Election monitors


It's embarrassing that my formerly fine and upstanding nation is having its election monitored by the organizations that oversee elections in places like Bosnia, Kazakhstan and Afghanistan. Even US citizens are getting into the monitoring act. The level of trust in the system is low.

IHT: European monitoring group to observe U.S. election
Portsmoth Herald: Monitoring the Nov. 2 election
Mathaba: A Clean Count?
Deutsche Welle: Monitors Criticize US Election Procedures

Some of my friends here in Tokyo are going to Florida to keep an eye on things on election day. They'll be armed with video cameras and cell phones to alert everyone of any problems.

"Sunshine and Gators" is hoping to raise a little more money to fund their flights and equipment costs. If you're up for a good time for a good cause, why not nip over to Nishi-Azabu tomorrow for a Halloween party?

Bush is Scary, Vote for Kerry
Wednesday, 20 Oct, from 7:00 PM
3-1-25 Nishi-Azabu, B1F

Admission is 3000 yen, all going to the "Sunshine and Alligators" activists to cover transportation, vehicle rental, cell phones and other expenses. Live music, DJs, costume contest, door prizes, good food

For more details see www.sunshineandgators.com.


Good point, but I think the US has sunk to new depths. A least it made an attempt at various points in its history to bring equality and personal freedoms to citizens. The principles were good, even when the execution was faulty. Now the principles aren't even good.

A word about why I'm going to Florida for this election: progress has always been the product of a struggle between those who want the nation to move forward, toward greater equality, inclusiveness and justice, and those whose interests lie in exploiting people, excluding them from decision-making, and accumulating wealth at their expense.

This election is the most important in our lifetime because it will have a huge influence on the direction of the US for many years to come. The next president will appoint as many as four Supreme Court Justices and determine whether our basic liberties will remain intact or be largely rescinded. The next president will either solidify our current role in the world or restore a process of cooperating with other nations. He will take us toward further confrontation with the Islamic world or initiate a search for common ground and greater understanding.

I could go on (as Kristen knows well!), but I'm going to Florida because the election may well be decided there again, and the efforts of a handful of volunteers may well decide Florida.

I liked what Mark Shields said (tongue only slightly in cheek) on the PBS Newshour, about all the polls leading up to the election, and the current numbers on the Supreme Court, "5-4, that's the one poll that they've got they've already proved they can win".


Cheeky, but probably true.

i just want to say that it's encouraging that people from overseas are getting involved in the US voting system. it needs all the help it can get. i just wrote a long blog entry on overseas voters and bush's communication with god if you would care to read it.


also, for those who have not received their absentee ballots, please fill out the FWAB (federal write-in absentee ballot) and send it in as soon as you can!


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  • gleek: i just want to say that it's encouraging that people read more
  • womble: I liked what Mark Shields said (tongue only slightly in read more
  • Michael: A word about why I'm going to Florida for this read more
  • Kristen: Good point, but I think the US has sunk to read more