Remember the Panhandle!

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)

Joan Swirsky writes about Obama’s contempt for the US Constitution

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

It ain’t over ’til it’s over. I’m a baseball fan; remember this?

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.

About Elizabeth Scalia
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  • scaron

    Oh Anchoress!

    if you are going to baseball anologies for “It ain’t over ’till it’s over” there is only *one* possible analogy, and it has *nothing* to do with 2001!

    The 2004 ALCS will always remain the “Gold Standard” of “It ain’t over ’till it’s over”. For all sports. For all time!

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  • igout

    Hey Anchoress,
    You RCs are whizzes at miracles. Do you think you might ask the proper Saints to send us one today?

  • exhelodrvr
  • oddball

    My Dear Anchoress,

    How can they say “We could know Indiana before 8. We could know Florida at 8. We could know Pennsylvania at 8.” when in 2004 they didn’t know Ohio until past 11:00, and in 2000 they didn’t know Florida until the wee hours (although they had called it for Gore(!) much earlier)?

    Arrogant rascals.

    Have a Blessed day! oddball

  • exhelodrvr

    Good prayer for today:

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  • s1c

    Just got back with the better half from voting (I took the day off). At 8:00 a.m more than 600 had already voted at my precinct (polls open at 6:00). A heavy voting already and the sec of state is predicting 90% here in CT. Strangely in the Hartford area I have seen almost as many McCain – Palin signs as I have seen Obama 08 or Obama – Biden signs and a lot of the Obama signs have been in front of vacant lots or buildings.

    Not sure if you saw but Karl Rove’s company is predicting that Obama will break 300 electoral votes.

  • dmd25

    Great post, as usual, Anchoress. Going to go vote in a few minutes. Praying all day.

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  • Gayle Miller

    I voted at 6 a.m. today (or oh-dark-thirty as my sister likes to say) and there were very long but steadily moving lines. The last person in my car pool who voted inserted ballot 282 at 7 a.m.! Voting is brisk, but at least in Falmouth, Virginia it’s moving right along.

    When I was leaving the polling place, there was a gentleman in a 3-piece suit who was wanting to chat with me about all the problems in the polling place which he insisted were occurring and I was equally adamant that they were not. I finally dressed him down (I hadn’t had my coffee yet)pretty thoroughly and informed him with sufficient volume that all around could hear me that there were NO PROBLEMS occurring and that the lines were simply a function of VOLUME and why didn’t he go do something constructive with his time instead of bothering hardworking people who were doing their duty as early as possible and then going to actual JOBS? I then stomped off to my car – followed by a nice round of applause. Mr. Suit looked suitably abashed and was much less aggressive after that – at least as long as I was keeping my eye on him (and drinking my coffee).

  • Acer Palmatum

    Dear God:

    I assume you do not direct outcomes in elections (the whole free will thing) but please give whoever wins these various races the wisdom and humility to listen to all voices and to govern with sobriety and common sense.


  • Acer Palmatum

    This seems appropriate today:

    Out of the night that covers me,
    Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
    I thank whatever gods may be
    For my unconquerable soul.

    In the fell clutch of circumstance
    I have not winced nor cried aloud.
    Under the bludgeonings of chance
    My head is bloody, but unbowed.

    Beyond this place of wrath and tears
    Looms but the horror of the shade,
    And yet the menace of the years
    Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishments the scroll,
    I am the master of my fate;
    I am the captain of my soul.

  • culperjr.

    Well, I have done what I can. My wife and I made a small donation to our candidate of choice (or rather, the one we could stomach) and we have voted. Now, the wait.

    Election Day has always made me uneasy. It may go back to childhood, where my radical mother as always disappointed with whichever candidate won.

    I fully expect that my candidate will lose. I will be disappointed, but I–and America–will survive.

    What I am not prepared for, but very well may face, is the consequence of this election. Nobody ever expected liberals to rejoice when the electoral winds didn’t blow their way. We have seen that in the temper tantrum that has eaten up so much of the past 8 years. It has been treated as a birthright to be able to sulk, curse and be surly if your choice was not vindicated. Will conservatives be accorded the same leeway?

    I doubt it.

    Now to clarify, I don’t really want to curse or be surly (a little sulking, however, would be much appreciated.)

    I don’t wish Obama ill, should he win. I want him to be wise, prudent and brave. I simply don’t expect that he WILL be these things. I fear, however, that anything less than full-throated approval will be treated as hate-mongering. Like gay marriage, anything less than walking the groom down the aisle will be taken as a sure sign of twisted, fascistic evil.


  • Scout703

    I “Remember the Panhandle”; I remember they said the NY Giants couldn’t be the undefeated New England Patriots. However I love the looks on the face of the reports who get it wrong and have to eat crow. I know this isn’t very Catholic of me however on the Feast of St. Charles Borromeo … let us as for his pray combined with those of Our Mother in Heaven that McCain closes this game out.

  • dellbabe68

    Love the Teresa of Avila poem. It’s a favorite of mine.

    I said a Rosary last night, then got up (since I was all worked up) and put my Real Clear Politics electoral map (my own version) under the Blessed Mother statue. I realized that since I am reorganizing the bedroom, where she normally is, she currently stands near a coffee table book called “Long May She Wave” – a book about the history of the U.S. flag that I have on the kitchen shelf. I found that comforting. Little things like that. I hope it’s a good omen. I will say that however things turn out; I believe the U.S. will be okay. It just may suck being a righty for a while but hey, in NYC, that’s always a challenge anyway. But I do think she is looking out for us (and the U.S.) and I tried hard not to ask that she encourage her Son to vote for McCain :)

    Then I said a Rosary in line this morning at 6:20am while the lady behind me kept talking about “the nightmare” almost being over.

  • Dave Justus

    I would say that in addition to all of the above, it is perhaps good to keep some perspective and realize that an Obama victory isn’t the end of everything. Part of the glory of our system of government is that no one always has the guy they want in power. If it wasn’t that way, our system would fail.

    I believe that the economic and foreign policy vision Obama embraces will not be very successful, possibly even horrible failures. At the same time though, our nation is strong enough to withstand that and we’ll keep going. Altering our nations direction, through peacable means is what has given us a lot of strength, and this is true of this time, even if many of the policies end up being failures. If the nation as a whole chooses Obama, I will support that choice, even as I may disagree with specific policies and positions. The winner will be my President, even if he isn’t the guy I voted for.

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  • Gayle Miller

    The polls close in Virginia at 7 p.m. and Virginia is using a mixture of touch screens and paper ballots. Paper ballots take TIME to count. Yes they are run through an optical reader, but it still is a little slow. So with our mixed technology, it may take a while before anything credible is known.

  • kaba

    I live in the Florida Panhandle. Okaloosa County is certainly the most conservative county in Florida and perhaps the most conservative county in the nation. I think Bush carried Okaloosa County by 78% in 2004.

    Not only was the vote suppressed by the early call but the DNC subsequently sent three attorneys to monitor the counting of absentee ballots. They were challenging the absentee ballot of EVERY military member submitted. What disgusting pieces of trash those attorneys were!

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