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July 11, 2004

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reg

We are (or actually, we will soon be) asking the Iraqis to go to their elections in the midst of terrorist violence.

Why can't we do what we hope they will do?

retired military

I agree. The administration should cooridinate with the Dems to handle contingencies. They should make it known very publically they are working together on contingencies without giving details of any plans out. Try to get a plan informally blessed or outlined by the Supreme Court and go fromt there. If the Dems dont want to play it just shows they are trying to be uncooperative again.

ordi

What if its the polling booths across the country is where 100's of suicide bomber shows up? I shutter when I think about it!

Fred Boness

Battleground states? I guess so.

No presidential election has ever been cancelled or delayed because of rain, war, civil war, or invasion. Not even President for Life Franklin Delano Roosevelt would have tried that.

I don't see this as any more than another cat among the tinfoil pigeons like the bring back the draft nonsense. I do want to see several people fired for this complete cluelessness.

Eirik

I don't think anyone should be fired, I think coming up with contingancies is a perfectly good idea. If there's a massive attack on election day, I'm still going to vote, unless we're talking local and nuclear/chemical/biological.

It is true, though, that if there is an attack on election day, it will be more controversial than any election in years, more so than 2000. No matter who wins, the specter of that attack will follow.

Pouncer

Contingency planning is appropriate -- but a plan to postpone the entire election in all jurisdictions is a non-starter.

We held elections DURING the Civil War. We held elections in 1968.

Colin Powell: "We are Americans. We don't walk around terrorized."

Let the French postpone THEIR elections...

Yaron

I don't know if by "Walter Cronkite personalities" you mean people above the political fray, because in the past few years Cronkite himself has turned into a nutty extreme-liberal curmudgeon.

J_Crater

"It would create a SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY"
I live a few miles from a plastics plant and a nuclear power plant. Every time some asshole..er..reporter does a story about the easy way there is to assault either of these facilities, I an tempted to go check the security at the paper's offices and printing plant and post them where they can "share the pain."

The date for federal elections is spelled out in the Constitution, so any plan to move it is going to be un-Constitutional, at least on someone's eyes.

RebeccaH

I am just waiting for certain focus groups to start bleating that this election postponement contingency plan is a right-wing/Bush conspiracy to do away with elections altogether. Wait for it. Here it comes.

Forbes

Contingency planning is all well and fine, that's why you go through it, but the outcomes also include "that's really stupid," too!

NYC may have postponed its primary election on 9/11, because, in fact, it was a city-wide emergency. We did not have enough police officers to be posted at polling places and simultaneously respond to the largest act of terrorism in the nations history, on the same day.

What else did the city do? It closed inbound bridges and tunnels for about 48 hours, and by the weekend, most things were back to normal, except below 14th St. on the west side. These actions were all to allow egress to the WTC site for emergency workers, and other necessary access. There was no curfew imposed on the city, or any other extraordinary measures. Most businesses, other than those associated with Wall St. went back to work the next day.

The federal government should pay attention to contingencies regarding terrorism on our shores, and require states and localities (those who actually conduct the polling) to arrange for contingencies associated with local interruptions that prevent polling places from operating. By the way, these contingencies happen all the time in NYC when polling places get moved from year to year and there is never complete notification of the affected populace.

The one issue you could count on to temp the terrorists, is some Washington one-size-fits-all scheme to postpone the national election, due to a terrorist act. If NYC had to, I'm sure they could have conducted the primary election by making whatever accomodations were necessary, i.e. move a few polling places, and extend the hours for only those moved.

That type of publicly disclosed, non-controversial plan would put all of the other wild speculations to rest.

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