Grand Theft Democracy, Part Nine

Unfortunately, ever since Bush-Gore 2000 (and more recently, Franken-Colemen 2008) we’re no strangers to long recounts in close elections, where neither side wants to concede as long as there’s the chance that the final count will go their way (or can be made to go their way). As of this writing, one Senate seat (Alaska) and seven House seats (California-11, California-20, Illinois-8, Kentucky-6, New York-25, Texas-27, and Virginia-11) are still being decided. The Alaskan Senate race is interesting in that the two main contenders are the Republican candidate and the former Republican write-in candidate who lost the GOP primary; the Democratic candidate is a distant third. The House races are interesting in that all of the incumbents are Democrats, so any further victories by the GOP will be net gains to increase the Republican majority in the House. You may recall from last year that “Senator” Al Franken wasn’t sworn in until July; so even if the Democrats can’t steal some of those close seats (and, to be fair, about half of the House seats are likely to be legitimate victories for the Democrats), they can still tie them up as long as possible to keep more members of the GOP from being sworn in.

New York: Incumbent Representative Dan Maffei (D-NY25), who trails his opponent Ann Marie Buerkle (R) but about seven hundred votes, is having his campaign staffers call absentee voters and asking them who they voted for. Buerkle released a statement which says, in part:

It is regrettable that this action is underway prior to those absentee votes being tabulated by county election officials. While the reasons for this effort are unclear – many agree it could be an attempt by some to identify who each person voted for in an effort to disqualify certain eligible ballots from being counted. I would like the public to know that my campaign is not connected to this current effort. Further, no American – in Upstate New York or anywhere – is in anyway under obligation to provide information to anyone on how he or she voted in any election, including my own. … If anyone is contacted in this effort please know that your vote is privileged, and under no circumstances should an individual be pressured in to revealing how their vote was cast. If you are contacted, ask them to provide their full name, for whom they work, why they are seeking this information and if you are required to provide this information.

This appears to be unprecedented, and likely part of a gambit to mount a legal challenge against the results once they are all tabulated. (H/T: The Lonely Conservative)

Massachusetts: “Community organizing” group Neighbor to Neighbor was seen violating laws at numerous polling sites, with the apparent blessing of the poll-watchers. (H/T: PaladinPhil)

Nevada: Yesterday in Las Vegas, a former ACORN supervisor copped a plea to two misdemeanors from their voter registration drives for the 2008 presidential campaign. The wheels of justice grind slowly; one can only hope that the new Republican majority in the House will take a hand in cleaning out the disgraceful Augean stables that is the election system in America, and getting things into a state that we can trust for the 2012 elections.

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