We get emails:

Dear Arthur gang,

The NYTimes says some black folks are worried they won’t be able to vote, or their votes won’t be counted.

Meanwhile, Drudge is saying there’s been TV reports of an uptick for gun purchases in Florida in recent days.

What should I do if I see Republicans stealing the election for McCain on Tuesday?

Ronald B. Quirkenstaff
Jacksonville, Florida

Arthur Magazine’s Washington, DC bureau chief Chris Grier replies:


Document everything with photos. If they object, inform them in no uncertain terms that the law allows you to photograph anyone doing anything in public without their consent. And if they try to seize yr camera/phone/device, let them know they’ll be arrested for felony theft. Having been a journalist, part of that time in Florida, I can tell you that’s the law. Take a deep breath, sack up, and stand yr ground.

(That also includes law-enforcement, no matter what they tell you. You may photograph them in public, at will. And if they try to seize yr camera? Tell them you’ll swear out an affidavit charging them with malfeasance. And then hit the phonebook for an attorney for a civil suit.)

Then SMS or upload the photos to yr email account, and get in touch with federal prosecutors immediately. For Jacksonville, that’s Thomas Kirwin’s office. You can get an Asst. U.S. Attorney in his office by calling the main office, (850)942-8430 in Tallahassee, or (352)378-0996 in Gainesville, which is closer to you.

(No matter where you live in the U.S., you can find the neaest federal prosecutor’s office here: http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/offices/index.html)

Maybe get a $9 pack of T-shirt-iron-on paper at the office-supplies store and print yrself a T-shirt that says “STEALING THE ELECTION? I’M WATCHING YOU.”

All of Florida’s voting machines use a new optical-scan system. That means no more “hanging chads,” which is good, but there is enormous potential for hacking. Florida uses four different machines. One of them is the Premier Election Solutions Accuvote, which notoriously dropped 16,000 votes for Gore in yr state’s own Volusia County. Premier Election Solutions is merely what Diebold’s voting-machine division rebranded itself last year. And Diebold’s chief exec, lest we forget, was a top fund-raiser for George W. Bush.

Avi Rubin, a Johns Hopkins University computer science professor and technical director of the Information Security Institute, says the source code used in the Diebold “is far below even the most minimal security standards applicable in other contexts.”

So yes, you have reason to worry. If these machines are in use in yr county, you won’t see evil henchmen scurrying to the Dumpster to dump paper ballots in the trash. If anything goes down, it likely happened already: Some scum-nerd rewrote the source code to dump Democrats’ votes into the big nada. Look for evidence of evil hijinx after the fact — like big discrepancies between exit polling data and reported countywide vote tallies. And then make sure somebody is filing suit, quickly, to seize the machines and pick apart the guts.

Of course, there are other, cruder, possibilities. If gun-wielding Bitters are roaming around keeping longhairs and people of color away from the polls, it’s going to be a horrible shit-show and we’re all gonna hear about it. In that case, google all of Dave Reeves’ tips for heading for the hills/getting the hell out of Dodge until it blows over.

Hang tough, stay safe,

Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

About Jay Babcock

I am an independent writer and editor based in Tucson, Arizona. In 2023: I publish an email newsletter called LANDLINE = https://jaybabcock.substack.com Previously: I co-founded and edited Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curated the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages, Grand Royal and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was somehow listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. From 2010 to 2021, I lived in rural wilderness in Joshua Tree, Ca.


  1. Video the vote!


    Video the Vote operates through a simple three-step process.

    Volunteers sign up online, giving us their email address, cell phone number, and video proficiency.

    On election day, voters call in to national hotlines to report problems at the polls, Video the Vote dispatches our volunteers to get the story. We also obtain footage from roving videographers who are documenting the election process in their communities.

    Volunteers then upload their footage to our web site where it is available for immediate viewing by the media and the public.

  2. Pingback: Oxygen Masks? « Rip Post

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