1. Regardless of your political persuasion, who do you think’s going to win the US Presidential election. Will it be:
a. McCain wins the popular vote, but Obama wins the electoral college.
b. Obama wins the popular vote, but McCain wins the electoral college.
c. McCain wins both.
d. Obama wins both.

I’m leaning towards d, but fear b.

2. How will the swing states go? As of yesterday, Electoral Vote attributes MS, SD, WV, and AZ(!) as weak McCain, GA, IN, and MT as barely McCain, FL, MO, and NC as barely Obama, CO, NV, OH and VA as weak Obama, and ND a dead heat. What’s interesting to me is how much bluer the map has gotten in some places and redder in others. AZ was solid McCain and MO barely McCain just last week, but IN moved from barely Obama. I expect Obama to win FL because of the Great Schlep. Traditionally, at least where I grew up, there were lots of blacks and Jews working together on civil rights issues so I’m hoping that translates to votes this year. The state Obama could win that would least shock me is Georgia. Not only is former Congressman Bob Barr running, but the early black vote has been strong, I’ve been told.
Actually, any state that isn’t solid red may be in play for Obama. Maybe I’m crazy, but in the Evanier poll, I picked 364 electoral votes.

3. What will be the “Florida 2000/Ohio 2004” for 2008?

Of course, I fear shenanigans. This story about NM just one example. Here’s a machine problem in WV. Democrats in Virginia are getting notices in the mail that tell them Democrats are to vote on November 5th instead of the 4th. Nevadans with Hispanic names are getting calls that they can vote by phone. In some places, letters are going out saying that when you show your ID, you’ll be checked for outstanding warrants or parking tickets. I was hoping Ohio would be cleaner than before under new management, though indications suggest that its troubled history will be replicated.

And it may not even be intentional. This from a friend of a friend – NOT an apocryphal tale:
Although [the 89-year-old man] voted in the primary election, the Early Voting officials could not find his name or address on file. [The man and his daughter] went the Craven County (NC) Board of Elections office… The officials “tried to re-register him only to find Dad and his address no longer existed. Well guess what, they finally found him in their records only to inform me that he was listed as DECEASED as of 7/24/08 per the State of North Carolina. They were still unable to find his residence. I happened to have his tax papers in my pocket book but of course that didn’t help. I was told that this problem was a mistake made in Raleigh and that it would be after the election before the problem could be fixed. Dad was given a Provisional Ballot and we were assured me that his vote would be counted.

If this happened to someone who voted in the primary, what about those elderly people who haven’t voted recently? Here’s hoping that everyone, who knows elderly persons who are planning to vote, tell them DO NOT WAIT UNTIL ELECTION DAY BECAUSE IT MAY BE TOO LATE. Make sure that they vote early just in case they have been listed as deceased and taken off the roll.”

Still, I’ll pick Missouri as the most likely trouble spot. There’s no early voting, it’s a significant state and it’s in play. It may or may not matter at the end of the day, but there it is.

Other political notes:
Precautions to take. Albany-based, but may be useful to others.

Some see gold in ‘Osama’ ballot goof. Those Rensselaer County (NY) ballots that had Osama for Obama are going for $50 to $100 on Craigslist.

A Poem for The Young Voter.

And this gem from earlier in the month, which I missed:
7th-Grade teacher to students: Obama is a ‘N’-word. Angry parents in the northwest Florida community of Marianna want a middle school teacher fired after he put the “N”-word on the board to describe Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama. The Marianna Middle School teacher, Greg Howard, is now serving a 10-day suspension after writing an acronym on the dry-erase board on Sept. 26: “C.H.A.N.G.E. – Come Help A N*gg*r Get Elected.” But many parents want the 17-year teacher fired. The seventh-grade social studies teacher’s class has 17 White students, six Black students and one Asian student. Initially he was suspended for the day without pay, but that was elevated to the 10-day punishment. He must also write a letter of apology to students. “We feel like the punishment is sufficient,” Larry Moore, superintendent of the Jackson County School District, told The Detroit Free Press. “We did not feel he had to be fired.” NAACP officials say they will reserve their actions in the case until their investigation is complete.


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