Wednesday, November 08, 2006

yes, virginia, there is a hanging chad

As of 5:00 today, Senate hopeful Jim Webb holds a 7,215 vote margin over Virginia incumbent George Allen (a.k.a., the Giant Racist Douchebag). The only precincts that haven't finished reporting are in Isle of Wight county, which I *believe* is a fairly rural area outside of Newport News and Hampton.

I'm sure we've all heard by now that Virginia law allows a state-funded recount when the margin of victory is less than half a percent - in this case, fewer than 11,817 votes. Since Senator G.R. Douchebag is likely to pick up a few more votes in Isle of Wight, I think it's safe to say that a recount is looming.

That takes me back to the last time I voted in Virginia - I lived in Henrico County, just outside of Richmond, which is split about 50-50 Republican-Democrat (lots of poor folk and immigrants mixed with lots of rich bastards, essentially). There, instead of drawing lines to connect arrows or pressing buttons on a computer screen, we had a mechanism that allowed us to flip through a book-like ballot and select the candidate of our choice from the list using a special tool that allowed us to punch out a perforated circle next to the candidate's name.

That's right. Punch card ballots.

I haven't talked to anyone who actually voted in Virginia this year, so I don't know if they've actually spent taxpayer money on new voting equipment. Probably not, though, since the state's biggest priority in past years seems to be passing bills to add "Dead Confederate Soldier Day" to the calendar, or whatever they were calling it. (I wish I were kidding.)

I remember that, in '04, I actually checked for hanging chads (as if it mattered, since Virginia was pretty firmly stuck up Bush's sphincter at the time). But I have to wonder if anyone else is as crazy and conspiracy theory-obsessed as I am to have checked their own ballots this year...and if something that silly will make the difference in yet another election.

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At 3:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As someone who lives in Virginia right now (and is not a Virginian by birth), I can confirm that there were a mixture of ballot options from electronic voting machines to scan tron sheets to fill in the little bubbles. At least parts of Virginia have caught up with technology, although the rest of the state is still forever back in the stone age.

And despite the fact that somehow we did manage to elect a few Democrats to congressional seats, most of the state is still, as you put it, "firmly stuck up Bush's sphincter."


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