Gambier is a tiny town in rural Knox County, about 90 minutes northeast of Columbus. It’s where Kenyon College is and where my son cast his first vote. He tells me that there were only two machines for 1300 registered voters. There was an unprecedented turnout and one of the machines was frequently going out of service. Waits were up to 9 hours long.
Doubtlessly, needlessly long lines disenfranchised some Ohio voters. This is inexcusable. Does it help explain the apparent Bush victory? I doubt it.
What I saw on the street in Columbus was that the Republicans were better funded, better organized, and smarter about mobilizing their voters. I bet they also knew more about their people than the Democrats. The Democrats were polling, whereas the Republicans conducted a census. The Republicans were probably more successful in tailoring communications to individual voters and I’m sure they had a plan to get each one to the poll.
What will the Republicans do next with this machine? Rove and Norquist have been candid about plans for a political realignment. They are likely to have some success. Can the Democrats continue to block hard right judicial appointments? I also expect organized political pressure to bring the media into conformity.