In the Thick of It

Appreciative as I am of regular readers calling in on this blog and gracing it with their comments, I give notice that the pretty steady regularity of more than a blog every other day for the last two years might become erratic over the next few weeks.

As most will have been aware, the quadrennial circus that the Americans call an election is well underway and now accelerating into its final fortnight. For my sins, I have volunteered to spend these next two weeks taking stock of that election from both a political and an mechanical perspective. Starting on Thursday, I will be visiting party campaign and county election directors in the “Home of the Liberty Bell” city Philadelphia and in New Jersey counties across the Delaware River.

Philadelphia is the only place in the US that uses entirely digital balloting so I’m keen to find how they prevent, detect and combat fraud in such a system with no ‘paper trail’. Pennsylvania and New Jersey are two normally ‘blue’ (Democrat-voting) states that Romney needs to target if he is to win.

Then, in the final week, it’s three time zones further on to San Francisco to research the political moods and campaign methods there and the other half-dozen counties that comprise the Bay Area. They tend to vote pretty solidly Democrat but large areas of Contra Costa and Santa Clara counties have huge tracts of recent developments that are largely Republican in sympathy. Just when I’ll be Wifi’d up with enough time to blog isn’t clear. So, if there are a few day’s blog-free silence, put it down to a tight schedule or the difficulty in finding a cafe/hotel with decent Wifi.

Given that the general opinion of the three presidential debates is that they went one to each with last night’s tied and the polls have both main candidates running neck-and-neck, this looks like being an interesting couple of weeks to be in the thick of it. However, this time it should be easier for me to enjoy as I will be there as an observer and not involved up to my eyeballs, as I would normally be here in Scotland.

All together now: “My country, ’tis of Thee, Sweet Land of Liberty, Of thee I sing…”

About davidsberry

Local councillor, tour guide and database designer. Keen on wildlife, history, boats and music. Stood for the Scottish Parliament 2011; lost by 151 votes.
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