I predict next Tuesday will not in fact decide who will be the next president. What will happen is we will see the largest voter turnout as a percentage of registered voters ever recorded. The vote will be close enough that there will be an immediate challenge in the courts. The fight will simply get uglier and for 2 weeks the election will be undecided. During this time stories of gross voter fraud will surface, be reported in the media, commented on, and either discarded as false, or simply lost in the shadow of “Oh yeah? Well [other side] did [this unsubstantiated rumor!]”, thereby removing any weight to the story. Wash, rinse, repeat.
In the end, no matter who wins, the public will be disillusioned with the voting process even more so than usual. Unless there is a viciously polarized populace for the next election, I see a third party rising again in 2008.
And of course, The Onion has a perfect take on the whole schpiel. (Click on the image for the full banner). Make sure you also check out their election day guide, which includes helpful hints such as:
- Tip for those on the go: Voting a straight ticket can save you up to 15 seconds.
- If you are black and a resident of Florida, work out two or three alternate routes to your polling place to avoid police checkpoints.
- If you are a Flintstone, make sure to put the granite slab arrows-first into the dinosaur’s mouth.
- If you live in Florida, for Christ’s sake, look at the ballot very, very carefully this time.
Happy electoral college day, everyone!