There is this really famous Simpson’s clip where Homer tries to vote for Barak Obama in the 2008 election but instead the voting machine records a vote for John McCain.
Of course the Simpsons predicted all sorts of things, like Donald Trump becoming President, 16 years before it actually happened.
And this video is another spooky Simpsons prediction because the same thing is apparently happening now in Texas.
The story appeared a couple of days ago on twitter. The problem seems to be that people electing to vote Democrat throughout the ballot have their Senate preference recorded for Repbulican Ted Cruz. Officials are claiming it is a user caused problem. But you have to wonder.
From the Houston Chronicle:
Some straight-ticket voters have reported that voting machines recorded them selecting the candidate of another party for U.S. Senate, exposing a potential problem with the integrity of the state’s high-profile contest between U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and Congressman Beto O’Rourke and leading good government groups to sound the alarm.
Several Democratic voters, for example, have complained the voting system indicated they were about to cast a vote for Cruz, a Republican, instead of Democrat O’Rourke as they prepared to send it. Some said they were able to get help from staff at the polling place and change their votes back to what they intended before finalizing their ballots.
Most of the 15 to 20 people who have complained to the state so far said that their straight-ticket ballot left their vote for U.S. Senate blank, according to Sam Taylor, communications director for the Secretary of State. A spokesman for the Texas Civil Rights Project said the group has received about a half dozen complaints, mostly of Democratic straight ticket voters whose ballots erroneously included a vote for Cruz, and one Republican straight ticket voter whose ballot tabulated a vote for O’Rourke.
There are the more conventional voter suppression techniques being used as well, like removing half a million Georgians from the electoral rolls even though 340,000 of them were still living at the address they were enrolled to vote for.
And the moving out of town of the one voting booth for Hispanic dominated Dodge City. From the Wichita Eagle:
Moving the only polling site in Dodge City, Kansas, outside the city limits will make it more difficult for the city’s majority Hispanic population to vote because they tend to have less access to transportation and flexible work schedules, according to a federal lawsuit filed Friday.
The lawsuit also seeks a temporary restraining order that would force Ford County to open a second voting location in Dodge City for the Nov. 6 election after the county sent newly registered voters an official certificate of registration that listed the wrong place to cast a ballot in the general election.
The southwest Kansas city, located 160 miles (257 kilometers) west of Wichita, has only one polling site for its 27,000 residents. For nearly two decades, that site was at the civic center in the mostly white part of town. Citing road construction, the county moved it for the November election outside the city limits to a facility more than a mile from the nearest bus stop.
The federal lawsuit was filed by The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas on behalf of the League of United Latin American Citizens and voter Alejandro Rangel-Lopez, and names Ford County Clerk Deborah Cox as its defendant.
“We understand that there are people who believe voting is a privilege, but we don’t. It is a right that must be fiercely protected. We can and must do better,” said Micah Cubic, executive director of the ACLU in a news release announcing the lawsuit.
Cox did not immediately return a call for comment.
The iconic Dodge City of yesteryear embodied the romance of the American West with its cattle drives and buffalo hunters, but today this western Kansas town is 60 percent Hispanic after an influx of immigrants drawn to its two meatpacking plants.
The Wichita Eagle reported that after the ACLU initially objected to the Dodge City’s single, out-of-town location. Cox forwarded to the state an ACLU letter asking her to publicize a voter help. “LOL,” she wrote in an email to Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s office.
LOL is right.
America’s electoral system is hopelessly politicised and hopelessly partisan. It is not fit for purpose.
And meanwhile the logical development of Trump’s reckless rhetoric is occurring with crude pipe bombs being sent this week to George Soros, various Democrats and CNN. And there was a false flag operation by conservatives such as Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh suggesting the bombs were a Democratic attempt to embarrass the Republicans.
Donald Trump was not pleased when news of the arrest of a right wing kook was apparently given to him. Who would have known that violent right wing language would cause violent thugs to act like violent thugs?
Funny how lowly rated CNN, and others, can criticize me at will, even blaming me for the current spate of Bombs and ridiculously comparing this to September 11th and the Oklahoma City bombing, yet when I criticize them they go wild and scream, “it’s just not Presidential!”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 26, 2018
This event was quickly followed by the recent shooting up of a Pittsburg Synagogue. From Nymag.com:
11 people are dead and six injured after a shooter — shouting “all Jews must die — opened fire during weekly services at a Pittsburgh synagogue on Saturday morning.
The gunman attacked the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood. At the time of the shooting, weekly Shabbat services were underway, and a baby naming ceremony had just gotten started.
KDKA reports that police received emergency calls from people who had barricaded themselves inside. The gunman, reportedly armed with an AR-15 style assault rifle and at least three handguns, shouted “all Jews must die” during the attack. The shooter, Robert Bowers, killed 11 people inside the synagogue, authorities confirmed on Saturday afternoon. Six people were injured, including four police officers.
And there are some crazy theories floating around the right about George Soros. From Talia Lavin at the Washington Post:
But it’s no surprise that Soros would wind up as a target. He’s become the subject of escalating rhetoric on the right — including from President Trump — that posits Soros as a nefarious force, fomenting social dissent and paying members of a migrant “caravan” that has been the subject of intense right-wing fearmongering leading up to the November midterms. And that rhetoric draws on old, and deep-rooted, anti-Semitic ideas that have been deployed by the right for decades.
On Oct. 5, Trump theorized on Twitter that Soros was behind vocal protests against Brett M. Kavanaugh’s appointment as a Supreme Court justice, stating that “the very rude elevator screamers” were “paid for by Soros and others.” More recently, extreme-right Rep. Matt Gaetz pointedly raised the question of whether Soros was paying members of the migrant caravan. More bizarrely, a top lobbyist for Campbell Soup Company was chastened by his patrons for suggesting on Twitter this week that Soros’s Open Society Foundation controlled the migrant caravan — “including where they defecate.” (I work at Media Matters for America, which received a $1 million donation from Soros in 2010, eight years before I joined.)
The far right has ecstatically embraced the spectacle of elected political figures such as Trump and Gaetz theorizing about Soros. After Trump’s Soros tweet about Kavanaugh, the neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer echoed and surpassed Trump’s assertion that anti-Kavanaugh dissent was a nefarious, paid-for plot.
“It is impossible to deny that subversive anti-American Jews were the primary force involved in a sinister plot to destroy Kavanaugh,” Lee Rogers wrote on the site a couple of days later. “These Jews do not represent the interest of America. They represent the interest of their diabolical and evil race first and foremost.”
America badly needs new political leadership. Leaders who will talk about the need for kindness and respect in politics. There are candidates who realise this. But thanks to the mess that is the US electoral system I don’t like their chances of succeeding.