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November 2, 2004

November 02, 2004
Posted by Teresa at 08:33 AM * 139 comments

The Day of the Dead.
The Feast of All Souls.
Election Day.

Just do it.

Addendum, 4:00 p.m.: How is everyone? I feel delinquent for not being able to pass around popcorn and chips.

Comments on November 02, 2004:
#1 ::: Jimcat Kasprzak ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 08:47 AM:

I cast the first vote this morning in my hometown, so it seems not inappropriate that I post the first comment here.

Teresa's advice for pre-election sanity was well taken. I tried, mostly successfully, to remain politics-free all weekend. Now I just hope that by sometime tomorrow at the latest, someone with authority will say "We have a winner."

#2 ::: Bob Oldendorf ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 08:59 AM:

I got my kids off to school and voted.

BTW, no matter your age, or your attitudes toward rap in general or toward Eminem in particular, if you have broadband access, you owe it to yourself to find five minutes to watch the "Mosh" video. It's effective stuff.

It's all over the internets, but the easiest link is just over there to the left.

#3 ::: Paul ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 09:00 AM:

Possibly useful, possibly not - the Electoral Vote Predictor.

If that link doesn't work, try this, or this, or this. (The site was being DoS attacked, for some reason.)

Many apologies if this has been posted before somewhere in the comments of another thread, I don't always have time to keep up with everything that's posted.

#4 ::: Steve Eley ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 09:18 AM:

It's a great congruence of dates, isn't it? I can't decide whether it gives me a story idea or a game design idea.

All Votes Must Be Eaten! does make at least a working title, either way.

#5 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 09:19 AM:

I plan to vote in a few minutes. Ill feast on the dead later.

#6 ::: Bill Shunn ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 09:31 AM:

Laura and I voted this morning at 7:30. I swear to God, standing in line in front of the voting booth felt as close to going to church to me as I've felt since ... well, since I believed in going to church.

#7 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 09:32 AM:

Souls -- even filleted -- are off my diet, but I took care of the other two by voting for a Skull & Bones Society member. The grownup one, of course.

#8 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 09:33 AM:

Just do it.

did it. feeling really good about it.


#9 ::: elizabeth bear ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 10:05 AM:

Done, last week, with no hiccups. Let's be careful out there.

I think this election (and its attendant hamhanded scriptwriting) is the final proof that we are living in a fictional universe.

#10 ::: lcwriter ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 10:24 AM:

History will judge our society on the decision we make today.

When my husband and I voted (in Florida - 2 for Kerry) this morning, we had to wait for nearly an hour. I've never seen lines that long at my polling place. I was also encouraged to see the enormous turn out by young voters and African Americans at our precinct. Usually, my husband and I are the youngest in line and his is the darkest face in the crowd (he's Cherokee). Not so today. Whatever the reason, whomever the choice, voters are turning out in huge numbers for this election.

From where we sit (in a swing state) that's good news.

#11 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 10:31 AM:

Just watched the eminem video "Mosh".
definitely not an eminem fan, but I gotta say Wow

#12 ::: Beth ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 10:33 AM:

Just do it.

Voted this morning, assisted by an eager ten-year-old. (His earnest look somewhat offset by the "I Voted!" sticker he plastered to his forehead after we left the voting booth.)

eBear: I don't mind living in fictional universe as such, but why did it have to be written as horror?

#13 ::: Alex Cohen ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 10:40 AM:

Greg: Just watched the eminem video "Mosh". definitely not an eminem fan, but I gotta say Wow

No kidding. I never would have imagined I could tear up watching a rap video.

And, if dirty tricks take it away, here's another song for the Election Day mix tape: The Doobie Brothers' Takin' It to the Streets.

#14 ::: mayakda ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 10:45 AM:

I was in line more than an hour but I voted! The guy watching the line was scratching his head saying they've never had a line this long. This is from a tiny township in PA. They're doing around 90 people an hour, using punch-card ballots. They'll be up all night counting those ...

#15 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 10:52 AM:

We're watching the election proceed, looking to see what we can expect from the remaining superpower for the next 4 years. I've got "It's The End Of The World As We Know It" running through my head - and a sudden desire to reread "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire".

#16 ::: Jason Kuznicki ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 11:17 AM:

All those holidays today? I'd never have known. Over in my corner of the world, it's day two of National Novel Writing Month.

But yes, I've made my word quota for the day, so I'm going to go out and vote.

#17 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 11:18 AM:

This morning I was the eighty-sixth voter in my district. We've moved, so it was the first time I've used that polling place, but there were the usual volunteer election workers (the majority of whom were, as usual, middle-aged women), and the usual pair of bored police officers keeping an eye on things, and the usual lines of citizens looking pleased to be voting.

One woman had brought along her small daughter, who was upset when she found out that she wasn't going to get to vote. This is good. I remember standing in line with my mother while she waited to vote in the music room at Whittier Elementary. I was probably upset too, the first time I found out I wasn't going to get to vote.

I love voting. Is it only history buffs now who understand that any time we vote in an honest election, it's a win, no matter which candidate gets elected?

In NYC we use old-fashioned heavy metal voting booths that require you to pull a metal bar switch, which is several feet long, way over to the right; then cast your ballot by flipping stiff little black switches; then push the bar switch way over to the left, with a satisfactorily heavy mechanical thunk, to register your vote.

Bah, hanging chad, touch screens, and all the rest of that light-minded rubbish. The last time I heard of a serious mechanical malfunction in one of our voting machines was years ago, and the breakdown consisted of the entire booth falling off the truck that was being used to transport it. Fortunately, no one was in the way.

#18 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 11:27 AM:

Teresa - A little-known New York voting machine fact - when you pull that lever, the machine not only advances counters hidden behind a sealed panel, it creates a punch card to be used in recounts.

So, although it's very unlikely, you too may have created a hanging chad. Dimpled or pregnant chads are virtually impossible, though.

#19 ::: Chad Orzel ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 11:30 AM:

Bah, hanging chad, touch screens, and all the rest of that light-minded rubbish. The last time I heard of a serious mechanical malfunction in one of our voting machines was years ago, and the breakdown consisted of the entire booth falling off the truck that was being used to transport it. Fortunately, no one was in the way.

Three or four years ago, a bond issue came up for a vote in my (small, rural, Central New York) hometown. The school administrators, for God only knows what reason, decided they wanted to build a new school building (despite having recently expanded and remodeled the existing buildings), and asked the voters to pay for it.

Turnout was heavy, and there were long lines for the district's one mechanical voting machine. At the end of the night, when the last voter had voted, they opened the machine, and read off the totals: 300 in favor of the measure, 200 opposed.

The only problem was that 1500 people had voted. The machine rolled over on one of the two counts. They're pretty sure it was a 1200-300 defeat (as demonstrated by the fact that it was never brought up for a second vote), but there's no way to tell.

Elsewhere in the county, a state legislature race in 2000 or 2002 ended in an exact tie (346-346, IIRC). Broome County, NY: The Florida of the Northeast.

#20 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 11:32 AM:

Oh, and for a shriller complement to Mosh, check out Supadubya. NSFW for language.

#21 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 11:33 AM:

Voted at 9, #155, assisted by an 8-yo who just yesterday was elected to be president of her third grade class.

I love voting in NYC. The *thunk* that the lever makes is such a special sound. It's always signaled democracy in action to me.

Because of high voter registration, NY had to buy a whole bunch of used voting machines from Georgia, which has changed to one of the newfangled systems.

