[…] we need to know this, of course, in case Republicans retain control of Congress. If they don’t, then we’ll hear stories about how ‘smoothly’ elections ran across the country.
The media continues laying the groundwork today for “potential” election day problems, while expressing frustration over the possibility that Democrats and their cohorts in the MSM will have to wait days before finding out if Dems would be controlling Congress. Via Reuters (emphasis added):
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Long lines and long counts threaten to mar next month’s U.S. congressional elections as millions of Americans put new voting machines and rules to the test, election officials and experts say.
The result could be delays in knowing whether Democrats capture one or both houses of the U.S. Congress, or whether President George W. Bush’s Republicans keep control.
Gasp! The MSM can barely contain their excitement at the thought of Democrats regaining control of Congress from President George W. Bush’s Republicans.
“In close elections, it may be days and weeks before a winner is known in a particular race,” said Paul DeGregorio, chairman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, created to oversee a 2002 election law overhaul.
He forecast, however, an improvement over previous elections and said, “I think voters can trust the system.”
The election overhaul was passed after the 2000 vote, in which problems deciphering paper ballots in Florida helped fuel a five-week recount fight in which the U.S. Supreme Court handed the presidency to Bush.
Major liberal media bias alert: the USSC didn’t “hand” the presidency to GWB. He was ELECTED. As a refresher, here was the USSC’s role in the manual recount drama.
The “potential” problems:
Many of the changes take effect this year, when one-third of voters will cast their ballots on new electronic machines, whose reliability in a national election is unproven.
Ohio, where Democratic voters in 2004 complained that long lines in their neighborhoods kept them from voting, and Pennsylvania are two states with major races where the voting process will be closely watched on November 7.
Other states include Maryland, which had problems with its September primary election, and Georgia and Missouri, where courts threw out new voter identification requirements and experts see a potential for disputes.
“We don’t know about the security flaws, we don’t know about the error rates,” said the Rev. DeForest Soaries, former chairman of the Election Assistance Commission.
In some states there may be confusion after court battles over new state identification requirements. Voters whose eligibility is in dispute can cast provisional ballots, which could add to counting delays in close races.
Election officials also expect more absentee ballots, which take longer to count, cast by voters distrustful of the new machines. In Maryland, for example, the state’s Republican governor has encouraged absentee ballots.
There is also a shortage of trained poll workers.
“There’s a rather combustible confluence of events taking place in our elections right now,” said Century Foundation researcher Tova Wang.
“Where we may find ourselves at the end of Election Day is actually with stacks of paper and long, drawn-out, possibly contentious vote counting,” she said. Any delays could spur concerns over the legitimacy of the outcome, she added.
All reported just in case the Dems lose, because we wouldn’t want anyone to think Democrats had actually been rejected on the basis of their ideas, would we? Surely not …
Update I – 9:22 PM: If James Webb loses to Senator Allen in Virginia, the Washington Post is explaining to us why – in advance.