I don’t have a solution in case you are wondering; even if I did, I would be reluctant to sharing it. But instead I just have an hypothesis. Republicans, for the first time since 1994 are expected to lose the control of the Capitol and thus undermining the strength of the Bush administration. Although the Congress is expected to check the excesses of the White House, this 102th has happily played along. The exit polls predict curtains for the GOP come November and electoral districts thought to be comfortably Republican are experiencing neck-to-neck races.
So is there a simple way for the Republicans to win? Yes…by rigging the elections. Rolling Stone published an exhaustive investigation earlier this year titled, Was the 2004 Election Stolen? Of course, the rigging doesn’t happen Bihar-style where hoodlums attack a polling booth and stuff the ballot boxes. It is more easily done when the voting is electronic. India seems to have handled its electronic voting pretty well in spite of a largely illiterate electorate but the US is still grappling with technology. Will the Republicans try to ‘steal’ the election by electronically manipulating the results, especially in close races?
Even after the Election 2000 fiasco, electronic voting is still not ready for prime time as reports of malfunctioning machines and fears of affecting close races trickle in. Is it plain incompetence or selective rigging? Of course, no party would ever dream of pulling such a big stunt in fear of repercussions but then that didn’t stop Nixon. Power can be intoxicating and you can get pretty desperate to remain in power especially if you are threatened by ‘pesky and fickle-minded’ voters. I don’t expect mass-rigging in the US but somehow I can’t trust the Bush administration and think that if they wish so, they can easily pull it off.
We don’t have to wait long to find out. November 7th isn’t far off.