Toms Brook, VA.
A crowd waits outside of a United Methodist Church. Many have just gotten up. Some are getting ready to go to work. Nobody’s dressed too particularly well. There’s about thirty in all.
Idle chit chat takes up the moment, but you can tell there’s a certain anticipation here.
It’s nearly over.
After two and a half years, this little town of about 300 (plus about 1,000 residents who live in the surrounding area) gets to have its say in what will surely go down as a legendary contest, where the stakes were never higher and the choices never clearer. It’s been a campaign of twists and turns, some good, some bad. There’s been comebacks. There’s been failures. There’s been the sudden emergence of new political leaders onto the national scene. Once more there’s a deep concern for the direction of this country, an understanding of the issues, and a desire on both sides to do something about. Gone are the days when politics were for the rich or college professors. Everyone’s interested. Everyone’s working.
And it all reminds you about just what’s so great about this country, and what makes it such a special and unique place on this Earth. Is it without fault? No. But America has always learned. And even when she stumbles, she’s always been able to pick herself up and keep on going.
And I have no doubt that that’s what we’ll do after today.
I always feel special on Election Day. Not everyone gets the right. For me, it’s the height of being a citizen. It’s the embodiment of the American spirit. Choice. Self-determination. Freedom of expression. Everything rolled into one package. When I was a young kid something just struck me about the simplicity of the act and how average people could work their way up the ladder to have a shot at leading an extraordinary people.
So, to set aside partisanship for a second, I encourage every to vote, regardless of your politics. This nation is too special and too many young men and women have died to preserve this right for it to be squandered by simple indifference. Even above the smoke and fog of the campaign, there are principles, there are values on both sides. Weigh yours. Weigh theirs. Make a choice.
This election year is crucial for the state of Virginia and for our nation.
It is absolutely critical that we elect a candidate to the U.S. Senate who will stand up to the big spending liberals in Congress…someone who will fight for the taxpayers of our state…a person willing to fight to reduce wasteful spending and lower taxes…a U.S. Senator who will protect our families and the working men and women…a man with the courage and honesty who will go to battle for Virginians.
You deserve a U.S. Senator with all of those qualities. You should demand a Senator who is honest and tough and who will work for you. And, my friends I submit that candidate in this election is former Gov. JIM GILMORE, and I hope you will help us elect him as our next U.S. SENATOR!
You may remember that as Virginia’s Governor Jim Gilmore signed into law five different tax cuts for Virginians totaling $1.5 billion, including a 70 percent cut in the Car Tax. Time and again, Jim Gilmore stood his ground against those who wanted to tax and spend and take more money from your pockets. For his courageous stands against wasteful spending and increased taxes, Jim Gilmore was three times awarded the “Friends of the Taxpayer Award” by Americans for Tax Reform.
You may also remember that as Attorney General Jim Gilmore launched successful investigations into Medicaid fraud, government waste, and consumer protection. The fact is that Jim Gilmore is someone who stands up for the working people of Virginia. We MUST elect Jim Gilmore to the United States Senate on November 4th!
Filed under: Election 2008, Election Fraud, Election law and process, Strategy and Tactics, Technology and Politics
The polls haven’t even opened yet, and yet the litigation continues. The NAACP is still pushing to extend polling hours across the Commonwealth. From WVEC:
The NAACP has asked a federal judge to step in to extend Virginia’s voting time by two hours.
The group also alleges there aren’t enough voting machines, especially in minority-heavy districts. And the group wants paper ballots available in case lines are too long.
Gov. Tim Kaine says it’s not necessary to have the extra time and he says he doesn’t have the authority to do it.
The NAACP had withdrawn its request for a hearing on Thursday after receiving new information from state officials about the placement of election day resources. At the time, NAACP officials said a new hearing before the election was unlikely.
But after assessing the updated information, the NAACP concluded preparations were still insufficient and on Friday requested a new hearing.
“We went back and looked at the numbers, and it’s still the same old bad news. We’re still seeing disparities between black and white precincts,” said Ben Jealous, national NAACP president.
State Elections officials have stated anyone in line at the 7:00 p.m. deadline Tuesday will be able to cast a vote.
Meanwhile, both parties are gearing up for a fight once the votes are counted. From the Washington Post:
Lawyers could be present at almost all of Virginia’s 2,349 precincts to monitor the process, protect voters’ rights and challenge voters suspected of fraud, officials said. They also will be involved in extraordinary attempts to identify party supporters who have already voted so that those who have not can be contacted and urged to do so.
Lawyers have long played a part in the electoral process. But given the heightened intensity of the race and the unprecedented turnout expected, voter protection has taken on added importance, even attracting lawyers to Virginia from out of state, officials said. That is especially true, they say, in the wake of the contested 2000 presidential election in Florida, when Bush vs. Gore moved from the voting booth to the docket of the U.S. Supreme Court.
