Nothing nutty about asking

Mark Drolette is a longtime Sacramentan and recently unleashed political satirist/ commentator

The Internet is great for looking up facts fast. It also has a well-earned reputation as a haven for conspiracy kooks. The latest big story making the electronic rounds dismissively attributed to overactive imaginations is that the presidential election may have been rigged.

But not so fast, oh quick-to-judge ones.

I am one of those folks who, even on Election Night, questioned the numbers’ veracity, especially in places like Florida and Ohio, and I am far from a conspiracy adherent. For instance, I firmly believe men walked on the moon and that Elvis really is dead.

Some reports are certainly anecdotal: In Texas, a blogger reported “a friend” had noticed, upon checking her selections on an electronic voting machine (EVM) ballot, that her straight Democratic ticket had magically awarded her presidential vote to the Republicans.

As an isolated happening, this might be merely an amusing glitch. But coupled with numerous other documented incidents—including a Youngstown, Ohio, EVM recording a “total” of negative 25 million votes; thousands of Ohio voters in overwhelmingly African-American (and traditionally Democratic) precincts having their ballots “challenged”; and people waiting in line for eight hours because of too few machines in (again) Ohio, in (surprise) mainly Democratic precincts—things now aren’t so funny.

Ohio is not unique. Alleged Election Day shenanigans have been reported from all over.

Mainstream media coverage has been largely nonexistent. One exception: MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, who has been reporting regularly about balloting irregularities. Olbermann, though, fully recognizes the possibility of the “fruitcake factor,” thus posting on his November 10 blog (, “The most pleasing thing of the last three days of blogs and newscasts is the reassurance from political professionals that all of you (all of us) who have wondered about what went on [on Election Day] are not necessarily nuts. We might not necessarily be right, but there are some very stodgy, very by-the-book folks who think we’re damned right to be asking.”

It’s not crazy to want to know if elections are on the square. In fact, some might call it being responsible. Concerned citizens should contact mainstream media outlets now to demand this story be investigated fully before presidential electors’ votes are certified on December 13.