Iraqi Amnesty: Carrots and Swords | Main | More on Josh Marshall's Breathless Fakery as It Develops
July 12, 2004

On Postponing the Election

Gee, I wonder if Paul Krugman is going to hyperventilate over this tomorrow.

Nick Kronos discusses the issue, although I think he misses the point. He talks about people having had their "minds changed" by a terrorist attack, and how such votes are just as good as any other.

That's not the main danger of a terrorist attack. I don't think that people are talking about contingency plans for postponing voting simply because a terrorist attack occurs in October and someone thinks it would be a good idea to have a "cooling off" period before elections, to let passions subside. At least, I hope that's not the sort of thing they're thinking about.

I personally am thinking of Democratic Primary Day 2000, better known as 9-11, when voting was simply cancelled. And even had it not been cancelled, no one was voting past 10:30 anyway, as we all had much more important concerns, such as stocking up on water and food and making sure that loved ones had made it home alive.

And some people, of course, were dead or in the hospital, while others were digging through hot, smoking rubble.

The main danger is that, either the day of voting or a few days before, terrorists blow up a few polling places, and thus suppress voting throughout America. Or that a major attack makes voting simply impossible or inadvisable in a big city.

Americans barely vote as it is; imagine the turnout when going to the local fire station could potentially result in death or maiming.

This could have all sorts of dire effects; oddly enough, though, such attacks would probably help Bush, because Republicans generally fare better with reduced turnout, and especially because most of these attacks will take place in cities.

In many states, the vote is a contest between the Republican rural areas and the Democratic cities. If bombs go off in Detroit or Dearborn polling places, for example, one could easily imagine the urban vote being badly depressed while the rural and suburban vote is less suppressed. And then Michigan, which might have gone to Kerry, would go to Bush.

The Constitution specifies the day upon which elections will be held. But what happens if events make it impossible to have a national vote on that day (by "national vote," I mean "all jurisdictions are able to vote")? What wins out? The Constitution or reality?

I think, on balance, we probably should just live with the consequences of a terrorist attack on or shortly before voting day. The trouble is that any other regime would put the power to decide whether to delay a vote or have a re-vote into someone's partisan hands, and no one in this country trusts the partisans of the other side.

Joshy Marshall would have conniptions about letting the Bush Administration decide to postpone an election; I honestly don't blame him. I sure wouldn't trust John Kerry or Al Gore to make such a decision, either.

However, if we agree that we will vote on Election Day come hell or high water, I don't want to hear the liberals like Josh Marshall demanding that we have a new vote or extended-voting-period should bombings damage Kerry's electoral chances. Either we agree, in advance, under what circumstances we might alter the rules and timing of voting, or we agree, also in advance, that whatever happens on Election Day, happens.

I don't want to experience what I know damn well will happen-- i.e., the liberals take a "wait and see" attitude as to which candidate a terrorist attack hurts, and then, if the attacks hurts Kerry, they then start demanding special rules after-the-fact.

digg this
posted by Ace at 10:23 PM

| Access Comments

Recent Comments
Getcha Pull: "I think the p*** lawyer accusation is really the t ..."

tcn in AK: "Nice. I'm growing out my winter coat. It's shiny. ..."

Hrothgar's Consulting Service,VLLC [/i][/b][/u][/s]: " It's shiny. Posted by: hogmartin at September ..."

Cosmic Charlie: "Never has a right to express her opinion, it would ..."

dartist: "Rusty Nail at September 24, 2018 10:02 PM (SN4NF)H ..."

ALH: "I think I know what the Dems will do next since th ..."

AnonyBotymousDrivel: "Ford isn't some mixed up chick fighting previous d ..."

Infidel Librarian: "Cool picture at the top! ..."

Insomniac: "Hey! ..."

Deplorable Jay Guevara, now with an added spark of divinity, just back from the Mid-Atlantic [/i][/s: "Oops. ..."

Harry Paratestes: "Im all boxed in here ..."

Tonypete: "Fist? ..."

Recent Entries

Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64