I don't normally post diaries, but I observed something today that so deeply disturbed me, that I feel compelled to act.
Feeling a sense of patriotic duty, I decided to take advantage of Ohio's new early voting system and cast my ballot for the Obama-Biden ticket this afternoon at Veteran's Memorial Auditorium in Columbus. When I entered the auditorium where voting booths were set up, I found myself standing next to an anonymous-looking young man, who began to ask (in a loud voice so that everyone could hear him) the poll worker if his ballot would still be valid.
The poll voter asked the man what he meant, and he replied "Are our ballots still valid if they have the wrong vice presidential nominee on them?" The man then went on to state, "It was just announced on the radio that Joe Biden is dropping off of the ticket, and that Hillary Clinton will replace him. I'm just making sure that our ballots will be valid if they have the right information on them." Smelling a rat, but not wanting to cause a scene, I firmly, yet calmly stated to the man that, contrary to what he may have heard, this was not true. The man ignored me, and began to repeat his lie to people behind him in line. At this point, I became angry, and stated, in an equally loud voice, "I don't know where you heard this, sir, but this is not true. I wish that you would stop spreading misinformation (I didn't want to directly accuse him of being a liar, even though I knew this was the case)." The man then asked to speak with one of the election commission supervisors to ensure that his ballot would still count (again, this was in a loud voice, so that others would hear him). I was able to overhear the supervisor explain to him that Biden was still on the ticket, as far as he knew, and that all votes for Obama would still count, regardless of the V.P. nominee. I went to vote, and noticed that the man was walking around the election room, and left without casting a ballot. After filling out my ballot, I made sure to let a poll worker know that this guy was more than likely a Republican Party operative who was there to spread misinformation in order to alter people's votes. I also made sure that people from both the Obama campaign (I am an active volunteer) and the local "Election Protection Commission" were aware of this tactic. As I left Veteran's Memorial, I saw the man walking across the Broad Street Bridge with another man that I had observed walking through the voting line about 25 minutes after the first man (I didn't hear the other guy making the same kind of commotion, but I wouldn't be surprised that he was doing it as well).
I know that I may sound paranoid, but, after some of the crap that the GOP pulled here in Ohio in 2004, I am convinced that they are attempting to illegally suppress the vote here again. There literally are no depths to which the GOP will not sink in order to win an election. Hopefully, we will be better prepared to counter some of this garbage this time, although I am not entirely convinced that the Democrats are up to the job.