters pamphlet and decide what you should vote on the local initiatives.

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  • 19. At 04:34am on 04 Nov 2008, paul939 wrote:

    If either candidate wins by a landslide margin, then voter fraud won't be much of an issue. It's the marginal results that can cause problems. May the best man win.

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  • 20. At 04:35am on 04 Nov 2008, TimothyR444 wrote:

    "...we will gratefully desist, if your government's actions and policies cease to affect us all nearly as much as if we were citizens ourselves."

    Bimmineck:

    The idea that the people of Britain cannot control their own destiny is nonsense. There is a great deal of self-pity and passivity in the idea that it is "all the fault of those Americans" when something goes wrong.

    If your leaders make decisions you dislike, don't blame Americans. look at yourselves. If you you dislike American culture, then don't buy it. It is up to you. No American president or administration has that power.

    The idea that you are the equivalent of American citizens is simply absurd.

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  • 21. At 04:38am on 04 Nov 2008, Dayvine wrote:

    I am not surprised that this issue has raised its head again.

    What does shock me is that voting without a paper trail was ever considered as suitable in the first place.

    When somebody goes to vote, even if they do it with a machine at some point, they need to be able to look at a physical thing which they can then approve and place to be counted.

    There will always be spoiled ballots and some people who make a mistake will be disenfranchised, but they system should be designed to be as transparent as possible, and the votes need to create as much noise and as much of a trail as possible.

    I am a fan of the optical counting of paper ballots. Though with complex elections I can see why total electronic voting is appealing, it is more important that the vote leaves a trail. At the very least electronic machines should give a succinct print out which is then counted elsewhere.

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  • 22. At 04:50am on 04 Nov 2008, allmymarbles wrote:

    I am hoping for a landslide. If there is one then any voting irregularities will not affect the outcome. If the race is close I anticipate problems. We can live without that.

    Cross your fingers for a landslide.

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  • 23. At 05:08am on 04 Nov 2008, jamesmageedubai wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 24. At 05:08am on 04 Nov 2008, NoRashDecisions wrote:

    "Hi- or low-tech, the lines are too long surely: to be expected to queue for hours to vote is to be - in effect - disenfranchised."

    Surely you're jokeing, right? But if you are serious, pray tell, what do you suggest we do to cut back on lines? Because the fact of the matter is, noone can predict the exact number of people that will show up to vote on election day. So no matter how many machenes
    are placed at poleing stations, no matter which method of voteing we use, lots of people equals lots of people. There is just simply no getting around it. People may just have to wait a bit to vote and that's that. Now certainly - and I'm not disputing this for one second!! - election officials should do all they can to make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible and that, of course, includes doing everything within their power to lesson line lengths. But Justin, expecting it to always be a snap? Thinking that if it isn't even for the slightest bit of time, that the whole action in your book therefore should be rendered pointless? Not even the majority of your fellow compatriots (who are some of the most sinfully mind nummingly pesamistic people in the world when it comes to politics!!) share this sentament!! Quite simply, I'm shocked!

    "What happens in the UK? I cannot remember, to be honest..."

    You're a UK citizen - surely you can! come on! You're just being sarcastic! A British poster on an earlier thread of yours stated that the UK uses paper balads. It has been proven time and time again to be the time tested, error proof, tamper proof way for people to record their votes, and yet we insist on useing everything else under the sun! Perhaps here too, as I have strongly suggested on several other topics, we should take a leaf out of Great Britain's book of infanint wisdom, and follow their example by going back, all the way back, to paper balads in the US and here's the catch, we never switch back!!


    Now come on Justin, seriously, how does the UK conduct their elections? I'd really love to know!! Do any posters on this thread know? If you do can you help me out? Thanks


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  • 25. At 05:22am on 04 Nov 2008, british-ish wrote:

    21.Dayvine wrote:

    I am not surprised that this issue has raised its head again.

    What does shock me is that voting without a paper trail was ever considered as suitable in the first place.


    That's what puzzles me. If you can get a full bank statement printed out from a touch-screen ATM in Belgium (where pretty well all banking is electronic now) why can't you have a print-out of your vote?

    And Justin, really! Although the turnout in Britain is lower than it's likely to be in the US, I've never seen a queue. Presumably, since I keep hearing that many people may be queuing for hours, the US simply needs to open more polling stations.

    (I also keep reading about ID checks and things; all we do is hand over the card that comes in the post to every registered voter, they check the address against the electoral roll at a desk, you collect your bit of paper, lick the blunt pencil in the booth and make your cross(es) and that's it. (Though I think one or two constituencies were trying out machines in the last election.)

    But sixty pages! Wouldn't periodic referendums separate from a general election simplify matters?

    Hmm. So 'long fingernails and jewelry' can mess up the touch screen voting? So shouldn't the providers of these voting machines be required to provide free manicurists and safes for the voters' bling? Or just make better machines?


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  • 26. At 05:25am on 04 Nov 2008, TimothyR444 wrote:

    "We trust that America will come back to the rest of the World and say - 'sorry, we messed up - we have a new begining and we will get it right now'. Be humble - be right, do the right thing America and place your trust in Obama. Then come to Dubai in March with more than 700 other business leaders to the World CEO Forum www.worldceoforum.com and we will welcome you to do business in the fastest and most exciting economy in the World. We look forward to doing business with you again."

    Spare me, jamesagee.

    Be humble and beg your forgiveness? And then you may allow us to speak to you again?

    That's very nice of you - but no thanks. That seems to assume that you and your nation are perfect in every way.

    This idea that Americans are uniquely guilty and that all other nations are inherently perfect is nonsense.

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  • 27. At 05:26am on 04 Nov 2008, british-ish wrote:

    20. TimothyR444 wrote:

    "The idea that you are the equivalent of American citizens is simply absurd."

    Yes, it is, isn't it? (Fortunately.)

    :-D

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  • 28. At 05:28am on 04 Nov 2008, Blimmineck wrote:

    TimothyR444,

    I'm Australian, not British. And I didn't say a word about American popular culture. Your assumption that I am in some way anti-American reinforces the impression of defensiveness contained in your first post.

    My point is practical, not embittered or hostile. We're a tiny country and you're a huge powerful country which is happy to behave like one. We are affected by the US government in many ways, from our armed forces taking part in war to the pressure our government was put under during free trade agreement negotiations over a long-established subsidised pharmaceuticals scheme. You've intervened many times in our relationships with Indonesia and other neighbouring countries, our internal economy, the list goes on and on.

    Admittedly, it takes two to tango - our government has been good enough to behave like a client state. Nonetheless, this does make us effectively as good as a client state. So, l want the franchise extended here, please!

    It's Blimmineck, btw.

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  • 29. At 05:45am on 04 Nov 2008, ladycm wrote:

    25. At 05:22am on 04 Nov 2008, british-ish wrote:
    "That's what puzzles me. If you can get a full bank statement printed out from a touch-screen ATM in Belgium (where pretty well all banking is electronic now) why can't you have a print-out of your vote"?

    That's an excellent point. It would be great if you could do that. Unfortunately, our goverment is SUPER uptight about keeping your vote secret. On my absentee ballot, there is like 25 envelopes to go around my ballot so no one sees! I know that is a good thing. But maybe this could be a down side of that policy. It used to be that many people were very secret about who they voted for but, not so much anymore. I hardly run into people who don't want to inform you who they are voting for. What if they could send you some sort of email confirmation with the choices you picked? Although, it would leave out a lot of folks who don't have email. I agree with the main point however; this is just one instance where we probably can't be "green". We need a paper trail for this sort of thing. Technology is not always the solution. When I vote, I want to be able to see the final result on paper. I do not put total faith and trust in my government, I am not that totally stupid. I think electronic voting is a bad idea and there was a lot of uproar during one of the Bush elections. I honestly don't remember which one. I think maybe Bush/Kerry.

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  • 30. At 05:53am on 04 Nov 2008, british-ish wrote:

    24. NoRashDecisions

    Kind of answered that, I think. the papers are kept after every election (I forget for how long but it's years) so any fraud (or spoilt vote) can be checked out at any time. We must have warehouses full of them!

    Oh, and the actual counts are held in public, scrutinised by all the candidates in each constituency and open to anybody to watch.

    I don't know how the Electoral Officer of each council decides on how many polling stations/polling booths there need to be so we never have long queues, but I presume it must be based on the assumption they must cater for everybody who is eligible to vote, not an estimate of how many are actually likely to.

    I rather agree with Justin: I heard an interview with a student on a college campus in Virginia who said they'd been told they might have to queue for hours. Well, if you're working you can't can you?

    A lot of us do it first thing in the morning on the way to work, on the way home, or nip out after tea.

    (We don't usually have to walk more than a few hundred metres to a polling station, usually in a school -- the kids get a day off -- or library, even the occasional pub if there's nowhere else. And in at least one small village the polling station is set up in someone's living room for the day. Again, there's been some thought of setting them up in the future in shopping malls as well.)

    (Whether we will actually keep our blunt pencils and bits of paper, I don't know. There have been all sorts of ideas floating about here, even voting through your own computer or texting, but I think we'll probably still want to be able to have a bit of paper as proof somewhere along the line.)

    Hope I've filled in the gaps.

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  • 31. At 05:57am on 04 Nov 2008, TimothyR444 wrote:

    Blimmineck:

    "..............Admittedly, it takes two to tango - our government has been good enough to behave like a client state. Nonetheless, this does make us effectively as good as a client state. So, l want the franchise extended here, please!"


    I was wrong to assume that you are British. My mistake. And as you can see I have restored the "L" to your moniker.

    Australia is hardly a "tiny country". To read your post, one would assume that Australia is a fragile hothouse plant crushed by those terrible Americans.

    That hardly fits in with the Australians I have met, who strike me as extraordinarily robust and self-assured, and make Americans seem quiet by comparison - and I am from NYC by birth and upbringing.

    The same streak of self-pitying victimization is evident in your comments that I referred to in my other post. Australia is not about to expire because of abuse from Americans.

    If you do not want Australians to join American troops, tell your government. If you don't want trade agreements with us because you don't like the terms - then don't make the agreements, or end the ones that exist. If you don't want to deal with the US, then end the alliance and form new ones. It is as simple as that. It is up to YOU.

    There is no suggestion anywhere in your posts that Australia has responsibility for anything.

    The idea that Australia is a helpless client state maneuvered by those nasty Americans is rubbish. Australians do not make convincing victims, and that is not an insult.

    I am aware that anti-Americanism is quite strong now in Australia and that the Japanese are loved. Well, start an alliance with them and forget about us. The world will go on, for all of us.

    As for extending the franchise: fine with me, buddy. Step right up and vote.

    And, be sure to pay American taxes while you're at it.

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  • 32. At 06:00am on 04 Nov 2008, british-ish wrote:

    7. TimothyR444 wrote:

    "and the people of other nations who are obsessed with our elections and have a compulsion to tel us how to think, believe, respond, vote and live can scuttle, scamper and trundle off to their own lives"

    We of the Squirrel Party demand equal recognition. We 'scurry'.

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  • 33. At 06:06am on 04 Nov 2008, Iain Boyle wrote:

    What happens in UK
    In the scottish election in 2007 we used optical scanned paper ballots to elect parliament and local councils. There was high numbers of rejected papers.
    This led to enquiries,discussions in UK and Scottish parliaments and changes in how elections will be run.
    Why in the US are federal, state and local elections all run on the same days. On result of the Scottish happening was that the local elections are to be run separately.

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  • 34. At 06:07am on 04 Nov 2008, Cameron wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 35. At 06:13am on 04 Nov 2008, TimothyR444 wrote:

    "We of the Squirrel Party demand equal recognition. We 'scurry'."

    And chatter a great deal, to little effect.

    That might be considered - but in another post above you acknowledged - and were grateful for - the fact that you are not, in fact American citizens, and as British citizens you do not have the right to vote.

    So I will take you at your word.

    So scurry off. No doubt there are plenty of nuts to attend to.

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  • 36. At 06:14am on 04 Nov 2008, ladycm wrote:

    This is the first I have heard about people waiting in line for hours due to electronic voting. That is scary. Who in the hell thought that would be an okay idea?

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  • 37. At 06:14am on 04 Nov 2008, allmymarbles wrote:

    12, lawchicago.

    I agree that the numbers will be too high to fudge. In any case, let's not borrow trouble.

    Everyone else - why can't you guys relax? We got what we want. Enjoy.

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  • 38. At 06:15am on 04 Nov 2008, Blimmineck wrote:

    LOL, I seem to have struck a nerve. Defensive much?

    We *are* a tiny country. On a modest-sized continent, sure, but a population of about 22m and a modest economy qualifies as a small country compared against 300m and the world's biggest, I think.

    People complain sometimes about US servicemen when there's a ship in port. I've always found them very polite; good lads to have a beer with. Sorry to hear about those noisy yobs. Send them back, we'll give them a sound thrashing.

    Did I mention the word 'defensive', by the way?

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  • 39. At 06:17am on 04 Nov 2008, Blimmineck wrote:

    PS - you really are reading an awful, awful lot into my comments that simply isn't there.

    And yes, if a referendum on an act of union with the US was held, I would support it. Paying US taxes instead of Australian ones would be one of many attractions.

    So would adding 22m somewhat more sensible voters to your pool...

    (OK - that one WAS me being nasty!) ;p

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  • 40. At 06:20am on 04 Nov 2008, Cameron wrote:

    7. TimothyR444 wrote:

    "and the people of other nations who are obsessed with our elections and have a compulsion to tel us how to think, believe, respond, vote and live can scuttle, scamper and trundle off to their own lives"

    I apologise for being obsessed with your elections.

    We will soon scuttle off to tend to our own lives so you won't have to be too "obsessed" by what those on a BBC blog that are obsessed with the US have to say.

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  • 41. At 06:33am on 04 Nov 2008, TimothyR444 wrote:

    redagast:
    "I apologise for being obsessed with your elections. "

    You are forgive,

    Noblesse oblige...

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  • 42. At 06:37am on 04 Nov 2008, TimothyR444 wrote:

    Blimmineck:

    "And yes, if a referendum on an act of union with the US was held, I would support it. Paying US taxes instead of Australian ones would be one of many attractions.

    So would adding 22m somewhat more sensible voters to your pool..."

    After all that carrying on, you would support an act of union?!

    Well, it would be interesting. And Australia seems like a beautiful country.

    As for being defensive - I was hardly complaining about the "noisy yobs". The Australians I have met are generally good company. I am saying that they are not victims.

    And you are NOT a client state.


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  • 43. At 06:39am on 04 Nov 2008, TimothyR444 wrote:

    ladycm: "This is the first I have heard about people waiting in line for hours due to electronic voting. That is scary. Who in the hell thought that would be an okay idea? "

    The first I have heard of it, too.

    It sounds like a load of rubbish to me. These stories make American voters seem like pathetic refugees. A good victim story always sells, however questionable. Pretty soon the Red Cross will be serving donuts.

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  • 44. At 06:47am on 04 Nov 2008, british-ish wrote:

    35. TimothyR444 wrote:

    "in another post above you acknowledged - and were grateful for - the fact that you are not, in fact American citizens, and as British citizens you do not have the right to vote."

    Of course I do. I'm over 18 and I'm neither serving a prison sentence, nor a member of the House of Lords, the only two things that would disqualify me. You have some funny ideas about how democracy works outside of the USA. You aren't related to MAII, by any chance?

    By the by, you may not have noticed that this is a BBCblog, not an ABCone. It's more my home than yours, in a way.

    Since when did guests (at least properly brought up) tell people to leave their own homes?

    And who said it was absurd anyone else should think they were the equivalent of Americans? I agree with you. It wouldn't only be absurd. In some cases it would be downright embarrassing.

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  • 45. At 06:48am on 04 Nov 2008, gunsandreligion wrote:

    #39, Blimmineck, before you decide that
    you want to pay our taxes, don't you want
    to see if King Obama gets in first?

    Now, what I would do if I were you would
    be to put together a big navy and intercept
    anybody coming down to your part of the
    world, drug them, and convince them
    that they had just passed through an
    empty region of water.

    While you're at it, remove the Wikipedia
    article on Oz, and fire all the people
    on your tourist board.

    And, for goodness sake, if anybody asks
    if Australia is a nice place, spread the
    rumor that it is just like New Jersey,
    but with a harsher climate, with more
    mud in the springtime, and more crime.


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  • 46. At 06:55am on 04 Nov 2008, vor_tecks wrote:

    Hi there cousins across the pond! It's been great fun sharing the run up to your election. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

    Hope you have a conclusive result and that you move onwards and upwards.

    Good luck folks - enjoy!

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  • 47. At 06:55am on 04 Nov 2008, eightypercent wrote:



    Good post by Brit # 30 describing the UK voting system (geography as well as population numbers come into the allocation of polling centres to make it as convenient as possible for all).

    The Government has encouraged local Councils to experiment with electronic voting/more postal ballots etc., but none of the systems have proved as secure as the old pen and paper.

    It is also very expensive to instal electronic voting machines - someone must have cleaned up in the States.

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  • 48. At 06:56am on 04 Nov 2008, topspin wrote:



    Give me a break. The Left is complaining about voter fraud, already?

    Maybe, cheating is on Lefties' mind, because that's all they know.

    As we used to say in grade school when somebody farted, "he who smelt it, dealt it."


    Hillary Clinton supporters and campaign lawyers have argued that the only reason Obama won the Democratic nomination is because of widespread cheating and voter intimidation by Obama supporters in the party run caucuses.


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  • 49. At 06:56am on 04 Nov 2008, TimothyR444 wrote:

    "Of course I do. I'm over 18 and I'm neither serving a prison sentence, nor a member of the House of Lords, the only two things that would disqualify me. You have some funny ideas about how democracy works outside of the USA. You aren't related to MAII, by any chance?

    By the by, you may not have noticed that this is a BBCblog, not an ABCone. It's more my home than yours, in a way.

    Since when did guests (at least properly brought up) tell people to leave their own homes?

    And who said it was absurd anyone else should think they were the equivalent of Americans? I agree with you. It wouldn't only be absurd. In some cases it would be downright embarrassing."

    So you have the right to vote in American elections? What on earth are you talking about?

    Do you hold American citizenship? How does anything you have said lead to the "right" to vote for our president?

    It is indeed you are home here on the BBC (and most of you have very strange ideas about how to treat guests) but you are discussing our elections. I do not presume to be allowed to vote in the elections of Britain. Why should you vote in ours? That is, unless you hold dual citizenship?

