Sunday, September 14, 2008

Do Not Take the Red Pill!

What do Wisconsin and Ohio have in common? Emerald Ash Borer? The homes of the primary writers of the illustrious Fringe Element blog?

All of the above, but most recently, they are both the sites of dirty tricks by the McCain campaign.

In Wisconsin , the McCain campaign conduct a massive mailing to encourage absentee voting, presumably so that voters who would otherwise be unable to do so, such as the elderly and veterans, would vote for their candidate. However, all of the applications that were mailed also included the wrong addresses for the appropriate county clerk's office or addresses for the wrong county clerk's office. Both of which would render the application completely invalid as the applicant would be filing in the wrong district, and would possibly lose their right to vote in the election on November 4th.

In Ohio , the campaign similarly distributed potentially fraudulent ballots. In this case, the campaign distributed ballots that were invalid as they contained one too many boxes. This "Are you a qualified voter?" box, if left unchecked would invalidate the application, and again, disqualify the voter for the November 4th election.

The statement that the campaign made a mistake because of faulty lists is an egregious insult to voters everywhere. With direct mailing costs so high, and campaign funds so limited, these types of mistake would have been too costly to allow. So, let's evaluate the two choices of fraud and mistake. If this were a deliberate campaign of fraud, and two instances of similar fraud begin to remove the necessary layer of reasonable doubt, the question becomes whether individual state investigations are called for, or if the federal government should become involved. With the Justice Department having become a tool for Republican electoral tricks through partisan hiring practices, especially in the Civil Rights Division, and miscellaneous shenanigans, this seems very unlikely to happen, even if it were called for, and with states' budgets, particularly Wisconsin's and Ohio's in a state of distress from the ongoing economic crisis, any relief from that quarter seems equally unlikely. However, if this had been a case of a mistake made in the processing of the direct mailing, then the McCain campaign is incompetent on multiple levels. Any random sampling would have revealed the problems of the mailing list, and brought into question whether the effort was needed at all. In the case of Ohio, this is a much more sinister form of incompetence. Someone in their staff took the extra time to design another box that probably doesn't appear on other absentee ballot applications, and their supervisor, who is assumedly similarly inexperienced in Ohio elections, approved it. If these campaign managers are allowed to stay in their office after wasting money on such a large scale, the plot will thick and further peel away the thin, fatty layer of reasonable doubt. Stay tuned.

1 comment:

Th' Dave said...

That purple suit makes McCain look like the Joker. Where is Batman when you need him?