I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Well, that didn't take long

In Ohio, where virtually every poll describes the GOP as being about as popular as Ann Coulter in an ACLU meeting, the Republicans are still (for the moment, anyway) in charge of the State Government and the board of elections. First thing this morning, during the first "golden hour" for voting during morning drive time, voting problems errupted in Franklin county, the heavily Democratic stronghold including Columbus. Several polling stations reported multiple voting machines suddenly not working, (two out of four at one precinct and three out of five at another, just to name a couple) voters were being turned away for having "improper ID (even though they had legally allowable ID with them) and the phone system crashed across the county. (The new Diebold machines rely on a phone connection to hook into the network.)

Machine problems

Electronic glitches delayed voting or temporarily caused long lines at several polling places:

At Worthington Estates Elementary, three of the five voting machines malfunctioned in precinct 3-B. Voters waited up to 90 minutes to cast ballots. By 8 a.m., five machines were back in service with short lines.

Machines were down at two of the three precincts at Bexley High School. Two of precinct 4-B's five machines were not working, according to Margaret Park, a poll worker with 20 years of experience. A printer failed to work on one machine. “This one is chirping like a cricket,” she said of another defective machine.

voter ID confusion and denial

Arguing with poll workers didn't work for Columbus attorney Maggie Weber, 30, who tried to vote a regular ballot with her driver's license as identification after waiting in line for 45 minutes.

The address on her license is different than the address where she's registered to vote in Precinct 21-E in Clintonville. According to state rules, she should have been allowed to vote a regular ballot anyway.

But although she also showed poll workers at Maple Grove United Methodist Church a current utility bill with her name and the address where she's registered to vote, she was forced to use a provisional ballot.

To head off the same problem, her husband, Jeff Weber, simply showed a utility bill with his name and current address when he went to vote several hours after his wife.

By then several observers were at the precinct, trying to keep poll workers from making errors in regards to identification requirements, Jeff Weber said.

A poll worker told Weber, 36, that he also needed his driver's license to vote, but he pulled out a copy of The Dispatch and showed her a list of identification requirements that noted a voter could use either a driver's license or a utility bill.

Also, according to The Dark Wraith, poll workers registerd with the GOP were given "special extra training" last Friday after the approved, state run training for election workers was finished. The board of elections knew nothing about this and the Democratic poll workers received no such additional training.

What do you suppose they were getting trained on? How to turn away voters in heavily Democratic areas and how to unplug voting machines?

Just yesterday Robert Novakula himself described Ohio as a "bloodbath" which would be "littered with GOP corpses" when the results were tallied. Don't bet the ranch on it, Bob. They've got a few bullets left in those guns yet.

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