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  • 50. At 06:57am on 04 Nov 2008, british-ish wrote:

    43. TimothyR444 wrote:

    ladycm: "This is the first I have heard about people waiting in line for hours due to electronic voting."

    The first I have heard of it, too.

    It sounds like a load of rubbish to me."

    Well, sorry, but I heard that in an interview with a (Republican) campaigner on Radio 5 a couple of hours ago.

    And if you'd like a little background:

    "Queues in U.S. presidential elections first drew national attention in the 2000 election, when voters queued for more than two hours to cast their votes in some counties in Florida, and the election hours were extended due to the queues in some battleground states.
    In the 2004 election, Ohio voters queued for as many as 10 hours in some precincts in Columbus, Cincinnati and Toledo, and long queues were reported in other states as well."


    (From "To Queue or Not to Queue?" http://www.lionhrtpub.com/orms/orms-6-06/queues.html
    by Alexander S. Belenky and Richard C. Larson of MIT.)

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  • 51. At 06:59am on 04 Nov 2008, ladycm wrote:

    43. At 06:39am on 04 Nov 2008, TimothyR444 wrote:

    "The first I have heard of it, too.

    It sounds like a load of rubbish to me. These stories make American voters seem like pathetic refugees. A good victim story always sells, however questionable. Pretty soon the Red Cross will be serving donuts".

    I did some research and I keep finding that it was early voting that had these long lines. Not that people still wouldn't be affected by these lines in early voting. The situations in which people where waiting a long time was few and far between (it apears).

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  • 52. At 07:04am on 04 Nov 2008, TimothyR444 wrote:

    ladycm:

    "I did some research and I keep finding that it was early voting that had these long lines. Not that people still wouldn't be affected by these lines in early voting. The situations in which people where waiting a long time was few and far between (it apears)."

    Good detective work.

    That sounds a lot more reasonable: iiritating, but not that big a deal.

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  • 53. At 07:08am on 04 Nov 2008, TimothyR444 wrote:

    British-ish":

    "Well, sorry, but I heard that in an interview with a (Republican) campaigner on Radio 5 a couple of hours ago.

    And if you'd like a little background:

    "..............In the 2004 election, Ohio voters queued for as many as 10 hours in some precincts in Columbus, Cincinnati and Toledo, and long queues were reported in other states as well."

    Ten hours? TEN HOURS? Nonsense. What a load of hooey.

    Forget the donuts. We'll need stretchers and oxygen masks.

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  • 54. At 07:28am on 04 Nov 2008, deanreid wrote:

    I'm an American and I travel for work regularly. Its no secret that the entire world is effected in meaningful ways by the economic and diplomatic policies of the United States. Many Americans need to take a hard look at the long unfortunate habit of not really understanding what the global economy truly means.

    We import and export goods with countries that we consider to be unjust and undemocratic, and we empower some very questionable leaders in doing so. Look in your closet, garage, living room, etc and see where everything was made... Your car, clothes, food, television, blender, hair dryer, shaver, gas/oil etc...90% made outside of the US. We cant seriously claim to "not care" what the rest of the world thinks about our policies when our everyday lives are literally intertwined. Of course there are other issues like our involvement in the affairs of foreign governments, and the not occasional enough war or two.

    Its just not cute anymore to say America is the best and if you don't like it keep it to your self.

    This is the 21st century and we have a real responsibly to pick leaders that not only have the American people in mind, but also have an educated global perspective. If you're an American and don't have a passport, or only go to Mexico or the Caribbean for vacation - please take a trip to Asia, South America, Africa and Europe - see for yourself what kind of reach your country has, and why you have to give a damn.

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  • 55. At 07:28am on 04 Nov 2008, british-ish wrote:

    TimothyR444:

    What you wrote was: "as British citizens you do not have the right to vote."

    You didn't add "in American elections". Your general proposition was therefore wrong.

    I don't understand why some people object so vehemently to others around the world discussing (not voting in) an election process in what is probably the most influential country (like it or not) in the world at the moment.

    It just seems that some people don't like the opinions they hear from much of the rest of the world. Are we not allowed to express them? Just 'scuttle off'?

    If not, why should we listen, let alone take notice of, the US State Department's categorisation of or pronouncements on other countries for instance?

    Robert Gates, for example, has no vote in Britain. So should he be allowed to say that aBritisharmy officer in Afghanistan is 'defeatist'? (Though he didn't repeat that when David Patreus said much the same thing a week or so later.)

    And yet, so often, those who demand our silence are the same ones who go on about threats to 'free speech'.

    Doesn't that strike anyone as just a little bit ironic?

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  • 56. At 07:31am on 04 Nov 2008, eightypercent wrote:



    I would be very glad indeed to hear that these reports of ten hour queueing were incorrect because they make the USA sound more like a third world country - and certainly call into question American organisational competence.

    It makes a campaign based on the concept of "Change" seem like plain common sense.

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  • 57. At 07:37am on 04 Nov 2008, deanreid wrote:

    I voted early in New York and it took 20 minutes. The lines in Ohio and other states in 2004 are legendary - and were very real. Managers at local election boards should be fired if they can't streamline and fudge-proof the system.

    This has been anticipated to be the largest turn out in decades. So its safe to assume that any polling station will see higher than average traffic. More booths and more locations are the way to solve it. If we can find $700 billion to "rescue" the financial system, we can find a little spare cash to open a few more polling stations...

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  • 58. At 07:38am on 04 Nov 2008, british-ish wrote:

    53.TimothyR444 wrote:

    "British-ish":
    Ten hours? TEN HOURS? Nonsense. What a load of hooey."


    If you don't like it, don't blame me.

    Write to the authors at MIT (or the publishers OR/MS Today. ("The magazine* for members of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences") and tell them their research was 'a load of hooey'.

    Or read the article -- that's why I gave the link -- which provides the references which I omitted here for reasons of space.

    *"The bi-monthly publication provides a comprehensive look at operations research and management science through stories, feature articles, case studies, software reviews and surveys authored by recognized leaders in the field."

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  • 59. At 07:45am on 04 Nov 2008, eightypercent wrote:



    ~ 57 deanreid

    Wise and sensitive words.

    I write from a famous garrison town in the UK from from where we have lost many fine young men in the last five years. We are all in this together.

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  • 60. At 07:48am on 04 Nov 2008, ladycm wrote:

    I think it is great that people from other countries care about what happens in this election. You should. Our foreign policy will affect you. Of course, for us Americans there is that issue plus domestic issues like, health care and our economy etc. Health care is a huge, HUGE issue here. Our destructive foreign policy of the last 8 years has affected probably everyone's life here in one way or another; and the apathetic Bush administration has also done nothing domestically either. There is a lot riding on this election, for everybody.

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  • 61. At 07:55am on 04 Nov 2008, british-ish wrote:

    47. eightypercent

    It's just occurred to me that we may well be sticking to paper ballots for a while, given the way CD's and memory sticks of personal details get left on trains and in carparks . . .

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  • 62. At 07:58am on 04 Nov 2008, allmymarbles wrote:

    55, ishish.

    I think people do not realize the international role of the leader of a major power. Just as, in this new age, we cannot separate our economies, neither can we separate our politics.

    The views of the rest of the world are welcome, particularly those of our allies. Hopefully this is an era of cooperation. Don't still your voices. You are part of America, as we are part of Europe and the rest of the world.

    Please join in our celebration tomorrow.

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  • 63. At 07:59am on 04 Nov 2008, rl wrote:

    Re: #7 and numerous posts following on from that

    I don't understand why some Americans, having come onto our (British) website, start telling us not to discuss their election because it's nothing to do with us. This is a US election blog, the US elections have a reasonable influence on the direction Britain takes in Iraq etc, so why can't we discuss it as well? This blog wasn't created on a British website for American use only, what would the point in that be?

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  • 64. At 08:03am on 04 Nov 2008, british-ish wrote:

    56. eightypercent
    57. deanreid

    That was rather the point of the article I quoted; whether anything has actually been done to ensure either that doesn't happen again, or to take into account the probability of a high turnout this year I can't say.

    (And to be honest, I can do without the sort of reaction I got quoting that paper earlier, so I'm not going to bother finding out. Especially as it's been pointed out in no uncertain terms, it's none of my business.)

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  • 65. At 08:04am on 04 Nov 2008, asmontgomerie wrote:

    No method of voting is foolproof. But the method used in the Uk of putting a cross on a ballot paper is hard to beat. Postal votes are very open to abuse of the secrecy of the ballot- for example spouses dictating how their partner should vote...
    Voting machines and all methods which cannot be verified as much as aour current system should be resisted!

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  • 66. At 08:09am on 04 Nov 2008, british-ish wrote:

    62. At 07:58am on 04 Nov 2008, allmymarbles wrote:
    55, ishish.

    62 allmymarbles wrote:

    "The views of the rest of the world are welcome, particularly those of our allies."

    Are you sure that last word shouldn't be 'enemies'? I do wonder sometimes . . .

    :-)






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  • 67. At 08:10am on 04 Nov 2008, politicsisfun wrote:

    From what I have read in the American press (I am British) it would appear that none of this will matter if either candidate wins decisively and in the key swing states. Non Americans do not forget it is not about the popular vote, it is Electoral College votes that matter.
    The American media has already reported that provisional holding legal objections are in place in a number of States.
    The issue is provisional votes i.e if there is some doubt about your right to vote you can cast a provisional vote that may or may not be counted later, onviously if they are counted and the vote is close the loser will cry foul. Look at the conservatives and the whole fuss about ACORN, there is a hidden agenda going on, racism, subtley and severally the issue of race is raised by the Republican right.
    They are already holding as someone termed it their pre morten as to why McCain lost. One of the issues will be voter fraud, Palin is already lining up as the heir presumptive for the fundametalist right wing.
    Media bias will be another excuse as the BBC news reported most newspapers have endorsed Obama and the constant complaint from the right is that the press was soft on Obama and let him have an easy ride.
    Lets see what happens, if it is close it will be nothing compared to Ohio in 2004 or Florida in 2000.

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  • 68. At 08:15am on 04 Nov 2008, kbnuts wrote:

    I find it quite amazing that if someone is finding they have to cheat in order to win, that they aren't questioning why that is. Maybe because they're wrong?

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  • 69. At 08:23am on 04 Nov 2008, allmymarbles wrote:

    66, ishish.

    I can't speak for other Americans, but I voted for Obama in the hope of ending aggression in the Middle East developing better relations with our friends (and enemies).

    The animosity towards Britian and Europe that read in this blog is not mirrored in the life around me. I don't understand it.

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  • 70. At 08:24am on 04 Nov 2008, gallopingsausage wrote:

    I totally agree with you - if the only people who can vote are those with four or five hours to spare, America is very much not the Great Democracy it is said to be.

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  • 71. At 08:28am on 04 Nov 2008, MichKelly wrote:

    Wow, such nasty defensiveness abound re: why the world cares about what happens in the US election (with our without alleged voter fraud). It has been eloquently stated by a few already that we are all connected, particularly our economies.

    I am a Canadian, who used to live in the UK, then Austria and now Australia. What happens in US elections directly affect the political course of Canada. When it moves to the right, so does Canadian mainstream politics. The US tested missiles in Canada, was our partner in Free Trade - where incidentally US negotiating lawyers for the Pact argued that Canada's medicare system was a trade barrier and exercised pressure to 'open the market'. Fortunately that didn't happen, we Canadians quite like our health care system and don't see health as something to be profited from. Then there is the ongoing softwood lumber dispute between Canada and US, that the WTO rules in favour of Canada...which the US chose to ignore. So does who is in Washington does directly affect Canada? In the words of the soon to be history Palin aka Bible Spice- you betcha. So while we are more than aware we don't have a vote, we know it affects us.

    In the UK, Tony Blair's relationship with George Bush lead to going to war in Iraq - opposed by many in his own party, hotly contested in parliamentary debates and widely protested in the UK. Fortunately or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, who wins elections in the US determines who may or may not be bombed, invaded, occupied as I'm sure those in Grenada, Panama, Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia would agree. Then there is extraordinary renditions, supporting 'freedom fighters who turn out to be tomorrow's terrorists and subverting democratically elected governments - Nicaragua and Chile anyone? The US is probably the only country that has the power to get the situation in the occupied territories (West Bank and Gaza) sorted.

    So yes, we do care and we think Americans should care even more. it is so wonderful to see how many people are involved in this election, how people who have never voted before are voting. People fight for the to vote around the world and I can never understand political apathy when we have the vote and how much we take it for granted.

    So the next time you get defensive and tell the rest of us to scurry on and pay attention to our own countries think again. We do pay a lot of attention to our own countries, to the countries of your neighbours and some of us even pay attention to countries on the other side of the world. What affects one country has the ability to affect us all.

    Ok, off my soap box now and sending good vibes for smooth voting an Obama victory so just maybe he can restore some faith in American democracy and improve it's image around the world and we can move from the Bush doctrine of pre-emptive war (which could potentially affect any country) to diplomacy, collaboration and understanding.


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  • 72. At 08:30am on 04 Nov 2008, allmymarbles wrote:

    68, kbnuts.

    "I find it quite amazing that if someone is finding they have to cheat in order to win, that they aren't questioning why that is. Maybe because they're wrong?"

    No, because they are politicians, and politicians are not the hgihest form of life.

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  • 73. At 08:31am on 04 Nov 2008, Blimmineck wrote:

    - 42 Timothy R444,

    "After all that carrying on, you would support an act of union?!"

    *What* carrying on? I've tried to tell you. You assumed a set of attitudes which were not in fact present. I'm not a knee-jerk anti-American. I have my criticisms, as I do "of Australia and pretty much every other country. But the US has a lot going for it and I have a number of US friends.

    America does have huge influence on Australia. How could it not? We're the junior partner in the relationship. That's not the same as crying victim - it's *the way of the world*. I'm not whining about it or saying 'yankee go home'.

    "Well, it would be interesting. And Australia seems like a beautiful country."

    Nah, it's all flat and brown, with nothing in it except the killer flesh-eating roos they carefully keep out of the tourism ads. :)

    There was actually some sort of US/Oz expansionist movement around a few years ago, and I seem to recall them having a few quite persuasive arguments. It might at least be worth discussing, but nationalism would prevent any such move for real, of course, in the foreseeable future.

    "I am saying that they are not victims."

    And neither am I.

    "And you are NOT a client state."

    Oh ALL RIGHT THEN, I didn't think it was such an offensive thing to say. ;p

    How about I put it like this: *at times* the relationship *bears resemblances* to a client state relationship. I am of course not alleging anything in the brutal Warsaw-pact style, but the influence is real and pervasive and sometimes oversteps the mark.

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  • 74. At 08:34am on 04 Nov 2008, punctdevedere wrote:

    I just voted in an election in my home country, New Zealand, though I live overseas. I logged on to a web-site, verified my identity, downloaded voting papers, filled them out and faxed them off. Took me ten minutes.

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  • 75. At 08:39am on 04 Nov 2008, Blimmineck wrote:

    # 45, G&R,

    Enjoy your posts, though often disagree!

    "#39, Blimmineck, before you decide that
    you want to pay our taxes, don't you want
    to see if King Obama gets in first?"

    Nah. He'd have to double them before they equalled ours. You guys don't even have a meaningful gas tax!

    "Now, what I would do if I were you"

    - heheh!

    "And, for goodness sake, if anybody asks
    if Australia is a nice place, spread the
    rumor that it is just like New Jersey,
    but with a harsher climate, with more
    mud in the springtime, and more crime."

    Did I mention those killer roos? You never hear about them, do you? There's a reason for that: nobody comes back alive. :)

    - #54 deanreid - really beautifully put. Amen.

    I'm hoping that these queue reports are bogus. It's been known for weeks that turnout is likely to be very high, right?

    Good luck to all!

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  • 76. At 08:44am on 04 Nov 2008, tenzone86 wrote:

    The latest Gallup poll has Obama with a thirteen point lead, and all the polls show him pulling ahead. The statistical chance of these polls being so wrong as to give McCain a win is almost zero, it would have to be a fundamental flaw in the polling system, which again would be very unusual.

    Would it really be so difficult to push through to push through a few voting reforms? Who would be standing in the way of this?

    I think, given that the US government has been so keen on spreading democracy around the world that they should make more of an effort to resemble one themselves. The world has not accepted Zimbabwe as a democracy in the past because the polls clearly show that the results must have been rigged. How is it we can overlook it when it happens in the US. Bush has been a dictator by the exact same definition that brands Mugabe as a dictator, and if McCain wins from here there would be some serious concern in the wider world.

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  • 77. At 08:47am on 04 Nov 2008, british-ish wrote:

    67. politicsisfun wrote:

    "From what I have read in the American press (I am British) it would appear that none of this will matter if either candidate wins decisively and in the key swing states."

    That's the puzzle isn't it? I got very confused by all the 'national' and 'aggregated' polls, but it does look as though there might well be some very narrow margins in some states.

    I still can't work out whether losing the popular vote in any of those would make it worthwhile challenging it given the number of Electoral College Votes. I suppose if those totalled up to a clear indisputable large majority it wouldn't be.

    I just don't know why, but I feel more suspicious about the polls in this election than I think I have ever been about any. I keep thinking about the unusually large proportion of early voters. I haven't been able to find out how any of the polls have accounted for them at different stages.

    There seems to me to have been a few rather questionable assumptions (amounting to nothing much more than guesswork) made about the way many of them have voted.

    Since both sides seem to have already 'fee'd' large numbers of lawyers, there will probably be a huge hoo-ha anyway. They'll want to be seen to be earning their money, won't they?

    And after all, this has been a really dirty election, so I can't (sadly) really see it all turning into sweetness and light on Wednesday. Still, unlikelier things have happened. (Elvis found living in a double decker bus on the moon, to name but one.)


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  • 78. At 08:50am on 04 Nov 2008, Blimmineck wrote:

    - #71 MichKelly

    Ditto on the health care system thing in Australia. In 2003 FTA negotiations, the pressure brought to bear on our subsidised pharmaceuticals scheme was extraordinary. Largely driven by US pharmaceutical firms who don't appreciate our much lower prices. Health before profits.

    It's something of a counterargument for my client-state thing of course, because we didn't crumble. But there was a lot of discontent and bad feeling about it all.

    This sort of thing will continue to happen to some degree whether Democrats or Republicans are in charge. (Again, this is not an attack! It's just a recognition of reality!)

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  • 79. At 08:50am on 04 Nov 2008, David Cunard wrote:

    Well, the first votes are in from Dixville Notch, New Hampshire and it's a landslide for Obama - as it is in Hart's Location.

