One good sign that Republicans expect to lose this election is that they’re already casting aspersions on its legitimacy. I was particularly amused by the Drudge Report rumor that voting machines in Philadelphia already had thousands of votes on them before the polls opened.
Now, I grew up in Philadelphia, and worked as a polling official during several elections while in college. And the Democratic Machine there had a well deserved reputation for electoral tricks.
But rigging the machines was not one of them.
Each polling place has a Judge of Elections, a Majority Inspector, and a Minority Inspector… and we inspected the machines together before the polls opened, recorded a preliminary count together after the polls closed, and officially sealed the machines… together. Furthermore, the number of votes recorded on the machine must match the number of voters we recorded on our rolls. There’s no way to jigger those numbers.
So what about those thousands of votes already recorded on the machine? Well there are two odometers on the machine… one records the total number of votes cast in this election, and the other records the total number of votes cast during the life of the machine (in truth, I believe it is reset after major overhauls.) We recorded both numbers before and after.
So when poll watchers claim there are votes already recorded on these machines, it’s the lifetime odometer they are looking at. If these poll watchers (I’m assuming, paranoid Republican Minority Inspectors) had bothered to go to the training sessions (the city actually pays polling officials to go to a half-day session) they would have understood how these machines worked.