"As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it?" - William Marcy Tweed, Tammany Hall boss
From my prejudiced point of view I hope the Republicans show up in droves and the democrats stay home. But I digress. Next week California and some other states will have their primary elections. We in California get to vote all the way from Presidential aspirants down to mosquito district officials. I am voting for Mitt Romney as I did in 2008 (Texas will put him over the top today) and Doug LaMalfa for Congress. I want to see Brian Dahle win and Dan Logue win. I like Tom McClintock and Ted Gaines. I don't endorse at Supervisor level since I was one once and I know how tough it is for them at the local level.
The country has spawned a great set of groups, who though having the same goals do not band together as one. The Tea Party here and elsewhere is on the lookout for voter fraud and even in our little county they will be watching the polls to check that the vote is not tainted. I hope we see a smooth day of voting and then the counting. Having been in a few elections myself and we candidates are probably the most critical of the Elections Department and their processes in vote counting. I was never satisfied the process was efficient, especially in the release of the counts. Hell, over the years they had a real hard time getting the absentee vote out before and hour or so. They had those votes first of course and that count should be released by 8:05 PM. We will see if Mr. Diaz can do better than past officials and let us see those vote totals.
When I ran the first time in 1984 I had a great committee and I was blessed with people who believed in me and my message. On election day in the June primary I had committee people at the polls with handouts o give the last moment deciders something to think about. Of course we followed the law and were no closer than 100 feet from the polling place. We had people checking the voter lists posted outside the polling places and we checked who had voted on a constant basis throughout the day. Well, we stirred up the hornets nest since no one else knew the law I guess. We were called names and the other candidates claimed we were doing something illegal. Of course we weren't and we were very careful to follow the law. But, since no one had apparently done what we were doing, the Elections Official went ballistic. He actually handed the poll workers a 100 foot long string during the general election (we didn't repeat)!
Of course since we followed the law, the tactics we used were legal and eventually I won the election. It took a lot of people helping me and I was so proud of my volunteers. I think the primary and general cost 15 thousand bucks or so. But now we see a lot more money expended to buy mailers and TV/radio ads.
The Tea Party has every right under the laws of California to observe and watch for abnormalities in the process. Of course they will undoubtedly have people at the Elections Office to observe the count. We did, and that is where I and most others were on election night. I never had a party with a cake to celebrate. I did mine at home with my volunteers and friends. I would check in with the "watchers" (if I wasn't there) at the elections office and did not sleep until we knew the end results. In 1988 I finally went to bed at five AM and I was only ahead by 49 votes over Paul Matson, Mayor of Nevada City. He did a recount but thank goodness the count held up and I won re-election. But it was another excruciating count and was not very efficient.
Let us cheer on the Tea Party and their observation of the election. There are some who are afraid of this and try and put evil reasons on them. Those naysaying people are unaware of election law and unaware of true representative democracy I guess. To complain about people wanting to ensure the veracity of the most important aspect of our system is amazing to me. So, go getum Tea Party, make sure the process is transparent and honest and I know you will vigorously follow the law an we can be proud there are people willing to do what you have in mind doing. Don't listen to the nattering nabobs of negativity from the left. Make those naysayers dip their finger in purple.