    Sadly, it is reported that the networks might call the winner early, which although it might be exhilarating to know that the race is over, it's bound to affect voter turn out for Congressional races and local measures. On the bright side though, if Republican voters know their vote won't matter, perhaps it will keep them from voting on odious constitutional changes in Arizona and California. Every cloud has a silver lining!

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  • 80. At 08:53am on 04 Nov 2008, dceilar wrote:

    What happens in the UK? I cannot remember, to be honest...

    Well there's not much to remember compared to the US! In the UK we just go to the polling station, write an 'x' next to a candidates name on a bit of paper and put it in the ballot box. Bed wetting stuff!

    They make it more interesting in the US - is that why they are happy to queue for it?

    If you have any problems voting tell Obama. And there's more info here.

    As Michael Moore said: The Reagan era dies tonight!

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  • 81. At 08:53am on 04 Nov 2008, Cartponybefore wrote:

    It's been clear all year that there would be high turnout come Nov 4- shows how brainless America has become if they haven't planned for it.

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  • 82. At 08:58am on 04 Nov 2008, terryd15 wrote:

    Dear TimothyR444

    Oh that we could ignore the actions of the US of A, what bliss that would be. Unfortunately such problems as the Credit Crunch and the subsequent bank collapses caused by stupid/greedy American Bankers giving sub prime mortgages to idiots who knew they couldn't afford them, has affectd the whole world. Probably for decades.

    Not to mention the so called 'War on Terror' (also known as the Haliburton support effort) increasing world tension and danger, need I go on. I just hope that there are enough intelligent Americans to outweigh the rest of you.

    We may dislike and despise you but we can't ignore you.

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  • 83. At 09:04am on 04 Nov 2008, british-ish wrote:

    69 allmymarbles wrote:

    66, ishish.

    "The animosity towards Britian and Europe that read in this blog is not mirrored in the life around me. I don't understand it."

    I've come to the conclusion that it isn't. That it's one person using four (maybe six, now?) different pseudonyms.

    And I strongly suspect (from internal evidence) that the person is actually (alas) British, not American at all. And has a very twisted sort of mind.

    His aim is merely to provoke others in the hope that sooner or later they will accidentally overstep the mark and the moderators will ban them.

    Ridicule, common sense, some humour, and not sinking to the same level of abuse seems to rid us of him (them?) fairly quickly, you may have noticed.

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  • 84. At 09:04am on 04 Nov 2008, schranzo wrote:

    I have always been harping on the 2 weights 2 measures thing.

    Yesterday on BBC the news talked about the long lines of waiting voters and interpreted it as "high enthusiasm for the election".
    In a developing country long lines get condemnation from the international community.

    In the US 2 elections are rigged and no one ever dares call in election monitors from the UN. In developing countries and even semi-industrialised countries electoral monitors are a pre-requisite for the world to even start contemplating that the election was fair.

    Bring in the monitors is what i say and lets call a spade a spade!!!

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  • 85. At 09:05am on 04 Nov 2008, dhimmi wrote:

    "And I wonder why a lot of these problems seem to target Democrats, are our Republicans just that desperate?"

    Or Democrats just that bad losers

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  • 86. At 09:06am on 04 Nov 2008, Medhavin wrote:

    Cribbing about machines is typical political correct response. Good for lawyers !
    Entertainment for the world. There is no grace in Democrats even if they win

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  • 87. At 09:06am on 04 Nov 2008, dabrasco wrote:

    wow that likeness of Obama on the front page is horrible!!!...is BBC trying to be subliminally racist or what....change that!

    we already know Justin Webb is a McCain supporter

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  • 88. At 09:08am on 04 Nov 2008, Blimmineck wrote:

    - #82 terryd15

    Dislike and despise foolhardy and inhumane policies all you want, but don't tar the whole population with that brush. For every redneck racist or corporate CEO fat cat or Bush cabinet member, there's ten or a hundred really decent, hospitable, likeable people.

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  • 89. At 09:11am on 04 Nov 2008, TomAmes wrote:

    There have been some creative ideas offered on this blog about voting technology, but all have (subtle) downsides.

    1. "Why not use buttons instead of touchscreens?" -- As someone wrote, our ballots are looonngggg and complicated. Mapping the button to the proper choice would cause it's own difficulties.

    2. "Why not print out a copy of the ballot for the voter to check?" i.e., the ATM receipt model -- The concern is that this would lead to vote-buying, as would any proof of vote choice.

    3. "Mail-in ballots." Same problem as for #2, although some jurisdictions (e.g., Oregon, and most places for absentee voting) use this method.

    Someone asked why there were apparently 67 states accounted for in the tally of touch-screen and non-touch-screen systems. It's because the jurisdiction is not the state, but the COUNTY. More potential for chaos there.

    Clearly we need a national system for voter registration and vote recording, but no-one's found the method that satisfies all.

    So we keep muddling through the process, year after year.

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  • 90. At 09:11am on 04 Nov 2008, british-ish wrote:

    80. dceilar wrote:

    "we just go to the polling station, write an 'x' next to a candidates name on a bit of paper and put it in the ballot box."

    So untechnological, isn't it? I keep imagining Bill Gates or the staff at the Googleplex voting in a British election.

    They'd never be able to grasp what to do with the pencil, would they? (Even if they could recognise one.)

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  • 91. At 09:15am on 04 Nov 2008, allmymarbles wrote:

    82, terry.

    Vis-a-vis your diatribe against the United States, get a girlfriend. Get a life.

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  • 92. At 09:16am on 04 Nov 2008, David Cunard wrote:

    #83. british-ish: "I've come to the conclusion that it isn't. That it's one person using four (maybe six, now?) different pseudonyms."

    Good point - I'm surprised that anyone is allowed to have multiple screen names; surely the ISP or something like it would identify the individual and a programme could red-flag it. I've made a couple of connections to pseudonyms because of their spelling and quirky punctuation, but not as many as six - yet!

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  • 93. At 09:21am on 04 Nov 2008, eightypercent wrote:



    # 79 David C.

    The pundits are telling us to ignore the Dixville Notch result - don't know why because it seems pretty emphatic to me.

    All I know is that my nerves are much calmer today then they were yesterday.

    Hope all goes well with the California vote - I think it'll be OK. (Did you read that the California GOP filed an official complaint about Obama using his campaign plane to visit his dying grandmother. And they filed their complaint on the very day she died ?
    Don't reckon that their newly fabled judgement will cut much ice with the Calif. electorate)

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  • 94. At 09:23am on 04 Nov 2008, british-ish wrote:

    78. Blimmineck wrote:

    "This sort of thing will continue to happen to some degree whether Democrats or Republicans are in charge."

    It's bound to. I think only The Economist has really spelt out Obama's tendency to protectionism and a kind of economic 'America First'-ism.

    I for one won't be persuaded that that was merely for domestic consumption. But then, the economic situation in 2009 is going to be very different from earlier in 2008, so he may well have to rethink that one.

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  • 95. At 09:26am on 04 Nov 2008, Duncan wrote:

    #29 It is not that hard. You make you choice on the screen. It prints out a paper ballot. You post that in a ballot box like paper voting. The machine is used for the primary count, but any challenge enables a recount using the paper votes. Same level of secrecy (nearly - the e-vote is likely more traceable).

    Really we ought to have any e-voting working like this. There should be no internet voting or phone voting where the paper ballot cannot be submitted in parallel.

    Also we should check the machines by counting the paper ballots in a certain randomly selected proportion of counts in every election.

    We should have legislation to ensure a system like this. It is stunning that it appears beyond our legislators to do this.

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  • 96. At 09:26am on 04 Nov 2008, Cameron wrote:

    Excellent post #54 deanreid

    As a fellow citizen of the world I feel that your words represent the type of America and Americans that rest of us non-Americans have in the past admired and would like to again.

    Unfortunately the US Government and especially the Republican Party shares more of a timothyR444 outlook on the world.

    The international cavalier and bullying attitude of the American Government for the last 8 years has seriously taken its toll on the level of regards foreign peoples feel towards America and its citizens.

    I am from the land of Oz and I have over heard a few people say in the work lunch room that we should be able to vote in your elections.

    Now that is obviously not meant to be taken literally, it is more of a statement that the policies of the United States Government affect in at least some small way what happens to us internationally.

    A vast amount of us are apalled at the policies and actions of the US Government under the Bush administration and think that maybe we could help America elect the candidate that will steer you furthest from the policies and doctrine of Bush and Cheney.

    But it is only a statement borne out of frustration that Americans may elect for another 4 years (at least) a ticket that will almost certainly continue along the path of the widely despised Bush administration

    It has a sort of a trickle down effect on us.
    The Governments of Western countries, like Australia and Britain which are assumed allies of the United States seem obliged (because of WWII) to follow whatever the USG says or does. Not always but often.

    This is a problem for us because we do not want to be associated with this sort of horrible foreign policy but all of our electable parties do the same thing. And that is toe the line with the American government on most things.

    And with President McCain and VP Palin and possibly President Palin, it is a scary thought. I fear to imagine what wars she might consign America (and Allies) to, with her ignorant and gee wizz doggone it personality in dealing with foreign governments.

    But posts like yours give me hope that most Americans will vote to turn their backs on the Republicans and give us hope that America will take a more constructive approch to the world.


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  • 97. At 09:35am on 04 Nov 2008, endorfin wrote:

    #83

    It's the keyboard ninjas I have a real problem with. Whatever you mention, they've done it faster, earlier, or better. They earn more than you, have better education than you .....and they tend to bang on about the same subject ad nauseam, attacking those who have the temerity to disagree.

    I have a simple rule. Before I post I ask myself this question: would I say this to someone's face? If I would, then I'm happy to click 'enter'. If not, I'll re-word it, or perhaps delete.

    There's room for legitimate debate on this forum, but some of the rancour is quite ridiculous. In general the Brits like the Americans, Australians, Canadians etc.....the English-speaking cousins are considered to be OK until proven otherwise. We (well, I at least) are/am a little more ambivalent about some other nations with less of a shared heritage and language.

    I fully admit that I don't understand America - I don't get how the richest nation on earth has the biggest diversity in healthcare. I fail to understand why the right to bear arms is considered so important when there's such a vast number of deaths from handguns each year. The chap who fired 40+ bullets at trick-or-treaters, killing one, seems emblematic of a malaise in your society. And despite the fact that you have a HUGE number of Nobel Prize winners, you seem to have an anti-intellectual bias in those you elect to govern you.

    To the American readers, let me say that despite my lack of comprehension, I admire America and wish all you all well. Whoever you elect today, it'll neither be the end of the world nor the rebirth of a nation.

    It's been fun watching and participating, and I look forward to continuing the conversation.

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  • 98. At 09:45am on 04 Nov 2008, gtkovacs wrote:

    It's remarkable, isn't it. For the best part of 2 years in every 4 the US goes through this interminable process of selecting candidates and then choosing between the chosen 2. You would think that such a long process would lead to a highly qualified person being elected President.

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  • 99. At 09:49am on 04 Nov 2008, british-ish wrote:

    2. David_Cunard

    "Good point - I'm surprised that anyone is allowed to have multiple screen names; surely the ISP or something like it would identify the individual and a programme could red-flag it. I've made a couple of connections to pseudonyms because of their spelling and quirky punctuation, but not as many as six - yet!"

    Ah, but you can. You can change your 'screen name' via at least one other BBC 'message' site. (I found that out by accident this summer and I was a bit surprised by it.)

    And you can register different user names using several email addresses -- as many as you like.

    (Both those mean you have to log out temporarily, of course. Which explains why certain contributors never appear at the same time. Or there are gaps between their appearances. Though I've thought of a way round that one too, and I wonder if that's been used once or twice.)

    I'm being a bit vague, because it suddenly occurred to me I was getting close to telling the unscrupulous exactly how to do it.

    The Beeb can't really check via ISP's. I'm pretty sure it would breach the Data Protection Act.

    Like a lot of things in the UK, the whole system is based on trust, but there will always be some who abuse it.

    This isn't a 'secure' site, of course (which would make that harder) and never could be: it'd become unmanageable.

    I'm sometimes surprised as it is, given the volume of traffic the Beeb gets, that it doesn't collapse more often.

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  • 100. At 09:50am on 04 Nov 2008, PaulPieniezny wrote:

    #9 Xie_Ming:
    "It should be possible to have a quick check or audit program applied to such computer operations."

    Sorry, but that is completely unnecessary. If the computer companies really are sure that their machines are not slanted and cannot be hacked, they should publish their machine code on the internet, so that every computer nerd would be able to analyse the code - as someone who dabbles in programming, I am sure the nerds would be particularly interested in the default error procedures of these programs, as everybody outside Tennessee is complaining that their vote flips from Obama to McCain, and not the orther way around. If it is a hardware thing, one would expect that everywhere except in Tennessee the touch screens are identical, all columns (if that is how the candidates or parties are listed) are the same width, and candidates are in the same column everywhere - hard to believe, really. There is no reason for secrecy on the program code - government is paying for the services deliverfed by these computer companies, so the code should not be protected under copyright law. And I also want to see the protocol code for the optical scanners, please, because Volusia County 2000 proved that they can be hacked as well. Diebold went to court to stop hackers from revealing the code to hack the scanners and their meory cards. (So, Scientific American's assertion that the situation is better now because scanners are used instead of touch screens, is not entirely true - though of course scanning means there is a paper trail, and recounting can be done manually - if the Supreme Court does not block it like in 2000)

    Funny how everyone wanted Obama to go around America showing off the long form of his birth certificate. Yet it is deemed normal that program code which may decide the next president of the US is kept secret. WHAT DO THEY HAVE TO HIDE?

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  • 101. At 09:51am on 04 Nov 2008, rayamiles wrote:

    What I find interesting is that no one I know who works in IT security trusts electronic voting, it is just too easy to interfere with the result.

    The long queues would seem to be down to incompetence, contrary to what some people seem to think elections in the US are no more complicated than elsewhere, I remember in the UK having to vote for local, district and national government in one go, and of course the US is by no means the largest democracy in the world.

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  • 102. At 09:51am on 04 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    "Electronic counting is also essential to make the AMS (Additional Member System), which is used for the GLA, viable." - Dayvine

    Not so: we have AMS in Scotland (for the Scottish Parliament) and do not use electronic counting. We did have some confusion last time because local council and Scottish Parliament elections were held at the same time, and have different systems, the local one being new. The explanatory materials were very poor.

    More broadly, I'm sceptical whether electronic voting can be made sufficiently secure in the near future (as opposed to electronic counting, where you can have two or more entirely different systems used as a check). However, a shift to all-postal ballots, as SunshinePlus suggests @2, would be the beginning of the end for democracy. It would make it possible for individuals to sell their votes (preventing this was the reason for introducing the secret ballot), or to be coerced by family members or local bullies. Greatly extending the period of voting might be the best way to avoid disenfranchisement by queue.

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  • 103. At 09:52am on 04 Nov 2008, tenzone86 wrote:

    TomAmes #89 - Rather than fiddling with new technologies why don't 'they' just look at the British system, i.e. spreading out the voting process so that come polling day voters only have to vote for their choice of president, all those other votes for all those other levels of office can be done at some other time during the electoral cycle. Seems to work like clockwork over here. :)

    On a different subject all together, I think all of those analysts whom indulged in all that discussion as to how Obamas visit to his grandmother would play out, was it a 'good move?' was repeated several times, owe Obama and his family an apology. As do some bloggers whom suggested that she 'couldn't be that sick'.

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  • 104. At 09:56am on 04 Nov 2008, WildGardener wrote:

    #40 "and the people of other nations who are obsessed with our elections and have a compulsion to tel us how to think, believe, respond, vote and live can scuttle, scamper and trundle off to their own lives"

    Sure, the rest of the world might consider that option, as soon as the US stops telling the rest of the world how to think, believe, respond, vote, and live (or if you happen to be in the wrong country at the wrong time, not live).

    Deal?

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  • 105. At 09:57am on 04 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    "Then come to Dubai in March with more than 700 other business leaders to the World CEO Forum www.worldceoforum.com and we will welcome you to do business in the fastest and most exciting economy in the World." - jamesmageedubai

    Hmm, the world's unelected rulers are meeting in a very suitable venue! No hint of any of that messy democracy stuff, like elections, or freedom of speech, press and assembly, in Dubai!

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  • 106. At 10:01am on 04 Nov 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    The idea that redneck comments come from rare cranks is not valid.

    In visiting Bible Belt bulletin boards, such expressions (and much worse) are common.
    There is an incredible ignorance, stupidity and indoctrinated catch-phrase response endemic.

    About one-third of the US electorate is thus warped. To this must be added the exploiters who manipulate these unfortunate believers and the wealthier ones who control the media.

    Thus, around half of the US electorate is willing (or feels compelled to) support a Bush-like candidate.

    With such a situation, putting hope in US leadership does not appear to be a good bet. World leadership must come from elsewhere.

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  • 107. At 10:03am on 04 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    iggybglw@33,
    I'd forgotten that! Some of my comment on the Scottish system above (not sure which number -it's still awaiting moderation) is wrong. Apologies.

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  • 108. At 10:05am on 04 Nov 2008, WildGardener wrote:

    #2: in the UK anybody can apply to vote by post if they want to. In the past you had to have a good reason, e.g. you were working or studying away from home, but that is no longer required.

    Actually postal voting is wide open to fraud and abuse - for example "community leaders" encouraging all their followers to apply, and then making sure the forms are filled in "correctly" before being returned. There have been criminal convictions following the last few elections.

    It amazes me that India can run a successful all-electronic voting system for national elections, while the so-called developed countries cannot.

    Though they do use elephants to transport portable electronic voting machines around. Maybe that's the problem - we don't have enough elephants...

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  • 109. At 10:07am on 04 Nov 2008, elfbadger wrote:

    Seems pretty likely to me that, as described in the video by the professor at Auburn University, people are pressing Obama's name and accidentally slipping onto the McCain box. Anyone who's ever used an itbox or similar knows this can happen fairly easily.

    I don't think this is a Republican plot, just a coincidence that in the two previous elections, and this one, their candidate's name is first alphabetically.

    Bush
    Gore

    Bush
    Kerry

    McCain
    Obama

    You press the Democrat's name, you slip into the Republican's box. People just have to be careful and use the massive space in the box. Misreading ballot instructions and getting it wrong cost Al Gore the election, it can't be allowed to cost Barack Obama the election.