“We’ve never done anything like this before where it’s been this comprehensive,” said Gerry Scimeca, spokesman for the Virginia Republican Party. “With the heightened number of new registrants, Election Day poll watching is taking on an added urgency.”
A training manual that the Virginia Democratic Party distributed to hundreds of lawyer volunteers instructs them on the Obama campaign’s get-out-the-vote effort, called the “Houdini Project.” Lawyers will periodically enter into a database the names of those who have cast ballots so that campaign staff can contact those who have not voted, almost in real time.
It’s going to be a fight folks, and we have to fight in. Join us at our Strasburg Headquarters or at United Country Real Estate in Mt. Jackson tomorrow for phone banking from 10 until 6:45.
Every. Vote. Counts.
Filed under: Election 2008, State Government and Politics, The Important Things
America is a great country and we are at a crossroads that will determine our future. Like you, I know the spirit that built our country was bold, not timid. It was a spirit of pride, confidence and courage that we could do anything. I’m proud of America – all that it is and all that it can be.
Ronald Reagan often spoke of the “shining city on a hill” as the ideal embodied by America. When we think of that city and our friends and neighbors across Virginia, what often comes to mind are the values that we cherish – family, hope, opportunity, patriotism and, most of all, freedom.
Of course, freedom comes at a price.
Even now, Americans from every walk of life are in harm’s way defending the very freedoms people sometimes take for granted. Indeed, many generations of Americans have made the ultimate sacrifice so you and I might enjoy the blessings of liberty – including the right to vote.
My purpose in writing is to urge you to vote in this coming Tuesday’s election.
Please do so not because I asked, but because a son or a daughter of an American generation died to ensure that all of us continued to have our freedoms, including your right to vote.
If you’ve already voted, thank you for exercising this civic obligation. If you haven’t, I hope you’ll think about the sacrifices made so all of us have the right to choose our elected leaders.
Yes, voting is a constitutional right. But it is also a patriotic duty – one thing we can do to give back to our wonderful country in which we are so blessed to live.
If you haven’t already, please vote on November 4.
Why should I tell you when Obama himself put it so eloquently?
Hear the full interview here. Obama thinks “assault weapons” are only for crime. Sure, and nobody ever enjoys target shooting in this country, and certainly there’s no need to maintain the balance of power between the people and their government. They’ll always protect us!
Sure. And no one ever gets attacked outside of their homes either.
Filed under: Congress, Election 2008, Foreign Affairs, State Government and Politics
Bob McDonnell on Jim Gilmore:
FOR OUR NATION’S SECURITY…VOTE JIM GILMORE FOR SENATE
Dear Virginia Voter:
Although America’s national security isn’t the number one issue in the headlines right now, it is a topic paramount to the future of our children and grandchildren. Who we elect to the United States Senate from Virginia is going to help determine which direction our nation takes to defend America’s national interests around the world and at home.
Because of his experience and his principles, I strongly recommend Jim Gilmore for the United States Senate.
Jim and I are both Army Veterans, and as you can imagine, I have a deep appreciation for the service of the men and women of our armed forces. Jim Gilmore volunteered for the U.S. Army and played an important role in counter-intelligence for the U.S. Army, safeguarding the security of American bases in Europe.
As you may know, Congress chose Virginia’s Jim Gilmore to chair a national commission charged with making recommendations on methods to prevent and respond to terrorist attacks on the United States. The Gilmore Commission warned in 1999 and in 2000 that America was facing a possible terrorist attack. After 9/11 Congress adopted 146 of the Gilmore Commission’s 164 recommendations.
Jim Gilmore has the experience in homeland security I know must be possessed by Virginia’s next United States Senator. Virginia and our nation must elect Jim Gilmore to the U.S. Senate.
Filed under: Election 2008, Election law and process, Local Government and Politics, State Government and Politics
As reported on Monday, Attorney General Bob McDonnell has been working on making sure that every military absentee ballot is counted. He delivered on his promise yesterday with his ruling on the matter. From the Virginian Pilot:
The state should count the absentee votes of military members and other Virginians overseas even if they do not provide the address of the person who witnessed their vote, state Attorney General Bob McDonnell said Monday.
In an opinion to the State Board of Elections, McDonnell said a federal law designed to lower barriers to overseas voting effectively overrules a state law that requires the listing of a witness address on some absentee ballots.
“The conduct of federal elections is a federal function and states have no inherent or reserved powers over federal elections,” McDonnell wrote.
The State Board of Elections agrees. From the Virginian Pilot:
The three-member state board unanimously agreed to allow those votes to be counted; they amount to about 130 ballots across the state, said Secretary Nancy Rodrigues.
Noting that the flap has generated considerable attention, Rodrigues defended local registrars, who had been criticized for “carrying out the law.”
I think it should be pointed out that the Obama campaign issued a press release Monday stating that they felt these ballots should be counted. Kudos to them for also believing that our soldiers sacrifice far too much to not have their vote for commander in chief counted.