Teresa, the voting machines do break down and freeze up and all that, but problems are generally rare. There's almost always a couple of "my voting machine broke down" stories in the papers the day after the election, but usually nothing on any kind of large scale.

#22 ::: Dan Blum ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 11:35 AM:

When we moved to Massachusetts they were using the mechanical booths, but sometime recently they switched to an optical scan system, at least in my area. I'm no expert, but it seemed reasonable - the ballot wasn't difficult to fill out, and there's a clear paper trail.

No real line at my polling place, but voter turnout is not as big an issue here as in some other places. And, turnout could still be high, as more people could vote at the same time than before (I think 16, and I know we didn't used to have nearly that many booths), and it took very little time, given that there were only 6 races, 3 of which only had one candidate.

Bonus Kerry anecdote - back in 2002, when he last ran for the Senate, the voting booths at his precinct weren't working, and a large line was building up. He asked the poll workers for the manual, studied it for a bit, and fixed the machines. When I saw that story, I knew I liked his attitude.

#23 ::: Michelle ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 11:38 AM:

But if you use machines and not pencils and paper ballots, how do you write in "none of the above"?

#24 ::: Bill Blum ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 11:42 AM:

Showed up at my polling place at 9am. Waiting in line for 25 minutes, checked the punch card for hanging chads, and handed it back...

We beat the 2000 turnout in my precinct by 11am, apparently.

#25 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 11:48 AM:

Actually, Teresa, there was a bit of a problem in 2000 with those machines. They've got a latch designed to voters from accidentally throwing their votes away by pulling the big lever without having voted for at least one candidate or other item.

In the '70s the Board of Elections decided to disable these latches, so now voters can accidentally lose their votes. According to Newsday, as many as 60,000 New Yorkers -- mostly in poor neighborhoods, of course, but one of them was my mother -- lost their votes.

#26 ::: Bob Oldendorf ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 11:49 AM:

Larry Brennan - " A little-known New York voting machine fact - when you pull that lever, the machine not only advances counters hidden behind a sealed panel, it creates a punch card to be used in recounts."

Other parts of the state might use some other model, but this is not true for any New York machine that I've worked. At the end of the day, the poll workers open the back and read off the counters. These machines are purely mechanical: the ONLY way to hack them is to get inside and file off the gearteeth of your opponent's counters. Which leaves evidence. You can mess with the reporting of the results up the line, but the machine counters remain as evidence.

I've never seen the point of switching to unverifiable e-voting. Other than the fact that they need to be tuned and lubed, the ONLY reason ever to replace mechanical voting is to give a big fat contract to a new vendor.

Unless of course the 'unverifiable' aspect is a feature, and not a bug.

#27 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 11:52 AM:

Here's Eminem's video. Here are some of the lyrics, though they're feebler without his delivery:

To the people up top, on the side and the middle,
Come together, let's all bomb and swamp just a little
Just let it gradually build, from the front to the back
All you can see is a sea of people, some white and some black
Don't matter what color, all that matters is we gathered together
To celebrate for the same cause, no matter the weather
If it rains let it rain, yea the wetter the better
They ain't gonna stop us, they can't, we're stronger now more then ever,
They tell us no we say yea, they tell us stop we say go,
Rebel with a rebel yell, raise hell we gonna let em know
Stomp, push up, mush, fuck Bush, until they bring our troops home come on ...

Imagine it pouring, it's raining down on us,
Mosh pits outside the oval office
Someone's trying to tell us something, maybe this is God just saying
we're responsible for this monster, this coward, that we have empowered
This is Bin Laden, look at his head nodding,
How could we allow something like this, Without pumping our fist
Now this is our, final hour
Let me be the voice, and your strength, and your choice
Let me simplify the rhyme, just to amplify the noise
Try to amplify the times it, and multiply it by six
Teen million people are equal of this high pitch
Maybe we can reach Al Quaida through my speech
Let the President answer on high anarchy
Strap him with AK-47, let him go
Fight his own war, let him impress daddy that way
No more blood for oil, we got our own battles to fight on our soil
No more psychological warfare to trick us to think that we ain't loyal
If we don't serve our own country we're patronizing a hero
Look in his eyes, it's all lies, the stars and stripes
They've been swiped, washed out and wiped,
And replaced with his own face, mosh now or die
If I get sniped tonight you'll know why, because I told you to fight

So come along, follow me as I lead through the darkness
As I provide just enough spark, that we need to proceed
Carry on, give me hope, give me strength,
Come with me, and I won't steer you wrong
Put your faith and your trust as I guide us through the fog
Till the light, at the end, of the tunnel, we gonna fight,
We gonna charge, we gonna stomp, we gonna march through the swamp
We gonna mosh through the marsh, take us right through the doors

#28 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 11:55 AM:

Teresa wrote:

"I love voting."

Oh, man, me too! The only other thing which gives me the same buzz is donating blood--you show up, you do your thing, you make a difference. This is the first year I didn't bring either of the kids (Julie had to be at school early; Bec stayed home with a stomach bug) but each of them would have cast a vote of their own if only they were allowed. But every year in the past at least one of them has come with me. The lesson that This is Important cannot be inculcated too early.

"In NYC we use old-fashioned heavy metal voting booths"

I miss those machines! Here we vote in tiny little polling places--our new one is a private garage about six blocks from where we live. There was a line of about twenty people waiting to get in and pick up ballots, and easily that many people in the garage itself, draped over washing machines, dryers, spare chairs, the four winged "voting desks" brought in by the election committee, or marking ballots while leaning on someone's back, or sitting cross-legged on the cement floor. Here you vote by connecting the front and back end of an arrow that points to the person or thing you want to vote for. In addition to Pres/VP, we had to vote for about a dozen other offices. That was one ballot. The other =two= ballots were for the propositions, state and local, that had to be decided.

It is a clear, cool, perfect autumn day. Everyone I encountered seemed happy to be taking part in the National Party, as if doing so knit us closer into the community fabric.

#29 ::: Bob Oldendorf ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 11:59 AM:

Michelle: "But if you use machines and not pencils and paper ballots, how do you write in "none of the above"?"

Even our machines have a provision for a write-in.
They have roll of paper inside: if you use that option, using the lever winds the roll on so that your vote remains secret. (Ideally, they even come from the Board of E with a pencil hanging on a string.)

Sometimes your total count doesn't match the sum of the candidates totals; then you have to check the paper roll. (Even then, some people DO "not vote" for some races, so the machine total is usually larger than the sum of the candidates.)

#30 ::: John Scalzi ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 12:07 PM:

Voted. Wife voted. Five-year-old daughter voted (in a mock election for kids set up at the polling place). We're a happy voting family. We were there just after the polls opened and I was voter #30. In a town of 2000, that's pretty good turnout for 15 minutes after the doors open.

#31 ::: Jill Smith ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 12:10 PM:

I worked the literature table for the Democrats outside our local polling place from 7 AM to 10:45, then I voted. It took 45 minutes to get through the S-Z line - the old hands in this precinct said it's the biggest turnout they have ever seen.

#32 ::: Bob Oldendorf ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 12:17 PM:

Teresa: Here's Eminem's video. Here are some of the lyrics, though they're feebler without his delivery

And Eminem's delivery is weaker without his video.
He performed "Mosh" on Saturday Night Live last weekend, and, without the video, he was just his usual angry self. WITH the video, though, it's remarkable.

