November 7, 2006

Election Day Open Thread

Carroll Andrew Morse

Election day. One-man (or one-woman) one-vote. The day when the voice of the lowliest blogger counts as much as the voice of the most powerful official.

Election day makes us all equal in another way. We all know that no one knows, better than anybody else, how the biggest news story of the day is going to turn out. In that spirit, here's a place for some open source coverage of (i.e. an open thread for) election day itself; Anchor Rising readers are invited to use the comments section of this post to give their own real time thoughts and observations on today’s election.

Of course, at the very least from a national perspective, the biggest race in RI today is the Senate election. For those of you still undecided, here are thoughts from...

  • Justin Katz, arguing for voting for Sheldon Whitehouse
  • Don Hawthorne, arguing for abstaining in the Senate race, and
  • Marc Comtois, letting you know you are not alone in being undecided.

The comments are open now!

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

OK folks - here's the plan - come on board if you agree.

It's time to show some of that good 'ole fashioned Chafee loyalty: in the Senate race write-in "George H.W. Bush."

Some have opined that they'll sit out this race, or write-in Steve Laffey.

Both respectable and principled decisions, but before you do, consider ...

As the winner is declared by a plurality of the vote, sitting-out a race renders one's opinion irrelevant. (For example, with an average voter turnout of 50%, imagine the impact nationally, and the races "swung," if just 10% of those who currently don't vote decide to turnout and vote against whoever is the incumbent.)

As for writing-in Steve Laffey, while it is a valid protest against Chafee and his hijacking of the Republican primary, consider that his people / the media may spin it as a petty, vindictive act of Laffey / his supporters. So while I too considered writing-in Laffey, I've decided to go the write-in "George H.W. Bush" route.

This way, there can be no question that those that did so were protesting Chafee, and in a principled (and somewhat humorous) manner.

Posted by: Tom W at November 7, 2006 9:51 AM

The sign holders at the North Kingstown fire station are WAY within 50 feet of the door. The whole station is only 15 feet from the street!

Posted by: Greg at November 7, 2006 9:51 AM

I heard this on Fox News at about 6:00 AM today (11/7):

{Cotent of post will be restored if it can be confirmed}.

Flush Chafee!

Posted by: George at November 7, 2006 11:36 AM

{Sorry to be a wet-blanket, but uncomfirmed rumors with a completely anonymous chain of provenance will be deleted}.

Posted by: Mike at November 7, 2006 11:49 AM

On my way back from voting - including writing-in George Bush in the U.S. Senate race - I noticed in Newport signs (apparently new today) that look exactly like the oval "Keep Chafee" signs, except that they say "Help Bush."

It would be interesting to know which camp produced / installed them, for I suppose they could have come from either.

From the standpoint of the Chafee flacks, as a plea to Republicans to support Bush via Chafee, notwithstanding Chafee's record.

From the standpoint of the Whitehouse flacks, such signs would be consistent with Whitehouse's "vote for me to send a message to Bush" theme.

I suspect that the signs are attributable to the Whitehouse camp, but it just goes to show how confusing it can be with Chafee due to his seeming lack of consistent political principles.

Posted by: Tom W at November 7, 2006 11:54 AM

Even IF this were true - and it is simply not credible, given his track record - why would he be "pissed off" at the Democrats?

Because they ran a Democrat candidate against him after he declined to convert BEFORE the election?

If Chafee is "pissed off" at the Democrats for that, it's just another example of what a naive idiot he is - and arrogant despite the "aw shucks" persona he puts on - he thinks that because of his last name he is ENTITLED to be a U.S. Senator ... and how dare anyone oppose him!

Posted by: Tom W at November 7, 2006 12:08 PM

Well, shoot. I did all my homework on the other propositions over the weekend, and I TOTALLY forgot about the city ones. I stared down at that third, pink ballot sheet in horror.

Most of them I could decide on the fly, but then I got to, "Shall the reference to section 1205 be corrected to make reference to section 1207? (Amends section 1208)"

Any other Provential know what I just didn't vote on?

Posted by: S. Weasel at November 7, 2006 12:08 PM

He may have a bone to pick with Clinton/Schummer, but Chafee has bent over backwards in order to kiss up to Democrats here in RI. If/when he defects, it will be real easy for him to make up with Chuck & Hurlery.

Posted by: George at November 7, 2006 12:49 PM

Tons of illegals Fogarty telephone poll signs were put up overnight near polling places, though most have since been removed. They should (and do) know better.

I've been working at a polling place all day (on a break now). Tons of problems with our voting machines locally. Don't know if other places around the state have similar issues. I think it might be a long night.

Posted by: Will at November 7, 2006 12:50 PM

I don't see Chafee defecting, and I disagree with Justin. I think we need to hold the Republican majority in the Senate for a lot of reasons.

