How Election Day May Go Wrong & Turn Into a 2000 Bush vs. Gore Nightmare

votingVoters are sure to be experience a slew of varied emotions with just ONE MORE DAY until we elect the next President of the United States and Congress! Based exclusively on social media, people appear to be completely fed-up, nervous, irate, overly optimistic, having panic attacks, or all of the above -- depending on what they've just read in the news. And one of the nerve-wracking themes we keep hearing on all news outlets is how this Election Day is eerily setting up to look like a re-run of 2000. In other words, there are plenty o' possibilities for the election to go horribly awry, leaving us waiting for days, if not weeks, to know the results. I know. AGH!

Here, a few of the scenarios that could -- albeit we're hoping definitely DO NOT -- go wrong ...   

  1. Provisional ballot probs - Depending on how many there are and whether or not there's a clear winner without them, provisional ballots -- particularly in Ohio -- may make it next to impossible to figure out who the winner is. 200,000 voters in Ohio haven't returned absentee ballots (Why not? Bizarre ...) and if they try to vote on Tuesday, they'll have to cast provisional ballots, which according to Ohio law, cannot be counted until Nov. 16! What the heck?!
  2. "Citizen" poll watchers - Groups like the Tea Party's "True the Vote" is vowing to swarm polling places with an army of hundreds of thousands of these so-called “citizen” poll watchers to look for fraud and challenge ineligible voters. But they may cause confusion and chaos at the polls.
  3. The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy - Although the hardest hit states like New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut are mostly likely, without much question going to go blue, fewer people being able to vote there could affect the president’s total national vote counts -- and raise questions about his mandate or even legitimacy if he loses the popular vote while winning the Electoral College (like Democrats questioned President George W. Bush’s legitimacy after he lost the popular vote in 2000). Ugh.
  4. The 2012 version of the "Chad" debacle - You'd think that in the 12 years since the 2000 election, printing errors and voting machine problems would have been mostly resolved. But no. Experts say issues like this could delay the vote count in swing states. And if they have to do a recount, Virginia and Pennsylvania are among 16 states using touch-screen voting machines that don't leave a paper trail that can be verified in a recount.
  5. Fewer absentee ballots may come in from soldiers abroad - Conservatives are complaining that the Obama administration has disenfranchised military voters, but the fact of the matter is that fewer military members have requested absentee ballots this go round. Nonetheless, complaints from the right about uncounted or missing votes from soldiers could hold things up.
  6. Mercury retrograde - This astrology aspect occurs 3-4 times a year, throwing a wrench in everything communication/technology-related. The last time Mercury was retrograde during a national election was ... you guessed it, in 2000! And it will go retrograde at 5:57 p.m. EST tomorrow, potentially making for even more voting mix-ups.

How will you feel if any of these mix-ups hold up election results?

Image via Sasha Brown-Worsham

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