VA-SEN: Amazing Ad

Wow WOW WOW! Whoever made this should get a medal.

Maryland Primary - Not all Wrapped Up

Wow, it certainly is lame not having the internet at my apartment. I felt pretty disconnected from a lot of useful resources last night, but no matter.

Here's my take on a few races.

Senate: Ben Cardin

I supported Rep. Cardin's opponent Mr. Mfume, but, just like Mr. Mfume, I think Ben is an good person and that he will make a great senator. Mr. Mfume has not yet directly conceded, but its pretty much over anyway. I hope Mr. Mfume campaigns hard for Cardin, and I am sure that he will. Mr. Cardin's campaign will benefit niceley from the friendly tone this primary race took. Steele will be a challenge, but i think Cardin will have no problem. He has the money and support he needs to stay in the lead through November.

Comptroller: (My GUESS) Peter Franchot

Whether Owens or Franchot wins this one, the big story is the end of Willy Don Schaefer's political career. Thanks for your service Willy, but I can't say I am sad to see you return to the halls of antiquity where Democrats such as yourself belong. Keep a seat warm for Robert Byrd.

If Franchot does win, this is a big victory for Democrats. Owens is sympathetic to Bob Erhlich, Franchot is not. In fact, I voted for Franchot based on a flyer I got in the mail on MONDAY. He claimed to be "the only real DEMOCRAT (and it was in all caps in the ad as well) in the Comptroller race." Well, good work Peter, good luck in the general.

MD-04: (My GUESS) Donna Edwards

Edwards had gotten some netroots support, but the majority of her campaign was run by energetic volunteers on the ground who got out the vote. This is still a very close race, but I think Donna will win. Not one provisional ballot has been counted yet, and the majority of them are in MOCO, Donnas base county. I see Donna taking this seat.

Attorney General: Gansler

I voted for Simms, based on the fact that I thought AA needed some represenation on the Democratic statewide ticket. Gansler had a stronger, longer campaign. If Simms would have gotten in early, things might have gone differently.

What does this say for November. I bet O'Malley is pissing himself right now trying to figure out how he is going to get AA democratic votes out. And who can we really blame for the low turnout that may have led to the all white all male statewide ticket? I think Mr. O'Malley has to shoulder much of the blame. His vicious campaign against Doug Duncan removed the possibilty of a Gubenatorial primary, something that would have brought out thousands more voters to the polls. Not to mention, O'Malley did not trhow his support behind the two major AA candidates, Mfume and Simms. Now, with a extremely un-diverse ticket, the Democratic party in Maryland has some hard campaigning to do to convice AA voters that they will address the concerns of their communities. Cummings, and if she wins, Edwards should be featured prominiently on the campaign trail for Cardin, Gansler, O'Malley and Franchot. It will be fun to watch.


MD Bloggers, UNITE for Fair Elections

Bruce Godfrey of Crablaw says it best.

Nothing is more important to Democracy than fair elections. Montgomery County today did not get a fair election. Maryland bloggers have a responsibility to protect our ourselves, whether we live in MOCO or not. In November the same issue could occur in Baltimore City or Carroll County, in PG County or Frederick County. Any one of our precincts could be next.

Some things need to change before November. First, all polling places must be ready to open with all machines working and all resources available at least a WEEK before the election. For 238 precints to begin the day unprepared is inexcusable.

Second, voters need a paper trail. I deserve to see a simple reciept when I vote, letting me know that my votes were recorded correctly. It must be an anonymous reciept, but a receipt none the less.

I am sure there are many more things that should be and CAN BE fixed before November. Lets figure out what they are and start the push.

By 2008, a lot more can be accomplished, including the passage of a well-crafted, legal early voting bill. We can also work to have a DC like system, where voters have a choice between paper and digital ballots. This is especially important for Senior Citizens and those who are less tech savvy.

Bruce is correct that as a MD problem, Marylanders and specifically MD bloggers have both the local knowledge base and vested interest to take on our Voting problems.

Establishing a voting system in Maryland by 2008 that voters can trust should be our ultimate goal.

Voting Problems in Maryland Primary

First, head over to dailykos to get the skinny.

This is a huge problem, and Maryland Democrats will not stand for it any longer.

My own voting experience was ok. My precint at Barclay Elemetary was almost empty, but I went early. The machines worked well and I had no problems, other than the fact that I wanted a paper trail.

