Holding my breath

I realize I’ve sort of been holding my breath these last few weeks. Of course Obama would win at this point in a fair election – independent voters, necessary for a McCain win, have pretty much abandoned McCain altogether – but what if the election does end up being rigged?

I’m not usually given to these sorts of dark thoughts, but the stakes are unusually high this time around. I worry that some of the talk of things like the “Bradley effect” may, intentionally or not, be laying the groundwork for plausible deniability, for a narrative that can be spun to explain away an implausible Election Day outcome.

If November 5 rolls around and – lo and behold – the official results say that McCain has miraculously edged out Obama, defying all those pesky “big city” elites, what will people do? Will a disheartened citizenry simply go along? Have we been so beaten down in the last six years by learning to lay low at airports and border crossings, by the need to keep our heads down and not make trouble, by the bizarre ritual of taking off our shoes when so ordered and submitting silently to random searches?

I find myself counting states where there are no Diebold electronic voting machines, hoping that there are enough left, hoping that the landslide will be so decisive and across the board that hacking the election would just be too difficult. Hoping that if the system really does fail, there will be enough paper ballots around to be counted in a court challenge.

Or maybe I’m just being paranoid.

3 Responses to “Holding my breath”

  1. John says:

    “It’s not the people who vote that count. It’s the people who count the votes.” (Josef Stalin)

  2. Lisa says:

    Even without the Bradley Effect – real or imagined – I’ve been seeing far too many hateful Americans on YouTube to hold out much hope. I’ve never felt luckier not to be living in the states right now, and that’s a very sad thing, indeed.

    I do so hope YouTube isn’t numerically significant…

  3. Stacy says:

    Bush never did win the presidency. Walden O’Dell, then CEO of Diebold, promised to deliver Ohio to Bush a full year before the 2004 presidential election. How did he do that? Electronic voting machines with no paper trail, of course. Those exit polls weren’t wrong.

    I don’t think you’re being at all paranoid, Ken, and neither does the Obama campaign. That’s why they’ve organized a massive effort to enlist attorneys around the coountry to serve as observers at polling places and report any suspected voter fraud. How they prove that the machines are recording the correct number of votes for each candidate, though, I’ve no idea. Maybe you can help spread the word via your blog about the campaign’s need for volunteer attorneys.

Leave a Reply