Thursday, May 04, 2006

Ohio Primary Officially a Disaster

One thing I learned from participating in Ohio's primary election on Tuesday as a booth worker: the new system is fucked.

As Ken Blackwell gloats over his victory in the Republican primary against fellow crook Jim Petro (who, by the way, beat out the bug-eyed insane Blackwell in Cuyahoga County by a sizeable margin), Ohio's electoral process slides further into chaos, confusion and deliberate vote fraud.

Must be nice for Blackwell, to be the state's chief election official with money invested in the same kind of machines he used to help rig the 2004 election. That way, he can commit multiple felonies (not to mention treason) and make money off of it at the same time.

This is what is going on here in Ohio: boards of election are in chaos. Numerous polls in Cuyahoga County failed to open on time, with many still not ready to open by the time 1:30 P.M. rolled around. Polls were supposed to open at 6:30 A.M.

Thousands of poll workers called off, fed up with the lack of proper training on the new procedures and voting machines. Procedures we were supposed to have been taught never were; a large number of them (such as signing off on paperwork before polls opened) we learned as we prepared to close down the polls at 7:30 P.M.

Across Ohio, voters found themselves unable to figure out the new Diebold machines. Many, I'm sure, stayed home or left rather than even bother voting on the unholy contraptions.

To be fair, however, the precinct at which I worked had few real problems. A trio of elections officials from the county showed up to help us with closing procedures, and they remarked ours was the most well-organized in the county they had gone to that day. From what I'm learning as newspaper headlines detail the massive problems experienced elsewhere, it would seem we were the only precinct with any organization whatsoever.

I credit that to a team that was dedicated and--except for one snotty little punk who couldn't be bothered to follow directions at the end of the night and got himself booted from the premises--competent. We all cared enough to do our jobs properly (except for Mr. Smarty-pants, he knows who he is), and everyone cared enough to help voters every step of the way.

But overall, the primary election has been a complete disaster. Absentee ballots are still not counted, and final election results may not be available until Saturday.

None of this should have happened. We had valid, time-tested voting equipment that ensured accuracy and privacy for voters. But no, Ken Blackwell wants to rig his way into the governor's mansion and seize Ohio for the Republican Party for all eternity. So we are fucked.

It is a dark time for America's electoral process. But there is yet hope. As I have been saying, it will take years to accomplish but we can take back our country. We just need the will and the organization to do it.

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