For others it hasn't been so simple. In Montgomery County, several polling places did not the recieve the cards necessary to use the new Diebold machines. Voters who showed up from 7 AM to 8:30 AM had to wait in line. How many left to make it to work on time is anyone's guess. This is not acceptable in an industrialized Democracy. THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE IN MY STATE OR IN MY AMERICA.

How can we act? Today, we can email the Attorney General of Maryland and ask that they polls be kept open an extra hour to help at least some disenfranchised voters get another chance.

How to Contact the Attorney General's Office

Main telephone number
(410) 576-6300 or 1 (888) 743-0023 toll-free in Maryland
TDD: (410) 576-6372

Mailing address
Office of the Attorney General
200 St. Paul Place
Baltimore, MD 21202

Press office
Media only: (410) 576-6357
News organizations that wish to receive news releases by e-mail or fax may send an e-mail to press@oag.state.md.us

Consumer questions: consumer@oag.state.md.us
Securities Division: securities@oag.state.md.us
Website problems or comments: webmaster@oag.state.md.us
Other inquiries: oag@oag.state.md.us

We can't save ourselves before this November. But what we can do is make sure there are Democrats waiting on November to catalog the complaints so we can start to make a case for a Statewide change.

Maryland voters deserve an anonymous paper trail. Maryland voters deserve polls that open on time and stay open all day. Maryland voters deserve to have elections that give them a voice, not take it away. By 2008, Maryland Progressives should get these things for all Maryland voters. Kick it into gear.



Blogs covering the problems (updated throughout the day):

Political Yak: Votes Not Counted Until Next Week?
DailyKOS: Maryland's Voting Problems
Moco Politics: Complete Meltdown at the BOE
FSP: Election Fiasco in Montgomery
Political Yak: Voting Problems in Montgomery County
Maryland Politics Watch: Election Disaster in Montgomery
DailyKOS: Maryland's Malfunctioning Voting Machines


"Zogby interactive polling candy" Comes in for MD-Sen Race

And this candy as Jerome at mydd.com puts it, is pretty sweet (despite the fact that Mr. Zogby may be using some artifical sweeteners).

Mfume 49.9 %
Steele 39 %

Couple this generous poll against Steele with the most recent Survey USA poll that put Mfume ahead of Cardin by about 4 points, and things are looking better and better for Kweisi.

Where could this boost be coming from? My guess is that Mr. Mfume's new TV ads are working. More and more, his narrative of the Advocate (Mfume) vs the Administrator (Cardin)is resonating with voters, specifically in the Democratic stronghold of PG county.

Both Cardin and Mfume are favorable in the county, but Mfume seems to be seizing the momentum with his ads that stress his own rise from poverty and his promise to be an advocate for voters in MD who feel neglected by the traditional Maryland Machine Democrats (MMD). For example:

Jonn Mack, a firefighter from Upper Marlboro, believes that both leading Democrats in Maryland's race for U.S. Senate would ably represent his interests if elected but that only former NAACP president Kweisi Mfume has the dazzling charisma to bring about real change in Congress.

The other good news in the article, is that at least in PG county, voters aren't buying Mr. Steele's attempts to paint himself as a moderate.

Nash-Thomas said she didn't care which Democrat won nearly as much as she wanted to see one of them replace retiring Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes.

"We don't need someone who is going to be another yes-man rubber stamp for this administration," Nash-Thomas said of Steele.

Some voters already know that there is a Yes-man rubber stamp republican in the race. The narrative exists, Democrats just need to hammmer it home, and I am sure that they will. Now, all that remains is making sure Mfume gets the nomination. Why? Well, the poll numbers above are a good place to start. But more importantly:

Steele's campaign has garnered notice in Prince George's, and his strategy banks on gaining significant support in the county. In part, the voters interviewed believed, he could benefit if the Democrats pick Cardin tomorrow.

"I do worry about a backlash if Mr. Mfume is not the nominee," Boulware said. "We know Mr. Steele is ready for that. His line is going to be, 'Hey, black Democrats, the party has ignored you.' And that will play with a lot of constituencies within the county."

Maryland Democrats need a diverse and progressive ticket to combat the extreme right wing we are facing in November. I guess the marching orders will all depend on what happens tomorrow.

Oh yeah, VOTE!! you fools.