Election Analysis? Already?
I’ve gotten a few e-mails from folks asking me for my analysis on the election; basically my response to this is: Uh, shouldn’t we have the election first? It does seem like a lot of folks have either happily or bitterly said their bit on the election, but unless I’m stuck in some weird pocket of slow time out here in rural Ohio, the election isn’t actually over, and I kind of like to do my election post-mortems when things are actually “post.” The closer we get to election day, the less convinced I am that something could happen to drastically change the status of the election, and I certainly have expectations as to how things are going to go, which are generally in line with most other people’s: i.e., that it’s likely to be a big year for the Democrats. But in terms of what it all means, I prefer to wait until we know what we have in terms of election results. Call me paranoid.
This is also a reminder to folks of all political stripes that your expectations on how things are going to go on election day (and night) are likely to be contingent on your actually voting. Complacency is a fine way to find yourself in a country you didn’t sign up for, in terms of its political direction. Vote, damn you. All of you. Even those of you who will cancel out my vote.
I will say this: At this point, my major concern about the election is not how people will vote but whether their votes will be accurately counted and whether they will be allowed to get to the ballot box at all. The problems with electronic polling places have been chewed over here and other places; I believe they’re a menace to the democratic process and that’s all I need to say about that right now. But it’s not just the electronic polls that contribute to this problem; it’s not all Diebold. Here in Ohio, for example, a voter ID law has been so wildly screwed up that it’s possible some chunk of registered voters will get to the polls and find they can’t actually vote (or they’ll be given provisional ballots, which may or may not be counted); some of the folks who voted absentee may find their ballots thrown out because they entered the wrong number off their driver’s license (not that they were told which of two numbers to use before they voted).
Frankly, this sort of thing sucks. Look, it’s more important that everyone who can vote is able to vote, than one candidate or another wins. Just that simple. For God’s sake, people, make sure you have everything you need to vote with you before you go vote. Don’t give anyone an excuse to keep you from exercising your franchise.
You all already know how I’m going to vote. I’ll have more to say on the actual elections on Wednesday. Until then, I’ll keep some amount of my thinking on the elections to myself until we have results on the ground.
Now: Tell me you’re going to vote.