Here I sit......waiting and waiting. I have been expecting something in the mail for quite some time now. I should not be surprised that I am still waiting.........I saw this nonsense coming. Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich, who is running for re-election, announced today that the voting situation is approaching "crisis proportions". It is pretty frickin' bad when a sitting Republican Governor of a heavily Democrat state has to come out with such a statement. The tables were set prior to the primary election. Preliminary excuse spinners were whining on television that the new Diebold voting machines would be a problem. As I stated previously, I used them in the primary and I cannot for the life of me see why anyone would have had a problem. The anticipation of the upset of the political machines here in Maryland prompted campaigns to set up excuses for losing......long before any vote was cast. The media reported problems with the voting machines and not enough alternative paper ballots.......long before any precinct reported any results. I saw it coming.
Because of these events, there has not been very much confidence in our election authorities. Even Gov. Ehrlich himself said he would have earlier fired the State Elections Chief Linda Lamone if he had the authority to do so. We are left to wonder just who CAN fire these morons? If this wasn't bad enough, apparently many of the motherboards in the Diebold machines were replaced back in 2005 because of alleged problems of systems freezing up. That was interesting. The State Board of Elections claim to have not been made aware of those particular problems or the "repairs". Something is very rotten in Denmark.....and it stinks to high hell.
To add insult to injury, we have a really huge problem now. With no faith in these machines, record numbers of registered voters have applied for absentee ballots. I applied for an absentee ballot because I will not be in the State on Election Day. So far, I have yet to see a ballot come in the mail and time is ticking away rather quickly. Without the ability to send in ballots on time, most of these voters might just stay at home and not vote. If that happens, the Republicans surely have no chance of winning in Maryland. The Democrats practically rely on poor voter turnouts. Gov. Ehrlich indicated that there may not have been enough absentee ballots printed. This is not good. The rat is really getting smelly now............it just so happens that the company that is to supply the absentee ballots is none other than............Diebold! Imagine that. Diebold is the firm with the contract. Word is that Gov. Ehrlich has repeatedly asked Lamone to get some other firm so that we will have enough ballots......it looks like that hasn't been done. At this point, the damage has been done. 5 out of 24 jurisdictions are in need of ballots. Looks like Baltimore County is one of those. Go figure.
Here is the icing on the stale cake............WBAL-TV reported that an absentee ballot "mix-up" happened in Anne Arundel County. (Look at all of the red flags, Martha!) A resident of Anne Arundel County was sent an absentee ballot intended for Baltimore City. I am a reasonable person............I can accept that sometimes stuff like this isolated incident happens........but it gets more irritating the more we hear from the election officials. Officials said that they do not know how the mix up happened.........got that?.......they DO NOT KNOW. Remember that one. WBAL reported that these same election officials said they "THINK IT WAS AN ISOLATED INCIDENT". In other words, they are not sure. These same election officials claim that the "double-check" each ballot before stuffing it in an envelope for mailing. Yep, that's what they said. These same election officials said that the main difference between an Anne Arundel County ballot and a Baltimore City ballot is the names of the candidates! This kind of stuff is proof that our education system has completely failed us. WBAL reported that the election officials said they are not used to having to scan all the way down the ballot to verify the county and that they had "NEVER DONE THAT BEFORE"!!!!!! Lame excuses. An Anne Arundel county election official offered this excuse...........someone at the printers slipped the ballot into her shipment by accident. (How creative) The same official said she didn't think there would be more problems, yet she is OVERWHELMED by the EXHAUSTIVE PROTOCOL that is now part of the election process. (If I shake my head anymore than this, people will think I am doing a Michael J. Fox impersonation.) The Anne Arundel County Elections Director also said the following......."It has to do with the technical requirements, it has to do with the security, it has to do with the requests that the whole world vote by absentee ballot, which, I'm sorry, but I have confidence in the system, and I would like to see voters go to the polling places to vote." This official wants us to vote in person while candidates on both sides urge the use of absentee ballots!
WBAL-TV managed to get contacted by Diebold. They said that the "old Baltimore County ballots" were left at the printers and "accidentally" got mixed in with Anne Arundel County ballots. I ain't buying that excuse. I don't know why Diebold is even mentioning Baltimore County......the problem was with a Baltimore CITY ballot!
So here I sit.......still waiting for my ballot and I am in Baltimore COUNTY and I leave the country on November 3rd. By the way............I forgot to mention this other little barrage of shenanigans........during the primary election, 10 percent of Baltimore City's 290 voting precincts opened up more than an hour late. Some election judges never showed up at all, and some of them never got placed in a precinct by officials. Remember......Baltimore is heavily Democratic. One of the excuses was that there were not enough Republican election judges in Baltimore. Law requires that a certain minimum number of election judges be Republican. I suppose this rule is for fairness....a balance in the election officials. Two weeks ago, Baltimore City election officials said that up to this point in time "we recruited like 470 new Republican judges. Democratic judges we have cut off because the recruitment is up to about 2,200." Doesn't that sound peachy?
The table has been set. It's enough to make people not want to vote........and that is EXACTLY the plan.