The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

The Rave

November 6, 2012

Watch for election hijinks

In Florida, where elections and debacle are almost synonymous, Democrats sued to stop a state plan to shorten early voting periods.

Last year Florida shortened the early voting days from 14 to eight. With Tuesdays being a workday, some states, such as Florida adopted early voting to make the elections process more accessible. But as throngs turned out in Florida to vote on the weekend, would-be voters were forced to stand in lines snaking around the block while the Republican governor has refused to extend hours. Opponents of the move say there is no legitimate reason to shorten voting periods other than to make voting more difficult. In Pennsylvania, where there is no in-person early voting to curtail, the festering problems are ongoing fretting over whether people are going to be confused about whether they need identification to vote. They don't, but opponents of ID requirements say that state public awareness campaigns are misleading. Even then, despite the political games that created the situation, the Department of State has worked feverishly to satisfy the law before and after the voter ID rule was postponed. Monday, the ACLU said that after the organization complained that a Spanish version of the state's voting web site included inaccurate guidance for voters, the state quickly corrected the problems.

Polls suggest that the election will be a dead heat, but that Obama has a distinct edge in electoral votes. But with the popular vote expected to be decided by a razor-thin margin, any and all hints of voting irregularity ought to be subjected to intense scrutiny.

Here in the Central Susquehanna Valley, there is little reason to believe that anything will go wrong today. However, with so many people engaged in the election and the climate divided by partisanship, we encourage voters to be alert for problems and let us know if something seems off. We will be pleased to make dirty-tricks playing poll workers famous.

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