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  • 110. At 10:07am on 04 Nov 2008, abovaird wrote:

    To answer Justin's question: having been a returning officer (responsible for the conduct of the election) at various elections I would have been horrified to see lines/queues of that length and I have never experienced it - the peak time is usually around 6-7pm when you might have half a dozen or so voters ahead of you in the line, but generally there will be no queue at all.

    My part of the world - pretty rural - had over 70 polling places for our 60,000 or so electors, with two to five staff in each one to issue ballots etc. This seems like a greater ratio than in the US.

    Polling hours also seem to be longer - 7am to 10pm - we are in commuter country, and if polling stations closed at 7pm significant numbers of voters would have been unable to get to the polls in time. Of course, these hours are set by statute and registration etc are done by national standards so there's less scope for political mischief - and I personally was required to be politically neutral, the thought of my post being elected through the political process as Secretaries of State in the US are is quite alien to British tradition (different, not necessarily better). Returning officers and the like are generally drawn from the senior managerial ranks of local government who are required to abstain from party activity while they are in their posts, not sure how in the US tradition of public administration such a cadre of people could be identified.

    THere have been some problems in British elections in recent years, particularly as some of the safeguards to prevent fraud have been lowered to enable more ready access to, for example, postal voting, but experiments with electronic voting seem to have been quietly abandoned.

    I should say however that counting the votes is an intensively manual exercise where everything for the constituency (equivalent to a congressional district) is done centrally - no precinct by precinct tallies in the UK - and in the 2005 election we counted through the night from 10pm and did not declare a result until 5am - by which time all involved were completely exhausted - many of those counting having been working on polling stations and therefore having worked a 24 hour shift.

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  • 111. At 10:09am on 04 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    "Give me a break. The Left is complaining about voter fraud, already?" Billy2USA

    Simple matter of experience: Florida in 2000, Ohio in 2004. However, I'm confident the margin of victory for Obama this time will be too decisive for Rethuglican fraud to turn the result.

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  • 112. At 10:13am on 04 Nov 2008, british-ish wrote:

    79. David_Cunard wrote:

    Well, the first votes are in from Dixville Notch, New Hampshire and it's a landslide for Obama - as it is in Hart's Location.

    "Good heavens," I thought. "So soon? That's really exciting. I'm really impressed by the voting technology now."

    You might have mentioned the first had 21 voters and the second 29 . . .

    Those aren't towns, surely? They must be families?

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  • 113. At 10:19am on 04 Nov 2008, british-ish wrote:

    101 rayamiles wrote:

    "of course the US is by no means the largest democracy in the world"

    Thanks very much for the timely reminder. Very embarrassing that it didn't occur to the rest of us.

    India was indeed very efficient and trouble-free last time, wasn't it?

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  • 114. At 10:24am on 04 Nov 2008, eightypercent wrote:



    There was a bit of to-ing and fro-ing earlier about why non-Americans should be so emotionally involved in the American elections.

    One thing not mentioned before (for very good and obvious reasons) is that lots of us have been in anguish lest some unspeakable act should deprive America of making a free choice today.

    I quietly thrilled that we have got to November 4 all in one piece - and if any one sector should be singled out for praise it must be the security services for the way that they have taken care of those candidates without depriving them of their ability to meet huge crowds. So far so good - very good.

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  • 115. At 10:33am on 04 Nov 2008, paul939 wrote:

    21 votes coming from 1 town? one town???? hey, that isn't a town, that's one joint family.

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  • 116. At 10:35am on 04 Nov 2008, british-ish wrote:

    99.

    Oops. The reference was to 92, not 2 of course.

    David: Have a look at one or two of those unexpectedly lucid posts :-)

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  • 117. At 10:40am on 04 Nov 2008, endorfin wrote:

    #106

    I'm sure there are many people in the Bible-belt with whom I'd never agree. Equally, there are a LOT of people in the UK who I'd have just the same poor opinion of.

    And we have to face facts. For now, the US *is* the world superpower. World leadership *does* emanate from Washington.Whilst we may not like some of those whom they've elected - GWB as an obvious example - we have to deal with the reality of it.

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  • 118. At 10:44am on 04 Nov 2008, ezekielthemack wrote:

    clueduprock

    "If the Republicans win and there is evidence of electoral fraud, there will blood in the streets."
    --------------------------------------------------------
    I'm in total agreement with you. If America wants to see the beginning of another civil war, it needs to make sure that this election is conducted in an above board fashion and is devoid of misgivings.

    This reeks of the insidious Republicans being up to their usual tricks all over again. I've said from day one that the ONLY way that John McCain can win this election is through vote rigging, and it looks as though the good old Republicans may be resorting to this again. The best solution is for Democrats to get up as early as possible and to queue for as long as possible in order to get their votes physically registered.

    Having said that, as someone who works in software development as a programmer, I'm surprised that this system does not generate some form of paper receipt so that the individual can see who they've actually registered a vote for, or is that too logical?? Things that make you go hmmmmm.

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  • 119. At 10:54am on 04 Nov 2008, lochraven wrote:

    Given the size and number of people in the US, it would be a miracle if nothing went wrong.

    Let's remember Murphy's Law: If any thing can go wrong, it will.

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  • 120. At 10:55am on 04 Nov 2008, PaulPieniezny wrote:

    Among the things we will be glad to miss after next night are expressions and words like:


    "The Bradley Effect"
    "The Reverse Bradley Effect" (white people in Appalachia afraid of being labelled non-racists and saying they'll vote McCain while they intend to vote Obama)
    "The Inverse Bradley Effect" (obvious racists telling astonished posters they'll be voting for the ni***, while they actually plan to do so)
    "The Cult of the COLB"
    "What does he have to hide?"
    "RINOs"
    "Bubba"
    "Lingering racism"
    "October Surprise"
    any word ending in "job" "whackjob", "nutjob", crackjob" ...

    But let's forget the Bradley effect. What about the Portillo effect? Arizonans waiting to vote until Indiana gets declared and when networks declare it to close to call, rush to the station because they want to be able to tell their grandchildren that they voted for the first black US president, "even though that old guy was from my state". It could just flip Arizona. Of course, the Portillo Effect also means some people in the East will stay up late as they want to ber able to tell their grandchildren that they were up for Arizona.

    Personally, I like McCain so much that I really prefer Portillo to happen in Texas or Alaska, and Alaska would actually underscore the reason why it is a landslide (if it is a landslide, and let's hope it is because of the computer glitches) but Arizona is far more likely, unfortunately.

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  • 121. At 11:14am on 04 Nov 2008, SaintOne wrote:

    Does anyone else find it ironic that America frown upon non-democartic countries (sometimes taking things even further than a frown!) yet seem to have similar problems back at home?

    Peace

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  • 122. At 11:15am on 04 Nov 2008, Sankari wrote:

    Post #117; endorfin wrote: "World leadership *does* emanate from Washington".

    Does it? I honestly hadn't noticed.

    How are you defining "world leadership" in this context? Are you suggesting that the USA is the world's de facto ruler?

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  • 123. At 11:16am on 04 Nov 2008, british-ish wrote:

    118. ezekielthemack wrote:

    Having said that, as someone who works in software development as a programmer, I'm surprised that this system does not generate some form of paper receipt so that the individual can see who they've actually registered a vote for, or is that too logical?? Things that make you go hmmmmm.

    Never having used one of these things, I wish someone who has would tell me: don't you get some sort of message that says something like "You have selected 'Mickey Mouse' for President, press 'OK' or 'Cancel'"? It would seem fairly obvious, wouldn't it?

    Then, long fingernails or jewelry notwithstanding you would be sure what you'd done?

    Or are these things basically nothing more than fancy adding machines?

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  • 124. At 11:17am on 04 Nov 2008, Sankari wrote:

    Post #101; rayamiles wrote: "and of course the US is by no means the largest democracy in the world".

    In fact, it's not even a democracy. It's a republic.

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  • 125. At 11:20am on 04 Nov 2008, rodonn wrote:

    # 7 TimothyR444

    "....and the people of other nations who are obsessed with our elections and have a compulsion to tel us how to think, believe, respond, vote and live can scuttle, scamper and trundle off to their own lives, which must need attention by now."

    When the US Government stops behaving as a stumbling, demented, child-king on the International Stage, then I'll cease to be interested in what is basically an embarrassing freak show.

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  • 126. At 11:26am on 04 Nov 2008, Sankari wrote:

    Post #31; TimothyR444 wrote: Australia is hardly a 'tiny country'".

    Perhaps not "tiny", but certainly "small".

    Your country has a population of around 300 million; ours has a population of around 20 million.

    Your country has a GDP of around $13.78 trillion; ours has a GDP of around $773 billion.

    The key issue here is that the USA's global influence (whether measured in political, economic or military terms) is far greater than our own. Measured by all practical standards, the USA is a massive country and Australia is a small one.

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  • 127. At 11:30am on 04 Nov 2008, David Pritchard wrote:

    Someone said that paper ballots would take too long to count, but surely other countries do it? Isn't the problem that the US just chooses to spend less money on elections?

    Voting machines appear to cause more problems than they solve, even if we discount fraud.

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  • 128. At 11:40am on 04 Nov 2008, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    125 rodonn: is 'stumbling, demented. child-king' not a quote from 'The Black Widow' by Alice Cooper?

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  • 129. At 11:42am on 04 Nov 2008, DisgustedOfMitcham2 wrote:

    Scary stuff. Very scary. If McCain wins this election, when all the opinion polls say he won't, I think there will be some serious questions to be answered.

    It's quite common for countries having elections to have international observers to make sure they are free and fair. Does anyone know if there are international observers in the US today? If not, why not?

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  • 130. At 11:45am on 04 Nov 2008, nastymik wrote:

    I think that all these people saying that:"..Im voting for Mc Cain only because he has the most experiance.." is just a masked way of saying that deep down they cant stomach a black man as the next president. Mc Cain becoming president will be a death blow to the image of America as all over the world he and his VP are seen in the same light as Bush. Obama will simply be a new and fresh de-tox for the US and lets face it, they need it.

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  • 131. At 11:45am on 04 Nov 2008, singingcave wrote:

    Personally, I think the word disenfranchised is overused and I am sick of it.

    Since it seems obligatory at election time,
    here goes.

    I feel disenfranchised by the predictions and polls.

    They're going to call the election before all the votes are counted, so why keep telling people how important it is to cast your vote?

    That bugs me.

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  • 132. At 11:48am on 04 Nov 2008, U13672791 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 133. At 11:48am on 04 Nov 2008, endorfin wrote:

    #122

    Yes, I am. I'm not saying it's what I'd like, but as a realist I have to accept what actually happens in the real world.

    Look at the Iraq War, current stock market and banking collapses, culture, climate change.....for better or worse, America controls a lot of what happens in the world.

    That's not the same as saying that they determine what happens across the globe, but you'd have to admit that they have a huge amount of influence, a good deal more than any nation with 300m people should have.

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  • 134. At 11:50am on 04 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    "I'm surprised that this system does not generate some form of paper receipt so that the individual can see who they've actually registered a vote for, or is that too logical?" - ezekielthemack

    This would cope with accidentally touching the wrong part of the screen, but not with either code errors or deliberate fraud - it would be possible for the machine to print out one result and register another. I absolutely agree with the person who said the code for these machines should be in the public domain. Better yet, two entirely independent machines, with different code, could be used. This would make electronic voting more trouble, but much more secure.

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  • 135. At 11:51am on 04 Nov 2008, lochraven wrote:

    #101 rayamiles: The US is not a democracy as you said. It is a republic. There is a huge difference, and most people in the US don't seem to know the difference either. Learn something new and look it up.

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  • 136. At 11:52am on 04 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    In fact, it's [the USA] not even a democracy. It's a republic. - Sankari

    I'd have said a partially-elective plutocracy.

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  • 137. At 11:57am on 04 Nov 2008, endorfin wrote:

    #125, 128

    Unfortunately what we've seen from the USA under Bush is a tendency to Raise Your Fist And Yell......

    Still, I've always said that I Love America even if occasionally I think your leaders feel the need to prove that there's No More Mr Nice Guy.

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  • 138. At 11:58am on 04 Nov 2008, SaintOne wrote:

    To #129

    When they say "international observers", they mean American observers....

    Peace

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  • 139. At 12:11pm on 04 Nov 2008, Mark_WE wrote:

    singingcave wrote:

    I feel disenfranchised by the predictions and polls.

    They're going to call the election before all the votes are counted, so why keep telling people how important it is to cast your vote?


    Anyone who doesn't go out and vote because of predictions and polls should remember what happened in Florida in 2000.

    Who knows what would have happened if the media hadn't of called it for Gore before the polls had closed?

    Until the polls are closed (or everyone has voted) then votes can still be cast

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  • 140. At 12:14pm on 04 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Brit,

    "Doesn't that strike anyone as just a little bit ironic?"
    Remember the company you're keeping and don't expect the unlikely.

    Peace and Ferrousity
    ed

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  • 141. At 12:19pm on 04 Nov 2008, ninawa wrote:

    In my country of origin, the voting process is very clear and easy.
    1)Some months before elections, every citizen, who will reach the age of 18 by election day, receives a card by post outlining the election basics and the different ways of voting.
    2)You can vote at voting stations on election day or beforehand by post, at any post office. Hospitals, prisons and similar institutions have their own polling stations. If you are incapacitated at home, home polling can be arranged on request.
    3)On polling day, you go to your polling station to vote. To speed things up, take your voting card with you. If you have lost it, don't panic-as long as you can present proof of citizenship and 18 years of age, you are entitled to vote.
    4) If you are abroad, you can vote at certain dates at the embassy or possible other voting stations.

    Votes are cast by paper ballot, although some test runs with electronic machines have been done (I live abroad now, so cannot give exact details).

    The crucial thing is, that every single independent citizen is entitled to VOTE as long as he/she can prove citizenship. To me, a system requiring separate voter regisration (and excluding felons) is not truly a democracy.
    (I could somehow, some way, be able to justify a system, where persons serving out a sentence at the time of election are excluded from voting, but at the time a sentence is over, that person must have the right to vote without having to prove anything but citizenship.

    Good luck and, whatever the outcome, congratulations to Obama for historic run, as stepmom of black kids I am delighted! Now I can show them a true example of how anything in life is possible and can be achieved as long as you work hard and mind your steps.



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  • 142. At 12:21pm on 04 Nov 2008, icetayoa wrote:

    Another redundant post, with the usual Obamazoids infiltrating the board as usual..

    your tricks have been revealed.

    This election would be about the triumph of freewill over media gangsterism and censorship.

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  • 143. At 12:22pm on 04 Nov 2008, SaintOne wrote:

    To #132

    Obama isn't a socialist. Nor is he a communist for that matter. And the majority of people in America will benefit from his intended tax changes (whether he gets them past congress is another matter!).

    And Robin Hood fought oppressive dictatorship and fed the poor (either way he is fictitious...).

    And where did you get the whole being nuked thing from? Who is paranoid now?....

    Peace

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  • 144. At 12:24pm on 04 Nov 2008, Candace9839 wrote:

    I will be voting later this afternoon after work and anticipate no problems with the electronic voting machines that have been in use for several years now. The only complaint I have is with the lack of flourish at the end. With the older mechanical machines, when you pulled the lever to cast your ballot choices, the curtain would fly open with a flourish and there you were facing the people waiting behind you with the smug satisfaction that you had successfully navigated the oft times befuddled poll workers and exercised your one bit of power. Just pressing the button and pushing your way out from behind the curtain is not nearly as exciting.

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  • 145. At 12:26pm on 04 Nov 2008, eightypercent wrote:



    It's no good the Dame swinging her handbag at Obama "for going socialist". First of all, he is not and secondly the most "socialist" act was George Bush's bailout.

    Ad even that wasn't socialism but desperation.

    As some else has remarked this morning, if Obama wins he is going to have to work with what he's got. And after the depredations of the last 8 years, that's not a lot.

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  • 146. At 12:27pm on 04 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    I'm tired of meeting young punks who have drank the Obama Kool Aid. - DMT

    I'm extremely tired of reading comments from idiots who think "drunk the Obama Kool Aid" is a clever thing to say. Apart from its absurd overuse - it might possibly have been witty the first few hundred times - do you actually think about who you are comparing Obama to, or about the people Jim Jones murdered, when you use those words?

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  • 147. At 12:27pm on 04 Nov 2008, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    143 Nick-Gotts: The point of having a paper receipt is that they could then be immediately placed in a ballot box. Then once voting has ended, the paper ballots (or a random proportion of them) can be counted by an electronic machine (or by hand) and compared to the result given by the touch screen. Any discrepancies between the totals can be investigated. The code should be made public, and furthermore the entire data record should be copied on to dvd and stored if further investigation should be required.
    Voting should not just be fair and free of fraud, it must be seen to be so.

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  • 148. At 12:27pm on 04 Nov 2008, eightypercent wrote:



    Ed,

    Thanks for post Willie and Merle some time in the wee small hours.

    I had a pre-dawn party with the two old dears.

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  • 149. At 12:27pm on 04 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Brit,

    "And after all, this has been a really dirty election,"
    Asymmetrically so, it should be noted.

    Peace and a cool head
    ed

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  • 150. At 12:33pm on 04 Nov 2008, malcolmd3111 wrote:

    "doveryai, no proveryai" , Russian for "Trust but Verify", as quoted by Ronald Reagan. If there were a paper trail at the ballot box, it would be simple to do some statistical sampling to verify the accuracy of the voting process.

    Unfortunately, the political arena is filled with unsavory characters who would do anything to win or succeed. The lies foisted on the American public during the past few years have been swallowed by many with nary a wimper about accountability or veracity.

    It takes courage to stand up for principles which transcend local or group pressure, why should politics be any different. It is usually success which matters more than principle, unfortunately, the recent economic woes prove that unfettered capitalism embraces neither care nor concern for long term consequences of decision making. Capitalists and many politicians are cut from the same cloth.

    The core of a healthy democracy is an accurate and trusted voting process. This is not the case in the USA. For it to be so, the decision makers regarding the voting procedures would need to have Integrity and that is well nigh impossible giving the immorality within the Republican Party, and to a lesser degree in the Democratic Party.

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  • 151. At 12:36pm on 04 Nov 2008, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    latest polls:

    National (avg) - O +9.75
    PA - O +9.5
    FL - O +2
    OH - O +2
    VA - O + 5.5
    MO - Tied
    NC - Tied
    NV - O +11

    These are just from today, although pretty much in line with yesterday.
    Source: RCP

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  • 152. At 12:47pm on 04 Nov 2008, Onirus wrote:

    It's a simple question.

