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Poll monitoring

A tremendous number of students at my law school (e.g. Denise, Heidi, and many others) have volunteered to monitor the polls on Tuesday. Democrat, Republican, and none of the above--everyone wants to see this election go down right.

I went to a "large meeting" today in Ohio as part of the Kerry campaign's poll monitoring efforts. Some things I heard scared me--it would be so easy to create chaos at the polls if you had enough committed troublemakers who wanted to do that kind of thing. Chaos, of course, would drive down voter turnout, so I'm under no illusions that there won't be anyone trying to do this kind of thing on Tuesday.

On the other hand, I think it would take an overt troublemaker to mess things up badly. Most volunteers from whatever party or organization don't really want to be troublemakers, or at least that's what my optimistic self says. My cynical self thinks that's naive, but for now I'm inclined to keep my cynical self in the closed box where he belongs. I think that most Republican volunteers on Tuesday will be there for the same reason we are: to see that everything works well. So long as the few hard-core, ballot-destroying looneys stay away from our polling place, I think we'll all have a pleasant day at the polls.

My fingers are crossed. . .