VOTER EXPERIENCES THREAD. From a correspondent in a heavily Republican district in Ohio:
We've got five statewide initiatives on the ballot, and the minimum wage one is the only one that the Democratic party has taken a stand on. It's issue 2. On my machine, Issue 2 began at the bottom of the page and said simply "constitutional amendment" (although with a few more words) and continued on next page. The only thing the next page had was Yes and No. No description of the initiative. A poll worker brought me a paper description, but she wasn't concerned when I asked what was going to happen to all the rest of the people who use that machine.
HURRY UP AND WAIT. It's safe to assume just about anyone with even a passing interest in politics is anxious to see what happens today, but it's worth taking a moment to remember that, in some of the very close races, it's possible we may not know the results tonight, or even tomorrow.
[E]lection experts warn that the number of voters forced to cast provisional ballots Tuesday because of eligibility questions could delay some results in tight races for days or weeks.
New statewide voter databases, strict ID requirements and other factors may increase the percentage of voters whose paper ballots must be reviewed by local officials.
VA VOTE SUPPRESSION: As Sampointed out yesterday the Republicans last minute vote suppression and misleading phone calls and other shenanigans could swing some close races where the margins are minuscule. And wouldn't it be appropriate if one of the offenders was neo-confederate George Allen?
RUMORS, RUMORS. Just got off the phone with a friend of mine who's running a Democratic campaign in heavily Republican Colorado Springs. He passes along this delicious tale about disgraced Reverend Ted Haggard, he of the methamphetamine-and-gay-hookers infamy.
BRING ON THE LAWYERS.Roll Callreported last week that in addition to the parties, candidates, and voters who've been gearing up for today, the lawyers are also ready to go to work -- if they have to.
With an usually high number of competitive House and Senate contests on tap this Election Day, lawyers, consultants and strategists are already beginning to mobilize for what could be a divisive and expensive aspect of the post-election process: recounts.
The fact that many states will be using increasingly controversial electronic voting machines -- in some cases, for the first time -- increases the likelihood that some results will be in dispute.
THE COMING CONSTITUTIONAL SHOWDOWN. I didn't manage to get in on yesterday's orgy of electoral predictions, but I do agree with AEI's most honest analyst, Norman Ornstein, as to what will happen when Democrats take the House: a showdown between the White House and Congress over executive privilege. Dick Cheney has already said he would "probably not" appear if he is subpoenaed.
John Holbo thinks the crisis would take the form of:
OR ELSE! From the Rev. Rob Schenck, president of the National Clergy Council (the folks who tried to pick a fight with the government of the District of Columbia by putting an 850-lb. Ten Commandments monument in their front yard without getting a permit), I received an urgent message in my e-mail box bearing this title, "Christians Must Vote Today or Else":
If Christians don't show up to vote today, babies will continue to die in abortions, fewer children will grow up in married homes, many more will grow up with two daddies or two mommies, God will ultimately be purged from the public square. In short, America will soon look like godless Europe.
AH, GOOD. Take a look at this brief report by Kate Burson from a polling place in my hometown, St. Louis. Burson's post underscores Genevieve Smith's point that, when it comes to e-voting machines, technical and logistical snafus may be as much of a danger as their vulnerability to tampering.
We've all heard about the problem posed by "takings," when the government passes regulations that prevent property owners from developing their land. Well, the NYT has a piece about efforts by Maine residents to prevent a property owner from doing what she wants with her land, but it never discusses it in the context of takings. That is because the property owner is an environmentalist who wants to turn the land that she has bought into a park and exclude uses like logging and snowmobiling.