#33 ::: Janet Croft ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 12:41 PM:

Voted! Waited in line for about 1 hour 10 minutes, suprising for a little rural precinct. I was voter number 112; there are about 1400 in the whole precint. We use the ballots with the arrows as well, and they are immediately scanned optically and spat back out if there's a problem, which I liked very much. Paper trail AND immediate verification it was filled out properly. Lots of very patient people. I read part of Richard III while waiting; somehow it seemed a propos. My husband came in to vote as I was leaving. Now to get back home to meet the plumbers -- in what was obviously an attack by a vast right-wing conspiracy, our pump went out last night. But a little ingenuity involving a sump pump and the swimming pool got us enough water to shower in, and we weren't kept away from the polls by a little thing like that!

#34 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 12:55 PM:

Voted on the way to work, as ususal -- I've never missed an election since I turned 18.

Our polling place is a retirement home around the corner from out house. Normally it's easy to find a parking place, no matter when you show up, then stroll in and vote immediately. Today they had more machines than usual, but people were parked down the block and you had to wait 10-15 minutes.

I miss the old machines too -- I remember going with my parents to vote at my elementary school, and getting to play with the little tabletop mockup with levers and such they used to show new voters how to use the machines. We had them here in Merced up to the 90's when we switched to mark/sense ballots. The elections director told my that there was two main reasons -- the big machines are hard for people with various handicaps to use (they didn't build or buy enough wheelchair variants) and were a problem in strongly mulitlingual areas such as the Valley. The other reason was that the machines were so old they were increasingly difficult and expensive to keep working.

#35 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 12:56 PM:

Re: "Mosh": if you happen to be somewhere that streaming video is a problem, there's a QuickTime version at that can be right-clicked and saved (via BoingBoing).

#36 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 01:06 PM:

Bob O - I did a little more checking, as I was working on heresay (albeit from a usually trusted source) and you are quite right about the NYC machines, no cards as far as I can tell from a cursory web search. I stand corrected.

Having used the old fashioned machines, punch cards and complete-the-arrow type optical ballots, I'd have to say that the machines are the most viscerally satisfying, but I trust the arrows most as they're the hardest to mess up and easiest to verify. Punch cards are all kinds of awful.

I know that handicapped advocates like the electronic systems. How about just having one electronic machine for such voters at each polling place, and have it print an optical ballot to be inserted into the scanner? That seems like the best of both worlds to me.

#37 ::: Tayefeth ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 01:09 PM:

Husband voted this morning. I just voted. And just took part in the LA Times exit poll. Fun stuff. Voting is good for the soul.

#38 ::: Chris S. ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 01:14 PM:

Overheard last night in class:
First woman. "You know, if Bush wins, it'll be better for our [Cdn] economy. If Kerry wins, it's better for the world. So it's no contest, really."

Second woman, nodding: "God, I hope Kerry wins"

All of us in the Great White North wish you luck. Because it'll be our luck too.

#39 ::: Andy Perrin ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 01:19 PM:

I did my bit to swing Pennsylvania. Got there at 9:40, left at 10:30. Half the volunteers were my age (20s) and half were in the "so much older than I am that I can't tell" range.

There were two divisions at my voting location. One of them had no people and empty voting machines, and the other had a 35+ person line. If there were any Republicans around, they didn't make a point of it. Lots of Move-On people and Kerry signs.

Possible dirty trick: This morning I received an automated message from "Bill Clinton" telling me to go out and vote tomorrow. Maybe someone forgot to switch the tape. Or maybe not.

#40 ::: PiscusFiche ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 01:27 PM:

I was the 211th person to cast a vote in my precinct here in Durham. :)

#41 ::: Suzanne ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 01:30 PM:

Voted here in Massachusetts over lunch. Small town, no line, paper ballots.

Now to hunker down and wait and dare to hope...

#43 ::: Rose ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 01:41 PM:

My polling place in Windsor Terrace was distinctly busier than I've seen it before. Worrisome detail: my husband wasn't in the book of voters, and had to cast an affidavit ballot, which we hope gets counted. I went a little later, and I was in the book, so I don't think all the Dems got purged from the rolls....

As Teresa mentioned above, pulling the big lever was intensely satisfying! Go, forces of good!

#44 ::: JeanOG ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 01:45 PM:

I was #335. The counter on my ballot box had leaped from 298 to 335 while I was filling out my ballot.

Polling opened at 6:30; I put my ballot in around 8:00. Busy place.

This is the first time I can remember seeing cops cruising by, staring at the line. The black family behind me in line were Not Pleased.

#45 ::: Patrick Connors ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 02:09 PM:

Voted just after 7 AM in Glendale, AZ. The only Republican I voted for was McCain. Voting place is literally across the street from my house. Lines were forming, but still short. (We use mark/sense and the ballots are human-readable.)

The only problem was that they stuck the "I voted today" sticker directly onto my new bomber jacket. I peeled it off and put it on my car bumper. I don't believe in those stickers. I'm proud to vote, sticker or not.

ObSF idea: "I haven't voted yet" stickers, distributed and applied pre-election and removable only at a polling place. If a person still has his sticker after the election, he is shunned, scorned, and has to buy all of the beers for a week.

#46 ::: Paul ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 02:13 PM:

For those who can't do QuickTime, Mosh is available in other formats via the P2P networks (such as eMule). Definitely worth downloading and keeping, I'd say.

#47 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 02:31 PM:

Mayakda, are these not machine-readable punch cards? (And why use punch cards, if they aren't?)

Michelle, you'll have to excuse me, but I'm having trouble imagining how someone could vote "none of the above" this year.

Avram, what was the reason given for removing the latches?

Bob, I like systems where you have to do things like file teeth off gears to meddle with the count. Voting strikes me as a sufficiently important issue to warrant doing maintenance on large clunky machines. Strangely enough, I've never seen an analysis of how much maintenance costs vs. the cost of replacement systems -- not that that's the primary issue anyway.

Mad, Patrick kept telling me sotto voce to knock it off and stop grinning so broadly. I'm sure you can imagine it. He was probably right.

Claude, the voting system here says that if you ask, you can have a poll worker go into the booth with you and help you work the machine. This covers all kinds of problems, and as far as I know, the poll workers don't give a damn who you're voting for.

Tayefeth, I have friends in frequently-polled areas who've been systematically fibbing to pollsters for years. At least one of them has been consistently describing himself all year as an "undecided voter, leaning toward Bush" -- when he's nothing of the sort.

Chris S., last night I saw photos of a pro-Kerry rally in Bangladesh. We are our brothers' keepers.

Andy, I have trouble believing someone forgot to switch the tape. Consider reporting that one.

Larry, those are great. The election booth photo could have been taken at my polling place. It definitely looks like the same machine.

Rose, a couple of people got handed affidavit ballots here in Sunset Park. My impression was that it was just a way to let them vote when their voter registration records weren't in order.

JeanOG, where do you live?

Patrick, I like the "I haven't voted yet" sticker idea. It's like Ash Wednesday in reverse.

#48 ::: John Farrell ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 02:58 PM:

As for in Newton, MA.

#49 ::: TChem ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 02:59 PM:

What's the purpose of lying to pollsters? I don't mind telling them it's none of their dang business, but it seems like if lying is happening on a large scale it only serves to discourage your team.

The polling place in my super-liberal neighborhood in Wisconsin was hoppin' at 8:30 this morning. It's not often that you see a random group of people so HAPPY. I was particularly fond of the PTA parents having a bake sale, arranged so that people in line could snag a brownie (we were in the cafeteria of the local school).