    How come that with its fine universities and its advanced technological and industrial base, the US is apparently incapable of devising an efficient and fair system for electing its national leader?

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  • 153. At 12:52pm on 04 Nov 2008, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #85

    Yes in 2000 and 2004 the Dems were bad losers.

    Notable people who caused trouble and made hateful statements include:

    Al Gore
    Barbara Boxer
    Maxine Waters

    They could have taken a lesson from Richard Nixon who was robbed in 1960 (ironicly in Chicago)

    Nixon put the good of the country ahead of his self interest.

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  • 154. At 12:53pm on 04 Nov 2008, magnificentpolarbear wrote:

    Could I ask why are the queues to vote so long?

    Is it because the electoral areas are too big?. Not enough poll workers or privacy booths?

    Where I live in the UK the ward I live in has approx 10,000 voters split into 3 polling districts so there are about 3,300 voters per station. Within the station there is a further smaller division based on which road you live in.

    Even during General Elections where turnout it 70% plus there are no queues (or only of a few people who just happened to arrive together).

    When I voted earlier this year using paper and three seperate ballot papers (the Mayor and Greater London Authority elections) I was in and out in a couple of minutes.

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  • 155. At 1:00pm on 04 Nov 2008, SalemDesign wrote:

    I love computers and I have been working with computers and programming since the days of punch cards... But I doubt anyone will, or can, come up with a purely digital system that no one can hack or mess with.

    If the flipping of the vote on a touchscreen is a sinister hack, it is a rather crude one because the voter can see it done. The really sinister hack would be to show the voter exactly what they expect to see but register the flipped vote. (Or more likely, secretly flip 1 out of every X votes to avoid discovery.)

    I like the scanned paper ballots we use in my area. You always have a hard copy available for a recount or if you want to audit the machine count. And one should enact some really draconian penalties for any officials that are found tampering with the count.

    If we ever go to a purely electronic system then I think you can kiss democracy goodbye. The political parties will be pouring money into hiring the best hackers.

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  • 156. At 1:04pm on 04 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    Another redundant post, with the usual Obamazoids infiltrating the board as usual.. iceatoya

    Idiot. This is a British blog. Polls show that an overwhelming majority of Brits favour Obama. If you don't like it, you know what you can do.

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  • 157. At 1:06pm on 04 Nov 2008, rodonn wrote:

    #128 selfevidenttruths

    Yes, indeed it is... but it sums up exactly how I feel on the behaviour of US GOV, more or less since Teddy Roosevelt's day...

    #132 DameMaggieThatcher

    You closet pinko you!
    Neither of the candidates are as 'socialist' as your moniker was.

    (Note: Most Americans wouldn't know a Socialist or a Marxist if one fell on them)

    #137 endorfin

    Flush the Fashion, why don't ya? (BTW, best use of punning titles since 'Asprin Damage'! Without side or malice, a Bravo from this mad limey )

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  • 158. At 1:07pm on 04 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Selfevident (147),

    Simply the best! You get my vote.

    Peace, clarity and verifiability
    ed

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  • 159. At 1:10pm on 04 Nov 2008, SaintOne wrote:

    About #142

    I enjoy Ice's posts, mainly because they don't really say much apart from how we are all wrong. No evidence at all.

    I wish I could be there if/when Obama wins the election, just to see the look on your face as you experience a true "triumph of freewill" and America gets rid of a stagnant ruling party.

    Peace

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  • 160. At 1:16pm on 04 Nov 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    # 152

    Remember, about a third are not able to understand such matters as voting systems,

    About a fourth don't want them to, and

    as Mark Twain said:

    "America has no native criminal class-
    except the Congress"

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  • 161. At 1:17pm on 04 Nov 2008, john-In-Dublin wrote:

    # 32 british-ish wrote:

    "We of the Squirrel Party demand equal recognition. We 'scurry'."

    I heard a worrying statement on Sky News at the weekend:

    'Obama's Giant Kitty is not his only advantage....'

    So it's not just squirrels now - it's cats too.....

    ;-)

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  • 162. At 1:20pm on 04 Nov 2008, endorfin wrote:

    #153

    "Nixon put the good of the country ahead of his self interest"

    That's a pseudohistorical *fact* that even David Irving would blush at espousing.

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  • 163. At 1:23pm on 04 Nov 2008, paul939 wrote:

    #153 MagicKirin

    Well, if democrats steal the election, you wouldn't expect republicans to keep quiet and act dignified. They would act much,much worse. How would you feel if the election was stolen from you?

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  • 164. At 1:26pm on 04 Nov 2008, SaintOne wrote:

    To #155

    They even found a way to hack certain quantum saftey mechanisms.... :(

    Peace

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  • 165. At 1:28pm on 04 Nov 2008, neil_a2 wrote:

    No one fears theft more than a thief.

    So, why are Obama supporters so concerned about voter fraud?

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  • 166. At 1:32pm on 04 Nov 2008, Mike Mullen wrote:

    #132 DameMaggieThatcher:

    "We just need to make sure that the democratic voters are legal, not deceased, not fictitious."

    Well then its a good thing organizations like ACORN flagged up any dodgy forms they found isn't it?

    #142 Icetayao:

    "Another redundant post, with the usual Obamazoids infiltrating the board as usual.."

    I don't know what dictionary you're using Icetayao but coming onto a public forum and saying you support Obama isn't a definition of 'infilitrating' that I'm aware of.

    #153 MagicKirin

    "Nixon put the good of the country ahead of his self interest."

    Shame then that was the last time he did so.

    To all posters in the US have a good day, and if you haven't already remember to go and vote whichever candidate you support!









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  • 167. At 1:33pm on 04 Nov 2008, MichKelly wrote:

    132 - re: socialist

    Argh, it drives me nuts when people use a well defined political term so incorrectly.

    Obama, while having some voting history on social issues as 'left' of centre, is no socialist.

    This is the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of socialist:

    any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
    2 a: a system of society or group living in which there is no private property b: a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
    3: a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done

    So do you really, really think that Chris Buckley from the National Review (one of the most right wing capitalist journals in the US) would endorse Obama, if he was 'socialist'. What about Reagan's former Chief of Staff? I doubt it. Colin Powell? Yeah, I am sure all these lifelong Republicans involved in politics think Obama is going to nationalism the means of production.

    this claim is so ridiculous, so absurd. I can't believe that the GOP has even gotten away making such allegations which are clearly not based on any facts, rather they are scare tactics. Ooohh socialism - to people who don't even know the proper definition, be scared! Palin has been talking this up in her rallies, this coming from a woman who doesn't even understand the first amendment and is so clueless she brings it up in an interview. Classic! The rest of the world is hoping this woman never sees the Oval office now or in the future.

    Yeah right.

    Obama, a Marxist? Look that one up. When he starts slipping in references to dialectical materialism in his speeches then just maybe you've got a point, but until then...

    BTW, the bailout and USG owning shares in banks? See definition above.

    MissMaggieThatcher - we do however share a common dislike for the Labour party...I had the privilege of voting against them before leaving the UK (note: commonwealth citizens who are residents of the UK can vote in elections, how cool is that)


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  • 168. At 1:36pm on 04 Nov 2008, BaronBamford wrote:

    Timothy

    What is wrong with people who are not US citizens having an opinion on the US election? No one is telling you what to think, in fact perhaps we should get all hot and bothered about you coming on to the British Broadcasting Corporation website and complaining about our interest in your elections.

    We are not telling anyone what to think, we are expressing an opinion. You are free to express yours. I have opinions about elections in many countries, not just the US, but as much as you seem to be down playing it, who the president of the USA is, does have an impact on the entire globe.



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  • 169. At 1:36pm on 04 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    #153 "Nixon put the good of the country ahead of his self interest"
    True, but only so his self-interest could stab it in the back!

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  • 170. At 1:40pm on 04 Nov 2008, john-In-Dublin wrote:

    # 120 PaulPieniezny wrote:

    "Among the things we will be glad to miss after next night are expressions and words like:"

    A few I'd like to add to Paul's list

    'In the tank for....'

    'The Mainstream Media [or MSM]' and their alleged 'liberal bias'

    'Socialism, Communism or Marxism' when used to describe any economic proposal anywhere to the left of Ronald Reagan, Milton Friedman or indeed Attila the Hun.

    'Pro-American' when used to mean 'Pro-Republican'

    'Joe the Plumber'

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  • 171. At 1:40pm on 04 Nov 2008, Candace9839 wrote:

    Re:#161. McCain's temperament was likened to a "rabid badger in first class" by Colbert, and he does have a pet ferret so it looks as though cats are not the only threat...

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  • 172. At 1:42pm on 04 Nov 2008, vor_tecks wrote:

    # 92 # 99 Nice one guys :o)

    The bait was taken ..................
    # 132 # 142 #153

    Names change but the poison remains the same!

    The rest of you have a good day now.

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  • 173. At 1:42pm on 04 Nov 2008, junai139 wrote:

    #165

    "No one fears theft more than a thief

    So why are Obama supporters so concerned about voter fraud?"

    Let me answer your cliche with a more salient one:

    "Once bitten, twice shy"

    Or to quote Bush

    "Fool me once . . . i'm a fool . . . fool me twice . . . i'm still a fool . . ."

    Or something like that.

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  • 174. At 1:42pm on 04 Nov 2008, oldnat wrote:

    #167 MichKelly

    And European citizens, resident in Scotland, can vote for the Scottish Parliament - also cool!

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  • 175. At 1:44pm on 04 Nov 2008, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    Ed 158:

    Cheers, couple of interesting national polls: Daily Kos gives Obama the lowest lead of all pollsters so far today with O +5, and TIPP, which has had Obama at +2 most of the wek has all of a sudden jumped to +8, Zogby has also gone from +7 to +11. I know it is kind of academic now but I find it interesting nevertheless ... lies, damn lies and statistics : )

    Its going to be a fun day, off to work now, be back later ... Hope everyone who's got a vote uses it ...

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  • 176. At 1:46pm on 04 Nov 2008, john-In-Dublin wrote:

    # 132 DameMaggieThatcher wrote:

    [Inter alia]

    "Wake me up in 4 years so I can vote for Newt Gingrich. (If we haven't been nuked by then) "


    Here'a an idea.

    Let's not.

    Having said that, I certainly wouldn't mind an election in 2012 between Obama and cuddly, lovable, popular Newt Gingrich. I suspect Obama would be pretty happy about it too...

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  • 177. At 1:46pm on 04 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Mich Kelly,

    "This is the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of socialist:"
    This is an example of the rhetorical fallacy known as "appeal to authority".

    My authority is bigger than yours!

    Peace and rhetoric
    ed

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  • 178. At 1:48pm on 04 Nov 2008, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    167 Mich:

    (note: commonwealth citizens who are residents of the UK can vote in elections, how cool is that)

    Least we can do given that the influence we have today is due in large part to the resources and peoples of those countries. One of the more positive legacies of our colonial past.

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  • 179. At 1:54pm on 04 Nov 2008, endorfin wrote:

    #167,

    MichKelly, don't worry about it. Having seen a post on this blog that Obama was a Marxist, and that this was in his campaign literature, I pushed the author, who eventually (several days later) stated to the effect that:

    "the redistribution of weath is radical and the polar opposite of the Revolutionary War"

    "redistribution of wealth is Marxist"

    Honestly, you really couldn't make it up.

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  • 180. At 1:54pm on 04 Nov 2008, john-In-Dublin wrote:

    # 153 MagicKirin wrote

    "Yes in 2000 and 2004 the Dems were bad losers.

    Notable people who caused trouble and made hateful statements include:

    Al Gore
    Barbara Boxer
    Maxine Waters

    They could have taken a lesson from Richard Nixon who was robbed in 1960 (ironicly in Chicago)

    Nixon put the good of the country ahead of his self interest."

    It seems some things never ever change

    Kirin hurling around accusations of 'hate' , and mistaking his biases for fact, are 2.

    Please give us examples of some of the 'hateful' statements made by Al Gore.

    [Strange how, according to Magic, 'hate' is found almost entirely on the left and in the Democratic party. Isn't it wonderful how totally free from hate the Republicans and their supporters are? (g)]

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  • 181. At 1:54pm on 04 Nov 2008, Mike Mullen wrote:

    #165 neil_a2

    "No one fears theft more than a thief.

    So, why are Obama supporters so concerned about voter fraud?"

    Actually the person who has been repeatedly burgled probably does fear it more.
    Plus based on some of the posts on here about ACORN I would say it's about even in terms of the fear expressed between Obama and McCain supporters, assuming they are pro-McCain and not just anti-Obama, with some of them it's hard to be sure.

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  • 182. At 1:57pm on 04 Nov 2008, john-In-Dublin wrote:

    # 156 Nick-Gotts wrote

    [Replying to Ice T, who predictably, what with being in the tank for McCain, and having drunk the McCain Kool-Aid - "Another redundant post, with the usual Obamazoids infiltrating the board as usual.. iceatoya"]

    "Idiot. This is a British blog. Polls show that an overwhelming majority of Brits favour Obama. If you don't like it, you know what you can do."

    Don't forget the horse he rode in on...

    ;-)

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  • 183. At 2:02pm on 04 Nov 2008, SaintOne wrote:

    # 182

    His horse, and a horse for each of the other usernames he prances around the blog in.

    Peace

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  • 184. At 2:03pm on 04 Nov 2008, john-In-Dublin wrote:

    # 120 PaulPieniezny wrote:
    Among the things we will be glad to miss after next night are expressions and words like:


    "any word ending in "job" "whackjob", "nutjob", crackjob" ..."

    In that case, it's a good thing the Clintons won't be back in the White House...

    [Sorry - a bit obvious but I couldn't resist it.]

    ;-)

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  • 185. At 2:05pm on 04 Nov 2008, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #180

    John the question the poster asked was if the Democrats were sore losers?

    And in 2000 and 2004 they were.

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  • 186. At 2:07pm on 04 Nov 2008, john-In-Dublin wrote:

    # 25 british-ish wrote:

    "That's what puzzles me. If you can get a full bank statement printed out from a touch-screen ATM in Belgium (where pretty well all banking is electronic now) why can't you have a print-out of your vote?"

    If you mean a printout that you can take away then surely the answer is to protect the secrecy of the ballot. If you have a piece of paper proving how you voted then someone can force you to show it to them, and hence can bribe or intimidate you into voting their way.

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  • 187. At 2:07pm on 04 Nov 2008, endorfin wrote:

    #182

    Nah, it's A Horse With No Name. This is America, after all.

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  • 188. At 2:08pm on 04 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    I wish folk would stop misspelling Kool-Ade

    Grrrr!
    ed

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  • 189. At 2:09pm on 04 Nov 2008, john-In-Dublin wrote:

    # 48 Billy2USA wrote:

    "Give me a break. The Left is complaining about voter fraud, already?"

    Exsqueeze me?

    Did I imagine it - or did McCain bring up the threat of voter fraud in one of the debates? [The last, I think.]

    And haven't the Rightists been whinging and whining about ACORN on here for weeks?

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  • 190. At 2:11pm on 04 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    "No one fears theft more than a thief." - neil_a2

    I wouldn't know, not being a thief. How is it that you know?

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  • 191. At 2:17pm on 04 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    "in 2000 and 2004 the Dems were bad losers."
    DameMargaretThatcher/icetayoa/MagicKirin

    When your opponent cheats, this is understandable.

    Astonishingly, you have managed to get a fact right! Nixon was indeed robbed of the Presidency in 1960. Are you feeling quite yourselves?

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  • 192. At 2:18pm on 04 Nov 2008, phatGator wrote:

    What Justin fails to point out is that the Democrats demanded electronic voting after the 2000 election.

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  • 193. At 2:19pm on 04 Nov 2008, MichKelly wrote:

    177 Ed

    : ) well done.

    Your authority takes much longer to read than mine!

    2nd last paragraph
    "Marx identified the working class as the liberators of society."

    No would that working class be the 'real America'.

    someone warn the masses Bible Spice is a really a Marxist (and one that is armed)....

    well it would be 'true' if I employ the same reductionist logic to the point of absurd that makes the similar claim of Obama.

    ok, US citizens of voting age - do your civic duty so the rest of us can relax and not worry about an escalation in the middle east with McCain and his trigger happy running mate

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  • 194. At 2:20pm on 04 Nov 2008, john-In-Dublin wrote:

    "No one fears theft more than a thief." - neil_a2

    You're so right. And so logical.

    It's amazing that the police waste their time examining crime scenes and taking fingerprints.

    All they need to do is arrest anyone who has a burglar alarm...

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  • 195. At 2:21pm on 04 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    "the redistribution of weath is radical and the polar opposite of the Revolutionary War" - endorfin, quoting some rightwing loony

    Actually, the "Patriot" army did quite a bit of "redistribution of wealth" (aka looting) during the War, as of course did the British.

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  • 196. At 2:26pm on 04 Nov 2008, oldnat wrote:

    We should all look for examples of good practice in the electoral arrangements of other countries.

    However, I can't see a nudist polling station being very popular in Scotland!

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  • 197. At 2:28pm on 04 Nov 2008, RedWhiteandermblue wrote:

    "John the question the poster asked was if the Democrats were sore losers?

    And in 2000 and 2004 they were."

    We can only hope that in 2008, the Republicans will set us an example of how to handle defeat with grace. I am sure, MagicKirin, you will be leading the way.

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  • 198. At 2:28pm on 04 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Yes We Can!

    And we will!

    Peace and Landslides
    ed

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  • 199. At 2:36pm on 04 Nov 2008, icetayoa wrote:

    I have nothing but love for most of Mcains detractors on this site.

    I know they are Obama operatives, and their sole mission is to monitor, interrupt and flood most major news media and blogs with their jaundiced views.

    their modus operandi is to attack the messenger, rather than address the issues. they normally resort to name calling, bullying and other childish antics in order to make you look foolish in the estimation of other genuine bloggers.

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  • 200. At 2:36pm on 04 Nov 2008, RedWhiteandermblue wrote:

    "Nixon was indeed robbed of the Presidency in 1960."

    191. I disagree

    Nixon was robbed of Illinois by Daley's machine reporting upwards of 98% Kennedy votes and 98% turnout in some districts.

    As it turned out, however, Kennedy didn't need Illinois, so you can't really say Nixon was robbed of the presidency--unless there was other fraud I wasn't aware of.

