Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Further Adventures in Ridiculous Electioneering

Ohio secretary of state J. Kenneth Blackwell has agreed to delay destroying ballots from the 2004 election. Meanwhile, Blackwell's critics are suing for stronger protections.

Ohio, you'll recall, narrowly went to George Bush in 2004, thereby deciding that election. You'll also recall that since then there have been repeated and credible allegations that the Ohio election was poorly and unfairly run, possibly outright fraudulent .

So it's good that the ballots are at least getting a reprieve. It would be nice to eventually find out whether, in addition to all the anti-Democratic (and anti-democratic, for that matter) selective purging of voter rolls, there was actual ballot-box stuffing, as now seems likely. If it did happen, Ohio needs to face up to it and fix the process.

On the other hand, it's horrifying that J. Kenneth Blackwell is doing this in part to look better while he's--wait for it--running for governor of Ohio. You gotta be kidding me. The elections official who bent over backward to help one party beat another in a Presidential election is really running for an important public office?

Surely it's a joke. Surely we're not that out of control as a nation. What's next, Katherine Harris running for Senate in Florida?


You'd think, living in Chicago as I do, I'd be over my surprise at electoral skulduggery. Somehow, I remain naïve.

You know, although genuinely fair elections would be the best, this time around, I’d settle for karmically fair elections. Wouldn’t it be nice to watch Blackwell and Harris smiling fake and funereal grins because they knew that, this time, the people in charge of registering voters and counting ballots were Democratic appointees holding themselves to precisely the same standards of integrity and fairness Blackwell and Harris adhered to when they were in charge?

(On the plus side, Ted Strickland seems to be beating Blackwell by a good margin, and Bill Nelson seems to be walloping Harris in Florida.)


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