#50 ::: Jill Smith ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 03:15 PM:

Walked the dog back to the polling place to see how things were going - we have lots of 17-year-olds who are doing anything they can to get involved with the process (I was pitching the "Mosh" video to them - they were amusingly surprised to have a 35-year old, blonde suburbanite telling them to watch a rap video).

I tried to instruct the dog on the electoral process - he was more interested in the bagels which our County Executive had sent around to the Dems volunteering at the various polling places. However, the dogger is cute enough (and was cooed over enough by the passing voters) that we considered making a "Cast your vote, get to pet the dog" sandwich board for him to wear.

Half of the registered voters in our precinct have already voted.

#51 ::: Sajia ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 03:20 PM:

Hey Teresa,
Could you post the website where you saw the photos for the pro-Kerry rally in Bangladesh? Seeing that I'm a proud Bangladeshi-Canadian myself and all, eagerly anticipating the end of the week by which we get to know who replaces the current Dark Lord.

#52 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 03:29 PM:

Sajia, I got it from Avedon Carol. I don't know where she got it.

#53 ::: Tiger Spot ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 03:46 PM:

I voted this morning, along with my husband and one of our housemates (of the remaining two housemates, one voted absentee in Ohio a few weeks ago and one should be voting right about now). There were about a dozen people in line, with more trickling in at about the same rate as people were voting and getting out. I have no idea how many people usually vote in this area -- we haven't lived here very long. I do know that my neighborhood is really strongly Kerry -- practically every other house has a Kerry yard sign, and I've only seen one Bush sign in a 10-block radius.

#54 ::: Tiger Spot ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 03:48 PM:

Oh, and we are just outside of Pittsburgh, so I felt like my vote actually counted this time. Not like four years ago, when I lived in Texas.

#55 ::: Laurie Mann ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 03:54 PM:

Jim, Leslie and I voted at 7 this morning, Mount Lebanon, a mostly Republican suburb of Pittsburgh. We were voters 5, 6, and 7 in our precinct. However, when we left at about 7:05, there were at least 60 voters in line. There are usually 15-20 at that time of morning.

I have a big write-up in my blog about all the neat things I heard today while pollwatching. I'm starting, in a cautiously optimistic way, to think about that lovely word, "landslide!"

#56 ::: Michelle ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 03:56 PM:

Local races

#57 ::: L.N. Hammer ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 04:03 PM:

At 6:30 this morning, I had no wait for an empty booth for filling in my little black ovals. When I was done, there was a line of two.

I was disappointed to see only one Green party candidate on my ballot. The Libertarians managed to scare up someone for just about every partisan office.


#58 ::: mayakda ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 04:08 PM:

Mayakda, are these not machine-readable punch cards? (And why use punch cards, if they aren't?)
You're right -- they must be. So, just a short time till after the last voter votes, which is the last person in line at 8pm, which could be 100 people long, if it was like this morning. So maybe they'll be done by 10pm? ... I wonder if I can find out tomorrow.

#59 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 04:09 PM:

Laurie, the early news is good, but I'm watching out for last-minute dirty tricks, pulled when there isn't as much time to fight back.

Michelle, I'm sorry to hear about it. Who are the contending idiots?

#60 ::: Harry Connolly ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 04:18 PM:

We voted at 10 am, to give some space to people who had to vote before work. The election worker told me there was a line around the block at opening.

We didn't have a line, but the place was crowded. I was voter #383. Last election I voted three hours later and was #84.

People are turning out.

#61 ::: Janeyolen ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 04:30 PM:

I'm in a small Massachuetts town where the Book Club sells baked goods when you go in to vote.

Easy voting. Mark your paper ballot, turn it over, and put it through a kind of wringer/counter.

Only fun thing was my daughter insisting her daughter accompany her in the booth as she had for the past four years to "help" vote. Only one person objected and Heidi is nothing if not insistent. It runs in the family.


#62 ::: Cait ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 04:35 PM:

The line at my polling place (Md.) was out the door, down the driveway, and almost out into the street. The place was so crowded a lot of us had to park in nearby subdivisions and walk in, and the wait was an hour and a half. Very cheerful staffing by helpful folks from the Dept. of Public Works (Maryland apparently lets different groups "adopt" a polling place and supply poll workers, like the adopt-a-highway program.)

#63 ::: Laurie Mann ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 04:39 PM:

Teresa, yeah, I know what you mean. Rick Santorum was trying to impound voting machines in Philadelphia today.

#64 ::: Andrew Willett ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 04:43 PM:

The polls in Hell's Kitchen, NYC were bustling but uncrazy when I went in this morning. This was about 10:30--I figured if I could walk from my office to my polling place in a couple of minutes, I might as well stay out of the way of those who couldn't. The line was five or ten minues, tops. Apparently they'd been really busy earlier in the morning. Smiles all around.

How am I now? Between the bowls of leftover Hallowe'en candy, the every-few-minutes visits to Atrios, Kos, et al., and the airborne adrenaline levels in the office, productivity today has been dangerously close to zero. Don't tell anyone.

#65 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 04:58 PM:

Teresa, tell Patrick I said you are to grin as much as you please. We must take our pleasures where we can get them.

I realized this morning that today feels in some way related to the two afternoons in high school when all my friends came over and we watched the draft numbers get picked on TV. Except that this time it's the whole country that's going to be huddled around the TV awaiting news of the future.

Did I tell you that Rebecca is planning to be President? It gives me hope.

#66 ::: Alex Cohen ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 04:58 PM:

For those of you who turn to the last page to find out what happened, Slate, Wonkette, and MyDD are all leaking exit poll numbers. Of course, you shouldn't trust them anyway.

Zogby says to expect surprises in Colorado, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Florida, but frankly I think he's called them all wrong. Update at 5:30 pm.

#67 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 04:58 PM:

How is everyone?

I keep seeing a movie loop from something like Apocalypse Now, but Kerry is in command, and he's screaming to turn into the attack, and Chef just got on the machine gun and is mowing down the jungle. Except chef is shooting a hip mounted minigun, a-la Predator. Jimi Hendrix (hey, its my movie) gets behind a 50 cal and starts opening up.

The boat hasn't hit the shoreline yet, though.
It loops after about two thousand rounds have gone through the minigun.

I gotta stop listening to this "Rage Against the Machine" music.

#68 ::: Stephen Sample ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 05:13 PM:

My wife and I voted two weeks ago at the Board of Elections. Turnout was high for the early voting--up 10x from last year. And as of Saturday, over 30% of the Democrats in Durham county had already voted.

My polling place turnout was mediocre this morning, but it looked from the volunteers' phone rosters like many/most of the voters were in the "already voted" bin.

North Carolina might be in play for Kerry if enough folks in Asheville and the Triangle turn out, but the odds aren't with us. I think the odds are somewhere between those of the Dems re-taking the House, and those of them re-taking the Senate.

(Update, 4:00 PM EST) Whoa, a Slate exit poll just put NC at 49/51 Kerry/Bush. And that may not be counting the early votes, which are strongly Kerry--since they weren't exiting today. Come on, baby!

I've never seen the point of switching to unverifiable e-voting. Other than the fact that they need to be tuned and lubed, the ONLY reason ever to replace mechanical voting is to give a big fat contract to a new vendor.

