Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

November 5, 2012

Will we know who the president is tomorrow?

-- — Before the polls even opened today for the Presidential Election 2012, news organizations were filled with stories raising the possibility that the final election results may not be released tonight. Or tomorrow. Or even this week or this month.

Issues are understandable in the northeast where Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on several states. If numbers fall below 25 percent in New York, they can petition to hold a second day of voting, and in New Jersey, voters can vote by fax or email, with questions about verification already becoming an issue.

Other states, including Florida and Ohio, are reporting issues as well.

In Ohio, a pivotal state for both Pres. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, counting and certifying the provisional ballots may take days or weeks. There has already been controversy over how the ballots are being filled out, so this may be a key issue if a recount is necessary.

In Florida, the Democratic party has sued the state, saying that the decision to cut the number of early voting days has led to long waits and long lines at polling places, disenfranchising voters by limiting their voting opportunities. Other states are dealing with voting machine issues, with the Republican party requesting that all machines be recalibrated and several states are refusing to do.

While the parties’ pushback may be pre-emptive strikes to ensure a legal standing in the event of a contested election, the reality is that all the issues may delay results.

America may or may not know who will occupy the White House for the next four years by the morning, but let’s hope that the post-election period doesn’t become as much of a battleground as the pre-election period has been.

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