QUICK NOTE:

IN CASE YOU HAD TROUBLE VOTING ON ANYTHING YESTERDAY, PLEASE CALL ONE OF THE FOLLOWING NUMBERS: 877-GOCNN-08, 866-OUR-VOTE, 866-MYVOTE1 and then make sure to tell others about your experience!


OK, now, on with the post!

Wow, well, as I've already said, it's great that Obama won, but we have a HUGE landslide to thank for that. If 7 million American voters weren't so motivated to demand change, we'd be having a different conversation right now. However, the conversation about our very fallible election system still needs to be had.

What happens in 2010 or hell, even today with a few races still left undecided at this point? It seems like Al Franken is pretty close to losing or winning (more on this in a bit) and Prop 8, out in California, is still up in the air (more on this, too). The point is, when things are tight--when you have either two lame candidates (as in 2004) or two really good ones, the American people often end up splitting right down the middle. This means that every last vote needs to be counted--especially yours! And you know who I'm referring to--YOU--every damn YOU out there deserves to have a vote that is counted.

All that given, let's have a look at some headlines and links to stories about voting irregularities that I've found at a couple of my favorite web-based digs:

Felony Disenfranchisement and the Right to Vote: Democracy Now!’s Mike Kimber Casts a Ballot for the First Time
As tens of millions head to the polls today, we take a look at the issue of felony disenfranchisement, the practice by state governments of barring people convicted of a felony from voting, even after they have served their time. What many don’t realize is that while a few states have permanent felony disenfranchisement laws, many allow those with a felony record to eventually rejoin the voter rolls. Democracy Now!’s Mike Kimber discusses his experience casting a ballot for the first time in his life after realizing he was allowed to vote in New York.
www.democracynow.org/2008/11/4/felony_disenfranchisement_and_the_right_to
I took a law class in high school that taught us that when you are convicted of a crime all of your rights go out the window--including the right to vote. Apparently, that's not true in many states. It's this very gray area that often ends up being a source of disenfranchisement for voters around the country. If you have a criminal record, don't assume you have no voice!

50,000 Report Voting Problems
Overall, more than 50,000 voters called the Election Protection hotline Tuesday to report problems at the voting polls.
www.democracynow.org/2008/11/5/headlines#6
This is just DN reporting on the same story 866ourvote.org reported on yesterday (I reported on it, too!).

FEENEY FLAMES OUT
FL-24 Congressman, Election Integrity Enemy, Defeated
www.bradblog.com/?p=6628
This is a very important (and GREAT) thing to note, so here's a longer excerpt from this post at BradBlog.com:
Congressman Tom Feeney, rated by nonprofit watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (C.R.E.W.) as one of the "most corrupt members of Congress" for three years straight, has been defeated in Florida's 24th district. Regular Brad Blog readers know Feeney as the man who allegedly asked computer programmer Clint Curtis to write vote-flipping software in 2000 and escaped all accountability in an investigation stacked with Jeb Bush loyalists.


Yeah, pretty crazy, huh? What's hilarious is that Curtis ran against Feeney for his seat and lost. GEE, I wonder how THAT HAPPENED! (Could it be the software Curtis wrote for ya, Tom?) Oh, and it's not "allegedly" since Curtis testified under oath that Feeney asked him to make the vote-flipping software--Curtis even passed a polygraph.

Dirty Deeds, Done Dirt Cheap
Glitches, Problems and Irregularities, Oh, My
Obama Won, But that Doesn't Fix Our Broken Electoral System

www.bradblog.com/?p=6631
This post at BradBlog.com (written by BB guest-blogger Jim Cirile) covers reports of voting irregularities from all over the damn place: Vermont, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Iowa, Florida, and California. These reports cover everything from screwy ballots, to Republicans harassing voters, to Ink-A-Vote "machines" being stolen in Los Angeles.

Franken Good Enough, Smart Enough
And Gosh Darn It, About Half the People Like Him
UPDATE: AP 'UNCALLS' RACE, NOW 'TOO CLOSE TO CALL', WILL TRIGGER AUTOMATIC RECOUNT...

www.bradblog.com/?p=6634
So, remember how comedian Al Franken was running for office in one of those "real" America states? Well, in the senate race between Franken and Norm Coleman in Minnesota is apparently in a dead heat. The AP actually reported that Franken had lost, but because he had lost by less than half of a percentage point, by law, a recount must now be done--so they un-reported the Franken loss. This is a classic example of why our election system needs to be solid. In cases like this, where it's neck and neck, it is excruciatingly obvious why every last vote matters.

How's this for ironic:

VIDEO: Actor Tim Robbins Denied Right to Vote
Seeks Judge's Order to be Returned to Roll After Being Purged in NY...
www.bradblog.com/?p=6636
Yep! After being Mr. Super-Hyper-Democrat-Liberal-Activisty-Guy, Tim Robbins gets purged incorrectly from the voter rolls. This is just going to make us hate him more because he is right when he whines about how our vote being precious and that anyone of us could fall prey to this kind of disenfranchisement. Hell, I got disenfranchised back during the primaries in February. If this citizen blogger (yours truly) can be a victim and so can that big Hollywood-liberal-elite-espresso-man, how do you know that YOU are safe?

Ah, fear-mongering is fun! Too bad it's justified...

And finally, the most depressing story of the day, Prop 8 has yet to LOSE.

California's Prop 8: Too Close To Call!
While the Yes on 8 Hate Mongers Declare Victory, No on 8 Campaign Understands Need to Wait For Complete Vote Count
Marriage Rights Hang in the Balance

www.bradblog.com/?p=6637
This is a HUGE deal because it's effectively a ban on gay marriage, so here's an excerpt from that post at BradBlog.com:

California's proposition 8 currently has more "yes" (to discrimination) votes than "no" votes tallied, 52.2% to 47.8%, according to California Secretary of State Debra Bowen's website. This represents a difference of 434,830 votes. But according to the No on 8 campaign, three to four million votes remain uncounted.


Gotta love that, man. I wish I had known about Prop 8 sooner or I would have added that to my mix of topics here at ThePete.Com. You can bet I'll be blogging on it soon.

Regardless, this is a great example of why every vote counts. If this law fails, gays across the state of California will still be able to get married. If it passes, gays across California will NOT be legally recognized by the state as being in a spiritual/domestic partnership with another person. Regardless of which side of this issue you fall, isn't it obvious how important it is to count all the votes?

Of course, laws should be about protecting rights, not removing them.

Just my 2¥, as always!