Wednesday, 08 November 2006

BREAKING NEWS: GOP FEARS ELECTIONS "NOT CLOSE ENOUGH TO RIG" WASHINGTON - Emails obtained by the Associated Press indicate that top Republican officials now believe that the margin of victory will be too high to rig the results. "A four or five percent margin, we can handle," said a GOP official from Connecticut. "But eight or higher? That's asking the implausible." With Bush's approval ratings low and the war in Iraq unpopular, Republicans conceded that the Democrats would gain some seats in Congress, but secretly they believed some races would be close enough that the strategies which were so effective in recent elections could be used again. "We did what we could ahead of time," said one key Kentucky Republican strategist. "Purged eligible voters from the rolls, neglected to process voter registration cards from Democratic GOTV drives, allocated fewer voting machines to predominantly Democratic districts. We even tried some new ones." "I was up until 6 a.m. calling people on behalf on the Democratic Party," said a Republican campaign worker manning the phones in Tennessee. "Then my boss comes in and tells me to stop. Says now I'm supposed to tell people that they're registered in another state and will be arrested if they try to vote. Between you and me, I think I might dozed off a few times and sleep-trashed the Democrats." Party officials believe such mistakes may have cost them the chance to throw the election. According to Guy Kenner, a Republican strategist in Virginia, "You can only disenfranchise and discourage so many eligible voters. In the last election, the GOP exceeded the number of voters they could drive from the polls by 13 percent. For some reason, people insist on voting this year." The expected record number of voters stymied Republican plans to tamper with the elections after the fact. In Clermont County, Ohio, where optical scanners are used to tabulate the votes, officials stand beside boxes of white stickers, ready to cover Democratic votes and replace them with Republican. "We're ready. Soon as we hear from the RNCC, we'll start 'counting' the 'votes,'" said one poll worker. He may have a long time to wait. "You can see their confidence eroding. Even they're using scare quotes," said Orin Freeman, a poll observer in Clermont County during the 2002 election. His wife, Kathy, recalled that "in 2002, they were covering Kerry's name with stickers and filling in Bush's name before people even voted. From 11 a.m. on they were turning people away, telling they've already voted twice." In nearby Warren County, plans to fake a terror threat on a county administration building have been all but called off. "Looks like we're actually going to have to count them this time," said a dejected GOP volunteer leading a vigil outside the building. Correction: The original title of this article implied that Republicans didn't know the difference between "rigging" an election and "throwing" one. As this confusion has been imputed to the author of this article instead of its target, the title has been changed.

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