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Thursday
Jul 31st

Will voting irregularities continue in 2008?

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This year we could have some general election type of voting shenanigans in the primaries the likes of both the 2000 and 2004 Presidential elections in Florida and Ohio that ensured we would not be able to "stay out the Bushes," as the Rev. Jessie L. Jackson warned us. Factoid: The contentious resolution of Presidential voting disputes in Florida and Ohio are also part of George W. Bush's controversial legacy.

With Illinois Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) surging in both Iowa and New Hampshire opinion polls but remaining in a statistical dead heat with both Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and former Senator John Edwards (D-NC) in Iowa, while still trailing Clinton in New Hampshire and nationally; the question of voting irregularities may end up deciding the contest for the Democratic Presidential nominee.

Thus far the recent history of the Presidential nominating process for both political parties has been relatively uneventful, with either an incumbent or a primary-anointed candidate emerging by the time the South Carolinian contest rolls around.

However, this year we could have some general election type of voting shenanigans in the primaries the likes of both the 2000 and 2004 Presidential elections in Florida and Ohio that ensured we would not be able to "stay out the Bushes," as the Rev. Jessie L. Jackson warned us.

"Many Americans went to bed thinking that former Vice President (and now Nobel Laureate) Al Gore had won, only to wake up to the closest Presidential race in the history of this country"

With about 40% of caucus goers still undecided, they know their decision is important because Iowa voters can help to vault someone towards the White House or end the hopes of the likes of Senators Joe Biden (D-VT), Christopher Dodd (D-CT) and Governor Bill Richardson (D-N.M.), and the Republican Presidential dreams of former Senator Fred Thomson (R-TN).

Luckily the process in Iowa is about as far from a hanging chad as Des Moines is from Baghdad. How the caucusing happens is similar to numerous town meetings all over the state where, in neighborhood after neighborhood, friends meet and try to appeal to both friends and acquaintances in an effort to convince them to see things their way.

After the political wrangling has been completed, the number of people caucusing and whom they voted for are counted, and the winners and losers are announced.

In New Hampshire there is a more traditional type of voting situation where one person goes into a booth and casts one vote for a particular candidate, and then that vote is counted and winners declared. The interesting twist is that Republicans can vote for Democrats and vice versa.

Given the closeness of the presidential horse race between both the Democrats and Republicans, and given that the most post powerful position in the free world is up for grabs, quite literally anything is possible.

If we remember the not-too-distant past, current President George W. Bush looked as though he had lost the 2000 Presidential election. Many Americans went to bed thinking that former Vice President (and now Nobel Laureate) Al Gore had won, only to wake up to the closest Presidential race in the history of this country, which ultimately had to be decided by both the Republican-led Florida state senate (in a state controlled by George Bush's brother, then Republican Florida Governor Jeb Bush) and the Supreme Court of the United States.

This was also a noteworthy contest in that the current President Bush could claim no real mandate from the American people as he had actually lost the popular vote. But in our democratically-inspired republican system of government it takes winning the Electoral College to be declared victorious.

President George W Bush did a little better in 2004, at least winning the popular vote by concentrating on Ohio and Florida, but still irregularities were noted in these and several western states.

So as we move ever faster towards the conclusion of this initial round of gateway states
 

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