(Arlo & Janis via GoComics.com)
… or Blessed Samhain. Or, if you’re in that kind of mood, happy Wednesday.
Some positive news: Per the Washington Post, “Storm doesn’t appear to dampen early voting in Ohio“:
… Only one county — Erie County, on the shores of Lake Erie — reported a power outage at its early-voting site Tuesday morning. An election official said the start of voting for the day was delayed from 8 to 10:20 a.m. Voters have been mailing in absentee ballots and voting in person since Oct. 2.
According to the Ohio secretary of state, more than 1.2 million Ohioans had voted, either by mail or in person, as of Friday. That figure represented more than 20 percent of the total votes cast in the 2008 race…
Most public polling has indicated that early voters in Ohio favor Obama by a wide margin, and Democrats have been pushing the practice especially aggressively, so any weather-related slowdown probably would have concerned Democrats.
Instead, several key Ohio counties reported especially brisk business at their early-voting centers Monday as the storm bore down. Franklin County, home to heavily Democratic Columbus, had its busiest day Monday since voting began, as did the swing county of Hamilton, home to Cincinnati…
Via commentor Lamh35, Bretin Mock at Colorlines on early voting in Florida:
Despite setbacks such as Gov. Rick Scott’s HB 1355, which undercut voter registration drives, reinstated harsh felony voting restrictions and his notorious purge program, voters turned out in record numbers this past weekend: over a half-million people cast early votes statewide by Monday morning. In Hillsborough County, 36,702 early votes Saturday and Sunday—roughly 2,500 of those cast at the C. Blythe Andrews site in Tampa’s historically black College Hill neighborhood. As of last night, over 55,000 voted early.
These numbers far outweighed the historic 2008 election here, when less than 17,000 turned out for the first weekend of early voting, 1,248 at Andrews (then called College Hill Library). Back then, those were considered remarkable numbers. This year, they’ve almost doubled that, despite the odds against them….
There were a few hiccups Sunday, with strange poll watchers—some authorized, some not—showing up at the Souls’ Polls site trying to cause problems. One watcher tried to challenge a voter over her acceptance of fried fish. Stories vary on what happened, but according to Lewis, a poll watcher—a white woman in a sea of black voters—reported to poll judges that a woman headed to the voting line was bribed with a fish sandwich to vote for Obama.
Another poll watcher, described by Lewis as being a Republican Party-appointed watcher, asked poll judges if they “could stop or slow down” the number of voters entering the library because it was getting crowded. Then one poll watcher tried to interrogate an 11-year-old girl about what all the fish serving and gospel music playing was about. In every case, the watcher was confronted by lawyers from the Election Protection team who were at the site in full force, dozens of lawyers, authorized poll watchers and volunteers from the NAACP, SEIU, Obama for America campaign and the Hillsborough County Democratic Black Caucus. The voters were barely disrupted…
I don’t see why those fine Christian Republicans are so prejudiced… against fish sandwiches. IIRC, when their most important Deity held his biggest, most significant political rally, fish sandwiches — well, loaves and fishes — were His choice to feed the crowd!
Finally, once again, Professor Krugman reminds us not to get distracted by shiny objects:
… A lot of political journalism, and even reporting on policy issues, is dominated by the search for the “secret sauce”, as Martin puts it: the insider who knows What’s Really Going On. Background interviews with top officials are regarded as gold, and the desire to get those interviews often induces reporters to spin on demand.
But such inside scoops are rarely — I won’t say never, but rarely — worth a thing. My experience has been that careful analysis of publicly available information almost always trumps the insider approach.
This is sort of obviously true in election season: in a vast, diverse country, no amount of talking with big shots (who are pushing an agenda) — or for that matter hanging out at campaign events and trying to assess the mood — is a substitute for polls that collectively sample tens of thousands of voters…
What’s on the agenda for the morning?