October Surprise?

You know, comrades,” says Stalin, “that I think in regard to this: I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how; but what is extraordinarily important is this — who will count the votes, and how. 

Boris Bazhanov’s Memoirs of Stalin’s Former Secretary, published in 1992

Sadly, it would seem that several blue states decided the would cut out the middle-man — rather than worry about counting the votes, they’ll simply neglect to send them in a timely fashion.

According to the MOVE Act, the states were supposed to mail out absentee ballots to overseas voters, including military personnel serving in foreign lands, 45 days before an election.  Delaware, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington State all applied for waivers from the Department of Justice regarding compliance with this act, which were granted, despite the lack of demonstrable hardship that left them unable to comply with the law, which is the standard for granting such a waiver.  In the case of New York, they simply scheduled the primary sufficiently late (four days before the primary) that they couldn’t possible send out the ballots — a little too cute, I’d say.

Of course, the Department of Justice, rather than admonish the states for their failure to comply with the law or demonstrate a real reason they couldn’t comply with their electoral responsibilities, simply handed out the waivers two-a-penny candy.  Now, here we are, nearly a month later and New York *still* has yet to fully comply with the law.

And there isn’t just something rotten in the Big Apple…  Apparently, while the dead might be able to vote in Illinois, their military personnel might not.

Cris Cray, Director of Legislation at the Illinois State Board of Elections, says not all of Illinois’ 110 jurisdictions were compliant with the 2009 Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (MOVE).

The law requires every state to mail their absentee ballots 45 days prior to Election Day to overseas troops, government employees and other Americans who want to vote from abroad.

Cray says she is currently compiling data from each of Illinois’ jurisdictions to determine which were compliant and which were delinquent. Cray said it’s possible the ballots may not be counted because the state was tardy in sending them out.

Illinois was required to have all of its absentee ballots mailed by Sept. 18, the national deadline. Election officials have until Nov. 15 to count the absentee ballots, which must be postmarked by midnight Nov. 1 to be eligible.

Coincidentally, there are tight races in which the generally more conservative military ballots could make a crucial difference.

Of course, we all know we can rely on the Civil Rights division to protect the rights of our men and women overseas, the same way they protect the rights of every voter here in the United States, right?

Democrats urged to avoid meeting with constituents this summer

Congressional Democrats are being urged by leadership to avoid town hall meetings and other public events that offer the ability for voters to ask questions in uncontrolled settings. Last summer’s finger waving and YouTube video accounts seems just too much to handle for faltering Democrats.

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Like Rats Abandoning a Sinking Ship…

Apparently, there has been a crisis of confidence of late within the ranks of the Democratic party, with recruited candidates backing out of their races, even in putatively “safe” districts.  From “The Hill:”

“Democrats have lost yet another touted recruit, this time in Kansas.

State Sen. Laura Kelly (D) just announced her withdrawal from the race to face Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.). She becomes the fifth formidable recruit to bow out in recent weeks.

“I have been forced to make a decision between honoring the pledge I made to the people in my Senate district and my firm conviction that the people of the 2nd congressional district deserve a truly independent voice in Congress,” Kelly said in a statement.

“This has been a very hard decision, but it is the right one.”

Kelly joins several recent dropouts, including businessman Jack McDonald, a well-funded challenger to Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) who announced last week that he wouldn’t run. The others are Ohio state Rep. Todd Book, who was running against Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio); former Tennessee Commerce and Insurance Commissioner Paula Flowers, who was running for Rep. Zach Wamp’s (R-Tenn.) seat; and Solana Beach City Councilman Dave Roberts, who was running against Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.).”

Just as rodents seem to know then a rotting vessel is about to go under, I have to wonder what it is that these recruited and, in some cases, touted candidates know that we don’t.