Sunday, November 02, 2008

Election Day 2008 is TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 4!

Election Day this year is Tuesday, November 4, 2008.

It is NOT "Wednesday, November 5 if you are a Democrat." It is not November 8, regardless of what your Senator may be claiming:
As you go around to and talk to your friends, your colleagues you work with, you go to church with, you drink coffee with, please tell them we need 'em to vote for John McCain and for Saxby Chambliss. If by chance they ...uh ...uh ...drinking something different that day and say they're not going to vote for John or me, tell 'em the election's November the 8th.

- Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia)

Blocking the vote is an old tradition among Republicans. One time-honored method is to create confusion as to where and when voting is being held, which is an especially effective technique when new voters are involved. It is possible that Saxby Chambliss may be trying to make a joke - which, in the tradition of great Repug humorists like Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and Bill O'Reilly, is completely devoid of humor - and a somewhat outdated joke at that, since the "November 8" date would be consistent with the version of this joke that was told in 2000, when Election Day was November 7.

But things have taken a more serious turn in at least one state. Virginia is a battleground state with large numbers of first-time voters and an extremely high expected turnout. The "November 4th for Republicans, November 5th for Democrats" hoax has been making the rounds there, but according to this entry on it has recently turned up in a new version - with what appear to be official state logos:


According to Snopes, "This form of humor moved closer to the 'dirty tricks' column from the 'funny jokes' column in late October 2008, when it was circulated in Virginia on fliers bearing the name and logo of the Virginia State Board of Elections as well as the logo of the Commonwealth of Virginia." Actually, I would say that "this form of humor" has moved beyond "dirty tricks" and into the "fraudulent attempt to disenfranchise voters by providing false and misleading information while impersonating a representative of the State of Virginia." I'm pretty sure that sort of thing might just be a felony.

UPDATE: actually, it turns out to just be a "Class 1 misdemeanor." Follow these links for more information:,_DISREGARD_FAKE_FLYERS-_10-28-2008.html

There will be lots of efforts to prevent voters from getting to the polls on November 4th, from the old-fashioned roadblocks that were scattered throughout predominantly black areas of the rural South back in 2000 to more sophisticated attempts like this. It's the patriotic duty of every American to take a stand against this sort of crap. I don't care if you're Democrat, Republican, Independent, Green, Socialist, Communist, or whatever - trying to fraudulently disenfranchise voters is wrong.

One effort to fight this - or at least to document it - is the Twitter Vote Report:, October 30, 2008 · If you have any voting problems, NPR wants to hear about them. As part of Twitter Vote Report – a project born out of a collaboration of volunteer software developers, bloggers and the NPR social media desk – we'll be monitoring voting irregularities, everything from long waits and broken voting machines to polling places with insufficient ballots.

UPDATE, 11/3/08: Got this in the e-mail today:

Hey DB,

I read your post today mentioning Twitter Vote Report. Over the weekend I got a chance to interview Nancy Scola -- one of the people who helped create TVR -- for an article I wrote for PBS about the multiple Web 2.0 tools citizens are using to monitor the election:

Anyway, thought this was something you and your readers would find

Take care,


For more voting information and resources you can also visit

And remember:

Election Day
Tuesday, November 4, 2008.


Anonymous said...

C'mon Harold. You know the rules changed this year. Republicans vote on Tuesday. Democrats vote on Wednesday!

hedera said...

Given how easily phishers counterfeit the logos and web site looks of major banks, trying to get your financial information, it's hardly surprising that these "vote phishers" can counterfeit the State of Virginia. I guess we have to assume that the Republicans have crawled into the 21st century.

But you're right: it's dirty tricks.