Unverifiable e-voting? Of course not. But verifiable e-voting has some real promise, if we can get systems designed by security and human factors/usability professionals, with open, auditable, published code. The benefits are sort of indirect--things like easier accommodation of people with disabilities (as stated above), and multi-lingual ballots, and more in-depth explanations of initiatives. Oh, and you wouldn't get stupid-ass butterfly ballot designs done to save paper.

Done right, they could reduce the error rate from mis-votes and under-votes, and keep the security at the same level as that provided by the mechanical and optical-scan machines. In fact, a sensible way to implement the "verifiable" part would be to have the voting machine generate an optical-scan ballot that would be deposited in the ballot box.

Now, true, it's a lot of work to go through to generate an optical-scan ballot that you can fill out right now with a pen or pencil. And it's also true that no DRE system in use in the US has been done right. But it's an exaggeration to say that there are no potential benefits other than a big fat vendor contract.

I'm voting for a design team of Bruce Schneier, Tog, Jef Raskin, and Theo de Radt (or maybe one of the OpenVMS folks), but that'll never happen.

#69 ::: Kip Manley ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 05:30 PM:

At work, in Oregon, which means a) the party will be getting started when I leave the office, so no real dinner break, and b) I voted by dropping my sealed ballot off at a little booth in Pioneer Square. Vote-by-mail is inestimably civilized, even if I never actually mail the ballot in.

Though I do kinda miss the theatre of those big levers. Kachunk!

(There's more on "Mosh" at GNN, plus the best Quicktime version of the video I've seen, nice and big and crisp. Floored by it the first time I saw it. Between that and finally seeing the first 20 minutes of Fahrenheit 9/11, I've been in a mood.)

#70 ::: Toni ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 05:30 PM:

Here in Oregon we vote by mail. Ballots are mailed out two or three weeks before the election. Fill in the bubbles, insert the ballot in a privacy envelope, insert the pe in a mailing envelope, sign the me, and put it in the mail or hand-deliver it to the elections office. Registered voters who didn't receive their ballot can vote in person. (I hand-delivered my ballot about 10 days ago.)

Local television news reported last week that more than 50% of ballots had been turned in. Elections officials are expecting a record turnout of about 82%.

#71 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 05:34 PM:

How is everyone? I feel delinquent for not being able to pass around popcorn and chips.

No problem, we brought our own. I put the two six-packs of Anchor Steam next to the bathtub -- is that OK?

#72 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 05:40 PM:

Larry Brennan said "How about just having one electronic machine for such voters at each polling place, and have it print an optical ballot to be inserted into the scanner?"

In Hawai'i we have one touch-screen machine at each polling place (this may be fully instituted by 2006) for those who can't use the SAT-style paper/scannable ballots. I don't think it prints anything out to be scanned, though.

My ballot was #517 through the scanner at 10:45 am today. Crowds early, break mid-day, crowds late; that's the expectation from poll workers there. I have a rough guess of 2,500 voters in the precinct.

#73 ::: Sara ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 05:49 PM:

I took two of my children with me and voted this afternoon. We used the AT type of machines for the second time and I followed the protective measures by filling out my sample ballot, noting the times in and out, and the number of the booth and card.

I love taking my children in to see voting. We talk long before about the candidates and the process. My eldest daughter is 12; according to state law this is the last year she can enter the voting booth with either me or her father.

#74 ::: Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 06:20 PM:

Currently local loon, Alan Keyes just bought a book at my wife's bookstore. I guess he's not too concerned about how his numbers are shaping up.

#75 ::: Rich McAllister ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 06:28 PM:

Kind of late for this, but has anybody thought about setting up a AOL Instant Messenger or Yahoo! chat room for shared return watching? (Those two chosen as likely to have the best capacity...)

Oh, why fool around, I just created the "RoscoeReturns" chat room on Yahoo! (No, I don't know how to join a chat room by name using the regular Yahoo! client, I use gaim. Message me (k6rfm) and I'll invite you.)

#76 ::: Catie Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 07:08 PM:

I didn't look at my ballot number this morning (around 8:30) when I voted (it never even occurred to me that they were numbered), but there was a small line of people waiting to vote, and more people at the polling place than I've ever seen. Everyone was cheerful. The people running the show kept looking a little startled at how many people there were, but they were sure happy about it.

As I stood in line to put my ballots into the shooping machine (we color in ovals on our ballots, SAT-like, and then they get sucked out of the ballot-binder things by a machine which may or may not tally the votes, but it does go 'shoop!', which is very satisfying), the man in the booth beside me, who had his four year old kid with him, was saying, "Now, this one is about whether we want to build more schools." The kid said, "Yeah!", and I thought, now that's a *good* Daddy. :)

I also love voting. I've been reading articles all day about high turnout, and I keep getting all teary and sniffly about it, which is sort of embarrassing. But dammit, this is what it should be like, all the time! People should *care*! And when they do, I get a little verklempt. *fans self, sniffling*


#77 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 07:12 PM:

Fritz - I hope your wife didn't take a check from him!

Teresa asks how we're doing...
Tenterhooks, tenterhooks, tenterhooks.
(What is a tenter, and why does it require its own variety of hook anyway?)

The combination of the election and a phone interview this AM (which went well, but send good thoughts my way regardless) has left me in too-much-coffee-man mode. I'm sufficiently stressed out that I tossed caution to the wind, disregarded my diet and had a big plate of beef chow fun for lunch, and feel somewhat better as a result.

Here's one last GOTV photo.
(Rated PG, so unless you work in a very, very uptight workplace, it should be SFW.)

#78 ::: Paul ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 07:15 PM:

Stephen Sample: you'd have to make sure the machine generated the optical read-out slip in front of the voter, for them to carry back to the officials. Otherwise, it's worthless.

And yes, anything less than Bruce and Theo would definitely be skimping on the design...!

#79 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 07:17 PM:

How am I? I'm pretending that I'm not nearly sick with nerves, and not doing a very good job of it. Dinner's in the oven--the sauce looked too thin as soon as I'd dumped the macaroni in, but I'm assuming that baked mac & cheese is forgiving of such things.

#80 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 07:25 PM:

I think I was on the tail-end of the pre-work rush; the line just barely fit inside the doors when I arrived but was significantly shorter when I was done -- after a glitch from someone with an incorrect list of the streets that were being verified in the farther line. The woman handling the line I was supposed to be in recognized me and asked why I didn't know by now where I was supposed to go! And, like Jane, I found a bake sale going on -- but after pigging out at World Fantasy (huge servings of good food cheap, since we were right next to ASU) I figured passing was a good idea.

Somebody in the locker room apparently believes exit polls; he was saying "The one good thing is that we won't have Hillary running in 2008." With the current shift toward younger Presidents, would she be seen as too old in 2012 (or later, if Kerry can win twice and Edwards tries to succeed where Gore failed).

And I had my own supply of chips while reading this -- but it was a nice thought.

#81 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 07:52 PM:

Stephen Sample wrote:

I'm voting for a design team of Bruce Schneier, Tog, Jef Raskin, and Theo de Radt (or maybe one of the OpenVMS folks), but that'll never happen.

I ... my mind boggles at the thought of that lot in one room trying to design anything. That'd be cause to find the popcorn and sit back in a comfy chair alright!

#82 ::: Michelle ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 07:53 PM:

We've had a nasty state Supreme Court race here--both are wackos if you ask me.
And the prosecuting attorney, who I can't stand, runs uncontested.
Voted "None of the above" for both races.

No lines when I voted, but then there never are.

And I apologise for Bush's projected win in West Virginia. I don't know what's wrong with people here.

