This thing may not be over on 11/6

posted at 1:46 pm on October 28, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

I suppose I should feel a little bit guilty for saying it, particularly on the pages of a politically oriented publication, but I’m pretty tired of this election. It’s been going on roughly since Christmas of 2008 – or at least it feels that way. The GOP primary was actually pretty good this year and it revved up both my interest and enthusiasm far more than the parade of munchkins on both sides four years earlier. But once it was done, the whole thing began to feel like one, long tedious slog through the summer and an exhausting swamp march to just get it all over with. But now we’re only about ten days from the finish line and – hopefully – the beginning of Mitt Romney’s turn to see if we can’t turn this country around and get everyone back to work. So one week from this Tuesday night we can all breath a sigh of relief and just get back to our lives, right?

Maybe not, at least according to Alex Roraty. In addition to possible – though unlikely – recount scenarios, provisional ballots could tie things up in knots.

A court ruled that Pennsylvania’s strict new voter-ID law can’t take effect until after the election, for instance. Restrictions on groups that register voters in Florida were reversed, and Colorado’s secretary of state largely backed off a plan to force suspected noncitizens to provide proof of eligibility.

But several battlegrounds are notable exceptions. Virginia now requires voters to provide some kind of proof of identification, whether a driver’s license or utility bill. That’s a broader range of acceptable forms than most proposed voter-ID laws, but voters could still show up at the polls without any identification on hand. In that case, they’ll have to cast a provisional ballot and prove their identity later — a headache if officials are trying to determine the winner of a close race in their state.

Even more so than Virgina, Doug Mataconis notes that Ohio may have a huge and lengthy sorting process for absentee and provisional ballots.

The state where there could be a big Provisional Ballot problem, though, is Ohio where Secretary of State Jon Husted sent an application for an Absentee ballot to every registered voter in the state. According to his office, some 1.4 million voters returned the application and were mailed an Absentee Ballot. That number may increase since voters have until November 3rd to request an Absentee Ballot. So far, about 620,000 of those Absentee ballots have been returned and, under Ohio law, they must be postmarked no later than November 5th and received no later than ten days after Election Day in order to be counted. Here’s where things get complicated though. Under the law, if someone who has requested an Absentee Ballot shows up at their polling place on Election Day, they are required to cast a Provisional Ballot. The reasons for this are rather obvious,, of course. Once it’s been noted in a person’s voting record that they have requested an Absentee Ballot, there’s no way for the people at the poling place to know if they had already cast that ballot, or if it had been placed in the U.S. Mail prior to Election Day. The Provisional Ballot is intended to make sure that someone isn’t improperly voting twice, and it makes sense. Under the law, though, those Provisional Ballots cannot be counted before November 17th. So, if Ohio ends up being so close that the margin between the candidates is less than the number of Provisional Ballots cast (not to mention the unknown number of Absentee Ballots postmarked by November 5th and received by November 16th), then we may not actually know who won Ohio for at least ten days after the Election. Since many analysts see Ohio as the key to an Electoral College victory, that means it’s possible that we wouldn’t know who the next President is until some time just before Thanksgiving.

I tend to agree that recounts in most of the battleground states, while certainly possible, probably wouldn’t hold up a decision. The only time that’s going to happen is if one of the states in question is locking up enough electoral college votes to stop both candidates from getting to 270. And I think we’re at a reasonable level of certainty that we won’t see a 269-269 tie either. (The third scenario brought up by Roraty.) But the one state with the combination of many EC votes and lots of paper ballots to count is certainly Ohio. I saw yet another poll this morning showing the Buckeye State tied up at 49% each. If it plays out closely enough that the provisional and absentee ballots will carry the day, we’re in for a long wait full of hyperbolic screaming. And as much as I despise the idea, Obama and Romney truly are running to be President of Ohio at this point. There are almost no scenarios where either man gets a clear, well defined victory on the evening of November 6th without carrying that state.

So stock up on coffee aspirin. We may have a ways further to go than we thought.

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sablegsd on October 29, 2012 at 12:51 AM

Fortunately most of the people here are intelligent enough not to be alarmed or swayed by such frivolous stupidity.
But not all…..

Badger40 on October 29, 2012 at 12:53 AM

Not trying to sway any votes or change any minds.

gumbyandpokey on October 28, 2012 at 11:53 PM

Why do you like socialism, which is communism?

Badger40 on October 29, 2012 at 12:46 AM

Just in case you don’t look for replies to your posts. We hit another page & just wanted to be sure you don’t miss my question.
I’ve asked it of you on numerous threads before.
I’m sure you’ve just been too busy reading polls & missed it.

Badger40 on October 29, 2012 at 12:55 AM

Looks like the rumored Battleground poll that Brit Hume touted doesn’t show Romney +5, it shows Obama +1, LOL!!!!!!!!

gumbyandpokey on October 29, 2012 at 12:59 AM

This has got to be the best thing Hot Air has offered in weeks!

long_cat on October 29, 2012 at 1:00 AM

gumbyandpokey on October 28, 2012 at 11:53 PM

gumbyandpokey on October 29, 2012 at 12:43 AM

gumbyandpokey on October 29, 2012 at 12:59 AM

I realize you are ignoring me.
You always bug out or stop posting or ignore direct questions like this.
I’m truly curious why you love Obama so much that you are shilling for him in a place where you say you are not here to sway anybody’s opinions.
So then are you here to debate ideas or just troll?

Why do you favor socialism over our Republic?
Why do you support & fight for a man like Obama who wishes to destroy America?
Why do you like seeing a man in power who makes life an even greater hell for poor people?