    See http://www.slate.com/id/91350/

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  • 201. At 2:38pm on 04 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    A look back at the campaign

    "This election has been as historic as its candidates and their surrogates have been retarded. The number of milestones crossed is rivaled only by the number of times someone said or did something jaw-droppingly stupid. Herewith is a quick rundown of the five stupidest campaign trail blunders, according to our own dumbass opinions. (Note: For the sake of wanting to leave the office before midnight, we left out the couple hundred asshat misstatements Sarah Palin has made thus far.)"
    Almost like New Year lists, eh?

    Peace and nostalgia
    ed

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  • 202. At 2:38pm on 04 Nov 2008, RedWhiteandermblue wrote:

    Good to see my Pittsburgh Steelers have done their part by defeating the Washington Native Americans. When Washington loses its last home game before the election, the Presidency changes parties.

    If you're a Steelers fan, it's a big win-win...

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  • 203. At 2:39pm on 04 Nov 2008, Corinini wrote:

    I don't think voters will be disenfranchised by lines today. I was almost disappointed that my poling station was relatively empty and I could go in and out. My sister has been waiting for hours, but it's encouraging to see so many people engaged in an election.

    I can't get a grin off my face today. I am hoping for a landslide.

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  • 204. At 2:45pm on 04 Nov 2008, Roger Cary Oliver wrote:

    I am a British citizen living in France. I have voted several times both within the company for union and personnel officials and in the public area at my local municipal elections. Basically it goes like this:

    1.You go into the hall. There are 3 officials - one to register you as bone fide, one to hand out the voting slips with a single envelope and one to make sure you vote correctly - that is put only one envelop in the urn.

    2.You produce identification and your voting card - stamped once each election to witness you have voted

    3.You are handed one single paper slip for each candidate to be voted for. 10 candidates = 10 slips of paper

    4. you are directed to a closed voting booth where you mark your candidate and put the slip in the envelope in privacy.

    5. You return to the urn and slip your single envelope in the slot. The official then says "a voté" = "has voted".

    6. You then leave the voting hall.

    The count is done after closing time and the result made known. In case of "close call" recounting will be done by another group to ensure the tally is correct.

    It has been done like this for generations and probably will continue. It is nearly infallible. Anyone caught cheating (there was one recently in Perpignan) will cause the whole vote to be invalidated and recast.

    I like this system - rather ponderous, but fair and one feels one really "counts" as a voter.

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  • 205. At 2:47pm on 04 Nov 2008, endorfin wrote:

    #199

    Brilliant!

    When you next see a mirror, pick it up and have a look at the person who "genuine bloggers" think has a "modus operandi to attack the messenger rather than the issues".

    You, sir, are either a wind-up merchant or in need of help. I really hope it's the former.

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  • 206. At 2:48pm on 04 Nov 2008, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #191

    Please give the proof of cheating.

    You can argue about how the recount was administered but as the Florida Supreme court legislated from the bench, it had tobe stopped by the U.S Supreme court

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  • 207. At 2:49pm on 04 Nov 2008, RedWhiteandermblue wrote:

    How about "family values" meaning red family values?

    A couple of interesting books are out pointing out that it's the red states that lead in unwed pregnancy, STDs and divorce rates. Blue voters are the ones who raise children who raise children responsibly in an intact family unit.

    In practice, as exemplified by the Palin clan, family values mean swearing to stay abstinent as a teenager, breaking that pledge, not using a condom, and all too often getting pregnant, contracting an STD and/or putting a baby behind the eight ball as the child of either an unwed mother or a couple so young they're very likely to get divorced--in either case, greatly reducing the child's chances of economic, educational and marital success.

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  • 208. At 2:51pm on 04 Nov 2008, dceilar wrote:

    So it seems the Apathy Party will again be in the minority this year! Considering how easy it is to give them your support (i.e. do nothing) they must rethink their strategy if they want to be in the majority next time.

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  • 209. At 2:52pm on 04 Nov 2008, MichKelly wrote:

    ok, it's almost midnight. Going to bed, nervous that all this will be a cruel dream.

    Please America...do the right thing, the progressive thing, the peacful thing and elect a man who actually cares what other people thinks and doesn't believe God told him to impose his will on the world while the Haliburtons & Blackwater's reap the profits

    i'll be up at the crack of dawn. til then

    peace, out.

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  • 210. At 2:53pm on 04 Nov 2008, AndyW35 wrote:

    Time to pray? Taken from another blog

    ***************

    Father, in the name of Jesus, we come to You right now asking for a miracle in this election. Lord, we lift up to You right now Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin. Lord, we ask that You would just wrap Your arms around them and their families at this critical time. Father, we ask for miracle upon miracle in this election. We know that only You can turn the tide of evil in this election. Father, as we await the final days of the election, we ask in complete faith that You would allow the truth to be known across this land.

    Lord, we ask for forgiveness for putting You last…Father, please heal our land and homes, allow us to have another chance to love You the way you should be loved. Lord, we ask specifically for John and Sarah’s health, wisdom, words, actions and their campaign staff. Lord, we lift them all up to You now. Father, we also specifically ask for the voters in many states who are battleground states. Lord, please convict the hearts of voters in Florida, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, North Dakota, Virginia, Nevada and Colorado .

    Father we beg for every electoral vote. Lord, we lift all of our needs up to You now. In the name of Jesus we claim victory in Your name. Lord, we pray for Your will to be done in a mighty way…we know that this election can and will glorify You! Father, place the man you would have to lead our country in a Christian way on November 4. We love You, Lord. We await Your holy miracles…

    In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen.

    **********************

    Ironically Jesus worked on the personal level in Palestine and never really got involved in politics, so I think this person doesn't know their New Testament and their prayor will be in vain to an ambivalent God.

    Regards

    Andy

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  • 211. At 2:54pm on 04 Nov 2008, dceilar wrote:

    Just to remind you that if you have any problems voting tell Obama. And there's more info here.

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  • 212. At 2:55pm on 04 Nov 2008, SaintOne wrote:

    About #199

    #205

    He must be taking the p***, otherwise my faith in humanity will dwindle to new lows. In fact, I have lost the will to bother stating the obvious about his posts because he doesn't listen to anyone, or the truth for that matter.

    Please please please let it be a really bad, pathetic attempt at a joke!

    Peace

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  • 213. At 2:56pm on 04 Nov 2008, DougTexan wrote:

    The crazed among you seem to be able to find all forms of crime within the election.

    The system will work once again, wether one or the other find himself in office, the limitations are found in the standard political recipe:

    1. one cup of tribulation
    2. two egos, slighty beaten
    3. one tablespoon greed
    4. a sprinkle of unknown
    5. large serving of personality
    In a large bowl known as an event, add in egos, personalities and greed, slowly mix in the unknown while blending tribulation to a smooth texture. Place into oven of promises for four years or untill stale or given up on.

    Serve with crow to the electorate with a glass of whine, desert is humble pie.

    From the oven of DougTexan
    just words, just speeches

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  • 214. At 2:59pm on 04 Nov 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    One poster above claimed that we "had" to dpend on American leadership because they were the superpower, etc.


    I think it is very unwise to continue to depend upon American “leadership”, regardless of the present number of their aircraft carriers, or the fact that most speak a version of English.

    The fact that the Bush regime was elected twice suggests a fatal malaise in their system. That such a combination as McCain/Palin should be now offered indicates that the malaise persists. The charts would suggest that only the financial meltdown allowed a lead to Obama.

    The civilized must, repeat must, organize to function independently of any American “leadership”. That has been permanently forfeited, do to the situation obtaining within America. The hope offered by an Obama government would only be palliative, not curative.

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  • 215. At 3:01pm on 04 Nov 2008, tiptoplisamich wrote:

    How about taking a look at WHY we have various new voting machines.
    It's like that line from Jurassic Park--"Must go faster! Must go faster!!!"

    Must have results now, now, NOW!!! The media needs results---pollsters are out of patience---the WORLD is waiting!!!! (God knows it would be a crime against humanity to keep ANY of these three groups waiting.)

    As a result of this manic obsession to have instant information, who in their right mind is truly shocked that the results will be mishandled by machines that were put into play (due to NOW, NOW Demand!) without true accuracy testing?

    A paper ballot accompanied by a single pen and a voter's hand would eliminate this incompetency. If a voter cannot manage to place a black mark on a white sheet of paper, then the only fault assigned is to the actual voter. (By the way, THIS method actually leaves a paper trail :-)
    I voted this way in '04. It was quick, easy and painless. And, just for those conspiracy tin-foil-hats out there who just KNOW the Republicans are rigging this election, my state went for Kerry in '04.

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  • 216. At 3:02pm on 04 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    "The system will work once again" - DougTexan

    Given that the 2000 election was certainly stolen, and the 2004 one may well have been, what are the grounds for this smug complacency?

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  • 217. At 3:02pm on 04 Nov 2008, Feohme wrote:

    #199 ~ Magic

    OMG - I've been an 'Obama Operative' all of this time and never knew it!

    Just looking back through the blogs, it appears that I'm not the only one. Gee, I know the Obama campaign raised a lot of money, but I didn't realise that they had managed to buy:

    1. The entire population of Europe
    2. All Canadians
    3 Er...just about everyone else...

    Thank you magic - you've certainly opened my eyes. It seems none of the opinions I have been expressing are my own.

    I'm so glad that there has been one, brave, incorruptable, noble...etc individual out there who has been able to withstanding the brainwashing and the bribery long enough to show us the light.

    Now, if you would just care to step through into this nice padded room we've prepared....

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  • 218. At 3:02pm on 04 Nov 2008, oldnat wrote:

    #210 AndyW35

    Do you think

    "Lord, please convict the hearts of voters in Florida, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, North Dakota, Virginia, Nevada and Colorado ."
    was a typo and an appeal for Democrats to be sent to jail?

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  • 219. At 3:03pm on 04 Nov 2008, SaintOne wrote:

    To #210

    Looks like God is abandoning the republicans this election, no matter how hard they pray......

    If McCain pulls it back it would be a miracle, not one I'd be hoping for (although I have alot of respect for McCain himself). Why don't they prey on world peace, particularly in the middle east. Whoops I mean pray for.

    Peace

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  • 220. At 3:04pm on 04 Nov 2008, gunsandreligion wrote:

    AndyW35, that's a nice prayer.

    Obama is a false prophet. I know because I happen
    to be one of the real kind. I was the first of 100
    called to defeat him.

    Now, watch carefully. The Lord has told me
    that this election will be thrown into the courts,
    and decided in McCain's favor there.

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  • 221. At 3:07pm on 04 Nov 2008, timohio wrote:

    The reason why there might be problems at voting stations is that they are set up for a normal turnout of under half the registered voters and we're definitely going to get more than that today. If people voted regularly, polling stations would be set up to deal with the numbers, they would be budgeted for enough voting machines, and the lines would be shorter. And the more people who vote regularly, the more who are engaged in the electoral process and (hopefully) the more the winning candidate will accurately reflect the will of the electorate. So it's kind of a use it or lose it scenario.

    I voted before going to work. It was about an hour from the time my wife and I left our house until we got back, so not very long. My voting experience is always very positive. I've been voting at the same place for years. My district is very heterogeneous, so standing in line to vote I rub shoulders with quite a cross section of American society. Professionals in business suits, self-employed tradesmen, mothers with children, people in work clothes, college students, etc. And there is quite a bit of racial and ethnic diversity. Which makes me feel good about the process of the election.

    No-one in line to vote where I am ever seems to talk about politics; there seems to be an unwritten rule that debate is over and it's time to make a decision. Because it was early, people joked about selling their vote for a cup of coffee, but everyone was patient and upbeat. It was really very nice.

    The touchscreen systems used where I vote have paper backup, and people were given the alternative of paper ballots that are optically scanned. You can watch as the touchscreen system prints your ballot on paper tape, so I don't worry about machines flipping votes. There is never going to be a perfect way to tally the votes in a country as large as the US. The best you can hope for is to keep error within tight enough limits that is won't actually affect the outcome.

    Over the long haul, the electoral system itself corrects outrageous rigging of elections. In Ohio in 2004, there was widespread suspicion that the system had been tampered with to hand the election to Bush. People were unhappy enough that Republicans were voted out of statewide offices, including Secretary of State (who oversees elections). And I think that the Democrats who were elected in their place understand that rigging an election in the opposite direction would spark a counter-movement. So there is self-correction.

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  • 222. At 3:10pm on 04 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    DameMargaretThatcher/icetoyoa/MagicKirin@206,

    The cheating I'm talking about is primarily the illegal disqualification of voters http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2001/06/08/politics/main295656.shtml. The Supreme court compounded this by taking a political decision to stop the recounting process after the "hanging chads" fiasco.

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  • 223. At 3:11pm on 04 Nov 2008, DougTexan wrote:

    216. At 3:02pm on 04 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:
    "The system will work once again" - DougTexan

    Given that the 2000 election was certainly stolen, and the 2004 one may well have been, what are the grounds for this smug complacency?
    -----------------------------------------------------

    Neither of what you say has ever been proven, just a result of some sore losers. The electorate college is not 'stealing' the election.

    And you carry that baggage with you for nothing, cause you don't count

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  • 224. At 3:13pm on 04 Nov 2008, Mike Mullen wrote:

    #220 Gunsandreligion:

    "Now, watch carefully. The Lord has told me
    that this election will be thrown into the courts,
    and decided in McCain's favor there."

    If the election does end up in the Supreme Court it won't be the work of god, more like his 'opposition party', come think of it their leader is usually portrayed as red...

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  • 225. At 3:15pm on 04 Nov 2008, gareth423 wrote:


    DameMaggieThatcher wrote:
    Democratic Paranoia!

    Considering several Republican campaign workers went to prison last time, it's not paranoia.
    The tactics that are 'legal' are astounding.
    Ex-campaigners state one tactic is to use someone with a 'threatening ghetto' voice to call up obvious 'white' voters (names ending in ski etc in the phone book) and campaign for the black candidate, in order to hopefully spark the inner bigot.

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  • 226. At 3:16pm on 04 Nov 2008, timohio wrote:

    re: 219. SaintOne:

    I think God is on the side of the Democrats in Ohio today, because the weather is warm and gorgeous. That supposedly boosts turnout of Democratic voters.

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  • 227. At 3:17pm on 04 Nov 2008, Mark_WE wrote:

    icetayoa wrote:
    I have nothing but love for most of Mcains detractors on this site.

    I know they are Obama operatives, and their sole mission is to monitor, interrupt and flood most major news media and blogs with their jaundiced views.


    Likewise I feel that many of the McCain supporters on this site are also Obama operatives.

    Mainly because some of them come out with such a totally distorted view of reality then most sane people would think twice before voting for McCain.

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  • 228. At 3:18pm on 04 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    In 2004 I'm talking about Ohio: the deliberate under-provision of voting machines, once again dirty tricks to disqualify legitimate voters, and malfunctioning of the machines themselves. The disparity between exit polls and the final "result", and the numerous other anomalies, were statistically incredible. See http://harpers.org/archive/2005/08/0080696.

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  • 229. At 3:20pm on 04 Nov 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    with spelling corrections:

    I think it is very unwise to continue to depend upon American “leadership”, regardless of the present number of their aircraft carriers, or the fact that most speak a version of English.

    The fact that the Bush regime was elected twice suggests a fatal malaise in their system. That such a combination as McCain/Palin should be now offered indicates that the malaise persists. The charts would suggest that only the financial meltdown allowed a lead to Obama.

    The civilized must, repeat must, organize to function independently of any American “leadership”. That has been permanently forfeited; due to the situation obtaining within America. The hope offered by an Obama government would only be palliative, not curative.

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  • 230. At 3:22pm on 04 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    DougTexan@223
    See my 222. The EC is monstrously undemocratic - and of course devised by the "founding fathers" to keep the lower classes from having too much influence - but as you say, this lack of democracy is quite legal.

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  • 231. At 3:23pm on 04 Nov 2008, gareth423 wrote:

    The current version of the Republican party needs to get trounced so they can claim their party back from the religious extremists. They let them get too cosy when they needed them in 2000, and they are now paying the price.
    Sarah Palin puts the Alas in Alaska.

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  • 232. At 3:26pm on 04 Nov 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    # 224

    The Supreme Court will do as Scalia did and support McCain.

    Four of the nine have alread committed themselves to the "unitary executive" or President with unlimited power.

    Too many here have been too busy chasing chimeras to take notice of the "unitary presidency" doctrine.

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  • 233. At 3:26pm on 04 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    RedWhiteandermblue@200,

    Thanks, I stand corrected, and am happy to acknowledge that DMT/icetoyoa/MK's record remains unblemished by a single correct statement!

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  • 234. At 3:27pm on 04 Nov 2008, frayedcat wrote:

    Why should the great American tradition of voter interference and manipulation stop now?
    I had no faith, once I pushed the electronic confirm button and the machine winked out, that my vote actually went anywhere to be counted. But I never felt too confident that the little piece of paper, once I chucked in the little black box, actually went anywhere either.
    On the other hand, I was proud to see the lines - turnout is great. Admittedly our line wouldn't have been so long if the sweet little old lady voluteers weren't compelled to chat with each other and everyone else in the place between checking the lists.

    Here's hoping the little old lady volunteers tow the line and are as tough and honest as they look!

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  • 235. At 3:33pm on 04 Nov 2008, U13672791 wrote:

    Gareth423 at #225

    Oooh! you must have seen Real Time with Bill Maher too.

    Best,

    Maggie

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  • 236. At 3:35pm on 04 Nov 2008, Mark_WE wrote:

    DougTexan wrote:
    216. At 3:02pm on 04 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:
    "The system will work once again" - DougTexan

    Given that the 2000 election was certainly stolen, and the 2004 one may well have been, what are the grounds for this smug complacency?
    -----------------------------------------------------

    Neither of what you say has ever been proven, just a result of some sore losers. The electorate college is not 'stealing' the election.


    I think most fair people would admit that there was something wrong in Floridia in 2000.

    And when it came down to it the election was won in one state that was won by (I think) less then a thousand votes (out of a few million) and within the same state thousand of legals voters were removed from the electoral roll because there names were like a felon.

    I think that fair republicans would agree that Gore probably would have won if:

    1. Gore voters weren't confused by the format of the voting paper (not that this could be blamed on the Republicans at all - the Democrats came up with the paper and the party agreed to it)

    2. Likely democrat voters were turned away after being struck off the electoral list

    However, I don't agree that the vote was stolen but mistakes were made (and it did look bad that it was in a state run by the eventual winner's brother).

    However the Democrats only asked for hand recounts in the districts that they expected to do best in - so they hardly were saints.

