Tuesday, October 31, 2006

What NPR isn't saying

This has happened a couple of times now on NPR's Morning Edition or All Things Considered (news programs, anyway): Radio personality A interviews expert B about the upcoming election and, in the first case, about the rise of absentee voting. Why, says radioperson A, do you think absentee voting is on the rise? Expert B, a political science professor at a prestigious university, answers that people are concerned about long lines, inconvenience, perhaps not getting to vote. Neither the expert nor the radio personality breathes a hint that perhaps people are voting absentee because the ballots are on PAPER. At least it's hinted at on the website.

There was another story this morning about the upcoming election, and again, careful discussions of everything except the electronic elephant in the living room. Why are Democrats concerned about the upcoming election? queried Steve Inskeep. Why is Rove so all-fired confident? Again, no hint that perhaps the Democrats are afraid that the election is rigged, that it has nothing to do with Rove having 'access to more information than most people', or his possible "November surprise." No asking if what Rove might know has to do with the keys to the software in those Diebold machines.

It's the question they aren't asking, the possibility they are being ever so careful not to mention—that's what's got people worried, whether it's a real threat or just a tinfoil hat conspiracy. Because, of course, if the election IS rigged, if the electronic voting machines and their software ARE hijacked, then getting out the vote isn't going to make a damn bit of difference. Voting on paper might, if everyone did it. But that won't be happening in this election, and admitting that one no longer lives in a country with free elections is pretty hard.

Exit polls are still the best predictor of actual voting outcomes there are. Let's hope the Dems have the balls to fight back this time if the election is stolen.


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