Badger40 on October 29, 2012 at 1:04 AM

gumbyandpokey on October 29, 2012 at 12:59 AM

Now I see according to the clock:

Badger40 on October 29, 2012 at 1:04 AM

It’s been 5 minutes btwn our posts.
Perhaps your reply will magically show up as I type & post this.
Wouldn’t that be something?

Badger40 on October 29, 2012 at 1:12 AM

Oops! I guess not gutmeandpokeme.

Listen. You’re like some little 1st grader who wants to tag along with the high schoolers.
I get it.
We were all young once & remember how cool it was to be seen amongst the elder ones.
But the schtick gets old.
You’re like the fly buzzing around my horses ears when I ride him.
Old Red gets annoyed.
But he’s hardly really bothered.
So fictionalcharacterboy, perhaps it would be more interesting if you actually engaged in ideas instead of worthless skewed statistics.

Badger40 on October 29, 2012 at 1:15 AM

And pokeboy?
I don’t care about polls that are even for Romney.
What I care about is America & having a good person in the WH who is a real leader & wants to her back on the track she needs to be.

Badger40 on October 29, 2012 at 1:16 AM

we just need to win by enough votes so the demoncrats dont steal the vote with dead and illegal votes

liveammo on October 29, 2012 at 1:22 AM

Gore was just the beginning. They already have 5K lawyers in the ready to fight. Seems to me they are ready to contest every state vote that does not favor them. Ugh….slog…umundo! Speaking of massive carbon emissions….

rocker98 on October 29, 2012 at 1:57 AM


Valerie Jarret: Well, you have a big dressing room, though.
President Obama: What, bigger than the puppets?!

Marcus on October 29, 2012 at 2:00 AM

Bold prediction? Romney will win by a large margin.

Proof? Not only are the polls headed in his direction but history shows an incumbent has never overcome these type of numbers. Especially given the velocity with which they are changing.

The second part, which is also worrisome, is that some Democrats are already starting the “why can’t we all just get along” talk. Combined with pressure on Mr. Romney to work in a “bipartisan” manner- that should scare the pants off anyone wanting to move us in the right direction.

Nothing, and I mean nothing good has ever come from the type of “bipartisan” talk from Democrats. In fact it has made our situation worse. It has been their firewall against making any meaningful change that will help our situation in the long term.

I will sound the alarm bell now. While Romney is far better than Obama, be prepared to be both frustrated and dissapointed by the trifecta of Romney, Boehner and McConnell. Especially when it comes to important decision for our future such as a SCOTUS nomination. This all guarantees any changes will not endure over time and simply kicks our challenges further down the road.

Marcus Traianus on October 29, 2012 at 7:34 AM

Sum of all fears if not decisive on election day. A knock down drag out of this election will spill into the streets.

hawkdriver on October 29, 2012 at 8:07 AM

It will be the electoral college that decides the winner.

mixplix on October 29, 2012 at 8:39 AM

Ugg. I think I’ll go pray Romney wins big enough to avoid this.

WannabeAnglican on October 29, 2012 at 8:42 AM

NumbersMuncher [email protected]
Rasmussen poll in Ohio has Romney up 2, 50-48. Last week was tied at 48. R up 3 among certain to vote. Has O up 26 among early voters (32%).

Zybalto on October 29, 2012 at 9:30 AM

This thing may not be over on 11/6

Only if it look likes Romney won by a slim margin. Then the Democratic vote manufacturing machine will find as many votes as needed to reverse it.

If Romney wins reasonably comfortably the Dems will immediately scream he stole the election.

In either case there will be riots in all big cities in blue states.

If it looks like Obama won by a slim margin, or if he takes a slim lead during recounts, the MSM will declare the election over and do all it can to squash any (further) attempts to challenge the results.

farsighted on October 29, 2012 at 10:08 AM

If Hurricane Sandy causes widespread power outages that aren’t fixed before Election Day, you can bet that there will be a helluva mess in the Northeast. State and local governments could decide to let polls stay open late (could they possibly stay open even after the 6th?), and it could turn into another 2000.

Ward Cleaver on October 29, 2012 at 10:22 AM

The real problem with elections is that democrats/liberals conspire constantly on how to steal an election while republicans/conservatives try to rely on honesty to win an election. One the election is upon us we, conservatives, are behind the curve about all the dishonest tactics that democrats pull to steal the election. We conservatives need a new mindset.

boogieboy on October 29, 2012 at 11:04 AM

“A court ruled that Pennsylvania’s strict new voter-ID law can’t take effect until after the election.” – Alex Roraty

And THAT is why Judges should NOT be “elected”.
The allegedly impartial judiciary is infected with those who think that they must bow and scrape to their (D) masters in order to keep their cushy, patronage/nepotism jobs.
It defeats the purpose of THREE CO-equal branches of government.

Karl Magnus on October 29, 2012 at 11:06 AM

So I see no more vacuous mind vomit from our resident poll troll.
Certainly it cannot reply to my direct & honest questions regarding it’s love affair with the communist that is Obama.

Badger40 on October 29, 2012 at 11:43 AM

This all guarantees any changes will not endure over time and simply kicks our challenges further down the road.

Marcus Traianus on October 29, 2012 at 7:34 AM

You know why we’re in this mess?
It’s bcs humans are weak pathetic little creatures who fear liberty.
It’s amazing it’s lasted this long, the experiment of our Republic.
There have always been cowards, crooks, and theives.
But the absolute worst amongst us all are the apathetic.
It is bcs of them that we have this.
The quitters.
Selfish quitters.

Badger40 on October 29, 2012 at 11:46 AM

we just need to win by enough votes so the demoncrats dont steal the vote with dead and illegal votes

liveammo on October 29, 2012 at 1:22 AM

Amen! I was glad to see Ohio purged 400,000 names from the voter roles:)

kcd on October 29, 2012 at 12:03 PM