This weekend, I was part of an email exchange in my state Democratic Party. Aaaaand…it never fails. Somebody started bitching that someone wasn’t attending enough meetings. Someone else called the complainer disrespectful, and off we went. The initial topic of the email thread–trying to make meeting information more accessible on the party website–got completely lost, and wasn’t addressed again until much later.

On that same day, I attended training to be an election observer in my county. Our trainer’s warning could not have been more stark. For the first time ever, he told us, he believed that intentional disruptions to the election process were likely. Disruptions like intimidation of voters, protests in front of election offices, even rioting. We received safety instructions for what to do if we were threatened by violent MAGAs during our shift.

(By the way, if you have a chance to volunteer to be an election observer in your local area, do it! It’s more important than ever.)

It’s a cliche to say that working with Democrats is a bit like herding cats…but it’s a cliche because it’s true. Our meetings always take way longer than expected, because we don’t just bicker about the issues we’re voting on, we bicker endlessly about what the voting process should be. Our party is full of lively and big personalities, which is part of what makes it so much fun. And no, we don’t fall in line easily.

That is all well and good, but it’s also true that we really are in a battle for our democracy. For the first time since I arrived in this country, I’m genuinely worried that our election system will not survive the next couple of cycles–that we will see political violence, that MAGA candidates will refuse to concede, and state legislatures will overturn election results.

So we can’t afford the petty in-fighting. Yes, people on our own side will disagree with us, and yes, people can be difficult to work with. That is not relevant right now. We need to set that aside and focus on what matters–supporting our candidates and making sure they’re elected, putting our message out there, and getting out the vote, while simultaneously keeping an eye out for any voter suppression shenanigans.

The extreme right-wing is organizing and preparing for its assault on our institutions and our republic. Will we be able to unite and oppose this assault, or will we continue hurling finger-wagging emails at each other?

Eyes on the prize, Democrats!

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This edition of election day hijinks is dedicated to Karl Rove, who thinks Obama won due to voter suppression.  (And he suppressed the vote by…saying bad things about his opponent.  I thought this was normally called campaigning?)

It appears there was an online attack on election day in Chicago which shut down the Chicago Board of Elections website–the website voters could use to find out which precinct they needed to go to in order to vote.

From the Chicago Tribune article:

“We are investigating the possibility that our website problems this morning were caused by a malicious attack,” said Langdon Neal, spokesman for the Chicago board of elections. “We were overwhelmed by hits, and we know that a significant portion of them did not come from individual voters asking to find their polling place.”

He said many of the requests appeared to be coming from computer servers.

“We can tell by the way the requests are coming in and the volume….It’s behaving like a computer program and not like people with legitimate questions.”

And an interesting fact from Ezra Klein’s blog in the Washington Post:

Note that 16 percent of Obama voters had to wait longer than thirty minutes to vote Tuesday, versus only 9 percent of Romney voters, according to a survey by Hart Research.

In my own home state of Oregon, an election worker got in trouble for tampering with ballots.  She just so happened to be a Romney supporter and was marking the ballots to invalidate Obama votes.  Fascinating….since I thought the Democrats were the ones encouraging voter fraud.

Add to that the long lines and lack of early voting, most of it suspiciously focused on areas with high levels of Obama support…and the amazing thing is, we still won!  Yeah, we Democrats have been in quite the self-congratulatory mood over the past few days.  But if there was ever a time when we can congratulate ourselves for overcoming the odds, it would be now!