#83 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 07:55 PM:

Avram, what was the reason given for removing the latches

According to the Newsday article, its a mystery:

It is unclear why New York disabled the sensor devices on its voting machines. DeFrancesco, a veteran of more than 30 years at the Board of Elections, said he has not been able to determine the reason.

"Why they were disabled, I don't know," he said. "Believe me, no one knows why it was done."

#84 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 08:04 PM:

Re: electronic voting machine design - Forget the interaction and usability experts and give the contract to International Game Technology. They know a thing or two about building secure devices with good uptime.

Plus they could come out with a Simpsons-themed voting booth!

#85 ::: Bill Humphries ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 09:15 PM:

Slightly delirious from a mild case of flu, I think that explains the giddiness.

Otherwise I'm strapped into my seat on the entry vehicle, and trying to enjoy the shaking. Keeping an eye on the altimeter and hope that pilot 'chute works like it did in the wind tunnel at Ames.

#86 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 09:25 PM:

Well, for what it's worth, I got to the poll about 3:30; we vote in a park fieldhouse, and they'd moved the event from a modest conference room to the gym. I asked on my way back about crowds, and a very cheerful poll worker said he was hearing upward of 60%.

There were definitely more people than I'm used to seeing there -- possibly three times as many -- and this was the first time I can recall a significant line to put the ballot into the box. (Yeah, we use paper.) It was all moving very smoothly; most people seemed to be preregistered, though we have same-day registration.

Went to the supermarket afterward, and the entire staff seemed to have I VOTED badges, as did almost all the adults on the bus home.

Guess I ought to look at some results, at least to make sure my local people all got back in.

#87 ::: Laurie Mann ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 09:57 PM:

I probably had a bad case of irrational exuberance this afternoon. I was overly happy by hearing about the large turnouts in Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. Virginia has gone to Bush, but I think New Hampshire will go to Kerry and Pennsylvania will go to Kerry as well.

I was at the Kerry party earlier, but I was too tired to stay, so I left after about an hour. It was a mob scene. Right now, there's a TV camera at the local Bush party, and there's almost no one there. Of course, while there are more Democrats than Republicans around here, the Republicans don't think they're going to win.

Watch for Michigan. Apparently, the rural voters in the West came out in droves for Bush today, and there were more voting problems in the Detroit area.

#88 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 10:01 PM:

Well, I was driving home a few minutes ago and passed both the county Democratic HQ and the GOP HQ.

The Dems had a flock of exuberant teenagers out front with "Honk for Kerry" signs. The Republicans had three big white guys wearing "Security" jackets and scowls out front.

Says a lot.

#89 ::: Kate ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 10:04 PM:

I took my Mom to vote at 2 pm, in Beverly, MA. The number of registered voters in Ward 2/P 1 is roughly 1200 to 1300 - the count was 675 over half. This is a very high turn out! It was very odd not to be voting there, I've voted in Beverly for 20 years, since I was old enough to vote. So I went to the new polling place in Belmont, and voted. The count was 1070 at 3 pm. The worker I spoke with didn't know the number of registered voters in precinct 7. Very annoying.

And now at 10 pm - wbz radio is reporting that there are two counties, that are heavily democratic in Florida that may not be counted until THURSDAY.

G-d help us all if the Shrub gets back in.

#90 ::: Andrew Willett ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 10:26 PM:

This is killing me. I know that none of the calls so far deviate from the projections, and that the real nail-biters are still undeclared; I know that it could be days before we hear who won this election; but I also know I can't spend any more time thinking about this stuff tonight. Rather than slide into despair, I'm going to bed.

#91 ::: Ambar ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 10:30 PM:

What I want to know is, where is Edward Tufte when we need him? Why, after all the Monday-morning quarterbacking we sat through four years ago, are we still not getting maps with the states sized in proportion to the number of electoral votes they carry? (I admit I've only looked at C-SPAN and CNN.)

#92 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 10:43 PM:

Had lunch with a dear, conservative friend of mine last week (also got to testride a Ford Freestyle, traffic where his dealership was was too bad for me to want to test drive the thing). He started talking politics, I said, "you don't really want to do that, do you?" and he said, "I've only once before not voted Republican and that was for Nixon. My WHOLE family, who usually votes that way (except for him, they all live in Michigan) says Bush would be a Bad Idea. It surprised me totally.

#93 ::: Stephen Sample ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 10:52 PM:
I ... my mind boggles at the thought of that lot in one room trying to design anything. That'd be cause to find the popcorn and sit back in a comfy chair alright!

Well, sure. (*grin*) I was trying to avoid thinking about personalities. Given de Radt's reputation, that's probably a good idea, in fact. But Schneier might be able to work with either Tog or Raskin, and we'd still get a decent system with only 2 senior designers.

#94 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 10:55 PM:

Stephen Sample opined:

Well, sure. (*grin*) I was trying to avoid thinking about personalities. Given de Radt's reputation, that's probably a good idea, in fact. But Schneier might be able to work with either Tog or Raskin, and we'd still get a decent system with only 2 senior designers.

Uh... do you actually know any of them by anything other than reputation?

#95 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 11:33 PM:

Voted at 6:20 in Glendale, AZ. No crowds or line, which surprised me.

Would have voted slightly earlier, if I hadn't left the workplace to find the minivan out in the parking lot with a flat tire.

Not the fastest I've ever changed a tire (I was a lot younger the time I did it in eight minutes), but I think the second-fastest.

#96 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 11:34 PM:

Coincidentally, Larry, I sold 100 shares of IGT just today.

#97 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 11:52 PM:

I voted before lunch, in Cambridge. Bubble-fill optical scan ballots, no poll challengers, no drama, not much of anything out of the ordinary, except for the count on the scantron machine being higher than it was in 2000 when I voted after work.

#98 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 11:58 PM:

Here's where we say:

Hige sceal e heardra, heorte e cenre,
mod sceal e mare e ure maegen lytla.

#99 ::: Lenny Bailes ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 12:13 AM:

Florida, Ohio, and New Mexico -- all currently on the wrong side of the Zogby Psychohistory chart. The people who waited it out in the Ohio lines have been allowed to cast paper ballots -- which is somewhat cheering.

#100 ::: ElizabethVomMarlowe ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 12:21 AM:

I voted at 10 AM and waited an hour. That's never happened before. My election judges told me people were lined up at 5 to vote--they open at 6.

I don't think I can take the suspense any longer. I can't believe they've declared my state with only a third of the precincts in. Argh. Time for a glass of wine, some sleep, and a new strategy tomorrow if necessary.

#101 ::: Jim Macdonald (not Teresa Nielsen Hayden) ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 12:23 AM:

Kos says: "MSNBC exit poll indicates that the youth did not vote. The 18-29 bracket voted the same this year as in 2000, while 30-44 group was down."

Hope you guys like the draft.

#102 ::: Andy Perrin ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 12:34 AM:

"MSNBC exit poll indicates that the youth did not vote. The 18-29 bracket voted the same this year as in 2000, while 30-44 group was down."

I'd never have guessed it from the line this morning. Most of it (say 2/3) was under 40.

#103 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 12:35 AM:

My 15-year-old son just got back from his college campus tonight at 9:30 p.m. local time, having been there since 7:30 a.m. local time. As an officer in the huge student government (over 30,000 students) he was deeply involved in last-day get-out-the-vote effort. Although he's 3 years too young to vote himself, I do not accept that "youth" are apolitical slackers in danger of being drafted. I am rather proud of that generation.

