Dan Tokaji's Blog
Professor Dan Tokaji
Election reform, the Voting Rights Act, the Help America Vote Act, and related topics -- with special attention to the voting rights of people of color, non-English proficient citizens, and people with disabilities

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Equal Vote
Tuesday, November 4
A Matter of Perspective
In my last post, I expressed the view that today's election appears to have been a relatively smooth one. Perhaps it depends on where you're standing. Ben Smith reports here on the campaigns' dueling perspectives on today's election. He notes that the Obama camp's message is that "Everything is going fine," while the McCain camp's message is "It's a mess." The McCain-Palin's perspective is epitomized in this press release describing incidents in some of key swing states, including the alleged intimidation of voters by Black Panthers at a Philadelphia precinct.

What's especially interesting about these perspectives on this election is that it seems like the mirror image of 2004. Four years ago, it was Democrats and progressives who were yelling, screaming, and suing to stop alleged voting irregularities perpetrated by those like Ohio's then Secretary of State Blackwell. This year, Republicans and their allies are the ones complaining about unfairness in the administration of elections. For an example, check out this page caricaturing Ohio's current Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner.

All this can change in a heartbeat, of course, in the event of a close race. But at the moment, the contrast -- as well as the similarity -- between this year's election and the one four years ago is striking.

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Moritz College of Law The Ohio State University