Over at Kyle's Republic, there's a link to a Vanity Fair article by lefty-turned-contrarian-conservative Christopher Hitchens about the last American presidential elections, and various statistical anamolies in Ohio. Hitchens essentially argues that something stinks, and ought to be investigated. Lots of numbers and data follow, filling out what seems like a self-evident proposition: you can't be too careful when it comes to the basic mechanism of democracy.
Ever since election night, people have been arguing for a thorough examination of the results in Ohion and Florida, with specific reference to the new voting machine technology used in those states. This piece may be a sign that these arguments are moving beyond the fringe and into the mainstream.
Personally, I've spent the past few months wondering what Bush's second-term scandal was going to be. Every two-term American president in the past thirty-five years has had one. Nixon had Watergate, Reagan had Iran-Contra, Clinton had Whitewater. Maybe too much time in power makes one careless, maybe the press finally gets fed up with the administration, but for whatever reason something about the second term seems to lead to massive public outrage. With Bush the questoin becomes: given his track record, what more can he do that'll raise the already-existing outrage to true full-blown scandal level? What will it take to turn his fans against him? Tampering with voting results would be one possibility, I think. It's simply indefensible. Which isn't to say that partisans wouldn't try to defend it, if it were true.
At any rate, it's early days yet. Nothing may come of these doubts about the election results. But for the moment, 'vote tampering' is the early favourite in the Second-Term Scandal watch.