    Of course other states were also close and I believe that the Republicans could have asked for recounts in states won by Gore - but they didn't.

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  • 237. At 3:46pm on 04 Nov 2008, Simon21 wrote:

    199. At 2:36pm on 04 Nov 2008, icetayoa wrote:
    I have nothing but love for most of Mcains detractors on this site.

    I know they are Obama operatives, and their sole mission is to monitor, interrupt and flood most major news media and blogs with their jaundiced views.

    their modus operandi is to attack the messenger, rather than address the issues. they normally resort to name calling, bullying and other childish antics in order to make you look foolish in the estimation of other genuine bloggers."


    Works though doesn't it?


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  • 238. At 3:51pm on 04 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Meanwhile..... The markets seem cheery at the prospect.

    Peace and Bull (in both senses) Markets
    ed

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  • 239. At 3:51pm on 04 Nov 2008, Sinius wrote:

    I am one American/Texan that welcomes your comments. Unlike some who wish to be arrogant and isolationist. I thank you Brits and our other European cousins for your patience, friendship and support.

    Please standby while we attempt to install a new operating system.....

    May the Force be with us!

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  • 240. At 3:52pm on 04 Nov 2008, icetayoa wrote:

    a couple of this posts are dead give a ways that some comments on this post are part of the huge propaganda war, the Obama camp have unleashed on news sites and blogs.

    take this comment for example from #226

    I think God is on the side of the Democrats in Ohio today, because the weather is warm and gorgeous. That supposedly boosts turnout of Democratic voters. ?????

    i dont get this? a certain type of weather favours democratic voters than repubs?

    I dont mind Obama's operatives being on this board, but for God's sake, they ought to come up with more intelligent posts than this?


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  • 241. At 3:53pm on 04 Nov 2008, SaintOne wrote:

    At # 227 - Mark

    So true :)


    And as for the elections being stolen in previous years, on the plus side we are going to appreciate a more competent , intelligent president (whoever wins) than we might have done otherwise. Although that should be a given.

    Peace

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  • 242. At 3:58pm on 04 Nov 2008, Clare_Lane wrote:

    This is a travesty and if another election is stolen by the Republicans, I will be on the front lines of protest. This is America, and its time we stand up for our rights.

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  • 243. At 4:00pm on 04 Nov 2008, SaintOne wrote:

    To #240, aka the ever "insightful" Ice

    If you read to what post he was refering to, and the post that was refering to, you would understand.

    And you can talk about intelligent posts!

    Numpty!

    Peace

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  • 244. At 4:01pm on 04 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    just one more time for the electronic voting machines. funny last night I heard a guy from the industry saying how there was not time to fix their system to give a paper trail.
    8 years not enough?
    or was it the effort.
    As to how it goes in the UK I know this much.
    It is over the next day and the PM either gets to stay or get the movers in quick.

    From the time the election is called to the time it is over takes less time than it takes to count the votes here sometimes.

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  • 245. At 4:01pm on 04 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    And the "Serious Money"? More accurate than the polls, but more accurate than Nate Silver?

    Peace and Profit
    ed

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  • 246. At 4:03pm on 04 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    2. At 02:46am on 04 Nov 2008, SunshinePlus wrote:
    The solution is mail in paper ballots for everyone. No lines.
    No confusion.
    Easy to count.
    Instructions given on TV, radio, and by phone.
    It is a win/win.
    ------------------------------
    Nice sentiments but what about abusive households.

    "No one has unduly influenced the vote you are making"

    Hard with Hubby standing over you drunk, patriotic and ready to make sure his family don't vote the wrong way.

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  • 247. At 4:08pm on 04 Nov 2008, bluepaddy13 wrote:

    26. At 05:25am on 04 Nov 2008, TimothyR444 wrote:

    "We trust that America will come back to the rest of the World and say - 'sorry, we messed up - we have a new begining and we will get it right now'. Be humble - be right, do the right thing America and place your trust in Obama. Then come to Dubai in March with more than 700 other business leaders to the World CEO Forum www.worldceoforum.com and we will welcome you to do business in the fastest and most exciting economy in the World. We look forward to doing business with you again."

    Spare me, jamesagee.

    Be humble and beg your forgiveness? And then you may allow us to speak to you again?

    That's very nice of you - but no thanks. That seems to assume that you and your nation are perfect in every way.

    This idea that Americans are uniquely guilty and that all other nations are inherently perfect is nonsense.

    *********************************

    And why would anyone "place your trust in Obama. " I truly feel sorry for the people so naive that they would do such a stupid thing. The only sad thing is "if" he wins, it will not be very long before we are going to say "I told you so" this is going to be the biggest mistake American voters could ever make, voting in obama

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  • 248. At 4:09pm on 04 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    mark we

    I agree with all you say it seems.
    A comment you make makes me think again about how Biias the right are. It is this "thousand of legals voters were removed from the electoral roll because there names were like a felon."

    Does that mean that all people called TED STEVENS will get purged as well this time?

    ;)

    So now Ted can't vote right?

    Still he says he was not convicted of anything.

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  • 249. At 4:10pm on 04 Nov 2008, bluepaddy13 wrote:

    242. At 3:58pm on 04 Nov 2008, Clare_Lane wrote:

    This is a travesty and if another election is stolen by the Republicans, I will be on the front lines of protest. This is America, and its time we stand up for our rights........................

    Oh grow up, no election has been stolen YET

    Acorn is doing its best to try and do so, but it has not happened yet.

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  • 250. At 4:10pm on 04 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Respect!

    Peace and a little rest
    ed

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  • 251. At 4:12pm on 04 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    Is it true the military cancelled leave for all forces?

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  • 252. At 4:13pm on 04 Nov 2008, Feohme wrote:

    #240

    Sorry magic - I think you need to look into that a bit more closely.

    It's long been held as a political truism in this country that good weather on polling day favours the Labour Party (working class are least likely to own cars / be bothered to go out and vote in bad weather).

    I suspect it is true in some of the inner city Democratic heartlands as well - so that seems like a reasonable comment (as to whether God is responsible, I'll leave the less rational to decide).

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  • 253. At 4:17pm on 04 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    Ice head

    "I dont mind Obama's operatives being on this board, but for God's sake, they ought to come up with more intelligent posts than this?"

    you're in company with mostly erroneous and the gherkin . really you should stop referring to others as not being intelligent.

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  • 254. At 4:21pm on 04 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    239. At 3:51pm on 04 Nov 2008, Sinius wrote:

    Good luck on the new O.S.

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  • 255. At 4:24pm on 04 Nov 2008, Ohio43202 wrote:

    I voted in Columbus (Ohio) this morning. I got to the polling station at about 0615. Polls opened at 0630. I left the building at 0733. We had the option of a machine readable paper ballot if the wait was long, but I chose electronic voting (which does have a recorded paper receipt inside). Checking ID and getting you signed in takes a short while and then there were several other offices and issues to decide on.

    The stories about long waits in previous Ohio elections are absolutely true and not everyone has the opportunity to stand in line that long. However, this time around anyone could vote early either by mail or in person at a central location. Lines were long there, too, but they were even open on the weekend.

    My only complaint was about the sign-in table. It's split alphabetically, so two lines were formed. A couple right in front of me split when the polls opened. She (L-Z) got through in half an hour. For us (A-K) it was an hour.

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  • 256. At 4:30pm on 04 Nov 2008, DisgustedOfMitcham2 wrote:

    #239:

    Pleased to hear it! Looking forward to a lot more friendship and support if you get the right result today.

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  • 257. At 4:30pm on 04 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    Ice for brains .

    their modus operandi is to attack the messenger, rather than address the issues. they normally resort to name calling, bullying and other childish antics in order to make you look foolish in the estimation of other genuine bloggers."


    I prefer to start with name calling hence the mod attention.
    More honest that way.

    As to Childish.
    There is nothing as childish as risking the future of your country because of team spirit when you team is so morally bankrupt.
    Incompetent and divisive.

    The main theme of their champaign is a lie based on "shareing wealth" now. A plumber(not a good one eitherright.If he was good he would be rich because america always rewards those that work and are good,Right?)

    So kid go lick your lolly.
    (mods don't read anything into that)

    Get a bumper pack at the Halloween sales you might need them

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  • 258. At 4:42pm on 04 Nov 2008, Jackturk wrote:

    Here in the UK if we had to wait more than a few minutes to vote we would DEMAND that it be improved.

    If we were left off the voting register we would DEMAND that we be registered.

    If there was any hint of electoral fraud we would DEMAND that there be a police investigation.

    Americans should protect their rights far more forcibly than they seem to.

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  • 259. At 4:43pm on 04 Nov 2008, SaintOne wrote:

    To #239 and #256

    Now why can't everyone be kind, polite and generally friendly and optimistic towards each other and the future like that?

    Let's hope the American-European (in particular the UK) relationship improves and we don't all jump head first into silly wars etc.

    Peace!

    and hell, why not love too!

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  • 260. At 4:45pm on 04 Nov 2008, Cassandra wrote:

    As an Oregonian/American I second the sentiments in #239.

    As to one person's assertion that some here are "Obama operatives"... I'm for Truth, Justice and The American Way, so maybe that does make me an Obama operative.

    It certainly puts me into the position of being diametrically opposed to the Tax Breaks For The Rich righties who think compromising civil liberties is patriotic and dissemination of rumors as truth is a campaign strategy.

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  • 261. At 4:49pm on 04 Nov 2008, endorfin wrote:

    Last time I had to vote (for the London mayor) it took, oooh, about seven seconds for me to be handed my election papers and another thirty seconds to complete my vote.

    Parking the car took a lot longer, but the whole thing was accomplished - in and out - in around five minutes.

    Longest it's ever taken (council, general election at the same time).....perhaps ten minutes.

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  • 262. At 4:49pm on 04 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    210 this prayer it seems it could also be read as for Obama.Now maybe God will be nice and see it that way.


    Father, in the name of Jesus, we come to You right now asking for a miracle in this election. Lord, we lift up to You right now Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin.
    ----------------------
    as a sacrifice?
    ----------------
    Lord, we ask that You would just wrap Your arms around them and their families at this critical time.
    ---------------
    That seems harsh. now those blood thirsty dems want the whole family to "feel the embrace" of God?
    --------------------

    Father, we ask for miracle upon miracle in this election. We know that only You can turn the tide of evil in this election.
    --------------
    Stop the GOP evil hate and devision?
    --------------------------------
    Father, as we await the final days of the election, we ask in complete faith that You would allow the truth to be known across this land.
    ------
    fox ain't news and the Gop are not nice, conservative or compassionate?
    --------------------------

    Lord, we ask for forgiveness for putting You last?Father, please heal our land and homes, allow us to have another chance to love You the way you should be loved.
    -----------------------------------
    By worshipping greed and building Over Gods creation?
    ---------------------
    Lord, we ask specifically for John and Sarah?s health, wisdom, words, actions and their campaign staff.
    ------------------------
    Dirty dems coveting the health of others?
    ----------------------------
    Lord, we lift them all up to You now.
    ----------------------------
    Please take them get rid of them?
    --------------------------
    Father, we also specifically ask for the voters in many states who are battleground states. Lord, please convict the hearts of voters in Florida, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, North Dakota, Virginia, Nevada and Colorado .
    --------------------------------
    Bit state ist hardly democratic?
    -------------------------------------
    Father we beg for every electoral vote. Lord, we lift all of our needs up to You now. In the name of Jesus we claim victory in Your name.
    ----------------------------------
    Not Palins cruesade?the GOP and last Mc Cain?
    -----------------------------
    Lord, we pray for Your will to be done in a mighty way?we know that this election can and will glorify You! Father, place the man you would have to lead our country in a Christian way on November 4.
    --------
    Obama
    ------------
    We love You, Lord. We await Your holy miracles?

    In Jesus? Name we pray, Amen.

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  • 263. At 4:50pm on 04 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    Mc Palin
    Sounds like a real bad burger

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  • 264. At 4:55pm on 04 Nov 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    I sure hope touch-screen voting is on the way out. I'm no technophobe - I've been in the combuter industry for decades and used many touch-screen devices. If my county used these, I would ask for a paper ballot.

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  • 265. At 5:02pm on 04 Nov 2008, gunsandreligion wrote:

    The whole touch screen thing means that the
    machines are taking over.

    If the Daleks do take over, I'm headed for the
    nearest TARDIS.

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  • 266. At 5:03pm on 04 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    258. At 4:42pm on 04 Nov 2008, Jackturk wrote:
    the truth
    ---------------
    I would add ,and plan on 100% turn out ,just in case.


    part of the problem though is nothing to do with machines.

    Oregon has 30 or 40 issues to vote on ,it is postal so there is not such a rush.

    we get to vote for our sheriff (no one contesting a vote for one only and no vote against him.
    WHY

    Lots of democracy in action. Not Bad but makes the whole election selection process take longer.
    Too long

    Many of these issues are clouded in not plain english and just confuse people ( there is more information available in a 60 page pamphlet) Not so fun reading through the arguments.
    Many time measures are put forward that are very similar to another so as to get the confusion up further.
    "well which one is it that had the provision I was after?"

    All this in a line with patient people who have waited for hours.

    No wonder the line get long.

    November just vote for President and state races.
    Forget the local municipal water person.
    the bent cop.
    the local building permit guy.
    sort that out later.

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  • 267. At 5:04pm on 04 Nov 2008, jlarkin wrote:

    I voted for the first time in the British elections of 1981 or 82, I think I voted Labour but I'm not sure now. I DO know that it did me no good at all. Since then I haven't voted and my life has improved no end

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  • 268. At 5:04pm on 04 Nov 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    David_Cunard (#15), the numbers don't add up to 50 because some states use more than one type of voting equipment.

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  • 269. At 5:08pm on 04 Nov 2008, David Cunard wrote:

    #99. british-is: "The Beeb can't really check via ISP's. I'm pretty sure it would breach the Data Protection Act."

    I'm not familiar with computer programming (would that it was otherwise) but I would have thought some kind of ID would be available for a single computer, regardless of the e-mail address. I can see that having more than one PC (Mac!) would create a different source, but since each computer is unique, there should be a way of identifying it, after all, the information is gathered by businesses. Perhaps multiple "personalities: are so rare that it just isn't worth installing whatever would resolve the issue - with any luck, next week the offenders will have gone away.

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  • 270. At 5:13pm on 04 Nov 2008, Jackturk wrote:

    What puzzles me, is that even though Americans are lax with their own rights, they are more than willing to invade other countries to protect outsider's rights???

    No offence to those to whom this does not apply.

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  • 271. At 5:21pm on 04 Nov 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    englishmaninmadrid (#127), paper ballots don't take long to count if they are designed for optical scanning. This is the most reliable means of voting in use today. We mark a ballot printed on heavy paper with an ordinary dark pen, drawing a line to connect two end markers. These are normally scanned by machine, but if a recount is required, they can be read and counted manually.

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  • 272. At 5:21pm on 04 Nov 2008, David Cunard wrote:

    #220. gunsandreligion: "The Lord has told me
    that this election will be thrown into the courts,
    and decided in McCain's favor there."

    If you're really serious and sure of the result, then be prepared for some bloodshed. This year voters - and especially the young and those those of colour - are not going to take such a result laying down. It will not be a pretty sight.
    However, if you're so sure that 'the Lord' knows what is about to happen, why hasn't he/she/it ensured that the vote goes to Mr McCain in the first place?

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  • 273. At 5:24pm on 04 Nov 2008, bondwardrobe wrote:

    I think the main difference is that in the UK there is just one question on the election ballot - Which Party do you want to vote for? It takes seconds to tick the box and place your vote. In the US there are often many, many other questions on the ballot and it takes much longer to fill in the ballot - therefore much longer queues. Why not keep the Presidential elections separate from other referenda thus speeding up the voting process?

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  • 274. At 5:25pm on 04 Nov 2008, Stephen Derry wrote:

    131: DameMaggie

    "We just need to make sure that the democratic voters are legal, not deceased, not fictitious."

    How dare you try to argue that votes cast by people who are since deceased are invalid! That is highly insensitive and also contrary to current election law (at least in Hawaii).

    -------

    In respect of the 2000 and 2004 elections, I believe the Democrats were justified in being sore losers after the 2000 election. They lost by 537 votes in a single state of 10 million voters with decisive evidence that all the votes cast had not been counted. In any other democracy parties to such a close poll would almost certainly have an automatic legal right to a recount built into the electoral system.

    All efforts the Democrats made to get the votes counted were resisted by the Republican administration in Florida (allegedly using at times questionable tactics, hence the accusation of "stealing") and ultimately by the conservative Supreme Court.

    There is a valid grievance there, when subsequent evidence indicates that had every valid voter's voting intention in Florida been accurately registered and counted, the Democrats would have won (although as it turns out, a recount of actual votes cast in just the 4 counties requested would not have changed the result).

    As far as I am aware, any suspicious activity in the 2004 election would have had absolutely no bearing on the result. Republicans won that one unquestionably.

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  • 275. At 5:29pm on 04 Nov 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    Onirus (#152), we do have a fair system, if not the most efficient. Before you question our system of electint the president, you should learn something about how it works, and then say specifically what you find wrong with it.

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  • 276. At 5:31pm on 04 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    17. At 04:26am on 04 Nov 2008, hainesoides wrote:
    Why have touch-screen machines? Why can't voters just press a button?



    Not flashy or uninteractive.;)

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  • 277. At 5:40pm on 04 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    39. At 06:17am on 04 Nov 2008, Blimmineck wrote:
    PS - you really are reading an awful, awful lot into my comments that simply isn't there.

    And yes, if a referendum on an act of union with the US was held, I would support it. Paying US taxes instead of Australian ones would be one of many attractions.

    So would adding 22m somewhat more sensible voters to your pool...

    (OK - that one WAS me being nasty!) ;p ------------------------


    That wasn't nasty

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  • 278. At 5:41pm on 04 Nov 2008, tricia79 wrote:

    #270
    The right or will of American voters to vote or not to vote is none of your business, and I don't care that you meant to offend my brother instead of me.

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  • 279. At 5:43pm on 04 Nov 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    bondwardrobe (#273), because that would increase the cost and trouble of elections. And by the way, there is a difference between a "referendum" and an "initiative," which the BBC (in its reporting wlsewhere on this site) seem not to understand. A referendum is an act of the legislature which is referred to the people; an initiative originates with the people. Most of the propositions on our California ballot are initiatives, not referenda.

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  • 280. At 5:49pm on 04 Nov 2008, gunsandreligion wrote:

    #272, David_C, we might have bloodshed either way.
    It's unfortunate that the country has gone down the
    road that it has. This is how the Weimar Republic
    fell.