When I voted, there were at least 3 precincts voting in the same large meeting hall, and I have never seen such a large turn out in a southern California polling place. It seemed to be over 75% of the local voters (based on my figures from when I had data as an elected official myself). There was an atmosphere of excitement. Most of the propositions that I voted for are projected to have won, but I may be up late tonight waiting for the Ohio presidential results to come in. The tenterhooks are sharp indeed.

#104 ::: Kate ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 12:40 AM:

We've started looking at Canadian real estate.

#105 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 12:59 AM:

I take small pride in the fact that all of the places I've ever lived are lit up blue.

Time to go to plan B: Invest in stupidity and self delusion. Liquor companies, casinos, fast food chains, companies that make stuff you bolt onto pick-ups.

I'll make myself feel better by donating heavily to the DCCC in 2006.

#106 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 01:01 AM:

Shit. NBC just called Ohio for Bush.

Yeah, draft the little suckers.

#107 ::: James Angove ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 01:06 AM:


As someone just (and quite possible not, after all) outside the draft range, with four siblings who aren't, I want to take this chance to thank you for your support.

#108 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 01:14 AM:

NBC just called the election for Bush. I sure hope they're wrong.

I voted at 2:30pm, my more-or-less normal time, and there were 25 poll workers (five times normal) and six voters (three times normal). Manassas is very conservative, a lot of people don't bother to vote.

Both Virginia Constitutional Amendments passed (I voted yes on both), the Congress guy I voted for lost (which I expected), and it looks like Bush might make it. I may have to change my .sig to something like "I voted for Kerry, don't blame me."

Claude, the fannish tradition is to put the beer *in* the (ice-filled) bathtub.

#109 ::: Alan Hamilton ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 01:21 AM:

CNN is still hesitating on calling Ohio, as the margin is still within change by the provisional ballots. If it does happen, Kerry would win the electoral college but lose the popular vote by 3% (current difference in the popular vote nationwide).

#110 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 01:27 AM:

Hmmm. I've typed a few despair-filled comments in this box, and even hit preview a few times. But each time I stopped before posting. Why? Because I still believe in this country.

I'm not conceding yet, but regardless of who's President, we're in for a rough four years. If Bush wins, I'm not going to pretend that the Democratic party will be better off for not presiding over whatever happens next. I will try to accept my sense of loss and I will try to control my anger.

I'm going to get on with my life. I'm going to hope the economy improves, regardless of which party gets to take credit. I'm going to fight for the causes I believe in, and against the causes that I feel are wrong.

I will have hope, and I will do my level best to find the courage to act on my beliefs. And I will try my best to not sound too hokey or too much like a motiviational speaker (starting right after I've finished writing this comment.)

Or something like that.

#111 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 01:39 AM:

Sajia et al - I found the Bangladeshis for Kerry rally photo on Yahoo News Photos. Both new-look Yahoogle & the older one have long & hideous URLs; I've put spaces in case they break the display here, so remove the spaces, or just search for pertinent terms onsite. news?tmpl=story&u=/041101/481/ dha10111011526
Bangladeshi supporters of U.S. presidential candidate John Kerry march urging American people to vote for Kerry, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Monday, Nov. 1, 2004 (AP Photo/Pavel Rahman)

Pic only: capt.dha10111011526.bangladesh_us_elections_dha101.jpg

Sad, bad news coming through this afternoon from the election (we just started Daylight Saving, I think you've just finished it, so it's a bit after 5:30pm Wed Nov 3rd officially here).
My pessimistic friend thought it was all set up well ahead, and is saying things about the lowest ebb is just before the turn of the tide. Also that sometimes you have to go & help the tide. I think he's somewhat at the stage of Aaron McGruder's "The Boondocks" comic strip of Nov 2, 2004

#112 ::: Harry Connolly ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 01:42 AM:

Larry Brennan, you say some nice things there. Very inspirational.

But I still want to secede.

#113 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 02:03 AM:


It's all Bush's fault now. He can't blame it on Clinton any more. He can't blame it on an obstructionist Congress. His policies are in effect. The ball is in his court. Any and all fuckups, disasters, sneak attacks, die-offs and crashes are his babies.

#114 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 02:23 AM:

Stone Pillow.

#115 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 02:35 AM:

NPR still hasn't called Ohio.

Gentlemen, start your lawyers.

#116 ::: Alan Hamilton ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 02:37 AM:

So far CNN and ABC aren't calling Ohio yet, either. It looks very marginal, though.

#117 ::: Lenora Rose ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 02:44 AM:

Possibly a dumb question from a Canuck, but - how can they call Florida with that many absentee ballots? They're a greater number than the current margin of difference between Kerry and Bush, aren't they?

(I'd phrase that better if it wasn't 2:00 AM local time and I wasn't awake only due to a cough. Apologies)

#118 ::: Alan Hamilton ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 02:53 AM:

Typically, the absentee ballots aren't that far off from the voting proportion of the regular ballots. If the margin of victory would require a candidate to get a largely different percentage of the absentee ballots, they'll go ahead and call it. So if the vote is 52% to 47%, you wouldn't expect the absentee ballots to show 25% to 75%.

#119 ::: Lenny Bailes ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 03:49 AM:

Late (12:00AM PST): Chris Matthews interviewed Joe Trippi on MSNBC. Trippi read several eloquent letters criticizing the networks for calling Ohio for Bush before all the votes are counted. Trippi also read from Daily Kos and the camera showed closeups of the most recent Daily Kos posts.

Whichever way it goes, the 51/52% popular vote for Bush makes me revert to my instinctive feeling that this is only partially a "more-rational-than-thou" political battle that we're in. I was thinking about tax strikes earlier this evening -- but I'm going to sleep thinking about the power of good gentle artistic memes to defuse the One True Meme. In the long run, this may be about holding on and doing what we can to help children build resistance to various forms of manipulation.

#120 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 04:05 AM:

CNN is now projecting Nevada for Bush. For the first time in this election, Nader seems to have made a difference, as Ralphie has about 1% and that's almost double the difference in popular votes between Bush and Kerry in that state. Nader gambled; we lost.

I'm glad that my wife has 2 passports, and my son has 3 passports -- all legally, mind you -- as moving to another country begins to look better. Unfortunately, where can one go to escape the baleful influence of the sick empire?

#121 ::: Ashni ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 04:17 AM:

I've got a question. Everyone is talking about lawyers demanding recounts, or waiting till the provisional ballots are counted. Both of these sound like long odds.

Why aren't the Democrats subpoenaing Diebold? The head of the company promised Ohio to Bush last year, on public record.

I haven't heard the company's name, or the phrase "electronic voting," once on the news tonight. I am not by nature paranoid; however...

#122 ::: Laurie Mann ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 05:49 AM:

Ashni, that's a very tenuous thread.

I lived in rural, southern Ohio in the early 1980s. It was a very conservative area. They had generally voted Democratic, but started going Republican that year. And they haven't looked back. And the red counties in Ohio are still going to be red counties.

Harry, I just want the South to secede...

We are in a culture war. It's a bigger problem for this country than the "war on terrorism." We have people who demonize minorities, partiularly gay people and liberals. The "no gay marriage" referrenda passed in every state.

#123 ::: PiscusFiche ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 06:38 AM:

TNH: Everybody I know in that particular age bracket voted. (And since that is my age bracket, I know LOTS of people in it.)

