In 2000, the press declared the Florida polling places closed an hour before the precincts in the Panhandle – which runs at Central, not Eastern time – had closed.
Thanks to that error – made over, and over, by every news outlet (hard to believe none of them understood about the panhandle, but seems they did not) – thousands of people, thinking the polls closed, may not have voted. Had they voted, the margin of victory in Florida might not have been so slim (and yes, it was a victory for Bush, even the NY Times, in a 10,000 word feature, admitted it) and the nation might have been spared the Great Big Election Debacle of 2000, and the subsequent acrimony between victors and vanquished which has further polarized the nation. Watch both of these videos. The second one lays out just how Florida was affected by the press’ rush to call the polls closed, and Gore the winner.
And here, the NY Times reports that some networks may call the races before the polls close, again.
Look, people, it behooves you to know what time your polling place closes. This can’t be difficult; I’m sure you can netsearch that information, but DO take a moment tonight to FIND OUT when your precinct closes. And remember this election is not “over” until the last precincts in Hawaii call it in! Where ever you live and however you plan to vote, Do not let anyone talk you out of voting.
Do not allow anyone to persuade you that your vote would be meaningless in the face of an onslaught. Remember the Panhandle!
Do not depend upon the press to get anything right. Remember the Panhandle!
Do not depend on the press to tell you anything but what they want you to “know”. Remember the Panhandle!
Rovian Conspiracy has maps and good advice:
NBC will be eager to call Virginia and Pennsylvania early on Tuesday, and will cite exit polls throughout the day to give the impression that all is lost. They’ll couch their statements with, “We’re not going to call the state until the polls close at x:xx pm, but it certainly looks like this is going to be a good night for Obama.”
prepare for it….
Watch for it…
ignore it and get to the polls.
Jay Nordlinger: Show the shaggers! Four more years outside the barbed wire! (Included, just for Rand)
And yes, for McCain this is the closer, what could be the topper to one hell of a life story.
If you need any more incentive, please read this piece by Neo-neocon on Obama’s cunning patience in waiting for just the right moment to pull the nation hard to portside. Stanley Kurtz is telling it, too
What if McCain wins?. Hmmm. What if?
Fr. Steve presents: Ronald Reagan!
Go. Vote! Don’t let anyone tell you differently; don’t trust anyone to tell you when the polls close, what the exit polls mean, or anything else. Remember the Panhandle and turn off the radios and tv’s until the polls are closed. Ignore everything and go cast your vote.
And then settle back and don’t freak out. Remember what I wrote back on the Feast of the Guardian Angels:
The sense I have is that the status quo won’t do any longer. That we are stagnant, too deeply comfortable in too much of the muck and mud of materialism, and we’ve lost sight of what and who we are meant to cling to.
So, let us not worry. Let us not wring our hands. For the Christian, anyway, I believe we are in a moment where the rubber meets the road. How do you respond to that? With trust that no matter what things seem like, that “all things work for good and to the Glory of God” or with wringing hands, depression and doubt?
If you are doubting…if you are thinking that only electoral victory – as defined by the world – will be a validation of either the existence of God, or His Intent, then you need to hunker down into scripture and get out of your own head. Do you believe that Christ is the Son of God, or do you not? If you do, do you really think that this election is all there is, and that a loss here is somehow static, and works to nothing in God’s purpose?
Of course, St. Teresa of Avila put it more succinctly:
Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things pass away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
He who has God
Finds he lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.
Do your civic duty, say your prayers – help get out the vote, if you’re able – and then put all of your concerns into the Sacred Heart and be ready for whatever happens. It’s all you can do.