Despite their considerable efforts the Republicans were not able to buy or steal the election after all. Their defeat was of almost Biblical nature. The people, Democratic supporters of the president, whose votes they had plotted, schemed, and maneuvered—unto nearly the very last minute—to deny rose up and said they wouldn’t have it. If they had to stand in line well into the night to cast their vote they did it. The lines were the symbol of the 2012 election—at once awe-inspiring and enraging. On election night, the Romney camp had at least four planes ready and aides had bags packed to take off as soon as a state’s result appeared narrow enough to warrant a challenge. But they ended up with nowhere to go. The Republicans’ effort to stop enough votes of Obama supporters to affect the outcome in any given state—even prevent the president’s reelection—failed. Obama’s margins, while narrow, were sufficient to render any challenge futile. So the nation was spared the nightmare of reliving Florida 2000, a fear that had gripped many until late Tuesday night.
When seven-term Republican Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack conceded to her Democratic challenger Raul Ruiz on Friday, she left two other members of California’s GOP House delegation still trailing in tight, unsettled races.
As of Saturday, six of seven unresolved House races remain too close to call. In the seventh, two Louisiana Republicans will face off in a December 8 runoff for the 3rd District seat after none of the five candidates got the required 50%. Democrats hold narrow leads in all six of the too-close-to-call races. Should all win, they will have picked up a net gain of eight seats in the House after losing the majority in the chamber and suffering the largest loss of seats since 1948 in the 2010 midterm elections.
Some voters waited seven hours Tuesday to cast ballots. Electronic voting machines broke down at other polling places, and election officials in many states scrambled to find enough poll workers. Citing those issues and others, voting and civil rights groups have renewed calls for Congress to fix problems with how the nation votes and to modernize the voter registration process.
It has been suggested, here and elsewhere, that Fox News effectively became part of the Republican propaganda apparatus during the presidential campaign by giving pundit slots to many of the Republican candidates and relentlessly advocating for Mitt Romney once he won the nomination. Over many months, Fox lulled its conservative base with agitprop: that President Obama was a clear failure, that a majority of Americans saw Mr. Romney as a good alternative in hard times, and that polls showing otherwise were politically motivated and not to be believed. But on Tuesday night, the people in charge of Fox News were confronted with a stark choice after it became clear that Mr. Romney had fallen short: was Fox, first and foremost, a place for advocacy or a place for news? In this moment, at least, Fox chose news.
Alaska: Natives, tribal groups ask to intervene in Alaska’s challenge of Voting Rights Act | Alaska Dispatch
The Native American Rights Fund (NARF) announced that four individuals and four Alaska Native tribal governments asked on Tuesday to join with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in a Washington D.C. federal court to defend the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act as challenged by the state of Alaska in the case Alaska v. Holder. Both the individuals and groups will be represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACL) and NARF. Alaska is one of only a few U.S. states that must abide by Section IV and Section V of the Voting Rights Act. Section IV requires that Alaska provide information on all stages of the voting process statewide in all Native languages. Section V asks that the state show that any changes made to the election process will not negatively effect, either unintentionally or intentionally, minority voters.
Florida Governor Rick Scott says he will take a look at some voting changes in the wake of massive lines in counties across Florida, but did not seem anxious to get to work on them. “What I want to do now is sit down with the Secretary of State and say, ‘What can we, how can improve this?'” Ballot tabulation machines failed repeatedly, and most of the polling places in Orange and Seminole County only had one machine per precinct.
Florida: Absentee-ballot count finished by Miami-Dade; total results expected Friday | Palm Beach Post
The absentee ballot count is mercifully over. Miami-Dade elections workers counted a final batch of 500 absentees Thursday morning, after pulling an all-nighter. “We’re done,” said elections department spokeswoman Christina White. The last-minute surge of some 54,000 absentees cast up until the closing of the polls on Election Day caused an extraordinary delay in tabulating the final results for Miami-Dade’s vote. Hanging in the balance: the official outcome of the presidential race between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, along with a handful of local elections.
Controversy continues in the Florida 18th Congressional District race between incumbent Republican Allen West and Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy. Florida election officials reneged on their promise to count all the early ballots in the scandal-plagued election, excluding more than half of them without clear cause. Late Saturday the St. Lucie County Canvassing Board announced an “emergency meeting” to “recount all ballots cast during early voting.”
