I am both delighted and depressed at reading this article at the Wall Street Journal. I am delighted at seeing so many civic-minded folks devoting time and energy to making sure each vote cast is tabulated correctly. But I am terribly depressed that such an effort is perceived as needed in my country.
As related previously, I have become convinced that there were serious irregularities in the 2004 election, and that most of them were caused by the actions of Republicans or Republican operatives. I have not gone so far down the conspiracy pathway as to believe that this was the result of a concerted and planned program to steal the election, but as a measure of my cynicism, it really wouldn’t surprise me.
We’ve all seen the horror stories of ballots from strongly Democratic areas turning up missing, voters that arrive at the polls intentionally being confused, turned away, and lied to. The term is ‘disenfranchised’. It would be nice if we could ignore such behaviors, except these kinds of dubious tactics and ‘dirty tricks’ have already been implemented in this election, again carried out by the Republican party.
As I’ve said before, the concept of ‘one man, one vote’ is the cornerstone of democracy. If you are willing to demolish democracy itself in order to gain or maintain power, then you are a greater threat to our country than any foreigner. If we truly need monitors and watchdog organizations to safeguard the legitimacy of our own elections, then we don’t need Al-Qaeda to destroy America. We’ve already done it ourselves.
Update: You say potayto, I say potahto. To me, these volunteers are civic-minded poll watchers. To the conservative bloggers out there, they are either ‘Liberal Big Brother’, ‘Lefty Poll Watchers’, or (my favorite) “leftwing agitators”. You can see which blogs link to the above WSJ article, and what they have to say about it, at Technorati.