Posted by: Chuck at November 7, 2006 1:04 PM

"On my way back from voting - including writing-in George Bush in the U.S. Senate race - I noticed in Newport signs (apparently new today) that look exactly like the oval "Keep Chafee" signs, except that they say "Help Bush." "

Yup, I can testify to that. Someone was putting one on the off ramp from the Newport Bridge, right after three real Chafee signs, as I drove by late this morning.

Like Tom W, I had to stop and think which way they were trying to push my vote. There were a gaggle of Whitehouse volunteers at Ocean Coffee Roasters a short time later so my guess is that the Whitehouse camp put them out. But even aside from the ambivalence of the message, the color scheme exactly mirrored Chafee's. So anyone just getting a quick glance is going to take it for a Chafee sign.

Wish I could help you, S Weasel. Is such referendum wording even legal? How would anyone know what they're voting on?

Posted by: SusanD at November 7, 2006 1:07 PM

I certainly don't remember seeing a question quite that obscure before, Susan. This being Providence, my first thought was that somebody was putting something over on me. But for the life of me, I don't know what.

Posted by: S. Weasel at November 7, 2006 1:28 PM

Welp, I had problems voting, but it was really just a minor snafu. My particular Warwick polling place encompasses two separate districts, each within a separate Ward. As usual, I showed up right at 7 AM because I figured I can handle the nearly inevitable mistakes and confusion that go on first thing in the morning and that, with some gentle suggestions, I may be able to help the poll workers get things rolling in the proper direction. (For instance, sometimes they seem to have a hard time pointing people to the right table for their respective voting district).

At the table for my Ward, after some searching through the voter rolls, the poll worker verified that, yes indeed,
I was a legit voter for my Ward and District. I proceeded to the voting booth and filled in all of the arrows for which I cared, but paused over my City Council choices. That name didn't look familiar, I thought. And then an older gentleman next to me said "This is the wrong ballot!"

After a bit of confusion, it was discovered that the poll workers at the table for my Ward and District had handed out the wrong ballots for my Ward and District. Instead, we got ballots for the other Ward and District at that particular polling place. The other Ward did get the proper ballots, though.

Pretty quickly, the correct ballots were
also found at the table for the other Ward. We were told to void our ballots by filling in all of the lines and to re-vote. We did.

Meanwhile, the ballots being cast for the other Ward were not being taken by the machine located next to those booths. The reason was because that machine had been keyed for ballots for my Ward, not the other (follow that?). And the other machine--supposedly for my Ward's ballots but really for the other--broke down!

Eventually, the poll workers determined that the ballots and machines had been physically set up incorrectly. In short, the voter info for each ward had been set up on the wrong tables, but the ballots and machines had been correct. Eventually, after some more confusion involving a Board of Elections official,
the situation got ironed out after 45 minutes. Voters in my Ward crossed over to the other ballot counting machine and vice versa. I can confirm that, eventually, my vote counted.

Addendum: During this time, I almost left my ballot in the voting machine bin to be counted later (that's a viable and legal alternative)...but I
was quite hesitant given the already exhibited problems. And then I heard one poll worker say something to the effect that "Sorry, but we have these problems and won't get voting reform because the Republicans in Congress don't want it..."

Hm. That's why I waited it out.

Posted by: Marc Comtois at November 7, 2006 1:56 PM

Speaking of Providence, today was the first day we're required to put our trash out in those new green wheelie bins. I watched the guys go down my street; instead of grabbing the sacks and slinging them into the back of the truck in one deft swing, they had to open the bin and lift the bags up and over the edge with their arms. It looked a lot more awkward than it sounds. And I'm guessing they're going to stink to high heaven when they're first opened in Summer (uhh...yeah. Sorry. I have two litterboxes to clean).

Was the rat problem downtown really that bad?

Posted by: S. Weasel at November 7, 2006 1:59 PM

Please Don't vote for that mobster Ralph Mollis he is a disgrace to what all of us here in RI who want anti corruption and a clean government want. If we elect him the Dems will pay the price by the time his term is over.

Posted by: ken at November 7, 2006 1:59 PM

Regarding the chance that Chafee will defect, my feeling is that the Republicans can "Keep Chafee" - after all, they bought him fair and square!

Posted by: Jake at November 7, 2006 5:21 PM

Yeah, what was up with all of those Fogarty signs on the power poles? I felt like ripping a few of them down this morning. Oh, and the line of hacks handing out last-minute campaing flyers at my polling place in Smithfield was a lot closer than 50 feet to the entrance.

Posted by: Chris at November 7, 2006 6:27 PM

Ah. Feeling strangely fine after voting for George H. W. Bush for senate.

Posted by: Greg at November 7, 2006 7:28 PM

Its not about Chafee, its about the committee chairs. I dont mind loosing the house, especially if we hold the senate. That means gridlock and that means fewer earmarks and spending. BUt if the Dems get the house and the senate,,,, ouch on my wallet.

Posted by: WJF at November 7, 2006 7:36 PM
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