    I could say more about "why," but then you would
    want to know everything about the US, such as
    why there is an eye floating above the pyramid
    on the dollar bill, but even I don't know the answer
    to that.

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  • 281. At 6:01pm on 04 Nov 2008, Cassandra wrote:

    Re 270

    No offense taken. Knowing what's 'right' for everyone else is a Conservative weakness.

    Those of us who knew what would happen if Bush dragged us into Iraq actually did contact our elected officials and rally in public places (we had righties driving by and shouting insults), and speak out to everyone who'd listen. We we're called unpatriotic by the [insult deleted] who believed the Bush administration and the cookie-cutter media. Liberal media my [name of body part censored.].

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  • 282. At 6:01pm on 04 Nov 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    hainesoides (#17), a touch-screen system is a button, although a virtual one. Technologists prefer virtual buttons to physical ones in any situation where the function of the button changes. The functions change in every election, and with a long ballot (common in many jurisdictions), from page to page (or screen to screen) in one election.

    I believe that most of the failures with touch screens are innocent, not malicious. As some have suggested, a voter can inadvertantly trigger a cell adjacent to the one selected, causing the vote to change, and assume the machine is doing it by itself. That's enough reason not to use this system, as far as I am concerned. A voting machine should be usable by almost everybody without difficulty, so people have confidence in the system.

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  • 283. At 6:02pm on 04 Nov 2008, british-ish wrote:

    I was interested to read 255 (an hour), 57 (20 minutes). . .

    Now we Brits I'm afraid, for all our supposed addiction to queuing (something that only actually dates from WWII, apparently) would consider even 20 minutes rather a long time. and an hour outrageous.

    (See the Returning Officer's post 110.)

    Now if only Timothy R444 and lacycm were still around, but as their ilk do, they just turned up long enough to deliver a rant and disappeared when challenged and disposed of.

    Speaking of which, I am happy to disclose to icet... and others that I received a cheque from a Mr Obama this morning. Postmarked 'Caracas'.

    Unfortunately it was made out to 'Mrs R Squirrel' so I won't be able to cash it. Anyway, it was in roubles.

    (There was also an invitation from someone called Paling to attend at a court hearing to answer charges of being a 'terrierist' in some place called Wassailing or something. Never heard of either of them.)

    Obama's "Big Kitty' eh? I've mislaid that post. Knew he was a decent sort. The Squirrel Party will be making overtures tomorrow.

    (Oh, and back to elections; for the paranoid androids like icetea, MAII, Maggie and so on: in case people didn't know, here we have a policeman outside every polling station to make sure we vote for the 'right' party. You can see the proof of that in any photo of a British polling station. Go to Google Images and see for yourselves!)




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  • 284. At 6:04pm on 04 Nov 2008, timohio wrote:

    re. 240. icetayoa:

    "i dont get this? a certain type of weather favours democratic voters than repubs? "

    It may be no more than political folklore, but supposedly bad weather supresses turnout from Democratic voters. Look here:

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2121061/posts

    And although I voted for Obama, I am not an operative. It is beyond silly to think that anyone who expresses a positive opinion about Obama in a blog is an operative. Next you're going to say that everyone who votes for the guy is an operative.

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  • 285. At 6:04pm on 04 Nov 2008, Jackturk wrote:

    278 Tricia79

    Don't tempt me!

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  • 286. At 6:06pm on 04 Nov 2008, Cassandra wrote:

    278

    WRONG

    As long as the actions of any government has such far-reaching results, their actions are definitely the business of any country (and its citizens) affected.

    Men and women from the UK died because of Bush's lies.

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  • 287. At 6:16pm on 04 Nov 2008, gunsandreligion wrote:

    #283, british-ish, I'll swap you a check from
    Nigeria for your check from Caracas. I am friendly
    with a squirrel who can forge any signature,
    as long as I pay him in almonds.

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  • 288. At 6:19pm on 04 Nov 2008, Jackturk wrote:

    281 nessie1945

    Thanks nessie I share your anger.

    By the way, you can say 'arse' on the BBC the Royle family use it all the time ;-)

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  • 289. At 6:28pm on 04 Nov 2008, timohio wrote:

    re. 269. David_Cunard wrote:

    "I'm not familiar with computer programming (would that it was otherwise) but I would have thought some kind of ID would be available for a single computer, regardless of the e-mail address."

    Computers connected to the internet have an IP (Internet Protocol) address. If every computer had what is called a static IP address (one that is permanent), what you describe would be possible. However, many systems use a dynamic IP address, assigned randomly whenever a computer connected to the service is turned on and logs in. Users with a cable model, for example, have a dynamic IP address. Similarly, web sites can set cookies, which are bits of code stored in a web browser, so a user can be identified in the future. That's how Amazon.com knows what you bought in the past and can make suggestions about what you might like to buy in a new visit.

    Individual computers don't have IDs assigned to them that can be queried remotely. Unless there is a dark conspiracy out there that I don't know about. Which is possible but not really necessary.

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  • 290. At 6:32pm on 04 Nov 2008, british-ish wrote:

    131: DameMaggie

    "We just need to make sure that the democratic voters are legal, not deceased, not fictitious."

    Illegal, fictitious or dead voters are OK if they're Republican, are they?

    But aren't a lot of the rabid right wing, perfectly properly, disqualified from voting? Being obviously dead from the neck up?

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  • 291. At 6:42pm on 04 Nov 2008, Cassandra wrote:

    BTW, a report on CNN quotes Palin as saying she prays that she'll wake up as VP.

    If her prayers and the prayers of her followers are not answered, I hope they'll see it as God's will. And if it's God's will that Obama be president, I also hope she'll call for her minions to give him their support.

    But I doubt it. It seems to me that many religious people see their opinions and prejudices as "God's will."

    This is a non-denominational observation. It crosses racial and religious barriers.

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  • 292. At 6:46pm on 04 Nov 2008, timohio wrote:

    re. 273. bondwardrobe:

    "Why not keep the Presidential elections separate from other referenda thus speeding up the voting process?"

    Because a larger number of elections increases the cost and probably decreases the percentage of voters casting ballots.

    In my voting this morning, I had the presidential election, a congressional election, several judgeships, several tax levies, a couple of proposed state constitutional amendments, etc. etc. If each of those groups of choices required a separate election, the cost would go up quite a bit and people would get election fatigue. Turnout is always better for presidential elections than for so-called off-year elections or even for primaries, for example. We have a hard enough time getting people to vote as it is. Let's not make it more unpopular.

    As far as the voting process, I think that voters in other countries underestimate the size of the task in tabulating the vote in the US. Remember, the UK is about the size of one middle-sized American state. We used to use mechanical voting booths that were quite wonderful in their archaic complexity. I sort of miss them, actually. There was a finality and gravity in pulling the final lever that registered your vote and opened the curtain that gave the process a momentous quality. Those had their problems too, but it was the length of time it took to tabulate the results that led to experiments with optically scanned paper ballots and now touch-screens.

    The touchscreen system I used this morning had a printed paper backup, so I feel pretty comfortable with it. And anyone who wanted one was given a paper ballot instead, which seems like a good compromise.

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  • 293. At 6:50pm on 04 Nov 2008, john-In-Dublin wrote:

    # 199 icetayoa wrote:

    "I have nothing but love for most of Mcains detractors on this site./ I know they are Obama operatives, and their sole mission is to monitor, interrupt and flood most major news media and blogs with their jaundiced views."

    This is a lie. You 'know' no such thing. You clearly have nothing but hate for Obama and his supporters. This is why you falsely accuse them/us of being 'operatives', when in most cases [probably all] it is clear that we are nothing more than concerned citizens of the world. Essentially you are accusing us of being liars. [And if we were really trying to spread propaganda, surely we'd be doing it on US sites.]

    You of course are the person posting under at least 2 separate aliases.

    "their modus operandi is to attack the messenger, rather than address the issues. they normally resort to name calling, bullying and other childish antics in order to make you look foolish in the estimation of other genuine bloggers."

    We have no need for such methods.

    We don't need to "make you look foolish in the estimation of other genuine bloggers."

    You're doing a swell job all on your own.


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  • 294. At 6:53pm on 04 Nov 2008, Jackturk wrote:

    Nessie, the Royle family, enjoy :-)

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=8KdtgoSCXpU

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  • 295. At 7:03pm on 04 Nov 2008, british-ish wrote:

    287.gunsandreligion wrote:

    "#283, british-ish, I'll swap you a check from Nigeria for your check from Caracas. I am friendly with a squirrel who can forge any signature, as long as I pay him in almonds."

    I utterly refute the notion that any squirrel would stoop to forgery. Or some people will be claiming to have seen squirrels registering fake Democratic votes all over the place. You know what they're like.

    (I'll be in touch.)

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  • 296. At 7:12pm on 04 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    "We just need to make sure that the democratic voters are legal, not deceased, not fictitious


    but we don't have to check the republicans ,Right?

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  • 297. At 7:26pm on 04 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    269
    banning one computer would result in the rest of the family being banned.
    a form of collective punishment ,in a way.
    computers are not all personal and internet cafe's would be no access areas if I visited them

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  • 298. At 7:27pm on 04 Nov 2008, timohio wrote:

    re. 131: DameMaggie and 290: british-ish:

    The whole idea of illegal Democratic (or Republican) voters is just a red herring dreamed up by conspiracy theorists.

    In my state, you have to show valid ID in order to vote. Even if there were massive numbers of fictitious voters registered, there would have to be an equally massive fraud conspiracy at the Department of Motor Vehicles and other government agencies issuing the IDs. And I do think someone would notice that.

    So even if a group like ACORN intentionally registered fake voters (which I doubt), it wouldn't result in enough extra votes to swing an election. Which is what we're talking about here. The system can tolerate a few fakes as long as it doesn't change the result.

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  • 299. At 7:27pm on 04 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    290 sweet

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  • 300. At 7:32pm on 04 Nov 2008, timohio wrote:

    re. 269. David_Cunard:

    Regarding IP addresses: I forgot to mention that a single computer (meaning a single IP address in a static IP system) can have several users with different logins. So it wouldn't be possible to screen users by IP address.

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  • 301. At 7:36pm on 04 Nov 2008, DWLake08 wrote:

    "..What happens in the UK? I cannot remember, to be honest..."

    What do you mean you can't remember!? Justin I respect your sentimentality towards America, and I've got used to you bigging up McCain's chances, but I can't accept you showing such disrespect to your own country's electoral system. This should be burnt into your consciousness. You get a slip of paper with the candidates' names on. You walk into a booth. All that's in there is a wooden surface and a pencil tied to a bit of string. You put an X by your favoured candidate. It doesn't sound much but I get emotional even thinking about it.

    Oh and something else for the land of hanging chads and crashing machines to consider...

    IT WORKS

    you can't remember....

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  • 302. At 7:37pm on 04 Nov 2008, british-ish wrote:

    210.AndyW35 wrote:

    "Time to pray? Taken from another blog."

    Well, no-one can say McCain and Palin 'don't have a prayer', can they?

    Will the author turn atheist if 'the truth' turns out to be inconvenient?

    And, being rather better acquainted now with the 'Religious Right' (thanks to this blog) than I was, I can't help being suspicious of the kind of 'miracle' the author has in mind.

    (Slightly dazed.)

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  • 303. At 7:50pm on 04 Nov 2008, Cassandra wrote:


    Apart from the relief at not being bombarded with political ads (oh the joy of returning to personal product ads being shown as I'm preparing a meal!) I'm going to miss reading comments from some of you. Like #290 for instance. Political wit is the best kind, though sadly lacking from the deadly dullness and dead seriousness of so many of the 'right.'

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  • 304. At 8:08pm on 04 Nov 2008, british-ish wrote:

    I've been reading up reports of what's happening on the ground on line, and frankly, some of it is shocking, because it's simply down to lack of forethought and planning and some of it scandalous, amounting almost to manipulation.

    And why all these thousands of lawyers flying here there and everywhere?

    Seems to me a lot of this could be avoided if the people who were in charge of organising the actual elections were like our Returning Officers and not elected on party grounds.

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  • 305. At 8:23pm on 04 Nov 2008, british-ish wrote:

    291. nessie1945 wrote:

    BTW, a report on CNN quotes Palin as saying she prays that she'll wake up as VP.

    Ah. I read that prayer for McCain and Palin too that someone posted in the previous thread. So voters don't count then. Thought not.

    If I were religious, I think I'd be praying she neverwo . . .

    No, scrub that. You know, that sort of thing is catching?



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  • 306. At 8:24pm on 04 Nov 2008, jimk60 wrote:

    Isn't it time we heard from you again Justin old buddy? No word for four and a half hours on such a night is poor value for the licence payers' money, eh what?

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  • 307. At 8:29pm on 04 Nov 2008, british-ish wrote:

    292. At 6:46pm on 04 Nov 2008, timohio wrote:

    "I think that voters in other countries underestimate the size of the task in tabulating the vote in the US. Remember, the UK is about the size of one middle-sized American state."

    Well, yes, but with a population of a little over 60 million. Anyway, think of India.


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  • 308. At 8:38pm on 04 Nov 2008, british-ish wrote:

    292. timohio wrote:

    "We used to use mechanical voting booths that were quite wonderful in their archaic complexity. I sort of miss them, actually. There was a finality and gravity in pulling the final lever that registered your vote and opened the curtain that gave the process a momentous quality."

    You mean like some sort of fruit machine? I like the idea of a curtain sweeping back so you could take a kind of bow. I've always thought our bare plywood booths could do with jazzing up a bit. Maybe even with music like the automated loos.

    (No, that's not on, really is it? there'd be all those complaints about the subliminal messages in the music, wouldn't there?)

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  • 309. At 8:55pm on 04 Nov 2008, PaulPieniezny wrote:

    Hi, john-In-Dublin! You wrote:
    "# 120 PaulPieniezny wrote:

    "Among the things we will be glad to miss after next night are expressions and words like:"

    A few I'd like to add to Paul's list

    'In the tank for....'

    'The Mainstream Media [or MSM]' and their alleged 'liberal bias' "

    The way I formulated it (glad to miss), I should have added those. I am afraid, however, that they will remain with us for some time to come. I did notice that "in the tank" is increasingly used in an ironical way: "So you think that the Annenberg Foundation is in the tank for Obama, eh?" (sanity check: how many people here know that that is meant to be ironical?)

    I also left out "words ending in -bot". Only Obamabot and Palinbot are clearly more frequent than the others (mccainbot is third, followed by clintonbot, with barrbot and bidenbot at a distance), and since Obama and Palin may stay around a little longer... However, I see someone here has already switched to Obamazoid, so perhaps -bot is on its way out too.

    Another thing that I noticed during this campaign was the verb "to crisscross country" (without definite article). You would read things like
    "McCain's campaign crisscrosses country". I never noticed that expression before, but that may be a false impression of mine.

    Agree with your longer expressions, but we both forgot:

    "The Chosen One"
    and the countering name:
    "That One"

    As for Joe the Plumber, he is obviously the 2008 version of October Surprise. He will be back in 2012. Unlike Bin Laden who this year refused to comment but whose organization endorsed McCain, Joe will be interviewed then. If Obama wins, be prepared for him to blame the tap dancer for any bankruptcies and on the other hand to claim that any professional success he may have achieved happened notwithstanding Obama's policies.

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  • 310. At 9:15pm on 04 Nov 2008, Cassandra wrote:

    294 - Jackturk

    I haven't got my new speakers yet, but will go by my son's office and watch the clip. Thanks!

    I've a few errands to run before settling in for the evening with a pot of strong coffee and a bottle of Bailys Irish Cream.

    (Maybe I should tidy the house first, my place is a complete tip and either in celebration or deep mourning, I may be in no condition to do any work tomorrow.)

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  • 311. At 9:23pm on 04 Nov 2008, Cassandra wrote:

    But before I go shopping... 302 says, "And, being rather better acquainted now with the 'Religious Right' (thanks to this blog)...."

    Now that the rest of the world does have a better idea of what the RR is like in the colonies, maybe you won't be too surprised if some of us make a run for your shores in the case of a McBush/Bible Spice win. Searching for religious freedom, of course.

    Cheerio!

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  • 312. At 10:48pm on 04 Nov 2008, british-ish wrote:

    309. At 8:55pm on 04 Nov 2008, PaulPieniezny wrote:

    Hi, john-In-Dublin! You wrote:
    "# 120 PaulPieniezny wrote:
    "Among the things we will be glad to miss after next night are expressions and words like:"
    A few I'd like to add to Paul's list
    'In the tank for....'


    I've never understood that one.

    What sort of tank? The one that goes bang? Water tank? Petrol (gas?) tank?

    Why?

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  • 313. At 11:35pm on 04 Nov 2008, Stephen Derry wrote:

    I would like to thank all the anti-Obama posters on these blogs over the last few weeks, including (but not limited to)

    jcputn
    MarcusAureliusII
    Drudge52
    MagicKirin
    DameMaggieThatcher
    robloop
    bluepaddy
    icetoyoa


    Your continual failure to display reason, objectivity or rational argument, whilst continually expressing unsubstantiated rumours as facts (what we call "smearing") has helped to reinforce Senator Obama's message about the broken politics of the past, and helped underline the appeal of the politics of hope.

    I am certain that you and people like you on the blogs and airwaves of America have helped convince wavering liberals, centrists and independents to reject the smearing, the hate, and the lies, and to choose the candidate that represents a new way of campaigning and a new way of approaching politics.

    Without such blatant, uncompromising examples of the extremist thinking of the Right, I do not think the coalition of the Left would have come together so effectively. The new American majority consensus is Liberal.

    Please continue your ranting and your raving, lest we ever forget what the last 8 years has been like.

    I apologise if I have missed any wingnuts out.

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  • 314. At 06:50am on 05 Nov 2008, british-ish wrote:

    313. StephenDerry wrote:

    "Please continue your ranting and your raving, lest we ever forget what the last 8 years has been like."

    They will. Oh, they will. They are not going to give up. I've just read it all all over again in the latest 'Have your Say' reactions.

    The Republicans have aroused such hatred and loathing in the American right in their last desperate attempts to win I have a terrible feeling it will simmer for years.

    You only have to look at the figures from the exit polls for what sections of American society supported McCain and which supported Obama, and the percentages, to see what a chasm they have created.

    I doubt if it is really within Obama's power (or anybody else's) to bridge in the end. Not for a long time, not in a recession. And not when you look at many of the Senate election results.

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