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Premature Frothing...

Atrios - and a host of others are touting this story as a sign the George Bush is planning on canceling the election in November (or other such nefarious actions).

There is only one problem with that latest conspiracy theory - no one in Washington is even taking DeForest Soaries phone calls...

WASHINGTON (AP) - June 21,2004 - DeForest Soaries had never heard of the Election Assistance Commission when the White House asked him to be its chairman. In the six months since, he has come close to quitting.

Congress created the commission after the 2000 presidential election dispute to act as a clearinghouse for election information, make recommendations about technology and other issues and distribute $2.3 billion to states for new voting machines.

Yet, the commission couldn't afford office space. Lawmakers and Bush administration officials who had clamored for reform were slow to return calls. Although electronic voting was dividing election officials nationwide, commissioners had no way of conducting research about its use. Getting support for changing haphazard voting systems proved difficult.

...Soaries and the three other commissioners were appointed in December, nine months late. Of a $10 million budget authorized for 2004, the panel received just $1.2 million. Some lawmakers worry that a lack of money and time will prevent it from being effective.

Clearly this is a man trying to get some attention for his bipartisan commision, that is mostly unfunded and drifting aimlessly.

Doesn't sound like a likely candidate to hatch and execute evil plot to take over the country...


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Comments (8)

Just out of curiosity, and ... (Below threshold)

Just out of curiosity, and not be being sarcastic (I really would like to know), how about a straw poll here. How would conservatives react to a canceled or postponed election, or the declaration of Martial law.

DSA, Wal-Mart would notice ... (Below threshold)

DSA, Wal-Mart would notice increased sales of .357 ammo, trust me.

Assuming a major attack...<... (Below threshold)

Assuming a major attack...

Delayed elections - fine
Postponed elections - Depends on how long. Days OK, weeks No way
Canceled elections - Not possible.

The electoral college is going to meet and pick a president as required by the Constitition. The dates are explicitly set. The various states are resonsible for sending electors to the EC, and they use the general election voting to apportion those EC delegates. It all gets constitutional on how they do that, but I think they could send a slate of delegates without a popular vote. Of course they'd have to answer to voters if they did that....

All that said, it's never gonna happen... And if something were to happen it would probably be up to each state as to how to proceed.

Thhat is cool. I am glad to... (Below threshold)

Thhat is cool. I am glad to see we think alike on this issue, and I agree on all points.

I have a hard time imaginin... (Below threshold)
Boyd:

I have a hard time imagining a situation which would justify not holding elections on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. I just can't think of a scenario where that's even thinkable.

Any problems with conducting a vote as a result of a terrorist action would be localized, and it would be up to the municipality and the state to determine how to proceed (adjusting poll opening/closing times, polling locations, etc.).

But federal rules? It's no wonder Soaries can't get anyone to listen to him. Any rule at all would be worse than no rules.

IMHO, of course.

How would conservatives ... (Below threshold)

How would conservatives react to a canceled or postponed election, or the declaration of Martial law.

As implied by Kevin's comment, it would depend on the justification. I can imagine a scenario where nationwide martial law could be justified, but since the Soviet Union went bye-bye there just hasn't been anybody with the mojo to make it happen.

I'm with Boyd, but a large ... (Below threshold)

I'm with Boyd, but a large dose of Marble would be my initial reaction. 9-11 happened on primary day here in NYC. It was rescheduled, but life (pretty much as it were, except for the obvious) went on in the rest of the country. So whatever the excuse that was given to do something as drastic postponing ("until whenever we decide," since if a short date was given it would just be a delay), or 'Martial Law' ... if that pronouncement came down, I'd be stocking up on shells and heading to the bank to sign out my Eagles and clandestine Kruggerands from the safety deposit box.

I could see a widespread bi... (Below threshold)
Ryan Frank:

I could see a widespread biological attack resulting in martial law and delayed elections (to prevent speading of a disease).... Other than that, I dont think so either.




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