Just when you think you have it right, life steps in and reminds you how shortsighted you can be. The first Lady was right about voting early because toilets may overflow. Mother Nature just caused millions of toilets to back up and many east coast voters may not be able to use polling places and equipment to vote. What are the odds?
I am genuinely apprehensive about next week’s election and the consequences of wide spread power outages up and down the eastern seaboard. For the first time in my life many Americans may not be able to cast a ballot on Election Day. Electronic voting systems may not be able to function as designed and many States simply don’t have the emergency paper ballots or equipment to scan and tabulate those ballots available for next week’s election.
If you thought the 2000 Bush/Gore Florida election was a debacle, wait until this one works itself out. The largest city in the United States is flooded and power may not be restored in suburban New York Areas for over a week. If this election is close or if President Obama is defeated, I suspect that our entire national voting protocols will be dissected and scrutinized like no other time in our nation’s history.
At least half a dozen states have been seriously affected by this storm and while voters work through the devastation Sandy has wrought, my concerns for Election Day continue to grow. I know that many in our country may be reveling in thought that the Democrat dominated East Coast may not be able to vote but what of the integrity of our electoral process? Does Obama really need an excuse to challenge the outcome of this election?
At a time when serious governing decisions need to be made, this extreme weather event will test the foundation of our Democracy. The United States cannot afford to wage an agenda-driven, and what might be an extended, legal battle to determine the outcome of our Presidential Election. Our Federal government has been sitting on their hands and waiting for the outcome of this election before moving on make-or-break legislation our nation needed four years ago. Real catastrophe is on the horizon and the world is watching this election closely.
It is my belief that we are headed for a monstrous confrontation over this election. Add Sandy and it just gets worse. For months small battles have been waged about voter suppression and alleged Civil Rights violations in swing states across America. Trust me when I say there will be no concession speech until all votes are counted and certified in this election.
It will be interesting to see how the media behaves while this election plays out. Now more than ever they have the power to set America on fire with already inflamed racial tensions making many nervous. Not only will the character of our elections be tested, but so will the boundaries of the First Amendment. Politically predisposed news anchors and journalists would do well to show some restraint when choosing to re-light the fuse of racial animosity that has been burning during the campaign.
The damage Sandy wreaked on the East Coast is repairable, but the carnage that could be unleashed if Americans believe an election was stolen is incalculable. In the end, like it or not, we are a nation of differing opinions and explosive passions. If our leaders fail to protect the rule of law in our upcoming election it could spell the beginning of the end for our Republic.