An Early Start for Voting and Election Day Headaches
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Early voters are standing in lines all over the country as election officials brace for a massive turnout on election day. Claims of fraud, intimidation and intentional disenfranchisement already are being raised. We hear from the hot spots and look at the possible consequences. Also, Obama cautions against diplomacy desipte his strong lead in the polls, and and American voters aren't very well informed. What does that mean for the quality of their decisions in presidential elections?
Banner image: Voters line up to cast their vote outside the North Miami Public Library on October 30. Hundred of residents waited over an hour in line to take advantage of extended voting hours that were ordered by Florida Governor Charlie Crist. Photo: Robert Sullivan/Getty Images
Final Day Has Obama with a Strong Lead in the Polls ()
With polls showing his lead decreasing in swing states, Barack Obama's biggest fear is complacency. Today, in Jacksonville, Florida, he urged supporters to "work like our futures depend on it for the next 24 hours because it does" Meantime, John McCain is summoning all his energy to accomplish an upset, urging supporters to "get your neighbors to the polls. I need your vote." Andrew Kohut is president of the independent Pew Research Center on public opinion.
Election Day Headaches Are Starting Early This Year ()
John McCain and Barack Obama are back on the road with less than a day left in a campaign that's lasted the better part of two years. In a year of extraordinary political developments, one of the big stories is early voting, designed to make the process accessible to more voters and easier on election officials when there's a heavy turnout. Early voters have been standing in line for hours, and tomorrow's turnout may swamp election officials all over the country. Charges of fraud, intimidation and intentional disenfranchisement are already being raised. If the voting is close, legal challenges will delay the results. We hear about new rules and first-time voters, ID checks and provisional ballots, malicious rumors and fears that all the votes won't be counted.
- Paul Gronke: Director of the Early Voting Information Center, Reed College, @gronke
- Doug Chapin: Election Expert, ElectionLine.org
- Tanya Clay House: Director of Public Policy, People for the American Way
- Edward Foley: Professor of Law, Ohio State University
How Informed (or Uninformed) Are American Voters? ()
Classic studies dating back to the 1950's and 60's reveal that Americans are unsophisticated when it comes to issues or ideology. Their votes are determined "more by faith than conviction" and "by wishful expectation rather than careful prediction of consequences." What does that mean for the quality of their decisions in presidential elections? In a country with universal suffrage, aren't these are important questions? Larry Bartels directs the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics at Princeton University.
- Larry Bartels: Director of the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics, Princeton Universtiy
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