Saturday, November 5, 2016


Election 2016 inspires John Cullum and wife Emily Frankel to sing.

Here's they are, singing away, inviting you to join in.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016


I subscribe to Time Magazine. It's a reliable source of what's going on in the world that often inspires me to write about it. Speculating on on whether the election could be rigged, the magazine detailed six ways it could be done. Using small ballot-box pictures (like temperature gauges), Time indicated how concerned we should be.

"They’re ridiculously easy to get into,” says "White Scope" a leading provider of cybersecurity. "Forty-two states have old voting machines with out-of-date software, and have virtually no security protections." The top guy of "Center for Election Systems" (at Kennesaw, Georgia University), said the likelihood of someone changing the outcome of the national election is "very, very low," because voting machines are not connected to the Internet. A hacker would need a huge team to make physical contact with every machine. Also, electronic voting machines print out a paper copy of each vote cast, so if a machine was re-programmed to count more votes for one candidate, discrepancies could be identified by an audit of the paper receipts.
       Time listed nine states with old machines that do not produce paper receipts, and said, "30% of voters go to polling places that use paper ballots -- it's a modern age irony -- the best defense against high-tech election cheating is paper."
 (Yay -- thanks for the "ha ha," dear magazine.)

Hackers hacked several Democratic organizations this year. It probably affected the 2016 electoral process. Leaked emails suggested that Democratic Party officials favored Hillary. Bernie and his supporters staged protests, and caused the ouster of the DNC's chairwoman. Trump used this to attack Hillary, who claimed that Trump, with hacker pals linked to Russian intelligence, hacked the DNC's files. Time said, "It's hard to know if this scandal will affect the outcome of the election. " (...yii...the magazine's very worried, worries me...)

Federal officials confirmed that Russian hackers broke into voter-registration databases in Arizona and Illinois. The "Election Assistance Commission" met with the "Department of Homeland Security," the Justice Department, and the FBI. They concluded that even though a state’s voter-registration database could be changed, current laws allow voters to cast provisional ballots that can be checked against the state’s voter rolls -- therefore, a registered voter's ballot would be counted, therefore, this illegal stuff would not change the outcome of the election.  ( wouldn't? hmmm...)

When Arizona, in a primary, reduced the number of polling places from 200 to 60, thousands of Latino voters stood in line for five hours; many gave up without casting a ballot. Lawyers for Democrats called foul, arguing that Arizona had disenfranchised minority voters. Arizona agreed to have more polling places available, but access to them -- location and hours -- are still  problems. Democrats are lobbying to add polling places and early voting days.
(...that's not a big worry...?)

New requirements in 14 states restrict early voting, limit when you can register, and require proof of citizenship. Lawyers from the non-partisan "Brennan Center for Justice" are challenging these laws. A state court overturned North Carolina's voter-ID law on the grounds that it discriminated against African Americans. Lawyers are using this precedent to challenge related measures in Virginia, Texas, Alabama, South Carolina and Indiana.   
(.... another "not big" worry? ....hmmmmm....) 

Some Virginia voters received letters warning that they were not properly registered, though they were. Last January, Iowa voters received citations saying they would commit a “voting violation” if they failed to show up to caucus. The FBI is currently investigating the various nefarious ways to keep certain populations from the polls --  including calling in a bomb threat, hacking into news sites, posting fake election results.

Hey guys, these six ways to rig the election, these not precise gauges -- they seem like a nice way for guesstimating, and reassuring us that illegal doings won't change the outcome of this election. I hmmed and Googled. The Boston Globe, in a much shorter article, also said, "A rigged election won't affect the outcome."

Does this put to rest our concerns -- our fears -- about a rigged election?

YIII!!! In my opinion the big deal about rigged elections is another one of the Trump-trumped up attacks, like undermining the legitimacy of a sitting president with birther conspiracies and wild-eyed claims about founding Isis. Meanwhile, Trump's treading water to keep from drowning in a mucky puddle of words he taped about how to get babes, but he'll trumpet himself out of that with repeated apologies. 

YIII!!! Bloomberg poll says 34 percent of likely voters from both parties think the election will be rigged; among Trump supporters, that number soars to 56 percent. I am very VERY concerned that the morning after the election, we'll have what we had when Al Gore actually won the election that put George W Bush in the Oval Office. Once burned, twice shy!!

I'm skeptical.
I'm scared.