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Why I’m worried

November 4, 2008

I really wish I could have confidence in our electoral system.

As I write this (11:20am, west coast time) there are numerous reports of large-scale voting problems — problems with the rolls, problems with the machines malfunctioning, reports of voter intimidation, reports of voters being turned away illegally, and so on and so forth.

And, of course, long lines … which isn’t really a problem that’s fixable when voter turnout is this HUGE.

Here is a quick rundown from


  • Some voters being asked to visit other polling stations as a result of disorganization and malfunctioning machines;
  • Some voters are being asked to vote on paper with magic markers.
  • Many voters are angry and unaware of the legality of the recourse being offered by poll workers (in many cases, poll workers are asking voters to cast their ballot on paper saying they will count them later)


Election Protection is working in Bleckley County, Georgia to ensure that students at Middle Georgia College are able to vote today after voting officials apparently extended, then suddenly withdrew, a deadline that would have ensured students were registered in time to use a regular ballot.

Virginia and Pennsylvania

Virginia and Pennsylvania voters are reporting major obstacles to casting their ballot, potentially disenfranchising thousands of voters. Long lines, broken voting machines, ballot shortages and misused absentee ballots are just some of the problems that threaten to rob thousands of eligible voters of their right to vote.

In Virginia:

  • Dozens of polling places are experiencing varying degrees of machine malfunction. Some polling places are either completely closed or have been closed for hours.
  • Thousands of voters may have been turned away illegally by polling workers.
  • Voters have illegally been issued with provisional ballots where machines have been broken.
  • Students at Virginia Tech, previously the victims of misinformation, have seen their polling place suddenly and unexpectedly moved six miles to a location with little parking.

In Pennsylvania:

  • Voting machine malfunctions are widespread and at least a dozen locations, mainly focused on Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
  • We have received reports of campaign materials are being illegally distributed at polling locations in Pittsburgh.
  • Voters across the state are reporting that they never received their absentee ballots, which is creating additional chaos at the polls.


From Kansas City, Missouri, we’re getting multiple reports of swapped poll books — meaning polling places do not have the proper lists of registered voters. Election Protection experts are working to resolve the problem. If your polling place is experiencing problems, please don’t give up.


Voters in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area have experienced numerous problems trying to cast ballots this morning. We have preliminary reports of voters being turned away from the polls for incomplete registrations and instances of the statewide problem of broken optical scan machines in some two dozen polling locations all across the state.


Numerous reports that voters were unable to obtain absentee ballots in time to cast their votes;

Reports of voters being asked to fill out provisional ballots if they are in the wrong precinct instead of being redirected to the appropriate location.

Reports of poll workers requiring additional and unnecessary identification from voters in Denver;

Incidents of untrained poll workers and faulty voting machines in Jefferson County; and,

Reports of voters being asked to fill out provisional ballots if they are in the wrong precinct instead of being redirected to the appropriate location.

Here’s a particularly sketchy one — according to RockTheVote, young voters are getting this text message:

Due to long lines today, all Obama voters are asked to vote on Wednesday. Thank you for your cooperation.

What a bunch of a%#holes! They know they don’t even have a chance of winning unless they supress as many votes as they possibly can. Disgraceful.

There’s much more …

I really hope that people stay in line and let their voice be heard. Be patient … yes, there are millions of people that don’t want you to vote — prove them wrong! If you have problems call 1-866-OUR-VOTE and report it. They’ve gotten over 50,000 calls already!


4 Comments leave one →
  1. November 4, 2008 11:45 am

    “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.” Winston Churchill

  2. November 4, 2008 7:42 pm

    worry not fellow rock-lover….Obama has won Iowa and Ohio according to CNN.

  3. November 4, 2008 7:53 pm

    Joe … I’m feeling better … and it looks like Virginia is going blue as well.

  4. November 4, 2008 9:00 pm

    Worry no more!

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