There are lots of reasons the GOP is panicking -- the Palin disaster, the complete discrediting of their economic "philosophy," the unsealing of the racist wing of their base, the Grand-Canyon-sized enthusiasm gap, some guy named Bush...all of these are massive issues for the bad guys.
Even then, though, they might have been able to steal the election with a little more love from the polls and a lot of work on the ground. Election Day lines, voter challenges, pulling voters off the rolls (if it can happen to Digby, it can happen to anyone), they're pulling out all the stops.
But they can't stop votes that have already been cast.
Oh, sure, they'll try. Going from suppression to outright stealing is all they have left, and we should fight them tooth and nail to stop them. However, there are much stronger headwinds against undoing votes than preventing them. Even the GOP doesn't dare go wide on this blatant banana republic tactic.
Early voting has other advantages. If you're challenged, you have much more time to answer that challenge. Simple matching errors are a lot easier to clear up with a few days notice than in a matter of hours (take it from someone who's made a living pushing data around). It makes calling the GooPers on their garbage easier as well -- when you have large numbers of incidents of people proving that Republicans tried to turn them away for a middle initial mismatch, it really says something to those independent voters.
So if you live in an early voting state and haven't already done so, please do. If you haven't, verify your registration. Cornered animals are the most dangerous, and we're dealing with one seriously freaked-out elephant. They're unleashing everything, trying to invalidate votes that have already been cast, calling Democrats communists and/or fascists, and letting their collective ids out to play like the monster from Forbidden Planet. With the bigotry and other general free-floating fear they're letting hang out, there's little they won't try at this stage. Let's beat 'em to the punch.
And yes, that picture is my "I Voted" sticker on my Obama T-shirt. I can't tell you how good that felt. :-)
(/) Roland X
Hope is a phoenix