Edgar Oliva waited to vote at Shenandoah Elementary School and fretted. The line was too long. The clock was ticking. He had to get to work across town. Twice before, during in-person early voting, he tried to vote but he had to leave because lines were even longer. Tuesday was his third try at voting in between one of his two jobs, cleaning carpets in Doral and working at an airport hotel. About 4 p.m. on Election Day, he gave up. “I had the intention of voting but there were always a lot of people,” Oliva, a native of Guatemala, told a Miami Herald reporter as he left the scene. Oliva had so much company on Tuesday.
When a voting machine in the town of Rehoboth mysteriously stopped working on Election Day, officials found a web of mischief spun not by a human, but by a saboteur with eight legs. During the morning rush Tuesday, one of the town’s machines malfunctioned and failed to recognize ballots because a spider web had blocked a sensor, said Town Clerk Kathleen Conti. “It was something as simple as that,” she said. “We were cursing that spider. He’s still at large and we’re still looking for him.”
Minnesota: Even without photo ID, election system likely to see changes | Minnesota Public Radio News
The defeat of the voter ID constitutional amendment, along with the Legislature’s flip from Republican to Democratic control, is likely put that issue on indefinite hold. But it won’t end the debate over the need for some changes in state election law. DFL Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and key lawmakers are already talking about ways to alter the voting system during the 2013 legislative session. The campaign against voter ID relied heavily on a compelling television ad that featured DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and former Republican Gov. Arne Carlson.
There’s a light at the end of the tunnel for the final vote tally in Yellowstone County from Tuesday’s general election, but it could take most of Thursday to get there. “We hope to have everything done by the end of business hours today,” said Bret Rutherford, Yellowstone County elections administrator. After more than 48 hours at MetraPark’s Montana Pavilion, election officials were still counting votes. Due in large part to technical difficulties with the county’s three vote-counting machines, about 30,000 absentee ballots remained uncounted at the beginning of Wednesday morning.
New Jersey: Counties must approve e-mail ballot requests if voters can prove technical problems | NJ.com
A state Superior Court judge has ordered county clerks statewide to accept and process applications for fax and e-mail ballots if voters can prove they tried to ask for one Tuesday but were met with busy signals, error messages or no response at all. The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey obtained the order Wednesday because applications for electronic ballots were due by 5 p.m. on Election Day, but many voters had technical problems submitting their request to county elections offices.
Long lines have almost become an Election Day fixture in Ohio and across the country, a sight that voters can reliably expect to see at the polls along with American flags, candidates shaking a few final hands and campaign teams making one last pitch. Do they have to be? The answer, many experts believe, is no. “We have to fix that,” President Barack Obama said in his victory speech early Wednesday, referring to the lengthy lines that greeted many voters at the polls.
U.S. Rep. Francisco “Quico” Canseco conceded the Congressional District 23 race on Friday. He congratulated state Rep. Pete Gallego, while renewing allegations that voter fraud skewed the results. “While there is no doubt there were improperly counted votes and improperly cast ballots, a full investigation and recount would be prohibitively expensive and time consuming,” Canseco said in a statement.
Virtually no race on the V.I. ballot Tuesday could be definitively settled as of Wednesday night because at least 4,319 paper ballots have yet to be counted. The Boards of Elections in both districts have indicated that they likely will not begin tallying the votes until Friday. With the exception of Delegate to Congress Donna Christensen, who won with an 8,000 vote margin; Senator-At-Large Craig Barshinger, who won with a 6,000-vote margin; and Clifford Graham, who topped the St. Thomas-St. John Senate race by a margin of 1,969 votes, the order and outcome of almost every other race could, mathematically, change once the paper ballots are counted.
As she has done in each of the past six years, state Sen. Janet Howell is offering a bill in the 2013 General Assembly session to create near-universal early voting in Virginia. And after Tuesday’s election, she’ll come armed with anecdotes of interminably long lines at polling places in her home base of Fairfax County, similar to those seen in South Hampton Roads, to make the case for her legislation. Yet if the past is any indication, those real-world examples may not be enough to overcome resistance.
No candidate appeared to win an outright majority in Sunday’s presidential election in Slovenia, and a runoff is expected next month between the incumbent and a former prime minister. Former Prime Minister Borut Pahor was first with 40 percent of the vote, followed by President Danilo Turk, with 36.2 percent and center-right candidate Milan Zver at 24 percent, the state election commission said after 99.9 percent of the ballots were counted.
The chairman of Vanuatu’s Electoral Commission says he’s told political leaders that the country critically needs a new electoral roll for the next general election. The Commission’s official number of registered voters in the recent general election – over 192,000 – is believed to be a huge inflation of the real number of eligible voters. The chairman John Taleo says the blowout is partly explained by that fact that changes to the voter circumstances, such as people moving to different islands or overseas, or people dying, are often not recorded properly.