Archive for the ‘Michigan’ Category

Just in Case McCain Wins: A Survival Guide for Reporters

October 19, 2008

By Jack Shafer
The Washington Post
Sunday, October 19, 2008; Page B02

With Washington conventional wisdom predicting a landslide for Barack Obama, the 2008 election looks to be over. (Sorry, voters.) But how can a reporter prepare for the long-shot chance that John McCain — the comeback geezer — climbs that ladder with a load of bricks on his back one more time and wins in November? We’ve now heard plenty about the so-called Bradley effect, which holds that voters lie to pre-election pollsters about their intentions to vote for African American candidates. Here are some other angles for indemnification-minded journalists to pursue:

McCain‘s Michigan Miracle. The McCain campaign retreated from Michigan earlier this month when polls showed that it was impossible for him to win there. But could the new Obama margin be soft? If Obama and the Democrats take Michigan for granted, might that not depress turnout and give the state to McCain? If voters take an Obama victory for granted, might they give the ballot box a bye?

Emergency sources to contact: Michigan Republicans, Sarah Palin and David Gergen.

The Economy Boomerang. The wiggy economy helps explain some of the recent Obama surge. But what if the massive intervention of government into markets quiets voters’ nerves?

Emergency sources to contact: Jim Cramer, Alan Greenspan, James Carville and David Gergen.

New Voter No-Shows. The number of registered Democrats is up 5 percent from 2004, says the Associated Press, and the GOP has lost 2 percent of its registered voters. But getting new voters to the polling stations is harder than getting seasoned ones there. How many new voters who won’t actually vote are reflected in the polls? Emergency sources to contact: Peter Nadulli, Alan I. Abramowitz, Henry Brady (presidential voting-patterns scholars) and David Gergen.

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Thousands Face Mix-Ups In Voter Registrations

October 18, 2008

It is impossible to know how many voters are affected nationwide.  The trouble is cropping up in many states including Ohio, Alabama, Michigan, Wisconsin and other states….

By Mary Pat Flaherty
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, October 18, 2008; Page A01

Thousands of voters across the country must reestablish their eligibility in the next three weeks in order for their votes to count on Nov. 4, a result of new state registration systems that are incorrectly rejecting them.

The challenges have led to a dozen lawsuits, testy arguments among state officials and escalating partisan battles. Because many voters may not know that their names have been flagged, eligibility questions could cause added confusion on Election Day, beyond the delays that may come with a huge turnout.
Election MG 3455.JPG
Above: A basic system of voting

The scramble to verify voter registrations is happening as states switch from locally managed lists of voters to statewide databases, a change required by federal law and hailed by many as a more efficient and accurate way to keep lists up to date.

But in the transition, the systems are questioning the registrations of many voters when discrepancies surface between their registration information and other official records, often because of errors outside voters’ control.

The issue made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which yesterday blocked a challenge to 200,000 Ohio voters whose registration data conflicted with other state records.

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