#124 ::: PiscusFiche ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 06:57 AM:

Oh, and if Ohio goes to Bush, I suppose it's not too early to say this: Is it time to start the impeachment proceedings yet?

(Is that a better option than moving to Canada? I like Canada--have even lived there--but immigration is a tricky and lengthy process, unless you have gobs of money or are a doctor.)

#125 ::: Michelle ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 07:45 AM:


As a general rule, many absentee votes are from military personnel, and the military leans Republican.

#126 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 07:53 AM:

Is it to soon to declare this a Day of Mourning? ("Mourning in America")Wear black for sorrow, not because it's cool. Looks like we now have a one-party government.

#127 ::: Chad Orzel ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 08:06 AM:

Teresa writes:
Hope you guys like the draft.

And Stefan ads:
Yeah, draft the little suckers.

I realize that these are heat-of-the-moment comments made in the small hours from a Bad Place, but as one who works with a lot of the young people you're slagging off, I'd like to ask that you consider, in the sober light of day, whether you'd like to moderate these statements.

(Apologies for the tortured phrasing. I get stiff and formal when I'm biting my tongue.)

#128 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 08:29 AM:

The "Teresa" who made that last comment was actually Jim Macdonald. He stayed here last night, used my computer, and forgot to change the automatically-filled-in personal info in the entry box. I'll fix it in a minute or two.

#129 ::: Alice Keezer ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 10:23 AM:

My husband predicts something akin to a civil war. My response? "I hope so." Meaning that I hope people won't take this lying down.

I probably shouldn't get into it here, but I must.

Even worse than the idea that we have the idiot in charge for another 4 years is that the next to run from the Democrats' side is Hillary.

I just hope McCain also runs that year.

Meanwhile, all I feel like doing is stomping my feet and yelling, "No, no, no, no, no, NO, NO!"

#130 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 10:30 AM:

Under the second term of the reign of Emperor Bush II, power was ruthlessly consolidated, and cowering subjects were subjected to attacks on civil rights such as:

US blogger fired by her airline

By Jo Twist
BBC News science and technology reporter

A US airline attendant suspended over "inappropriate images" on her blog - web diary - says she has been fired.
Ellen Simonetti, known as Queen of the Sky, wrote an anonymous semi-fictional account of her life in the sky. She was suspended by Delta in September. In a statement, she said she was initiating legal action against the airline for "wrongful termination"....

Under the far-right Republican control of the Senate, the Supreme Court appointments of Rove and Billy Graham were made that led to the establishment of God-Emperor Ashcroft, and the book-and-witch-burnings of 2007.

Then came Year Zero, and the incarceration of all intellectuals, including anyone who wrote or edited proscribed books, or wore eyeglasses.

Signs of World War II began to appear, but under the renewed Alien & Sedition Act, anyone pointing this out was deported or jailed...

#131 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 11:34 AM:

I guess I'm the youth vote.

I'm 26 years old, and I voted for Kerry. Everyone I know in the 18-29 bracket voted, and nearly all of them were for Kerry. I spent last night in a bar full of people in their twenties, watching the returns on a big screen. I doubt there was a single person in that bar who didn't vote.

I can only speak for the people I know, but we all understood how important this election was. We voted. We pestered our families, our friends, our coworkers, our neighbors. We called, we wrote, we donated.

I'm not sure where all these young non-voters are, but I can tell you they're not here.

I understand that you want someone to blame. I want someone to blame too. But in the light of day, maybe you'd like to reconsider some of the harsher remarks upthread? Don't blame my entire generation for this outcome, and I promise not to blame yours.

#132 ::: TChem ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 11:59 AM:

Re: youth voter turnout, what I saw on the news last night was that the youth vote comprised the same *percentage* of total votes--about 17%-- as the last time around. Considering the reports of incredibly heavy voter turnout, it doesn't look like people my age gave up, just that our numbers were in similar ratios to everyone else.

#133 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 12:00 PM:

An article I saw pointed to the "stealth" issue of civil unions and gay marriage--the boggling stat I saw was that 1 in 4 people who voted in Ohio identified themselves as born-again Christians, and they went 3-1 Bush.

The Christian GOTV effort didn't get much press, but apparently it should have.

#134 ::: Tiger Spot ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 12:04 PM:

My husband and my housemate and I are the youth vote. We voted early Tuesday morning. Our state (Pennsylvania) went for Kerry. We watched the Daily Show coverage last night, with the laptops open to the websites of CNN, the New York Times, and the BBC.

Towards the end of the show, Jon Stewart said something along the lines of "See these blue states up here in the Northeast? That's where we'll be for the next four years... huddled together... weeping."

Which is more or less what we've been doing today. Well, and hitting things. Weeping and hitting things. More constructive action to follow once we've recovered a little and eaten all the chocolate in the house. Which is a lot.

#135 ::: Lois Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 12:58 PM:

Alice Keezer wrote, "Meanwhile, all I feel like doing is stomping my feet and yelling, 'No, no, no, no, no, NO, NO!'"

That's a little politer than what I was yelling this morning. Hint: it starts with "f". F! F! F, f, f, f, f!

That's very strong language for me. When the Steelers lost Super Bowl XXX, all I could manage was the s-word. But then, even in Pittsburgh, Presidential elections are more important than "one for the thumb."

#136 ::: Alice Keezer ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 01:15 PM:

Being 26, I suppose I also represent the 'youth' vote. Only one of my friends voted Republican, and received enough grief about it that he's refused to talk politics since before the debates. Two other friends didn't vote, but only because they're married, and cancel out one another's vote.

I understand a lot of the huge turnout was elderly conservative voters. My husband has no qualms about blaming them. I do agree with him, to a point: they've just screwed themselves out of affordable medication and decent social security. At the same time, though, they're just one group among many that did this to America. If they were the only idiots among the bunch, this wouldn't have happened. Heck, even if it was the elderly plus the young'uns' apathy, this wouldn't have happened.

But there's a large portion of mainstream America that's apparently very scared, and very easily fooled.

#137 ::: Harry Connolly ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 01:49 PM:

Laurie, having the south secede wouldn't be enough. We'd have to slough off huge portions of the midwest, too.

Hell, they can even keep the name. It's tainted anyway.

I'm sure we could come up with a worthwhile name. The only question becomes should the west coast states and the northeast form separate countries? Or should we form a single, unconnected country?

#138 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 02:26 PM:

PiscusFiche wrote:
(Is that a better option than moving to Canada? I like Canada--have even lived there--but immigration is a tricky and lengthy process, unless you have gobs of money or are a doctor.)

As a Canadian, I have to say that I'd be rather nervous about a sudden influx of people immigrating from the US. Listening to a variety of friends (and immigrants) from the US, it's hard for me to avoid concerns about a wave of immigrants more interested in making things "like they should be back home" than integrating with the existing culture[0].

It's unfortunate that there's a common perception in the US that Canada is "just the same, but smaller". We aren't. We're a proud and distinct nation and culture - and we'll apologize for it at the drop of a hat!

On the other hand, one interesting benefit of all of these troubles has been a distinct reversal of the brain-drain.

[0] and we've certainly had our share of interesting issues along those lines already.

#139 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 02:54 PM:

To all the wannabe expats - I recommend Douglas Coupland's Souvenir of Canada for a quick peek inside one Canadian's view of his country.

For all the hype about Generation X, and my desire to push him away, Coupland really manages to put forward a world view that I find very much in line with my own. I even liked Life After God.

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